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Protest to end the Onslaught against Yemen

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On Monday, August 9th, a protest started around 4:00pm EST across from the UN Building in Manhattan, demanding the Saudi government stop bombing Yemen, end the blockade, and allow Yemen access to food and medicine. More importantly, the protest condemned the United States for selling weapons to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as these weapons have been used to murder countless Yemeni people. American taxpayer money has funded weapons that have been used to bomb weddings, funerals, hospitals, power plants, and places of worship. The protest represented a large coalition of different groups ranging from Code Pink, the New York City DSA, Veterans for Peace, the John Brown Volunteers, as well as Yemenis living in the United States who will accept nothing less than the liberation of their homeland.

The American media rarely criticizes the actions or decisions of the Saudi royal family, leaving many US citizens uninformed about the global atrocities they have committed such as their military intervention in Yemen. On March 26, 2015, the Saudi Monarchy used a coalition of Western-backed forces to launch a genocide. According to the United Nations, the first month of the conflict resulted in the slaughter of over 800 civilians, including 91 women and 182 children. A vast majority of these deaths were due to American air strikes. However, the true origins of the conflict began during the “Arab Spring” that started in 2010. All over the Middle East, imperialist-backed “grassroots” protests opposed local sovereign governments, destabilizing Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, and Yemen. The United States and Europe did this to keep them in poverty, stop national progress, and eliminate opposition to the long-standing tradition of Western political interference. In Yemen in particular, their president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was forced to concede his power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in November 2011. Hadi’s regime brought food insecurity, suicide bombings, and increased unemployment, leading to increased Houthi support among the southern Yemeni people. South Yemen has had an ongoing seperatist movement since at least 2004, a continuation of the Zaydis movement revived by the Houthis clan who controlled Yemen for over one thousand years. After they were overthrown in nineteen sixty-two they have been struggling to maintain their existence after state funded Salafist preachers established bases in Houthi areas. In two thousand and fourteen the Houthis gained enough power they were able to liberate Yemen’s capital of Sanaa. This led to where we left off, the Saudi led coalition, funded with US Weapons, and logistics to terrorize communities in Yemen who just wanted to be free of Saudi control. Their first attack in the Yemen Capital killed many civilians, and this started the process of bombings all accros Yemen, as well as mass starvation and lack of medical equpment due to the blockade.

Things are much worse than they were in the first month of 2015. The United Nations reports that over 8,100 civilians have died in the war, over a quarter of them being children. This does not include the many more children who have died due to starvation and the many men and women who have died from lack of medical aid from curable and treatable diseases. Joe Biden said in February of 2021 that the United States would stop providing support of operations in Yemen, however as explained by Vox News in their article “The US may still be helping Saudi Arabia anyhow”…

“Multiple US defense officials and experts acknowledged that, through a US government process, the Saudi government pays commercial contractors to maintain and service their aircraft, and those contractors keep Saudi warplanes in the air. What the Saudis do with those fighter jets, however, is up to them.

The US could cancel those contracts at any time, thus effectively grounding the Saudi Air Force, but doing so would risk losing Riyadh as a key regional partner”.

This also doesn’t include the weapon contracts companies like Lockheed Martin has with the United States to sell weapons to the Saudi Kingdom. Of course Biden has said they are reviewing weapon contracts with the Saudi Kingdom, however it appears they have found a loophole to save face for the Biden administration and soften the view of the US Empire without Lockheed Martin losing much of their profits. As reported by France24 in their article “Saudi Arms producer in Defence Venture with Lockheed Martin” ….

“Saudi Arabia’s state arms producer signed an agreement Sunday with US contractor Lockheed Martin to form a joint venture, a statement said, as Washington reviews weapons sales to the kingdom.

The deal was announced by Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), which said it will own 51 percent of the venture, as it seeks to boost the kingdom’s military capabilities.”

“The joint venture is aimed at developing localisation capabilities through the transfer of technology and knowledge and training of Saudi nationals to manufacture products and provide services to the kingdom’s armed forces,” SAMI said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia has long been a major global arms importer.

But some Western countries now refuse to sell weapons to the kingdom over its role in the conflict in neighbouring Yemen, gripped by what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden’s administration announced it was ending support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations in Yemen’s devastating war.

Biden’s administration also said it was reviewing weapons sales to the kingdom.

But Lockheed Martin’s vice president Timothy Cahill said Sunday’s deal marked a “major milestone” for the US company.

“This agreement is in line with Lockheed Martin’s strategy to expand its partnership with the kingdom by providing reliable defense and security solutions,” Cahill was quoted as saying in the statement.”

Here at The Center for Political Innovation our view is quite clear on this issue. For companies like Lockheed Martin, as well as to hold up the Western Atlantic Economic System’s Monopoly, this war will be continued to maximize profits. There is no reason for US corporations to push Saudi Arabia to end their genocide in Yemen, in fact there is a lucritive reason to keep it going, and they will do it while pretending to be no longer involved, or only involved in defensive ventures at best. The role Socialist and progressives in the United States must take is not just arguing to end the war but to also to argue for nationalizing companies like Lockheed Martin, and making the weapons manufacturers work for the American people, and redirect what they produce. Lockheed Martin, when nationalized, could be put to work developing tools to upgrade our infrastructure like high speed rails, developing Fusion energy, and investing in space travel technology. To spend our resources on ventures to keep the global south in poverty and uphold capitalism isn’t just immoral, but is preventing the United States from entering a new age of growth and technology. Yemen needs our help, and we deserve better than a system that keeps both working families in America and abroad in poverty. We need to build a path out of Capitalism, and Yemen needs a path out of the iron fist of imperialist domination.

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