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Time to Put Ethics to Work

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

These are uncertain times for the long-suffering people of Yemen, as the international community seems unprepared to represent the halls of dialogue and international law to end the protracted war..

While the global arms industry cheers the sales total, innocent civilians continue to suffer in the war-torn country. Far from listening to what its people have to say, certain powers continue to sell doubt about the most basic aspects of international law and international humanitarian law in order to justify their lucrative arms sales, destructive military presence and protracted war.

In this fallacy, the argument is largely the same throughout the years that some governments are not capable of protecting civilians or sell peace in the region. Their military absence only adds more pressure and chaos to Yemen. In this sullen apathy neither truth nor justice can be found.

Here’s its essence: The Arab world’s high-risk, low-reward call for the US to interfere in regional affairs is bad in terms of policy, finance and economics. By making the attempt they have alienated their neighbours. Under international law, their neighbours are unlikely to give up their legitimate rights to defend and to resist. They will continue to take all necessary measures in response to the provocative moves and wars of deceit.

Experience tells us this could further damage the region’s economy and inflict more punishment on the people within that have already endured terrible hardship because of the pandemic, low oil prices and global downturn.

None of this should come as any real shock, but the US always raises the issue of alliance burden sharing costs. The only problem is that regional states are not economic powers, and they have no ability and means to pay forever for the direct and indirect costs of US forces stationed on their territories.

In this strange moment of ours, the Arab world’s security-fuelled dreamscape has to be little more than an afterthought, but this time with Joe Biden’s presidency it could backfire if they are not careful amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

In the current environment, what the political class in the region and beyond needs is to have some teeth to put ethics to work. For instabilities and insecurities of the kind they talk about, they need only to make common sense work. What, you might wonder, would the situation have been like had they abandoned the culture of complicity and helped break the wall of impunity which has only provided fertile ground for the rise of terrorism and interlinked conflicts in Yemen?

Together, the people of the region and their governments have the power to stop this folly they know is irresponsible, inconclusive and damaging. It falls to them to call for diplomacy and to start circling public demands for an end to the war in Yemen strategy and not an escalation that seriously breaches international law and basic norms governing regional relations.


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