Many have been asking, either for good reasons or due to ill intentions, when the war in Yemen will end, particularly ever since the Decisive Storm Operation has been launched in mid-2015 to protect Yemen from the Khomeini invasion via the local Houthi agent.
Will Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular bear the cost of the expensive war on the political, media and economic levels? Will they tolerate the human cost of war? Hasn’t the war been on for long? Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
There’s nothing wrong with asking. It’s normal to ask as who loves war anyway? However “fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.”
In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the war in Yemen is ongoing in order “to prevent the Houthis from turning into another (Hezbollah) on our borders.” He added: “We’re pursuing until we can be sure that nothing will happen there like Hezbollah again, because Yemen is more dangerous than Lebanon.”
These statements address the people and guide the confused. Does a Saudi or anyone who loves Saudi Arabia or cares about Arab and rather global interests accept that the Khomeini Iran creates a Houthi cancer, which clones the Lebanese cancer Hezbollah, on the Saudi southern borders and on international navigation paths in Bab el-Mandeb and the Gulf of Aden?
If the war in Yemen only had this objective, it would’ve been enough to grant the war full political, practical, legal and moral legitimacy as war with the Khomeini project, represented in its Yemeni tool Abdulmalik al-Houthi and his allies, is not just a war or borders but a war of existence.
Not fighting some wars means neglecting responsibility and leadership. Signs of a real country are a strong will and solid nerves. Who said wars cancel states’ and societies’ other tasks? They can fight and build at the same time. Most recently, Saudi Arabia launched a very ambitious and exceptional path that includes investing in the future, as seen in the massive NEOM project.
Take South Korea, one of Asia’s tigers, as an example. The state of war or semi-state of war with the nuclear North Korean neighbor did not obstruct it from enthusiastically developing its economy. South Korea has lived through this situation for around half a century and not just two years like the case with the Yemeni war is.
There are also massive Saudi and Egyptian projects on the Red Sea. The Red Sea’s security must thus be guaranteed, which means the Houthis must be defeated and expelled from Yemeni coasts.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted the significance of Yemen and Bab al-Mandeb when he said: “If something happens there, that means 10 percent of world trade stops.”
In brief, one can fight a war and seek development at the same time.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.