The Houthis—a Zaidi group from Sa’dah, in Yemen—are an honorable breed of rebels. They fight for a new democratic system to represent their entire country, instead of the one that their current president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, envisions. As a response to the Houthi rebellion, the United States and Saudi Arabia decided to unjustly drone strike and air raid the rebels in Yemen under the cover of “humanitarian intervention,” killing thousands of innocents in the process. This is a crime and a failure to implement the United Nation’s “Responsibility to Protect” policy, as well as a failure to allow other countries to form democracies on their own, as the United States did.
The Houthis are the current and most prominent group of rebels in Yemen at this time. According to Al Jazeera’s Saeed Al Batati, the Houthis’ request was for a more representative government, not only for their own group, but of all independent parties’ discussed during their National Dialogue Conference. Additionally and honorably, unlike the tar and feathering that occurred in our own country’s revolution for an increase of representation with taxation, the Houthis stormed President Hadi’s palace not to execute him and his electorate, but to simply put them under house arrest.
These diplomatic actions of rebellion and war were met by “humanitarian intervention” by both the United States and Saudi Arabia through the killing of at least 4,000 innocents through air raids and drone strikes. The strikes began on March 26th—according to the BBC—and were, in spite of the U.N.’s report on Yemen’s situation from the Human Rights Council, released on August 27th, 2014. The article specifically stated that, “Fighting in the north, between Houthi supporters and pro-Islah/Salafist armed groups, resulted in hundreds of civilians killed and thousands displaced.”
It is clear that this sort of vicious intervention to stop violence is a massive failure, but it also fails the standards set for interventions, like those put in place by the United Nations. The Responsibility to Protect policy outlines, under its three pillars, that a state has the responsibility to protect its citizens. Should the state fail under the first tenet of sovereign protection, surrounding and concerned states to aid the state in regaining protection and sovereignty of itself. The third pillar explicitly states, as a guideline for intervening countries, that, “...the international community has a responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other means to protect populations from these crimes.”
The Saudi Arabian and U.S.’s collaborative humanitarian intervention of Yemen does not follow the three pillars put forth under the Responsibility to Protect in any fashion and, due to the further death of innocent lives as a direct result of their actions, decreases the stability of the State of Yemen instead of increasing it. The purpose is also contradictory to the history and beliefs of revolution for the sake of representation that the U.S. purports to hold dear to its humanitarian interventions, marking the process of these two countries a complete and utter failure that should be punished as crimes by the International Court of Justice.