The UN Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, has appeared before the Security Council to discuss the effects of the conflict in Yemen. The results have been absolutely horrifying, with the report detailing what they call the “largest food security emergency in the world” caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s campaign against the revolutionary government of Yemen. He has pleaded with the UNSC to call for an immediate ceasefire in order to provide the humanitarian aid necessary to avert the further deterioration of the situation in Yemen which is on the verge of famine. O’Brien has stated that more than 2.2 million children are now acutely malnourished, with another half-million suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
This is not an accident, nor simply another “cost of war” but the deliberate decimation of a people who have refused to submit. Saudi strikes are deliberately targeting food storage and production facilities in order to destroy the capacity for food self-sufficiency in Yemen. In addition, the blockade of the country has prevented much needed food supplies, along with all other necessary commodities, from getting in or out of the country. This is an intentional act of genocide, with the implied goal of making conditions so unbearable for the Yemeni people that they be forced to surrender. Although the Yemeni people do not yet appear to be broken, the imperialist coalition has certainly succeeded in precipitating such misery that starvation has become commonplace.
However, Saudi Arabia is not alone in this crime, so it would be unfair to shackle them with the full blame. Without assistance from the united kingdom in the form of weapons and ammunition, the miserable Saudi army would have no chance to continue their genocidal campaign. In fact, since the start of the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has become the single largest arms market for britain. The united kingdom has a distinct interest in reinforcing the colonial stranglehold they have over their former colony, and since they are incapable of directly decimating the Yemeni population, they have resolved to allow the Saudis to take care of the nasty business of genocide while they fuel the fire from a safe distance. They are joined by the united $tates, offering practical and logistical support for their regional ally to make the killing that much more effective. This is a wholesale slaughter that everyone wants to happen, but nobody wants to be seen involved in.
How has the UNSC responded to the crisis amid pleas from their own “Humanitarian” Chief? Their response has been to call for a total cessation of hostilities before humanitarian aid can be administered. The only problem is that they are keen on standing beside their friend, Saudi Arabia, when arranging these talks. One request that has been made of the Houthis in order to begin these talks has been the disarmament of their fighting force and the exit from the cities they occupy and administer in the North. In short, they want the virtual surrender of power by the Houthi revolutionary government, a demand made by the former compradore traitor-president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi while Saudi warplanes dropped bombs on his behalf. “Surrender” to a country guilty of genocide on Yemeni soil is their condition for the humanitarian aid from the UN—a so-called impartial international entity.
Resistance is Punished with Genocide
What demands do they have the right to make of a people struggling to resist the genocidal aggression of the NATO-backed coalition which has been pummeling the country with bombs and massacring civilians nearly non-stop? The Houthi revolutionary government is not an illegitimate or non-Yemeni entity, provoking a needless war in a selfish bid for power over a Third World country. They came to power on a program to end the longstanding relationship with the united $tates which allowed for the continued massacring of civilians in drone strikes aimed at dislodging “terrorist” elements in the country. A program which had successfully dealt a blow against “terrorist” plots to get married in the country of Yemen.
Yet, now in “retaliation” to this popular removal of the compradore government, who saw it fit to continue allowing the wanton massacre of their people by amerikan drones, the Saudi-led coalition has waged an utterly genocidal war against the people of Yemen. A war for which the Houthis are unfairly blamed. The imperialist “Save the Children” charity has outright blamed the Houthis for lack of protection for civilians during the onslaught, claiming that more could be done to protect them from attacks. An absurd claim to make while the country is pummeled relentlessly by the latest in imperialist hardware with almost no allies of their own besides Iran and the DPRK.
In the imperialist media, the situation in Yemen is presented as if the Houthis are foreigners who have come into the country and thrown it into a costly war without any regard for civilians. The Houthis are Yemeni, their families are Yemeni and their home is in Yemen. They have tried desperately, in one of the poorest countries in the world, to liberate their country from foreign domination and to struggle against the seemingly impossible odds placed against them. The victims of Saudi bombings are their families. The imperialist media, per usual, seems bent on blaming those being bombed for the decimation of their people by the imperialist coalition.
Shameless Greed Driving Mass-Murder
Why is Yemen so important to the imperialists that they would throw so much into ensuring that the revolutionary government is defeated? It is rich in natural resources, yes, however not to the capacity to which it represents a prize to their imperial greed in that sense. What seems more vital to them is its placement along the highly-trafficked Red Sea and the gateway into the Indian Ocean: the Bab-el-Mandeb. This puts the country at the strategic choke-point for global oil shipping, with over 3.8 million barrels of oil moving through the strait daily. Such a strategic point controlled by anyone at all skeptical of western domination puts the imperialist network in a very uncomfortable position, and control over that point translates to a tremendous power over the world market.
The country and its population are only valued in accordance to what they can contribute western accumulation. What Yemen has to contribute is a safe passage for shipping to and from the mediterranean and the european economies, and the lives of their people are being measured against a strategic linchpin for global value transfer. In this case, the slaughter of an entire nation is being factored in a cost-benefit analysis for world imperialism. So long as the europeans and amerikans get their gasoline and low-cost appliances, they do not care who vanishes in the mix. This is the reason for the near-blackout of media coverage on Yemen, with no sympathetic candle-lightings or humanitarian outcry from the west for mercy on the Yemeni people as there was for the western-backed bandits in Aleppo. Another Third World country is facing elimination and all the west can think about is the price of gas.
Revolutionary Solidarity with Yemen
The Yemeni people, however, will not be dominated by western interests, and have maintained a stiff resistance despite the strategic targeting of their vital infrastructure and systematic bombing of civilians. The Yemeni people, under the leadership of the revolutionary government, have fought back bravely against the blockade and invasion of the country by coalition forces. Counterintuitive as it may seem given the conditions, the support for the Houthis has not diminished with the conditions in the countryside, in fact support for the real national defenders has only increased. Mass demonstrations were held in support of the revolutionary government late last year, with tens of thousands participating.
However, in the west even the left remains largely silent and inactive on the question of the genocide being carried out in Yemen for the benefit of their imperialist economies. This must not continue on the way it has, there must be some kind of response to the bloodshed committed in the name of economic stability in the imperialist countries. If it were not for the continued logistical and material support of the western countries in the coalition responsible for the war, this bloodshed could not continue. Therefore it is the responsibility of the western left to do everything within its power to bring an end to the coalition’s systematic murder of Yemeni children. The alternative is culpability.
Silence on the question of Yemen is tantamount to participation, and if the platform of the western left is to have any merit it must stand firmly on the principles of anti-imperialism. There must be, without question, support for the struggle of the Yemeni people against the genocidal war waged against them. It is british and amerikan weapons and ammunition being used to fuel the conflict, and with logistics provided by NATO that the bombs are able to hit their mark. Our objective should be to end the transfer of arms and logistical support to the Saudi war effort through struggle in solidarity with the Yemeni people. These are weapons produced and transported by amerikan and british workers. Unless we act now to stop this, we are a party to the murder.