Yup, it is time to have fun and the Guardian got me here. They gave us 8 hours ago (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/02/uk-must-do-more-to-end-yemen-conflict). And that set in motion my need to make fun of people like Ruth Tanner and optionally Winnie Byanyima as well.
The laughter starts at the headline ‘UK must do more to end Yemen conflict’; you see it implies that the UK had done any they have not. Now, in defence here I state that it would have been hard to accomplish anything, and the stage of “it’s time for the government to respect the ruling of the appeal court earlier this year and immediately halt all arms sales to Saudi“, and as we see this letter from Ruth Tanner, Head of humanitarian campaigns, Oxfam we now see Oxfam as the joke they might need to be regarded as.
The issue is a large one, in the first, there is no mention of Iran in any of this, Iran has been arming the Houthi forces, they have been directly involved in actions into and against Saudi Arabia. In the second, we have seen humanitarian aid being stopped as Houthi forces took control of food and aid for their fighters in earlier months. All elements not mentioned in this shallow 224 word essay (an essay at best) by the head of humanitarian campaigns Ruth Tanner.
It gets to be a lot less entertaining (not for me though) when we see in other sources that Yemen foreign minister Mohammed Abdullah al-Hadhrami blames Iran for war, whilst he also blames the UAE for their choices in this escalating location, I will try to steer clear of that small part as it does impact, but not to the degree that allows us to make fun of Oxfam. The fact that Oxfam sails away from the fact that Houthi forces had stopped and interfered with humanitarian aid and relief is just too funny to ignore, especially as Ruth Tanner makes no mention of that part. It’s like hearing Jimmy Carr say: “I sometimes get love sick, well they call it Chlamydia“, and as we see that ‘wisdom’ styled by Ruth Tanner: “Let’s end the Yemeni conflict, let’s call it: ‘stop sending arms to Saudi Arabia’”
The fact that Iran is still sending missiles, drones and other goods to Yemeni Houthi will only lengthen the entire matter and it will get additional thousands killed. If there was more consistent support for Saudi Arabia this entire matter would have ended 2 years ago. Yes, TWO YEARS AGO! As such we could make the case that Oxfam (and several other parties and players) are directly linked to the increase suffering in Yemen. We could have a go at Ruth Tanner with the additional question “Was it that time of the month for you to rely on ‘to push for a nationwide ceasefire’ whilst ignoring 50% of the involved parties here?” We have clearly seen that you have a lacking grasp of the entire matter, but you were clear enough to show your lack of the matter in a 224 word letter whilst the entire matter is a lot more complex than that. In addition we can ask Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam why she did not reign in Ruth Tanner when she could have, or better as she SHOULD have done a much better job in informing the audience, which in light of the focal point of Oxfam “alleviation of global poverty” beckons the question why global poverty is a focal point in a war torn nation when there are focal points that Oxfam (according to their mission statement) should focus on; in this case Madagascar, Comoros, South Sudan, Liberia, Mozambique, Niger, Malawi, Congo, Central African Republic and Burundi come to mind, no, we see nothing of them, just a shallow completely unacceptable piece on Yemen comes to print. In this, the Google search gives us: ‘”Ruth Tanner” Oxfam’ with as a result the hatched in the Guardian and after that a mention in the Evening Standard (July 19th), the Telegraph with one small paragraph (June 19th), a few quoted and requoted issues the day before and then the Independent on April 6th. I reckon with that lack of visibility she has a larger problem to deal with, adding what some might regard as a ‘load of bollocks’ will not (and should not) help her.
All whilst last Sunday evening we got “Houthi rebels used civilian infrastructure to launch a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia on Sunday” (at present unconfirmed), in the stage where the Houthi forces had stated that they would no longer fire into Saudi Arabia in the week before, a promise that was hollow at best. Yet in all this and in all these escalations Oxfam was all about ‘stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia’, as I personally see it they need to get a clue to comprehend or merely look at the well-being of cows in Applegarth, Aughton, Bilton and Calderdale. They might be able to stop the plight of cows (if there are any).
I agree that it is relatively easy to make fun of any charity, and for the most I never do this, yet to see a letter this short sighted getting attention in the Guardian made me want to step up my game (to deal with my own irritation and frustration). The fact that the clearly established involvement by Iran in all this was not part of the consideration and neither was the Houthi attacks on humanitarian aid in the past made it essential, again a Jimmy Carr comes to mind: “I told my best friend that I fucked his wife and got her pregnant. That cured his hiccups!” Yup, the total absence of subtlety tends to give light to the need of what cures a person (hiccups being the obvious issue here).
As we end this go at Oxfam, I wonder if they wizen up and have a realistic look at the events out there. Especially in light of the situation that was reported one month ago: ‘The UN fund for Yemen has received only a third of the funds needed; most vaccination programmes have already stopped as a result‘, and even as Al Jazeera gives us: “Abu Dhabi and Riyadh pledged $500m each but have so far failed to pay up as humanitarian disaster worsens” the underlying issue is not with these two players, the entire setting of “the UN and humanitarian partners were promised $2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis. To date, less than half of this amount has been received” gives view of a much larger failing, more important, as CNN gave us ‘CNN exposes systematic abuse of aid in Yemen‘ with the added “according to UN reports and CNN reporting on the ground, some of that food is being stolen by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, on a scale far greater than has been reported before“, as well as “humanitarian and local sources said that aid was now being held up because local tribal leaders associated with the Houthi government were blocking its work” (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/20/middleeast/yemen-houthi-aid-investigation-kiley/index.html). In all this there has been a massive failing on several levels and Oxfam merely whips it off with a ‘Let’s end the Yemeni conflict, let’s call it: ‘stop sending arms to Saudi Arabia’‘, which makes Oxfam come across as a joke and I have no issues whatsoever to have a go at Oxfam, especially when the stage of the matter is a lot larger, as we see in the quote: “Last year the World Food Programme publicly complained that about 1,200 metric tons of food was “diverted” — diplomatic speak for “stolen“”
The WFP said, asserting there had been fraud. As well as falsified records, the WFP said it discovered unauthorized people were given food and other supplies were being sold in markets in the city. In all this when we see the stage we see David Beasley, executive Director of the World Food Programme is in as we take notice of: “Beasley wrote to the leadership of the Houthis, threatening to stop collaboration with the Houthi government-linked charity blamed for the problems, and to cut off aid altogether. “WFP has a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and corruption, and we cannot allow any interference from any person or entity … including from your officials,” the letter states. The immediate problem was addressed when the Houthis and WFP agreed on a new system of registration and biometric verification to stop abuses. But that’s not yet working.”
I feel completely validated in using Oxfam as a punching bag. Even as you hide it in some letter to get secondary exposure through the Guardian (and optionally other sources too), there is a line that describes a stage of stupidity and hypocrisy that as I personally see it Ruth Tanner is in and as I personally see it should force Winnie Byanyima into action as fast as possible.
So have fun and make sure you get all the information when you feel hurt or angry, because this event clearly voices the face that Oxfam is eagerly willing to keep you uninformed as you react in emotion on events that are seemingly reportedly taking place.