Death is the only future that the U.S. empire can imagine. Death for a large chunk of humanity, and for the planet that’s being ravaged by the economic system the empire props up. In the face of the contradictions that capitalism is creating, and with the emergence of a multi-polar order where imperialism’s influence is waning, our ruling class sees destruction as its one hope for survival. Their calculation is that civilization itself must be sacrificed if this is what it takes to stop revolution. Obliterate the world, and the world can’t rise up to make the imperialists answer for their crimes.
The first ones the imperialists are targeting in this extermination are those who, from a geopolitical perspective, are judged to be the most expendable. This is what the imperialists did during the previous era of great power competition, when Washington installed dictatorships throughout the Global South which killed millions in order to counterbalance Soviet influence. As the U.S. faces a rising China, Russia, and Iran, it’s engineering a mass killing wave that could ultimately be greater than the last. Because so far this one isn’t primarily based in mass purges—though those are becoming more prevalent in terror states like Colombia—but in the manufacturings of humanitarian crises. The empire is creating these by destabilizing increasingly vast swaths of the Global South, as well as northern proxy war battle fronts like Ukraine. The deaths that come from this engineered chaos fortify capital amid its waning imperial grip, at least by the estimates of the figures behind these destabilization campaigns.
It’s in Yemen where these strategies of destroying the state, and of systematically killing off the undesirables, have been combined. Which shows just how dishonest and hypocritical the U.S. liberal class is, since Biden promised to end the war in Yemen just a year ago. The Biden administration has continued to treat Yemen as a ground for proxy war against Iran, and has consequently facilitated some of the conflict’s most heinous atrocities yet.
Within Yemen, the U.S.-led Saudi coalition has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, rivaled only by other recent imperialist-engineered famines like the one in Ethiopia. Four million Yemenis have been uprooted from their homes, hundreds of thousands live in famine conditions, five million are on the edge of total famine, and twenty million are in need of humanitarian assistance—which the imperialist coalition’s blockade is preventing from being provided. This is a genocide, of the same nature as the one Washington perpetrated against the Koreans when it killed around a quarter of the population in the northern Korean Peninsula. Like was the case then, the empire is targeting civilian living centers and infrastructure, a war crime-infused approach that’s also analogous to Israel’s U.S.-backed siege against Gaza.
And like has been the case for the genocides against the Koreans, the Vietnamese, and the Palestinians, the genocide against the Yemenis is a collective punishment for the given nation trying to assert itself against imperial subjugation. The Koreans built a socialist republic to counter the U.S.-installed dictatorship in the South, so they were physically burned en masse. The same was done to the Vietnamese, and for the same act of disobedience. The Palestinians are trying to free themselves from apartheid, so they’re being incrementally pushed towards what Israel hopes will effectively be extinction. And Yemen’s Houthi rebels are trying to overthrow their country’s U.S. puppet government to mount a resistance against imperialism and Zionism, so they’re being given the same treatment. When imperial collapse gets severe enough, the U.S. will no doubt commit these kinds of atrocities against the oppressed peoples within its own borders—an extermination campaign which will merely be a revival of the colonial genocides that the U.S. was created by.
In the internet age, where the empire’s military intelligentsia has come to place an unprecedented emphasis on controlling the flow of information, these tactics can best be gotten away with by cutting the victims off from their means for reporting the atrocities. Which is exactly what the coalition did during its latest wave of massacres in Yemen. This month, the coalition carried out airstrikes against a telecommunications building, causing a nationwide internet outage that’s further destroyed the people’s livelihoods, sabotaged aid delivery, and taken away the ability of the people to share their struggles amid the coalition’s other war crimes: the striking of a detention center, and the killing of at least 70 people as over 130 more have been injured.
Shutting down the internet is nothing new for the empire and its proxies. Israel has used sabotage of online access in its war against Palestine, last year Colombia experienced suspicious internet outages during the time when the neo-colonial regime was committing atrocities against protesters, and Washington’s fascist ally India has perpetrated the longest ever internet shutdown under a democracy in its colonization of Kashmir. As for the internet shutdowns carried out by dictatorships, Africa’s dictators use this weapon against dissent at the highest rates. And the fact that the U.S. militarily supports three-fourths of the world’s dictators, with many of these autocrats being in African neo-colonies like Uganda, shows the purpose of the suppression: retaining imperial control.
During an era where U.S. hegemony is rapidly crumbling by the Pentagon’s own assessment, and where the empire has consequently come to prioritize informational warfare more than ever, the more direct internet sabotage that the empire just carried out in Yemen makes sense. The imperialists are more desperate than ever to fulfill their desired mass sacrifice, and they see the social media age as posing narrative risks to this goal.
In 2020, when the pandemic was intensifying the empire’s propaganda war against China and geopolitical tensions had already been rising for a decade, NATO sponsored a report which concluded that whoever controls the narrative will be most likely to win this century’s wars. It placed cognitive warfare—the fight for control over people’s minds—as now being equally important to sea, land, air, and cyber warfare. This and other recent military statements have repeated the sentiment that swaying the masses within any given strategic area will be instrumental towards military victory. Lose the narrative battle, they imply, and the remaining imperial holdings could be lost entirely.
Depriving Yemenis of their voice during the recent horrors has stopped their stories from immediately reaching social media, but it’s also reinforced the empire’s loss of the minds within Yemen itself. The Houthis are on the verge of winning this war, something a guerrilla force can’t do without gaining sufficient backing from the masses. This was how the Taliban overcame the United States: by offering the people any alternative—even a brutally theocratic alternative—to the incomprehensibly cruel rule of the CIA’s death squads. The empire’s extreme violence, which it’s intensifying under the belief that this will reverse its decline, is the very thing that’s diminishing its control. When the revolutionaries within the U.S. are fighting off the empire’s internal forces of violent counterrevolution, it may be this dynamic that allows the final blow to be struck against humanity’s greatest evil.
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