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. Continues Its War Presence in the Middle East

Jan 29, 2024

U.S. military forces in the Middle East have continued their war against the Houthi militias in Yemen. Since January 11, U.S. ships and warplanes have been firing missiles and dropping bombs in Yemen, supposedly to destroy sites from which the Iranian-backed Houthis have tried to attack commercial ships in the Red Sea.

The Red Sea connects to the Suez Canal. It is a shorter ocean route between Asia and Europe. The Houthi attacks on ships going through the Red Sea have caused little to no damage, but some shipping companies have now chosen to send their ships around the southern end of Africa, which is a longer and more costly route.

The U.S. government claims that it is attacking the Houthis to protect commercial shipping. But the bigger picture here is that the U.S. government is making a statement and issuing a warning, not just to the Houthis, but to all the peoples in the region. It is a show of force aimed at Iran and at every regime in the Middle East. The U.S. government is showing that it is always ready to use its military forces to maintain its domination over the Middle East.

The Middle East is thousands of miles from the United States. But it is front and center for the profits of U.S. oil companies, banks and other corporations. That’s why the U.S. currently has over 45,000 troops, plus thousands more military contractors and mercenaries, stationed in the Middle East. That’s why U.S. has military bases in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israel and other countries; that’s why the U.S. has naval task forces and warships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and in the Red Sea. The U.S. maintains a military presence in the Middle East that is far stronger than anyone else in the region.

The U.S. has increased this military presence during the current war in Gaza. The Israeli government’s continued slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank has provoked anger among millions of people in the region. This anger is often directed, not just at Israel, but also at the U.S. government, which is the main military and financial supporter of the Israeli government.

The Houthis, Hezbollah, and other militias in the region say they are firing rockets and drones at Israel and at U.S. bases in the Middle East as a show of support for the Palestinian people. These militias may have their own reasons to make a show of defiance toward Israel and the U.S. But it is also a reflection of a situation that could easily explode into a wider war.

The U.S. government is saying that they don’t want to have an escalation of the war in the Middle East. But the policies of the U.S. government and their overwhelming military presence in this region can only increase the chances that this current war could explode into a much bigger war at any moment.