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. Dirty War for Oil in Yemen

Sep 2, 2013

In early August, the U.S. military escalated its dirty war in Yemen, by launching close to a dozen drone attacks over a period of two weeks. These U.S. missile strikes were in support of the Yemen military, which was battling rebels in oil fields and ports in the south of the country. Out of fear that its instigated war in Yemen could spill over to a broader attack, the U.S. State Department ordered its embassies throughout the region closed for a period of two weeks.

The United States has been firing missiles into Yemen since 2009, from drones, ships, and planes, wreaking death and destruction throughout the country, in order to try to buttress another of those corrupt and brutal dictatorships that the U.S. uses against populations around the world.

Until recently, the dictator of Yemen was Ali Abdallah Salih, who had held onto power for almost two decades, pitting the different ethnic and tribal groups against each other. But that didn’t stop the authority of his government from “crumbling,” from at least three separate armed insurgencies that left big parts of the country outside the government’s control.

In 2011 during Yemen’s Arab Spring, major demonstrations broke out against the Salih regime along with protests against the vast unemployment, impoverishment and corruption. The government tried to squash the movement. In one attack, police snipers shot and killed more than 50 protestors. But this only inflamed the movement more. Salih was driven out of office–only to be replaced by his deputy, Abd Rabbih Mansur Hadi.

The U.S. government has been supporting this dictatorship with vast amounts of military aid, along with U.S. Special Forces. For U.S. big oil, the stakes in Yemen are high. Yemen, a small impoverished country, which is located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, is a crossroads for the entire region. Every day, three million barrels of oil pass through the Gulf of Aden off the Yemen coast, with ships traveling either north to the oil refineries of Saudi Arabia or to the south and the shipping lanes of the Asian markets. At one place, these shipping lanes are so narrow, they are considered a “choke point” just like the Strait of Hormuz at the base of the Persian Gulf. And inside Yemen itself, major oil companies, like Shell, Hunt Oil and Total, make big profits exporting oil and natural gas.

Under the guise of fighting “a war on terror” in Yemen, the U.S. is fighting to impose its control against the people of Yemen in another dirty war for oil.