Houthi rebels

Max Salmon
Insights Newsletter
26 January, 2024

Half a world away from New Zealand in the Red Sea, a small group is making a big splash in international relations theory and philosophy. 

The Houthis, already well known for their stunning flag design talents and progressive stance on ageist restrictions to military service, have awed the intellectual community once again.  

This group of privateers with big dreams have demonstrated their humanitarian bona fides by opposing the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people. This peaceable grass-roots movement has taken matters into its own hands. And it is the very Avant Garde nature of their solution that has the world talking: 

Bombing and Capturing ships. 

“What sort of ships?” I hear you ask. 

Well not Israeli navy ships, that would be too gauche. 

And no, it’s not Israeli merchant ships either. 

It’s not even ships delivering goods to Israel. Or at least not just those ships. 

They are attacking any ship that catches their eye. A diverse array, from Swedish cargo ships to Japanese vehicle carriers. All in the name of calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

You might well wonder what the 25-man crew of the Japanese Galaxy Leader had to do with the state of Israel. The answer is absolutely nothing.  

This is the brilliance of Houthi Theory, to utterly disconnect cause and effect. A thousand philosophers cry out in anguish that this solution did not occur to them first. So simple, so elegant. After all, why shackle yourself to actions with clearly linked effects, when you can just do literally anything, and claim that it’s for a good cause.  

Injustice, of course, isn’t limited to Gaza and this Houthi Theory seems like it might be useful to apply elsewhere. Suddenly new methods of protesting the world’s wrongs emerge.  

For instance, I was thinking we could put impose a trade embargo on Fiji until Qatar ceases slavery. Or we could try kicking puppies until the government indexes tax brackets to inflation. The applications for pathways to peace are endless.  

Yes, in return for the gift of their universal epistemological breakthrough I can see a Nobel Prize in the near future for the leaders of the Houthi movement. The only problem for the panel in Stockholm will be deciding to whom to award the prize.  

Perhaps the government of Panama, after all, they had nothing to do with it. 

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