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As the U.S. Attacks Yemen and Expands the U.S.-Israel War on Palestine, Ask Yourself:

WHOSE INTERESTS ARE BEING SERVED??

A U.S.F/A-18 Super Hornet takes off from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to target sites in Yemen, January 11, 2024.

 

A U.S. F/A-18 Super Hornet takes off from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to target sites in Yemen, January 11, 2024. Photo: U.S. Central Command   

On January 12, a fleet of U.S. warships, submarines and fighter jets prowling the Red Sea—more than 7,000 miles from America’s shores!—unleashed an attack on Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. Explosions rocked cities and rural areas. 150 missiles slammed into 60 targets in 28 different locations. At least five Yemenis were reportedly killed. Then on January 13, the U.S. struck again, hitting what it says was a radar station. And Biden is still threatening further attacks.

This is a dangerous escalation by the U.S., with only two purposes:

  • One, to defend its vicious “watchdog,” Israel, in the genocidal Israeli war against the Palestinian people; and 
  • Two, to maintain U.S. domination over the shipping lanes of the Red Sea, a major crossroads in the Middle East.
Map of Middle East showing Egypt, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen

 

Moreover, this U.S. attack greatly heightens the risk of a larger, even world, war—a point which we’ll get into below. But as you read what follows, and as you talk with others about it, keep this quote from Bob Avakian at the forefront of your mind:

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way. (BAsics 3:8) 

Why Did the Mighty U.S. Military Attack One of the World’s Poorest Countries? 

For three months, Houthi forces1 have been firing rockets and drones at commercial ships in the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes. It is no secret why—they have said repeatedly that they aim to pressure the U.S. and Israel to end their genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza. The Houthis are an Islamic fundamentalist group that controls a large part of Yemen. They are allied with Iran, and had been at war with Saudi Arabia (backed and funded by the U.S.). The Houthis are not a force for liberation and have their own agenda and reasons for doing this (see below), but that does not change the fact that Israel’s criminal war must end.

So one main reason the U.S. attacked Yemen is to defend Israel’s genocidal war and force the Houthis to stop “interfering.” Yet Biden’s statement on the U.S./British attack never mentions Israel, Gaza or the war. No, Biden says this is all about “freedom of navigation.”

What bullshit! What about “freedom of navigation” for the aid trucks that Israel has bottled up in Egypt, preventing them from delivering food and water to millions facing starvation in Gaza? What about “freedom of navigation” to get medicine to Gaza’s doctors, so when they have to amputate the limbs of children injured by Israeli bombs, they can at least give them anesthesia first?

Children wounded by Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in Khan Younis, December 5, 2023.

 

Children wounded by Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in Khan Younis, December 5, 2023.     Photo: AP

And where was U.S. concern for “freedom of navigation” when Saudi Arabia—with full U.S. support—invaded Yemen between 2014-2022 and blockaded its main port? This caused a famine which—together with the war itself—led to an estimated 377,000 Yemeni deaths.

“Freedom of navigation” to these imperialists means freedom for them and their allies to roam the globe “freely,” exploiting billions of desperately poor people, to feed cheap products from cheap labor into “global supply chains” that can be turned into maximum profits. And then to send armies and warships wherever they want to force people to accept the horrible conditions imperialism subjects them to, or to beat back rival  predators who want to prey on those same people. In short, “freedom of navigation” means “freedom to dominate navigation.”

The Houthi actions did put a small crimp in this—Tesla and some other companies had to close factories, oil prices went up. But to the U.S., this translates into a threat to the power of its main enforcer in the region—Israel. And the disruption of shipping makes the U.S. look “weak,” unable to defend key lifelines of its worldwide empire, perhaps “vulnerable” to challenges from other imperialist gangsters. 

That is why people are being slaughtered and the whole world put at risk.

So ask yourself again: Whose interests are served by this war? And how should we—those who care about humanity—respond?

Some Basic Truths About the U.S.-Supported Israeli War Against Palestine, by Bob Avakian

 

Amping Up the Danger of Major War

From the point of view of Genocide Joe Biden, these Houthi actions “justify” acts of war against Yemen. A “red line” had to be drawn.

But that red line comes with a whole set of risks, especially since the Houthis so far show no signs of backing off. Continued Houthi actions could make the U.S. look even weaker unless it hits Yemen even harder.

That opens the danger of things spiraling out of control. Iran could feel compelled to defend its Houthi allies; the U.S. might attack Iran to prevent that, or in response to that. And then too, Iran has been moving closer to Russia and China—the U.S.’s main imperialist rivals for world domination. They might feel compelled to come to Iran’s defense if the U.S. attacks it. 

So war with Yemen could lead to war with Iran and even to war with Russia and/or China—both of which are nuclear-armed powers increasingly aligned with Iran. Now that is not bound to happen… but it could—the situation is that explosive.

Of course the rulers of the U.S. don’t give a damn about the incredible suffering this would bring down on the masses of people, including the possibility of global nuclear war. They do care about the potential risks for their empire—of losing control of the region, of the economic blowback, political instability, and so on. And no one can know at the beginning of a war where exactly it will go, or who—if anyone—will “win.”

Nonetheless, this is the logic of their system, which cannot operate in any other way. And from the standpoint of that system and its logic, they face real necessity to defeat the Houthis even in the face of great risks.

Again, ask yourself what and whose interests are being served.

BAsics-1-28-559-en.jpg

 

Imperialism Must Go! … but Iran, the Houthis and “the Axis of Resistance” Are Not the Answer

The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), together with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Houthis in Yemen and some other forces, claim to be an “axis of resistance” to Israel and the U.S. But resistance for what? All of these forces are bound together by medieval, misogynist and deeply oppressive religious fundamentalism. Just look at Iran: Last year, women and men waged a fierce six-month struggle just for the right of women to go out in public with their hair showing! Hundreds were killed by the IRI, thousands imprisoned! 

Couple this with the fact that this “axis of resistance” is increasingly tied to contending rival imperialists, and that is not a future any decent person should support, much less fight for.

So one final time: What and whose interests are served by saying that the people can ONLY choose between the imperialists now tearing up the people and their planet, and the Dark Ages religious theocrats who glory in revenge?

And where do the interests of the people, of humanity, truly lie? As humanity witnesses new untold horror and teeters on the brink of annihilation, listen to, study and reflect deeply on these words of Bob Avakian:

We, the people of the world, can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to continue to dominate the world and determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible. And it is a scientific fact that we do not have to live this way.

_______________

FOOTNOTES:

1. The Houthis are a Shia fundamentalist group that controls a large part of Yemen. They are allied with Iran and other Islamic fundamentalist groups. [back]

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