Undue criticism of KSA
Pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthis forcibly hijacked state institutions and dissolved the parliament intending to pursue minority rule with Tehran’s backing. Moreover, this ragtag militia, in cahoots with the discredited ousted President Ali Abdullah Salah, threatened the Kingdom and infiltrated its borders on several occasions.
Saudi and its partners had no choice but to reluctantly step-in to release Yemenis from bondage and to secure the Kingdom and its holy sites, and while doing so they have paid a heavy price in blood and treasure.
Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini military personnel have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of right. Unlike so many others, which have been illegal wars of choice, waged to protect geopolitical interests, the intervention in Yemen is both legal in terms of international law and just.
There is no such thing as a clinical airstrike and there will never be until someone invents a bomb or a missile capable of pinpointing bad guys using civilians as human shields or using civilian infrastructure as hideouts.
According to Saudi authorities, great efforts have been made to reduce civilian casualties, yet Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have not only come up with the ridiculous insinuation that Riyadh is deliberately targeting innocents, they’ve launched a concerted campaign to whip-up hysteria against the operation, published libelous reports largely compiled from “evidence” provided by Houthis, and are pressing the United Nations to evict the Kingdom from the Human Rights Council, accusing the Council of “toothless” investigations.
Clearly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon fell for this grossly unfair anti-Saudi propaganda. He shamefully added the Kingdom to the UN’s “List of Shame” for violations against Yemeni children, only to remove it in response to the outcry. Now Human Rights Watch is pressing hard for Saudi’s re-inclusion.
This stance is beyond the pale especially when Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest donor of aid to Yemen. Some 16 million Yemenis are beneficiaries of Saudi aid — medical supplies, dialysis equipment, arterial devices, food baskets for 3.5 million citizens, and over 1 million meals - besides aid available to 35,000 Yemeni nationals living within Saudi borders.
Last year alone, more than one billion Saudi riyals were spent to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people. And how do these so-called human rights agencies respond?
They push the lie that coalition commanders are blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who need it. This patently false accusation is illogical. Why would any country bar its own humanitarian supplies from reaching their destination? Moreover, if the end game was to reduce people to starvation then why would Saudi work with Doctors without Borders and the ICRC?
A statement issued by the Saudi Embassy in the UK in response to a Channel 4 report says it all. While regretting civilian deaths it reaffirms categorically that Saudi Arabia does neither deliberately target civilians nor humanitarian supplies.
“The real suffering in Yemen is caused by the Iranian-supported Houthi rebels who commenced a revolt against the internationally-recognized, and legitimate, government. These rebels have a long record of recruiting child soldiers, kidnapping journalists, using migrants as human shields and preventing aid groups from delivering medical supplies…”, the statement reads.
It’s shocking that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have primarily set their sights against the rescuing party rather than Iran’s proxies representing just one cog in Tehran’s wheel furthering its regional ambition to dominate as many Arab states as it can. Their constant and continued attempts to distort the Kingdom’s image in the international community’s eyes and their one-sided, biased reports give rise to speculation as to their true motives.
One is left to ask whether there is a political component.
Human Rights Watch has been variously labeled “a revolving door for the CIA” and a “promoter of US foreign policy.” According to the NGO Transparify, it ranks among the least transparent think tanks in terms of its funding.
Amnesty International that glorifies terrorists and criminals over their victims claims it is independent of governments and corporate interests, but not only was its former executive director, Suzanne Nossel, a former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, on page 11 of its 2011 Financial Statement Amnesty acknowledges the support of various corporations and foundations as well as grants from the UK’s Department for International Development and the European Commission.
No wonder a growing number of states are shutting them out. Lies, exaggerations, political bias and selected reporting discredit the real defenders of human rights who work with countries to make a difference instead of throwing darts at states striving for the betterment of all.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view