Here are my thoughts on some questions I see poping up around facebook. Some are seeing this Saudi-led military intervention as the biggest danger and therefore siding with the houthis as a kind of lesser evil. Others see that the Houthis recent takeover of the capital as reason, not only to support military intervention, but to support (or at least not to oppose) military aid to Hadi, either in the form of weapons against the rebels, or drone strikes. But in reality, supporting Hadi is a problem, supporting Ali Saleh is a problem, Supporting Ali Mohsen (And Al-Ahmar family) is a problem, and supporting the Houthis is equally problematic as well.
Those who say yes, Hadi, may be a horrible president but he was at least heading a state that had a future for Yemen doesn’t know anything Yemen’s history or its politics. To support any of those groups is thoroughly wrong-headed.
Defending Yemen from the armed group – even if we would accept that this rebel group is just a proxy force fighting for Irani interests – means siding with one wing of imperialism led from Washington against a smaller one led from Russia and Iran. Siding with the Houthis is siding with imperialisms weaker wing. There is nothing remotely anti-imperialist, progressive or revolutionary about that choice.
It is also wrong to support Hadi for numerous reasons, as if he were all about the people. Yes, Hadi tried bringing reforms, but none of these reforms benefited workers and the poor people.
Anger, rooted in social, political and economic grievances felt by already poor people, is one of the driving forces that led to the outbreak of the Houthi revolt. The protests started in schools, and then to the larger northern area expanding to poor neighborhoods throughout Yemen, in suburbs of the cities where people from a poor rural background lived. It is no accident that Sana’a, only recently became the scene of rebellion; while poor places like the North saw protests from the beginning.
In sum, the houthis nor hadi, nor Ali Abdullah Saleh, nor Islah, should be supported. They must be opposed and rejected totally, and not be given any progressive-sounding apologies. Whatever side anyone wants to be on, think twice before siding with the groups that are exploiting Yemen by brutal means.