ON MONDAY, the US Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, announced the creation of a ‘multinational security initiative’ – including the UK and major imperialist powers – to protect shipping in the Red Sea from attacks by Yemeni forces.
This US-led initiative, called ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’, is in response to Yemeni strikes on ships bound for Israel in retaliation for the genocidal war being waged against Palestinians in Gaza.
The Yemeni government, led by the Houthis who were dismissed as just ‘rebels’ by the imperialist nations following their revolutionary uprising against the corrupt former government, has been unstinting in its support for Palestine and has launched numerous attacks on Israeli ships and other vessels it believes are engaged in trading with Israel.
This has caused huge problems for shipping, and as the name given to the US initiative – Operation Prosperity Guardian – suggests, it is hitting the profits of the massive oil companies and threatening the capitalist economies in the West.
The Red Sea is one of the world’s most important routes for oil and fuel shipments, and Austin was adamant that: ‘The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners and violates international law.’
It is the Zionist regime that is violating international law on a mass scale, with the death toll of innocent Palestinian men, women and children approaching 20,000 from carpet bombings, starvation and disease which are now its official policies.
These violations and war crimes are worthy only of mild criticism from the governments of the US, UK and Europe, but when it comes to the profits of the bosses and giant corporations military action is the order of the day.
The US has sent around 20 warships, including two aircraft carriers, into the Mediterranean sea in support of Israel.
Now it has mobilised a coalition of at least 10 countries in a defence of Israeli ships, and to ensure the ‘free flow of commerce’ in the Red Sea for ships making their way to the Suez Canal.
Oil giant BP said on Monday that it was temporarily suspending all shipments of crude oil through the Red Sea while the majority of main container carriers transporting consumer goods to Europe and beyond, have re-routed around the Cape of Good Hope, adding about 3,500 extra nautical miles to their journey.
Analysts are now warning that the price of oil and consumer goods will be pushed up as a result, increasing the cost-of-living crisis in Britain and Europe.
Yemen’s defence ministry denounced the US military build up in the Red Sea and warned: ‘The Yemeni Armed Forces will turn the Red Sea into a graveyard of the US-led coalition if the alliance decides to take any action against Yemen.’
They stressed that they are committed to safe navigation at sea and that: ‘We are only acting against the interests of the Zionist regime.’
The interests of the Zionist regime and the interests of world imperialism are identical – to secure the domination of the entire oil-rich region for capitalist exploitation.
This requires the complete elimination of Palestinian resistance through a murderous campaign of ethnic cleansing while preparing to take on imperialism’s main enemy in the region, Iran.
It is no accident that Austin in his speech targeted Iran, claiming: ‘Iran is raising tensions by continuing support for terrorist groups’ and calling Yemen ‘Iranian proxies’.
The victory of the Iranian revolution was a huge blow that weakened imperialism, and the attack by Hamas on 7th October ended the myth of Israeli invincibility for ever.
In their desperation, weakened world imperialist powers are preparing for war throughout the region to secure complete domination of the world’s resources for capitalist exploitation.
The working class and masses have had enough of imperialist wars and the mass slaughter of Palestinians.
The working class has the power to end the slaughter in Palestine and end imperialist war by taking action to bring down capitalism and bring in workers’ governments in the major capitalist countries.
This requires the building of sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead the world socialist revolution to victory.