The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

U.S. Missile Attack on Yemen Is an Attack on Yemen’s People

Jan 15, 2024

The U.S. staged missile attacks on the Houthi militia in Yemen. U.S. officials say they ordered these strikes in retaliation for the Houthis’ own missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

The threat that Houthi attacks pose to the profits of multinational corporations may well be on the mind of the U.S. government, considering that 12% of world trade passes through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The U.S. military has named its campaign against the Houthis “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” but whose prosperity? Not the working class, for sure, which is suffering not only in the Middle East but also in the U.S.

The Houthis, a Shiite Islamist militia, are one of the sides in Yemen’s decade-old civil war. After the Houthis took Yemen’s capital, Sana, in early 2015, Yemen’s northern neighbor, Saudi Arabia, intervened to oust the Houthi regime. The ensuing nine-year war has devastated Yemen’s population, killing hundreds of thousands of people and threatening millions of people with starvation because of a brutal Saudi blockade.

The Saudi regime is a close ally of the U.S., and the weapons that have killed, starved, and uprooted millions of people in Yemen have been provided by the U.S. The war in Yemen is one of the regional conflicts in the Middle East that U.S. imperialism has used to maintain its control over this strategic, oil-rich region of the world.

The endless wars and suffering caused by U.S. imperialism in the Middle East give an opening to religious and nationalist militias like the Houthis, who try to use the devastation caused by U.S. imperialism to gain support in the population. And that, in turn, opens the door for the intervention of regional powers like Iran, which backs the Houthis. Finally, the constant threat of a larger war hangs over the whole region and even the world because bigger military powers, like China and Russia, also try to take advantage of these regional conflicts to expand their own influence.

Following the bombings in Yemen, U.S. officials said that they were trying to avoid harm to civilians. But how is that possible? A resident of Sana said that people open the windows every time bombs fall on the city because bombings in the vicinity damage people’s mud-brick houses if the windows are closed.

Who lives in mud-brick houses? The working class and poor, of course. And U.S. bombs have been falling on Sana for nine years already. Whether dropped by Saudi Arabia, a regional surrogate of the U.S. or directly by the U.S. itself, U.S.-made bombs fall to maintain U.S. imperialism’s control over that region.

Imperialism’s wars in the Middle East are wars against the workers and poor.