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‘Saudi-led coalition failed to achieve goals in Yemen’

William Hawes

William Hawes, a writer specializing in politics and environmental issues, said the allied nation-states attacking Yemen failed to achieve their strategic goals in the Arab country as “Houthis fire missiles onto Saudi territory semi-regularly, even reaching Riyadh last year.”

Hawes added that the U.S. has also failed to reach achieve its goals, “because destabilizing countries always causes blowback, and AQAP and even ISIL still has a foothold in Yemen even after four years.”

The full transcript of the interview is below.

Balkans Post: It is almost four years since the Saudi-led coalition began its aggression against Yemen with the support of Western countries. How do you assess their current level of support? Has it changed since the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi by the kingdom?

William Hawes: The support seems to be dropping. Germany has recently cut off arm sales. In the U.S. Congress bills will shortly be voted on to end arms sales and support to Saudi Arabia. Pressure is building in the UK to cut off arming the Kingdom as well. Definitely, it was the murder of Khashoggi that caused a shift in perception in the U.S. and the UK. What is revealing is how the death of one journalist somehow is more important than the U.S.-backed mass killings, drone warfare, starvation, and outbreak of preventable diseases, most significantly cholera.

BP: The United Nations has recently warned that the situation in war-ravaged Yemen is further deteriorating as the Arab country is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. What countries are responsible for this crisis?

William Hawes: I mean, it’s certainly obvious with those that have eyes to see, yes? Obviously Saudi Arabia is responsible as the primary aggressor, along with their lapdog the UAE, and also, the U.S., NATO, Israel, the GCC, and the assorted countries which provide the Saudis with weapons. Crucially, it is U.S. support which the Saudis depend on. If the U.S. decides to pull out of the conflict, the Saudis would most likely seek an end to the conflict.

BP: What do you think of the international community’s pressure on Saudi Arabia for its protracted war in Yemen? Can we expect any change in the kingdom’s behavior?

William Hawes: The international community’s pressure can be summed up as too little, too late. The one positive development recently was the ceasefire signed in Stockholm in December 2018. This called for an end to fighting in the port cities of Hodeidah, Salif, and Ras Issa. If humanitarian aid, food, medicine, supplies, etc. are allowed to be distributed properly that would be a positive development, but as of this date (March 1st, 2019) that remains to be seen. The pressure to force sides to a ceasefire around Taiz hasn’t nearly been enough. The only way I see a change in behavior, as noted above, is with the U.S. withdrawing support.

BP: Have Saudi Arabia and its allies been successful in achieving their goals?

William Hawes: The fact remains that many defense companies have been successful in taking in massive profits. The military-industrial complex always seems to win as ordinary people around the globe continue to suffer.

As for the strategic goals of the allied nation-states, you’d have to give a resounding no. Houthis fire missiles onto Saudi territory semi-regularly, even reaching Riyadh last year. As for the U.S., again no, because destabilizing countries always causes blowback, and AQAP and even ISIL still has a foothold in Yemen even after four years.

If you look since 2001, any goodwill that Western nations had in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia is gone except for the countries where the leaders are controlled by the U.S. The absolute hubris and moral rot is endemic, when you look at the political, corporate, and military leadership of the USA and Saudi Arabia.


William Hawes is a writer specializing in politics and environmental issues. He is author of the ebook Planetary Vision: Essays on Freedom and Empire. His articles have appeared online at CounterPunch, Global Research, Countercurrents, Gods & Radicals, Dissident Voice, The Ecologist, and more. You can email him at [email protected] Visit his website williamhawes.wordpress.com.

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