America—A Force for Good in the World?
Tell That to the People of Yemen

December 18, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


What would you say and what would you do if you knew the United States was helping wage a war of starvation against millions of the world’s poorest people? A war waged by bombing farms and markets, attacking fishing boats, and blockading food shipments. A war that has left three-fourths of a country’s people, including children, without enough food and millions on the brink of starvation.

Take a hard look at what’s going on right now in Yemen. The U.S. has staunchly backed Saudi Arabia’s war there for nearly three years, supplying billions in bombs and military equipment, refueling its warplanes, providing intelligence, and supporting its naval blockade.

The aim of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is to crush the Houthi rebellion because they see it as a threat to their reactionary interests. The Houthi movement is based among followers of the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam, who make up more than a third of Yemen’s 25 million people. The Houthis are fighting under the reactionary Islamist banner of Ansar Allah (Partisans of God) and are politically supported by and have some ties to the reactionary Islamic Republic of Iran. But the Saudi-U.S. war isn’t just targeting Houthi fighters but millions of civilians as well.

Bombing Fishing Boats and Water Facilities

On December 12, a fishing boat off Yemen’s coast was attacked without warning by a Saudi helicopter. This wasn’t an accident or an isolated incident. Fishing is crucial to Yemen’s shrinking food supply, and Saudi Arabia and its allies have attacked 250 Yemeni fishing boats and killed 152 fishermen so far.

There have also been 942 Saudi air attacks on farms, 114 on markets, 34 on mosques, 147 on school buildings, 26 on universities, 378 on transport, and 61 on food storage sites since March 2015, according to a December 12, 2017 article in the Guardian . Saudi ships (with U.S. naval support) blockade the ports of a country that imports 80 percent of its food. All this is evidence, according to one study, of a deliberate strategy “to destroy food production and distribution” in Houthi-controlled areas. Saudi bombing has left 20 million people in Yemen without access to clean water and sanitation along with adequate food. The result is mass hunger, looming famine, and the largest cholera epidemic in history, now affecting over 800,000 people, half of them children under 18, with 4,000 new cases every day.

The UN calls “deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival ... such as clean water, food and medical services” an act of genocide!

U.S. Response to the Human Catastrophe

How have the U.S. rulers, who claim to be a force for good in the world, responded to the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen? With outrage at images of mothers desperately comforting their cholera-stricken infants? Condemnation of the famine stalking millions, crippling its youth? Declarations that the killing must end after news of the latest Saudi air massacre, which killed another 39 people in Yemen’s capital Sana'a?

In a high-profile press conference on Yemen this past week, America’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, made no mention of the millions on the verge of perishing from starvation or cholera because of U.S.-Saudi collaboration. She didn’t display any of the hundreds and hundreds of U.S. bombs and missiles that Saudi Arabia has dropped on water and sewage treatment plants, hospitals and clinics, apartments and mosques, and funerals and wedding parties in Yemen.

Instead, Haley directed her outrage... at Iran. Presenting what she declared was part of an Iranian missile fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia, Haley claimed it proved that the Iranian regime was supplying the Houthis. She accused Iran of being responsible for the carnage in Yemen and claimed it poses “a threat to the peace and security of the entire world.” Offering no proof of where or when the missile she displayed was recovered, made, or used, Haley denounced Iran for “allowing missiles like this to be fired over innocent civilians”—as Saudi-dropped U.S.-made bombs and missiles are raining down on Yemeni civilians!

Who’s Greatest Mass Murderer on the Face of the Earth?

So in the face of Yemen’s deepening hell of hunger and famine, Haley reaffirmed U.S. backing for Saudi Arabia’s barbaric war and escalated threats against Iran, raising the danger of even greater slaughter to come. (See sidebar.) The U.S. hand in the genocidal war in Yemen isn’t some “unfortunate exception.” In the name of “freedom,” “democracy,” and “saving lives,” the U.S. has repeatedly targeted civilians and carried out massacres: three million in the 1950-1953 Korean War, 500,000 by Indonesian generals at the behest of the CIA in 1965; two to three million during the 1965-75 Vietnam War; over a million Iraqis by starvation and disease due to U.S.-UN sanctions in the 1990s; over 1.3 million in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as a result of the unending “war on terror” launched in 2001; and the list could go on and on.

This staggering violence and slaughtering civilians has been carried out to maintain and expand America’s global empire of capitalist exploitation and oppression—a system that has ground up the lives of literally billions.

Are these the actions of a “force for good in the world”?

Stop Thinking Like Americans and Start Thinking About Humanity!


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