Fathers and mothers in Yemen can only watch and pray, as their children die from cholera, dehydration and starvation. Where is god? He cannot get through the total US blockade of Yemen to save the children.
Since 2015 the cholera epidemic has been spread by biological warfare against Yemen. The US-dominated United Nations adds a fig leaf of legality to the blockade, and a one-sided weapons embargo against Yemen. To ask why there is no UN arms embargo against Saudi Arabia is, of course, a rhetorical question.
The UN wrings its hands about a humanitarian crisis, and the worst cholera epidemic in human history. It does nothing to stop the US-led Saudi genocide and destruction of Yemen, and it puts out knowingly phony, underreported numbers of the civilian deaths.
Purposely causing a cholera epidemic is biological warfare. But Yemen is not an unprecedented case of US use of biological-chemical warfare. During the 1950s Korean War the US was accused convincingly of biological warfare. In the Vietnam-American war the US sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange, which poisoned the soil, rivers and people.
Economic sanctions and trade embargos are barbaric siege warfare against civilian populations. There is no way to pretty them up as surgically targeting a regime or being humanitarian. Now think about the millions of people of Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Burma and Côte d’Ivoire that are suffering under a US embargo today.
The US has also overstepped the UN’s authorisation by imposing a total blockade of Yemen. Just as predictably as in Iraq, children are dying in Yemen from cholera. Tens of thousands of civilians have died from starvation, disease and the lack of medicine. Twenty million human beings are starving to death in a famine caused by the US, and its proxy, the so-called Saudi coalition.
For three years, starting with the Obama administration, the US has been passing Saudi Arabia the bombs, ammunition, fuel and most importantly it is the US military at the command and control centre of the war on Yemen. Other war-profiteering countries, such as the UK, EU countries and Canada, have their hands dripping with the blood and cholera-infected faeces of Yemeni children, too.
The war against Yemen is another dirty war just like Iraq, Libya and Syria. It is an ‘all but in name’ a US genocide-scale slaughter of civilians and the destruction of a country. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its so-called coalition are the US proxy that pays for the bombs and drops them. It is the US that picks out the targets, back at the command and control centre.
The US and the UN try to pass off the “internationally recognised legitimate government of Yemen” as if it were Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Hadi was the president of an interim government of Yemen from 2012 to 2014. He fraudulently overstayed his term when it expired in 2014. Hadi was forcefully removed from office by the Houthi movement and a broad-base uprising of the Yemeni people. Hadi resigned his office and fled to Saudi Arabia. The US and the UN use Hadi as a figurehead to add a fig leaf of legality to the illegal US-led war of aggression against Yemen.
There is little, if any, evidence that Iran is providing the Houthi movement with weapons, materials or fighters. Look at the map. How would Iran be able to get massive supplies of weapons past the total US blockade, even if it wanted to? Iran has its hands full with its (legal) support of its ally, Syria. It is struggling with its own economic crisis, caused by the illegal US economic sanctions regime that was re-imposed by the Trump administration.
The US is like a zombie empire that never dies. Instead, when faced with humiliation and defeat, the US totally destroys its antagonist from the air, as it did Iraq, Libya and Syria. The US shows no mercy for the civilian population. The US destroys civilian infrastructure, blockades food, water and medicine. It targets the people with cluster bombs and white phosphorus; and the US poisons their water, soil and air with biological, chemical and radioactive weapons.
As with Iraq, Libya and Syria and with so many other small countries that the US declared to be its enemy, Yemen poses no threat to the US national security. So why does the US destroy small countries, and why is the US destroying Yemen?
Whatever name US world domination goes by, it is all the same. The US considers itself above international law, customary moral behaviour and believes it alone has the right to pursue whatever it thinks is in its self-interest politically, militarily and financially. If the US were a person, it would be diagnosed as a psychopath, with no conscience, no empathy, and no remorse; aggressive, narcissistic and a serial mass murderer.
The US covets Yemen’s wealth and its strategic location as part of the neoliberal New World Order. The US vision of the New World Order is a world dominated by US global corporations, US financial institutions and wealthy US family dynasties.
The US has a long history of coveting the wealth of Yemen. In the mid-1980s the Bush family and their Texas oil buddies at Hunt Oil invested in Yemen’s oil-rich Marib Shabwa basin. Bush obtained for Hunt Oil the rights for future exploration. Deviously, the former director of the CIA and then vice-president arranged for Iraq’s Saddam Hussein to finance the Bush-Hunt investments in Yemen. A few years later Bush ‘repaid’ Saddam’s loan with Shock and Awe.
The war that started in 2015 is to protect US investments of global corporations, neoliberalism and the vision of a New World Order. The US is providing Saudi Arabia and its coalition of the Gulf Cooperation Council with the Shock and Awe to kill the prey, and the US does not care if it kills 22 million people in the process of looting Yemen. It is the US that is providing the bombs. The Saudi-led coalition of GCC countries (all monarchies) are just the delivery boys.
To summarise, there is no civil war in Yemen. Iran is made the scapegoat for a US-led illegal war of aggression. The US hopes to walk off with Yemen’s main prizes, and the UAE, Qatar, etc are fighting each other over the crumbs. The lives of 22 million Yemeni people are hanging by a thread, because of a US blockade of food, water and medicine. The US is the cause of the worst cholera epidemic in history. It is biological warfare and genocide.
David William Pear
It brings great satisfaction to see the Tory Brexit hit the Irish buffers. Those reactionaries who aimed to break up the European Union will surely bring about the end of the British union. Try as they might, the Tories have not managed to square the unionist circle. It is surely an irony of history that the British border with the EU is in Ireland and this will finally open the way to a united Ireland.
This week polls show that 77% of English Tory members would rather see Scottish independence than abandon Brexit. The same proportion would rather abandon the Irish peace process too. Ireland is in the front line, not least because the Democratic Unionist Party has Theresa May by the proverbials. Scotland has been in low profile compared to Ireland. But any time soon the Scottish National Party will take up cudgels.
The bigger picture is in England in the battle between the Anglo-British and Anglo-Europeans, divided between liberals and democrats. The Anglo-British reactionaries and ultra-lefts are at pains to deny any democratic trend. They direct their fire against the liberals for working hand in glove with big business.
Our job is to uncover and highlight a democratic programme which starts from now and points to the future. A series of democratic demands - for a democratic exit, for a ratification referendum and for a democratic England in a democratic Europe - must be examined.
The Labour conference showed the political distinction between ‘remainer-liberals’ who want a second/repeat referendum and those like Corbyn, McDonnell and McCluskey who want a general election, but may back the democratic demand for a ratification referendum. But what about a democratic exit?
In 2016 Corbyn accepted the majority vote to leave the EU. He supported ‘remain’, but accepted the majority vote to leave. The reality is that the working class split down the middle. This is dangerous for the Labour Party and the working class movement. Socialists have to overcome that division, not make it worse. This is a serious problem for Labour and a trap for Corbyn, which so far he has sidestepped.
Corbyn was quick to call for the triggering of article 50. Liberal ‘remain’ Labour MPs attacked him for being weak, claiming he was a ‘secret’ leaver who opportunistically called for ‘remain’. Corbyn has made no case that leaving the EU is in the interests of the working class. Rather he says he has accepted the majority vote, but wants the best deal for jobs and social protections.
Corbyn has not argued that leaving the EU is a step towards socialism. He has not claimed there are any benefits for leaving the EU, nor does he look forward to the bright future after we leave. His case is that we should respect a democratic vote. The best argument for the democratic approach is about finding the way to overcome a divided working class. Labour has to relate to the ‘leave’ voting section of the working class and not leave them to become voting fodder for the Tory right and the fascists.
However, Corbyn’s democratic approach is not consistently democratic. There are three key points. First, we must keep protesting at the denial of the right to vote to two or three million EU citizens living and paying taxes in the UK. Second, we must emphasise that people voted to leave the EU, not the single market or customs union. A democratic exit from the EU is consistent with remaining in the single market and customs union.
The final point concerns democratic rights to self-determination. Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU. The Tories ignored it. The Anglo-British ignored it. The English chauvinists ignored it. The left followed them. The Tories stand for one nation, the British nation, and one vote, the British vote.
In recognising that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain we have a radically different view of what a democratic exit must mean. Greenland and Denmark are in the Kingdom of Demark. In 1985 Greenland left the EU and Denmark remained. They are still in one state. It is the Tories parking their tanks in Ireland and Scotland who are marching to the old tune, ‘Keep right on to the end of the road’. No surrender!
By pointing out the racist foundations of most colonial and former colonial states, Jim Cook has neatly skewered the absurdity of outlawing reference to Israel’s foundation as a racist endeavour (Letters, October 4). He could also have highlighted the chutzpah of the claim by the redefiners of anti-Semitism that it includes questioning the Jewish right to self-determination in Palestine.
The British mandate in that country (based entirely on the Balfour declaration) excluded self-determination for an Arab majority, which has never wavered in its opposition to the Zionist programme. Israel owes its very existence to that denial of self-determination. This should be the starting point of any discussion of self-determination in Palestine, but it isn’t mentioned in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance text.
How right Moshé Machover was to warn against appeasing the campaign to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Adoption of the IHRA ‘definition’ hasn’t stopped the flow of disgraceful personal attacks on the Labour leader. The Evening Standard (October 10) reported a suggestion by the designer of the projected holocaust memorial outside the House of Lords, that the monument would be an appropriate backdrop for TV interviews with Jeremy Corbyn - slyly insinuating that in addition to his many other faults Corbyn is a holocaust denier.