Yemen Under Attack
Report by Mohammed Al Wazeer, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, Yemen, 15.4.2015, www.thecommunists.net
Three weeks have passed since the launching of "Asifat al-Hazm" (“Operation Decisive Storm”), a brutal attack by the al-Saud gang and its allies (Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait from Gulf; with Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Sudan) against the people of Yemen, who have been trying to win their independence for more than 70 years.
Saudi regime rejects Yemen’s Independence
The struggle between Saudi Arabia and Yemen is an ongoing historical one, as the Saudi regime repeatedly strives to keep the people of Yemen on their knees and prevent any independent revolution against the puppets it places at the head of the state. This began in 1962, following the successful September 26 revolution which brought down the Emam and established a republic. However, since then, Yemen has deteriorated from being a country previously renowned for its exports of wheat, coffee, and other important products into a country that cannot survive without importing basic commodities from the outside world. The Saudi-puppet leadership of Yemen has continually inhibited any serious development of its national economy, including manufacturing, with the exception of some small merchandise.
If the current war being waged by Saudi Arabia and its allies against Yemen continues, there will be widespread starvation in the country. We have begun to witness the first signs of this grave humanitarian crisis. There have been steep price hikes for all products; there is a severe shortage of oil and the absence of basic commodities like flour. In addition, Sana'a, the country’s largest city, is experiencing frequent blackouts as the result of Saudi air strikes against the electrical power plant at Mareb. Neighborhoods in Aden lack potable water following the destruction of a main water tank in the bombing. Bottom line: we, the people of Yemen, are beginning to slowly die!
Sana'a, Taiz, and Houdaidah are the cities with still relatively tolerable conditions. But even there people are hiding in their homes and consuming whatever food is left. Shops and businesses are being closed. And the Saudi warplanes are relentless in their merciless attacks.
The cities of al-Mukalla and Hadramot recently fell to forces affiliated with "El Qaeda." Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, Saudi warplanes refrain from bombing any such places, and we have even heard that the Saudis are providing the forces in control there with high-tech weapons.
The civilians of Aden, Shabwah, Ibb, Lahj, Mareb, and Al-Dhale’e are living in deplorable conditions. Battles are raging in the streets of these cities; people are trapped, unable to move from place to place. The situation in Aden is by far the worst. A friend there reported that enemy warplanes and warships are indiscriminately bombing and shelling the city. “It’s a disaster," he said. He told how, last week, he heard an old woman incautiously walking outside to look for some bread to buy. Another woman was braving the danger of the streets searching for her little daughter who had still not returned home.
It is just a matter of time until a widespread starvation begins. This is no joke! What, then, is to be done? What can we, the working people and poor of Yemen, do against the Saudi-led attack on our individual lives and national independence?
Defend Yemen against the Saudi-led War
First, many of us are increasingly undergoing a change of political awareness which has made us see that that the foreign attack on our country by the corrupt, reactionary, and imperialist-backed sheikdoms led by the Saudis is now the key threat to our lives and freedom. Having understood this, the majority of the Yemeni people, Shiites as well as Sunnis, have reached the point where we no longer accept narrow sectarianism. Recent events have thus led us to conclude that the Shiite Houthis, those forces which actually drove out the Saudi-backed lackey Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, and who are now the target of the imperialist coalition, these alleged “terrorists” are the ones who, on the ground, are fighting the fight for all Yemenis, regardless of religious or other affiliation. Therefore, we, Sunnis and Shiites, have come to support the military struggle led by the Houthis against the Saudi aggression.
Let there be no mistake: we do not love the Houthis, nor do we harbor any allusions about who they are or what they stand for! Their leadership is a petty-bourgeois, reactionary Islamist force, bizarrely allied with ousted Yemeni dictator Ali Abdulla Saleh, against whom the Houthis actually fought six civil wars during the past decade This reactionary Houthi leadership is determined to build a capitalist Yemen which they themselves control. Therefore, while we support their military struggle against the foreign aggressors, we give them absolutely no political support. Instead, among ourselves, we the working class and popular masses of Yemen must struggle to achieve political unity, so that the day after the defeat of all those attacking us, a defeat to which we have every intention of contributing, we can continue the fight for a truly democratic Yemen by advancing a “Second Revolution.”
A major step on the path to this goal will be the forming of a Constituent Assembly to formulate a new constitution for the country, one which will unite the workers and poor irrespective of their religious believes. Those of us, like we as supporters of the RCIT, who are revolutionaries, would fight inside this assembly for a socialist program. But towards this future step, we the working class, the peasants and the poor must see our main task as being the formation of independent organizations; organizations which will strive for the founding of new, popular, council-based democratic councils of action based on regular assemblies of the workers and popular masses. Among the first actions of such councils will be the formation of popular armed militias – for which we will call upon the Houthi leadership to provide us with arms and ammunition in the context of our mutual fight against the foreign aggressors.
In parallel to this vital organizational work, and as an indispensible and integral part of it, the workers of Yemen must found a new party independent of capitalists, imperialist institutions, and bourgeois parties. Only such a party will be able to provide the vision and the leadership for the workers, and enable them to rally the oppressed peasantry and the urban poor while fighting against any sectarian divisions along religious lines. The goal of this party will be the victory of the socialist revolution, replacing the Houthi leadership with a Worker’s and Fallahin government, backed not by the old and corrupt army but by the popular councils and armed militias we have previously formed. Such a government will break Yemen’s dependence on the imperialist monopolies, and nationalize the key sectors of the economy under workers’ control.
Such a revolutionary workers’ party will strive to unite its struggle with those of workers and the oppressed in other countries – from Palestine and Egypt, to Brazil, China, Greece, and the USA. To do this, this party must be part of the Fifth Workers’ International. The RCIT calls revolutionaries in Yemen as well as the Arab world to join us in the struggle for an internationalist, anti-imperialist, and socialist program, and to build a common international organization in the proud tradition of Lenin’s Bolshevik party and Trotsky’s Fourth International.
No future without socialism!
No socialism without revolution!
No revolution without a revolutionary party!
* Defend Yemen against the al-Saud Gang of Aggressors! Support the resistance led by the Houthi rebels while not giving any political support to their leadership! No return of the reactionary lackey “President” al-Hadi!
* Support the popular campaign to boycott goods made by countries which participate in the Saudi-led war of aggression!
* For a mass movement which unites Sunni and Shia workers and fellahin, one which is based on solidarity and respect for all groups!
* For a revolutionary Constituent Assembly whose delegates should be controllable and open to recall by the popular masses!
* For the founding of popular action councils and armed militias to defend Yemen against Saudi aggression and to advance the Second Revolution!