Sunday, January 14, 2024

Houthi Matters

That's all very well, David Cameron. But it will be as effective as Anthony Blinken telling Netanyahu that Israel must do more to protect innocent civilians. Israel is ignoring that, because Netanyahu knows the US won't withdraw funding.  

Houthi chiefs have already said they'll carry on the attacks. Yes, their attacks have been on commercial shipping but now they're saying they'll go for Israeli ships, which will make them heroes in many people's eyes. They don't care about a show of force from the US and the UK. In fact, it gives them justification to carry on. Just like Israel's behaviour reinforces Hamas.  

Cameron recently said the Houthi attacks are separate from Israel/Gaza. Former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove told @TrevorPTweets on Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips that it's true in a purely analytical sense, but on the Arab street the two are linked. In reality you can't separate them.

It's not just on the Arab street.

Dearlove said that of the three proxy groups in the Middle East; Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis, Hamas and Hezbollah are much more directly controlled by and closer to Iran. The Houthis have always been a troublesome, tribal/religious group, less controlled by Iran, but Iran has enough influence to persuade them to stop the shipping attacks.

They're not doing that, so for Cameron to say this isn't political is fatuous. US and UK Govts say what they want us to believe. It's insulting and makes people who are biased against the govt line more entrenched, and it frustrates and angers people who can think for themselves. Worse than that, it creates more conflict and can't ever lead to a resolution. For that to happen, truth and all the complexities must be acknowledged and articulated. Too much to expect from Cameron?

And is the real reason for UK retaliation that Rishi Sunak is playing wag the dog in a desperate effort to win favour with an electorate that generally despises him? Parliament wasn't consulted - and Cameron can't be confronted in the Commons either - because it probably would have said we don't need to do this and we can't afford it. The US has the military capacity, so let's just give them support for now. That will give us time to debate and make a sensible decision.

Dearlove also said that Houthis don't have an infrastructure in the UK, so a "major conspiracy of terrorism" is unlikely. There could be lone wolf ones, though. Not much of a reassurance. And US/UK govts shouldn't be taking the risk. But lives are cheap for politicians.

And I still haven't seen any politician or media refer to Houthi rebels as human beings. It's an inconvenient truth, but they are. Desmond Tutu said if you want peace, you don't talk to your friends, you talk to your enemies. You have to listen to them too. Frankly, I don't think there are any leaders in the West with enough intellectual and emotional sophistication to deal with the whole Middle East conflagration.

Where is Barack Obama when you need him.