By Benjamin Minick | @TimberwolfP
I recently had the great pleasure of taking part in an online symposium discussing the ongoing situation in Yemen. A little covered fact in western journalism is the Houthi. The mainstream media in the U.S. seems to be a tad bit confused so there is a great need for clarification.
The Houthi are a quasi-religious group from northern Yemen. They are not the whole of the populace. Despite their claims to be the true rulers and blessed representatives of God. The movement was started in the late 2000s by two brothers that were from a local tribe that was known as the Houthi.
Now that that has been explained, let me introduce you to who they really are. Yemen is a wonderful, culturally rich country on the outskirts of the Arabian Peninsula. Sadly, over the centuries they as a country have been decimated. A number of rulers have pillaged their resources in the name of the holiest.
Modern times have failed to stop this. Until 1962 the country was a patriarchal theocracy. The ruling family constantly applied “taxes” to the people. All governments require such taxes from their people, usually to fund public projects and infrastructure. In the case of Yemen, the only benefit came to the ruling class and their full stomachs. The people were hungry and dying.
Democracy seemed to be the answer, save for their physical location. It is no secret that the middle east is a constant powder keg. Constant disagreements between warring factions keep the region in a constant state of upheaval. Fractured, starving countries provide an inviting home for nefarious deeds. Especially when they seemingly embrace “western” ideals such as democracy.
During the 1990s Hezbollah found a home in Yemen. Initially providing money and infrastructure. Once their foothold was established, things changed. The Iranian controlled terror faction began several campaigns of terror in the region. The bombing of the U.S.S. Cole while in port signaled a paradigm shift. It was no longer safe for U.S. forces.
Fast forward a few years and the cancer of Iran’s kleptocratic regime is still there. The Houthi insurgency has taken the once internationally recognized government by storm. So much that for a while the balance of power seemed to shift weekly. When the smoke cleared, The “Houthi rebels” had taken the country.
The west sat there and watched while Iran operated under its grand puppet show. Like good pupils, the Houthis systematically tore the country asunder. Money, food, and other resources were looted from the people. Iran stood in the wings like a loan shark. The rebels were “rewarded” and the people were punished. Even Saudi intervention could not stop it.
The Iranian leadership has helped the Houthi forces organize. They taught them how to fight, and implemented a carbon copy of their laws and disdain for the west. Democracy has been killed and once again replaced with theocracy. Sunni and Shia factions are united under the banner of the Houthi. But what of the remaining population? They lay in a precarious state of taxation, and theft.
The new “khums” tax implemented by the Houthis to apply to all of Yemen is based on a concept that the Hashemites – the tribe of the Prophet Mohammed – is entitled to 20% (or one fifth) of all public and private earnings, lands, natural resources, and other sources of income and benefit. This tax gives special advantages to one category of people based entirely on lineage and genetic descent, essentially putting them in a superior position over the rest of the country. Even money that would normally go to charity as zakat (one of the five pillars of Islam) may get diverted from the needy to the alleged “Hashemites” making this claim. The irony in this tax which most Yemenis view as racist is that the Houthis who are claiming to be Hashemites are of Persian descent and unlikely to be part of that lineage.
The new racist “tax” serves to further undermine the country. Non-Houthi people are taxed on everything, damn near even the air they breathe. The rulers take their cut and send the rest to Iran. They are then rewarded with weapons and orders to carry out the dirty work. They have been annexed by Iran by way of a proxy militia.
International aid has been poured into the region from many countries including KSA and the United States. The problem, the real issue is that the people never see it. The rulers take their cut and the rest gets funneled back to Iran. The people are left out. Their images are used to stir up human rights activists and generate revenue.
The international community would never directly support the Houthi. They are only a level in the great pyramid scheme that Iran has going. The entire situation has been carefully constructed by the Iranian regime as a method for bypassing the sanctions levied on them by the west. Recent events in the region lend credence to this.
The attacks on Saudi petrochemical infrastructure late last year were carried out by Houthi rebels. The drones and munitions used could not have been built in Yemen. They were provided by Tehran as a means to destabilize the region. The Houthi happily carried out this mission and claimed responsibility. This did two things. First, it gave them a projected image of power. Second, It allowed Iran to act as a puppet master, accomplishing their own agenda without having to get their hands dirty.
Shortly after this, Houthi pirates captured an oil tanker and its crew. There was a brief period of coverage by the media but it was soon eclipsed by the high profile assassination of General Soleimani[. Guess what? The Houthi movement had representatives at that enclave as well. There is no such thing as a perfect coincidence.
The majority of my counterparts here in America were fed a narrative, and they followed it. While they turned a blind eye to the honest facts, attacks were being carried out on American forces in the vicinity. A good number of these were carried out by Houthi militias in conjunction with other Iranian proxies in the region.
This paints a very dark picture in the eyes of the average American. Thanks to the narrative that has been force-fed by the cowards in the media, Yemen is Houthii, they are bad. That is not the truth. Yemen is a country full of people that want to live with basic human rights. Unfortunate events led to a coup that decimated them. They certainly did not invite Iran in with open arms.
The time has come that we face the truth. Iran did not like being called to task, so they found a way around the sanctions. Now, there is an entire country being taxed to the extremes of poverty, and death. This should have been stopped but we allowed it to happen. The legitimate government of Yemen should be in power, the Houthi threat should be neutralized. Yemen should be supported and built back up by the international community. Iranian influence should be kicked back to Tehran and systematically dismantled. This will only be a dream for so many until the truth is told, and something is done.