The first important thing to note about this article, which appeared in The Telegraph earlier this year, is the headline. At first I thought it was perhaps ironic, and the writer of the article was engaging in a kind of dry, sarcastic humour, given that the words are so obviously absurd and nonsensical. 90% of children and 21.2 million people in total in desperate need of humanitarian aid, making the crisis in Yemen the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world right now” according to Save the Children, does not seem to fit any rational definition of “peace and stability”, after all. However, after scrolling down through the article and finding out that it was in fact written by none other than Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, all hopes that this in fact could be a satirical article and not a defence of genocide were dashed. The second important thing to note is the mistake in the sub-heading referring to “the Saudi intervention in Syria”, rather than “in Yemen”, which offers another revealing insight into the minds of those who defend Our Crimes at all costs; it doesn’t really matter where we are slaughtering people. It could be in Yemen, it could be in Syria, it could be anywhere; so long as we are the perpetrators, it’s justified.
The article begins with some elementary fact-stating about the international reaction to the Saudi-led, UK and US-supported destruction of Yemen, setting the scene for how the condemnation of the aggression is monstrously unfair and unjust. However, the second paragraph then makes an interesting point.
Indeed, the UK has suggested that “the most effective way” for these investigations to move forwards is “for the Saudis” to investigate themselves. This is conventional wisdom; when someone is accused of committing crimes, obviously the most effective way to investigate the crimes is for the accused to investigate themselves. A great example of this judicious process occurred last year after an American airstrike had (almost certainly deliberately) blown up an MSF hospital in Afghanistan (a serious war crime). However, this was soon cleared up after the Obama administration promptly investigated itself and found itself innocent; everyone soon forgot about what had happened. It is highly probable that the Saudis will also investigate themselves after a firm talking-to from the UK, and will promptly find themselves innocent, clearing up any fanciful notions about ‘war crimes’ and ‘atrocities’ and making the UK’s arms sales to the Kingdom respectable once again.
The Telegraph reassures us that the Saudi regime “deeply regrets any civilian deaths”. Thank God for that. If you’re going to wage a war of extermination against a defenceless civilian population in the Middle East’s poorest country, at least have the decency to internally regret what you’re doing. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what separates Us from Them. While they gladly revel and glory in the perverse pleasure they gain from killing civilians, we shed tears whenever we do the same. And then we continue to do it. The Telegraph also correctly mocks the shameless “political posturing” of terrorist front groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN accusing the Saudi regime of “deliberately targeting civilians”. These organisations are allowing themselves to play into the hands of evil maniacs like ISIS – groups that behead people, stone women to death and kill gays. We wouldn’t want to be associated with people like that, now would we?
As The Telegraph promptly informs us, the Saudi dictatorship is not only innocently attempting to “preserve its own security and promote regional stability”, but is actually making a noble effort to defend democracy against a sinister “Iran-backed” rebellion. And remember, good citizens: Saudi Arabia are Our Friends and Allies (hooray!), and therefore they’re Good; Iran are Our Enemies (boo!), and therefore they’re Bad. And what’s not to believe about the dictators of Saudi Arabia wanting to defend democracy in Yemen?
Not only is Saudi Arabia going out of its way to defend democracy, but is also exercising its right to self-defence, just like we were doing in Iraq. When someone attacks you, what other option do you have except to create “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world right now”? Furthermore, we can’t let evil ISIS and Al Qaeda (remember: Bad Guys) grow and represent “a clear threat to the region and to the international community”. Not only are the Saudis defending themselves, they’re also defending us by destroying Yemen. And what better way to defeat extremism than by creating a humanitarian catastrophe in one of the world’s poorest countries?
The Telegraph then reassures us in the best way possible: we are also helping Saudi Arabia destroy Yemen. We’re definitely Good Guys; there’s no way we would ever do anything immoral. The Saudi-led campaign of aggression must be good; we can be sure of that. “All foreign observers have expressed satisfaction with the safeguards in place” as well (so long as you discount the world’s leading human rights organisations). It all looks good and clean to me.
And if all of these well-reasoned, clear and fact-based arguments have done nothing to convince you of the goodness and necessity of the destruction of Yemen, there’s always room for trying the Israel Technique – accuse the people you’re bombing of bombing themselves. It’s perfectly obvious that the noble and human rights-respecting Saudis are not really responsible for creating the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen; it’s those dastardly Houthis who are really to blame, by hiding in “hospitals, schools and civilian homes”, thus forcing the Saudis to bomb civilian targets (who deeply and sincerely regret doing so, but, alas, they have no choice). The Yemenis are killing themselves. We have no evidence of this, but who are you going to believe: the Saudis, or the world’s leading human rights organisations (AKA commie-jihadi-Iranian terrorist front groups)?
After some earnest declarations about the Saudis’ continuing support for human rights and justice, the article ends:
Almost brings a tear to my eye. Rest assured, good citizens: all is right with the world.