I got hit by the news last night and I had to sit down to settle a little. Now, I already had plenty of issues with the UN, the first one is Eggnog Calamari (aka Agnès Callamard) with her essay, several parts of that being debatable (as I personally see it) and too much on speculation and what might have been. OK, besides that point there are plenty of other issues, yet the news yesterday takes the cake. The news (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/france-britain-complicit-yemen-war-crimes-190903103122355.html) giving the headline ‘US, France, Britain may be complicit in Yemen war crimes: UN‘ makes the UN now come across as a joke. Even as we get the same approach with their ‘secret list’ the quote: “The United States, United Kingdom and France may be complicit in war crimes in Yemen by arming and providing intelligence and logistics support to a Saudi-led coalition that starves civilians as a war tactic“, it is the ‘as a war tactic‘ that is the part that bothers me. There has been enough news and enough mentions that Houthi forces took food from the people. In addition there is enough evidence that Houthi forces stopped the flow of food and medicine. There is equal sources (unconfirmed) that Hezbollah set that stage, in addition the Iranian part in all this remains unmentioned. Apparently the report also gives us: “The Houthis for their part have shelled cities, deployed child soldiers and used “siege-like warfare”” yet no mention of the famine actions that have been reported on a few occasions instigated and pushed through by Houthi forces. I am clearly not stating that Saudi Arabia and the UAE did the same tactics, the acts that the report accuses them of. I am not aware of this part and I am not saying that this is not so, yet there is now allegedly (because the Al Jazeera article is the source) more than one piece of evidence missing, as such the UN can no longer be trusted at present. The intentional absence of Iranian actions, the absence of Hezbollah mentions, as well as the fact that UN volunteers earlier this year reported that Houthi force claimed and blocked food supplies is a large issue and as it is unmentioned now gives rise to the UN becoming a questionable presence.
The quote “Its appendix lists the names of more than 160 “main actors” among Saudi, Emirati and Yemeni top brass as well as the Houthi movement, although it did not specify whether any of these names also figured in its list of potential suspects” is equally debatable. By trying to steer clear through: “it did not specify whether any of these names” implying that Houthi forces are less guilty. Still the actions of Iran supplying arms, drones and missiles are seemingly not mentioned. And if there is truth to the quote: “the information in these reports is absolutely crucial to build cases in the future“, the absence of Iran and Hezbollah become even more interesting. The question with me is whether the person behind that report is UN employed, or should that person become unemployed immediately.
When I take a helicopter rise (or a magic carpet ride) I can agree that there are no real innocent sides, all sides will transgress, make mistakes and so on. Did Saudi forces refuse to feed people, or were the food supplies already seized by Houthi forces? It is not a case of bias; it is active strategies on a theatre of war that was active. The fact that Houthi forces were mostly unmentioned is a much larger issue; the absence of Iran makes the entire Al Jazeera article optionally worthless. I will wait for the actual report to come out and nit-pick that report to death. Yet the article in France 24 gives us: “US, Britain, France, Iran and others that they “may be held responsible for providing aid or assistance for the commission of international law violations if the conditions for complicity are fulfilled.”” gives an optional first stage where the bulk the question is larger, Al Jazeera voiced it as: “while also highlighting the role Western countries have played as key backers of the Arab states and Iran has played in support of the Houthis“, yet it is the only mention of Iran and no mention of the acts of Hezbollah at all, which is still an issue on several levels.
There is one additional failing in the article, and optionally in the report as well. the quote: “it found that a Joint Incidents Assessment Team set up by Saudi Arabia to review alleged coalition violations had failed to hold anyone accountable for any strike killing civilians, raising “concerns as to the impartiality of its investigations”“, the quote shows a larger failing in the train of thought here. It is the task of a Joint Incidents Assessment Team to see of proper procedures were adhered to, that is not an impartial task, that is a clear task whether military protocols were ignored. The Human Right Watch (at https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/08/24/hiding-behind-coalition/failure-credibly-investigate-and-provide-redress-unlawful) gives us a few parts, but the quote: “JIAT originally consisted of 14 individuals from the main coalition members. It has a mandate to investigate the facts, collect evidence, and produce reports and recommendations on “claims and accidents” during coalition operations in Yemen” is seemingly accurate. The task is to initially investigate whether proper military procedures were adhered to. This is important as this sets-up the investigation through the chain of command. At that point SIGINT can determine whether communications were passed on correctly, it is there where I believe that one additional independent member would be required to investigate ALL the raw data. It is a time consuming job, but that is the path to find out what happened. And anyone thinking that this is simple, think again any event could take months to investigate if ALL the data is available. Yes, I agree it might seem partial, but it optionally is not. If anyone accuses this JIAT to be partial, than there might be a case for that, but it is still edged on the need for the Saudi Government to investigate whether they did something wrong. A defence attorney is not impartial, he or she opposes the prosecution to find all the evidence and applies the law to show innocence (or better stated an absence of guilt); it is a military approach, a Judge Advocate General (JAG) job to investigate. They apply the law and at present I have not seen any evidence clearing or properly accusing Saudi Arabia and the UAE from being actually guilty. Yet the other HRW parties are eager to ignore Iran’s part in all that. In addition, as the HRW gave rise 6 months ago with ‘Yemen: Houthi Landmines Kill Civilians, Block Aid‘ (at https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/22/yemen-houthi-landmines-kill-civilians-block-aid) where we see: “Mines have also prevented aid groups from bringing food and health care to increasingly hungry and ill Yemeni civilians“, gives a larger truth. The article in Al Jazeera (and France 24) give no rise to that given, Houthi involvement was minimalized and that is a much larger crime (as I personally see it) giving rise to my premise that this person behind the report should not be UN employed, that person should be unemployed.
That took less than 20 minutes to figure out, I wonder why Al Jazeera made no clear mention of that failure, where is their head at and where is their media allegiance at?