In 2004, right after the U.S. imperialists celebrated their moment of conquest in Iraq, an anonymous Bush aide expressed to a reporter their feeling of invincibility as an agent of Washington’s endless project for global subjugation and plunder: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
These words were entirely too bold. Because as big as empires are, they’re not immune to getting destabilized, especially not with the vast set of contradictions which they come with. After two decades of instigating reactive conflicts, then suffering increasing blowback from its overly confident sense of exceptionalism, Washington is experiencing a string of geopolitical losses. Not just of the kinds where U.S. allies sour over Washington’s belligerent actions, or where rival superpowers gain prominence amid the rise of the multi-polar world, but where the peoples the empire tries to subjugate successfully fight back.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have turned the tide in the country’s war, making the defeat of the U.S.-led Saudi coalition imminent. This is in spite of six years of relentless bombings, destruction of Yemeni civilian homes and infrastructure, and genocidal blockade of food and medical supplies on the part of the imperialists. As well as Israeli maneuvers towards establishing a permanent military presence in Yemen where Zionist settler-colonialism gets extended to parts of the country, facilitated by Israel’s throwing support behind separatist militants in Southern Yemen with an eye on Balkanization. All of these attempts to undermine the Yemeni nation for plunder and colonization have been met with a resistance which can’t be overcome.
“We are not afraid of Americans, and our nation is standing firmly in the face of threats and aggression,” said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi at a January rally in defiance of Washington’s recent acts of economic warfare against the Yemeni people. As Trump’s inhumane sanctions and designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization galvanized even more support for the Houthis around the beginning of this year, Ahmed Abdulkareem of MintPressnews wrote:
Experts warn that the U.S. designation could not only sabotage the peace in the war-torn country but could seriously imperil the U.S.’s diplomatic credibility and its prospects to play any mediating role in future negotiation talks to end the war or the release of foreign captives, including Americans held on charges of spying or participating in the war. Any realistic settlement would also have to include the Houthis, no matter how irritating that may be to Washington and its Gulf allies.
Since Biden hastily undid the Houthi classification, the Saudi coalition has tried bargaining with the rebels in order to cut U.S. imperialism’s losses in the country. The Saudis have offered the Houthis a “peace deal” which is obviously phony, given that the Saudis continue to intensify their bombings against the Yemenis. It’s all part of a quiet effort by the imperialists to retreat from the conflict in a way which minimizes the losses that Washington and its arms dealers are in the process of experiencing amid the Saudi coalition’s failure.
When the Saudi coalition is done with its current retreat, Yemen still won’t be completely free from the empire’s grip. The Saudis still hold the coasts, which it will be able to use to continue blocking resources from the Yemenis. But the campaigns that the Saudis are bound to lose will be costly for the imperialist bloc. If Yemen becomes too hard of a territory for the Saudis to extract resources like oil from, its already tenuous weapons deals with the U.S. military-industrial complex will be imperiled, in which case both the Saudi royal family and the war profiteers will lose out. Raul Diego of MintPressnews wrote last week about Washington’s response to this dilemma:
In light of the Houthis’ bolstered position in the conflict, Biden’s decision to remove them from the list of global terrorist organizations, while overtly maintaining continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s “security” needs could very well be a signal that Washington has tacitly admitted that their proxy war in Yemen is not yielding the desired results. Meanwhile, in a joint statement, last week as preparations for Friday’s major attack on Marib were in the offing, Western governments attempted to make a show of strength in the press in lieu of actual results on the battlefield.
Doesn’t this sound familiar? The creation of new realities to cover up the losses that U.S. imperialism is actually experiencing? In both Yemen and Bolivia, the source of this shrinkage of geopolitical leverage that the empire finds itself in is the will to fight back from the people who Washington seeks to subjugate. Last year, Bolivia’s proletarian movement proved itself to be too strong for Washington to be able to sustain a coup within the country. The indigenous protesters, who were prepared for guerrilla warfare, forced the U.S.-installed regime to set new elections under threat of an eventual government overthrow otherwise. Bolivia’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) was swiftly put back into power, and the country is again free from imperial control.
As is also the case in Yemen, the imperialists still have ways of causing damage within Bolivia. There’s evidence that the U.S. still has mercenaries hiding in the country ready to spring, and lately the U.S. media and imperialist NGOs have been restarting their efforts to vilify the MAS. This renewed campaign to manufacture consent for regime change within the country indicates an eventual new coup attempt. But as with Yemen, the people are no doubt going to fight for autonomy over their homeland by any means necessary.
Mao wrote that “When we say imperialism is ferocious’, we mean that its nature will never change, that the imperialists will never lay down their butcher knives, that they will never become Buddhas, till their doom.” This is going to be shown in the coming years in places like Yemen and Bolivia, where the imperialists will keep waging warfare-whether through propaganda, blockades, or redoubled efforts at military invasion-with the hope of retaking the liberated lands. And in Yemen, Washington’s Saudi and Israeli proxies will likely retain control of strategic parts of Yemen for the foreseeable future, which will give the imperialists some leverage. This is the strategy the imperialists have taken in Syria, where Washington uses its Kurdish proxies to occupy and steal oil from the country’s northeastern section despite Assad’s overall victory in the war.
The process of liberating the world from empire will be a long one that can’t be completed in one sweep, but that’s all the more necessary to work on.
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