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As we write, troops commanded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), backed by Saudi Arabian warplanes, are fighting to take control of the port city of Al Hudaydah on Yemen’s western coast, now held by Yemen’s Houthi movement. Aid flowing through Al Hudaydah is the only thing standing between 22 million Yemenis and starvation. And now it’s being threatened by a reactionary offensive armed, trained, guided, and backed by the USA.

After a week of fierce fighting, UAE forces have reportedly taken over the airport south of Al Hudaydah, as Saudi warplanes bomb the city. Hundreds have been killed, and 30,000 have reportedly fled the city along with 76,000 from the surrounding region. The assault has disrupted supplies of electricity and clean water, and aid workers warn of a cholera outbreak that could spread “with lightning speed” and infect hundreds of thousands. Many aid workers have been forced to leave Al Hudaydah, and others can’t access areas where the fighting has been heaviest.

America: A Force for Barbarity, Not Good in the World

If you want to understand what a truly barbaric, monstrous system America is, look at what it’s done—and is doing—to the 28 million people of this impoverished Middle Eastern country. After creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, it’s now threatening Yemen’s meager flow of humanitarian aid and deliberately flirting with mass slaughter through famine and disease. Closing Al Hudaydah’s port “means that you’re cutting the last artery to Yemen,” said one aid worker. For over three years, behind the scenes and a veil of lies, the U.S. has been deliberately murdering hundreds of thousands of children and starving millions of oppressed Yemeni people. They’ve done so by providing the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with weapons and planes, fuel and training, hands-on direction and intelligence, Green Berets on the front lines, and the political and propaganda support to wage war on the people of Yemen.

This is a war of mass slaughter, mass starvation, and mass disease—waged by blockading food and medicine, destroying the country’s health, water, and power systems—war crimes that have targeted the country’s means for sustaining life.

A war waged so the U.S. imperialists can maintain their stranglehold on the Middle East and the world, and so their murderous Saudi and UAE “allies” can maintain their death grip on the Arabian Peninsula. These predators view isolating and overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) as crucial to this overall agenda, and see the war in Yemen as one front in that struggle. Iran has attempted to advance its own reactionary regional interests through this war, although its involvement in the conflict and backing of the Houthis has been vastly overstated by the U.S. rulers, when in reality Iran isn’t directly involved in the fighting and whatever backing it’s provided the Houthis doesn’t begin to compare to the massive assaults and crimes being carried out by the Saudis, the UAE, and the U.S.

Between 15,000 and 44,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, have been slaughtered by U.S. and British bombs and missiles. More than 22 million Yemenis have been driven to the brink of hunger, over eight million to the brink of starvation. In two years (2016-2017), 113,000 children died of hunger or preventable disease. The U.S.-Saudi-UAE coalition’s destruction of Yemen’s water and sewer system led to the largest outbreak of cholera, a bacterial disease spread by drinking contaminated water, in history. Over the last year, a million people have been infected; 2,300 have died, mainly children. During the epidemic, the U.S.-Saudi coalition, which regularly issues statements of their supposed “concern” for the suffering in Yemen, blocked imports of the chlorine tablets needed to make water safe to drink.

Doubling Down on Mass Murder and Starvation

America claims it’s not involved, and its clients Saudi Arabia and the UAE claim their hands are clean. They say they want to take Al Hudaydah to insure the flow of humanitarian aid. But if that were true, if the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and the UAE gave a rat’s ass about the welfare of Yemen’s people, then:

  • Why have the Saudis and the UAE—with a green light from the U.S.—continued their assault (and demand for unconditional surrender) when they have already threatened humanitarian relief and when every humanitarian agency in the world demanded they stop?
  • Why, according to a new report by Amnesty International (AI), has Saudi Arabia deliberately delayed aid from arriving in Al Hudaydah for weeks at a time, an action AI said constituted the war crime of collective punishment? And why are they holding back a ship with 25,000 tons of wheat now!?
  • Why have Saudi planes targeted Al Hudaydah’s port during the war, and are on track to do even more damage now?
  • Why, in the areas Saudi- and UAE-backed forces have controlled for years, do Yemenis still lack basic necessities—food, clean water, healthcare—even though the Saudis and the UAE control the flow of goods into the country?
  • Why would the UAE be running at least 18 secret prisons across Yemen where the most depraved, unspeakable sexual tortures are rampant according to an Associated Press report, which cites examples where prisoners were lined up, ordered to strip, and then sodomized by guards claiming to be looking for contraband, while being threatened by dogs? One top prison official told the AP, “Americans use Emiratis as gloves to do their dirty work.”

No wonder the International Rescue Committee denounced Saudi and UAE claims as “a publicity stunt meant to draw attention away from the undue suffering the attack is causing,” and that their “so-called relief plan … must be seen for exactly what it is; a justification to launch an attack that will have catastrophic consequences.”

The U.S. is the godfather behind all this savagery. “When [the Saudis] have the backing of the United States, they’ve been able to wage this war of extreme proportions that they would have never been able to wage on their own,” said Yemeni-American researcher Shireen Al-Adeimi in a June 22 interview on The Michael Slate Show. “[The Saudis] don’t manufacture their own weapons, they don’t train their own soldiers, they don’t refuel their own jets. They rely on the U.S. for all these things, and that’s why they’ve been able to wage this incredibly destructive war.” U.S. and British officers have even staffed Saudi command rooms for airstrikes.

After the U.S. publicly rejected their request for minesweepers for the Al Hudaydah attack, a UAE official said: “Not giving us military assistance is not the same as telling us not to do it.”(See revcom.us article “America Targets Yemen’s Children for Death by Starvation.”)

Yemeni Lives Are Hanging in the Balance… What Are YOU Going to Do?

Right now, the U.S.-backed Saudi-UAE attack on Al Hudaydah is continuing. They’re attempting to seize Yemen’s lifeline—in order to threaten, terrorize, and if necessary starve the Yemeni people into submission. The lives of millions of Yemenis—men, women, and yes children—now hang in the balance.

American lives are NOT more important than Yemeni lives, and we in this country have a responsibility to loudly and visibly denounce and oppose this offensive, and call for an end to this mass murder before it becomes horribly genocidal! And people need to confront the real nature of an empire based on starving children, HERE, and the real solution to ending it, and all the horrors it inflicts on humanity, HERE.

Revolution newspaper/revcom.us, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, provides the foundation, guideline, and organizational scaffolding for the whole process of carrying out our strategy for revolution. Through publishing works of Bob Avakian, and through many different articles, interviews, letters, graphics, and other features, Revolution enables people to really understand, and act to radically change, the world.

Originally published at revcom.us

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