Yemen is under fire now. Saudis have followed the footsteps of their master in forming a coalition to bomb a country. The master is not only backing but is also providing tactical support. With the Nuclear Treaty with Iran on cards, America did not want to create an impression that it may change its policy in the Middle East. The Arab rulers fear that America may now turn soft towards Iran. America had to strike a balance. So it allowed Saudi Arab to have a go at Yemen.
The duplicity of Western approach can be seen in almost every intervention they make in the region. In Syria and Libya, the West supported the rebels, in Yemen and Egypt, they supported the Governments. Even in Iraq, they had used the ISIS push in that country to get rid of Maliki who was considered soft towards Iran. The humanity and justice are no criteria in support or opposition. The only criterion is the political expediency. Come what may, the American puppets in the region must survive and the opponents must go.
During last four decades the Middle East has been the centre of various interventions by America and Russia, with almost everyone failing to achieve the stated objectives, and a few mass movements that emerge through social, political and ideological campaigns. Such movements can fail, but they have certainly the greater chances of success. The Islamic Revolution of Iran, the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah and the Ikhwan Movement in some Arab countries are movements that have achieved mixed successes. The militant movements, even if their concerns and grievances are genuine, tend to fail often resulting in hugely disastrous consequences for the people as well as their active members. Still more unfortunate is the truth that the global forces of hegemony use them for their own ends. They would initially support them, and when their mission is accomplished, they would abandon them or in case they turn rebels would destroy them. This happened with al-Qaeda, which was created and used by West against the erstwhile Soviet Union. The Soviet Empire disintegrated, and America did no longer need al-Qaeda. When the Movement started expanding its reach in countries which were of economically or politically strategic importance for West, they invented or found a pretext to destroy them. In the process, tens of thousands of innocent Afghans lost their lives.
In Yemen the government is confronting the Houthis who are shown to have the backing of Iran. Houthis being Shiites gives West another opportunity to fan the Shia-Sunni hatred. What is being forgotten is that Houthis belong to Zaidi sect of Shiism. Zaidi are considered closer to Sunnis than any other Shia sect. Houthis in Yemen have had the support of a large section of Sunni population as well, some of whom are switching positions following the Saudi intervention. Ideally, Saudis should have played a role in bringing peace through reconciliation between different sections of society. Ways should have been found out to have a government, which has representation of all sections of Yemenese. But Saudis have chosen the option of war. It has played the same game as America plays.
If immediate corrective steps are not taken, it will end up in another bloody civil war. The most important factor that threatens peace in Muslim World is the rivalry between Saudi Arab and Iran. Saudis have been made to believe by their Western masters that Iran is much more dangerous than Israel. Time and again, reports of a covert understanding between Saudi Arab and Israel have been surfacing in the international media. Iran too has to feel a greater responsibility towards earning the confidence of its Arabian neighbors. An ideological aggression against “Wahhabi” will not help its cause. Iran today has much larger support in the Muslim World than Saudi Arab rulers. Muslim world views America as its top enemy and anyone siding with America is loathed. Iran’s popularity will rise further if it can enter into an understanding with Saudi Arab and other Arab countries, especially Qatar and UAE. If it can convince the Arabs that Western powers cannot harm them if they act in unison, it will help the cause of peace in a big way. Considering the long rivalry between them, it is not an easy task. But it has to be achieved if Muslim ummah is to be safeguarded against the machinations of West.
Pakistani need to stress on both Saudi Arab and Iran the need to bury their differences. Pakistan being a Sunni majority country, there have always been attempts to fan the Sunni-Shia divide. This has to be stopped at all costs. Using sectarianism for political ends is a sin which cannot be forgiven. It is high time Muslim World presented its united front to the world.