FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Yemen as Arabian Vietnam

It wasn’t supposed to end this way. The last soldiers and agents of the world’s biggest and deadliest empire, fleeing Saigon with their thorned tails between their legs as a rag-tag army of half-starved guerrillas inched closer by the hour. The last Bell helicopters, stuffed to the brim with bourgeois refugees of the fascist Yankee quisling state of South Vietnam, bumbling about before they scatter like highway vultures interrupted by a semi as they attempt to pick the last bone clean on a withering carcass. This was unthinkable just a decade earlier, when LBJ decided to turn a contentious civil war into a full blown holocaust. We had thrown everything but the White House kitchen sink at those yellow commie savages; bombs, napalm, agent orange, near institutionalized campaigns of rape and slaughter. We had turned the jungles of Indochina into a living hell, just a few Pinkville’s shy of a full tilt genocide. But they just kept coming. Tiny men and women in black pajamas with hearts like lions, throwing their malnourished bodies into the guts and gears of the war machine. At the end of the day, the empire’s efforts were all for nothing. Billions of dollars, millions of lives, and the sterling reputation we had built on the myths of the Good War were gone like dust scattered to the wind. Was there a lesson to be learned here? Was anybody but Charlie interested in learning it?

Flash forward some forty years and tragedy repeats itself as farce. This time it’s one of the now hemorrhaging American empire’s dauphins, a dick-swinging desert upstart called Saudi Arabia, that is rapidly finding itself overwhelmed by the unintended consequences of its own private Vietnam. After another gaggle of impoverished peasants called the Houthis decided to take their once regional conflict from the northern mountains of Yemen to the bustling capital of Sanaa, overthrowing yet another fascist Yankee quisling state, Saudi Arabia’s swarthy young princeling, Mohammed bin Salman, decided to show the world what he’s made of by burying his poorest neighbor in American munitions. Like his fellow psychopath, LBJ, MBS threw everything he could get his filthy hands on at these poor people; bombs, drones, white phosphorous, mercenary death squads of African child soldiers, and a crippling naval blockade, all with more than a little help from their friends back in Washington. Hundreds of thousands murdered in cold blood. Even more starved, diseased, malnourished, most of them children. But just four years into this genocidal campaign and it’s all falling apart. That handsome young Lothario in Riyadh is left drowning in the dunes as his “allies” flee the scene of the crime.

Even after all the death, misery, fear and loathing, those dastardly Shia barbarians known as the Houthi just keep coming. In fact, they now appear to stand stronger, taller, more furious than ever. Galvanized like steel soldiers in the hell-fires of what should have been their Armageddon. Like the Cong before them, these outgunned young renegades have turned the tables on their tormentors with nothing but sheer rage and tenacity. Baseless conspiracy theories about them being Iranian agent provocateurs aside, they weathered this storm alone, buried the bodies of their children, bided their time and are now in the midst of making minced meat of their wealthy would-be Saudi conquistadors. Striking oil lines with homemade drones, Jerry-rigged in crumbling urban garages from the smashed bits of American machines that haunted their villages long before the onslaught. Trapping Saudi soldiers and their hapless local mercenaries in giant valley-wide ambushes, taking hundreds of Salafi chin scalps at a time. Making a bunch of racist colonial pigs belly-crawl through scorpion infested deserts back to the gaudy glass towers from which they came.

The Saudis are fucked and even their one-time friends know it. Half of their fighting force, sponsored by the equally dreadful United Arab Emirates, are defecting from this blood belching quagmire and turning their attention instead towards rebuilding an independent South Yemen. The Emirates couldn’t be happier with a Dalit house-slave’s throat in their hands. The only thing keeping them in this savage farce to begin with is their hope of securing the shipping routes of the southern ports in cities like the now rebel held Aden. The UAE’s goal of becoming the Persian Gulf’s answer to Singapore appears to be pushing them to the brink of opening a second front against their former besties in Riyadh in order to achieve their own petite imperialist objectives. Prince Salman’s blood spattered vanity project is as dead as South Vietnam.

Once again, another imperial blood feast, billions of dollars, millions of lives and the once sterling reputation of the “new” Saudi Arabian empire built on little more than CNN mythology, gone, demolished like a Zaydi schoolhouse, all for nothing, just another Vietnam scattered like a fist full of sand in the breeze of the Arabian Sea. Is there finally a lesson to be learned here? Yes, but only the Houthi, like their Vietcong counterparts, seem to have learned it. The desert holocaust in Yemen mirrors the jungle holocaust in Vietnam because the imperialist antagonists of both battles failed to learn the basic lesson that no amount of money, high-tech military hardware or unbridled savagery can deter a people determined to be free. It appears all empires are damned to remain forever blind to this lesson no matter how many times peasants are forced to teach it to them, from Algiers to Kabul to god knows who’s next, because imperialism itself is defined by its blindness to humanity. It is it’s strength as well as it’s folly.

We must also take note here that the modern concepts of the western style nation state are at best the fickle illusions of an over-privileged class and at worst a fevered nightmare brought on by fumes of the Industrial Revolution. Trying to cobble a nation together from two separate and distinct societies like the Northern Zaydi Tribesman and the Southern Sunni Proletariat has proven to be as asinine and bullheaded as trying to deny the almost metaphysical unity of two nations that have always been one like Vietnam. Nation building is a cruel fool’s errand and it never works. The lion share of America and it’s imperial offspring’s woes in places like the Middle East and Southeast Asia derive from their insistence on modernizing people they have zero respect for with statist contraptions like capitalism and mass borders. The best lesson the Houthis can take from recent events to their south is that their supposed enemies in that region essentially want the same damn thing, to escape western nation building and finally be left the fuck alone. If both sides can realize this, then they can unite to divide and maybe, just maybe, this hopped up nightmare can finally end.

Imperialism is a heavy weapon in the hands of the powerful. But it’s as good as glass against the will of a people who refuse to be ruled. All empires will crumble because they are designed to deny this basic fact of human nature and any system that denies humanity is inherently unsustainable. To put it bluntly, they quite simply cannot kill us all, but united we can destroy them. Houthis, Hezbollah, Southern Separatists, Kashmiri Separatists, Black Lives Matter, Sovereign Citizens, the Vietcong, the Weather Underground; only together are we too heavy to be moved by any imperial behemoth. Let us all join hands and fuck it up, dearest motherfuckers. Why the hell not? Lets fight like a Houthi.

More articles by:

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find him online at Exile in Happy Valley.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
November 21, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Reports of War Crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan Highlight the Failures of Both Wars
Steven Gorelick
Thinking Outside the Grid
William Hartung
America’s Arms Sales Addiction
Michael Welton
Christianity is the Religion of Imperialism
Binoy Kampmark
Letting the Side Down: Prince Andrew, the Royal Family and Jeffrey Epstein
Craig Collins
Open Letter to the People of Planet Earth
David Schultz
The Democratic Party’s Missing Electoral College Game Plan
Norman Solomon
Joe Biden’s AstroTurf Campaign
Bob Lord
Health Care and “Head Taxes”: an Unhealthy Combination
Steve Brown
Why Did MSNBC Spend So Much Time Bashing Gabbard?
Jesse Jackson
The Right to Vote Should not Fall Victim to Partisan Battles
Ted Rall
Billionaires and Corporations Love Anti-SLAPP Laws, Why Does John Oliver?
Priti Gulati Cox
One Pound Capitalism, a Pinch of Democracy, and an Impeachment
Thomas Knapp
Voters Say They Want a Third Party, They Should Vote Accordingly
Jenna Orkin
Overtunring WI v. Yoder: Making Education a Federal Right for All Children (and Bringing the MeToo Movement to Fundamentalist Communities)
November 20, 2019
Vijay Prashad
The Coup in Bolivia Has Everything to Do With the Screen You’re Using to Read This
Kenneth Surin
Labor and the UK General Election
Ron Jacobs
The Trumpists’ Attempts at Snark Define Their Day: Impeachment Day Three
George Ochenski
The Walls are Closing in on Donald Trump
Timothy M. Gill
Towards a Democratic Socialist Foreign Policy
Robert Hunziker
Neoliberalism Backfires
Thomas S. Harrington
Let’s Give Three Cheers for Those “Western Ears” 
Michelle Renee Matisons
Freedom, Valor, Love: On Snowden’s Permanent Record
James C. Nelson
How Trump is Warping the Federal Courts: the Case Against Lawrence VanDyke
Rev. William Alberts
Whistleblowing Religion
Chandra Muzaffar
The Coup That Ousted Morales
Mike Garrity
Trump Administration Ignores Court Order Stopping 85,000 Acre Payette Forest Logging and Burning Project, Conservation Groups Sue
Andrew Moss
Raising the Stakes in the Struggle Over Immigration Detention
Dean Baker
Making Andrew Yang Smarter
Lawrence Wittner
The People of the World
November 19, 2019
Ramzy Baroud
How Western Media Bias Allows Israel to Getaway with Murder in Gaza
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan’s Ethnic Cleansing of the Kurds is Still Happening
Dave Lindorff
Student Protesters are Walking a Tightrope in Hong Kong
Richard Greeman
French Yellow Vests Celebrate First Birthday, Converge With Planned Labor Strikes
Dean Baker
Impeachment is a Kitchen Table Issue
Walden Bello
Is China an “Imperial Power” in the Image of the West?
Jim Britell
Modern Biology and Ecology: the Roots Of America’s Assertive Illiteracy
Sabri Öncü
Non-Financial Private Debt Overhang
John Steppling
Baby Shark Coup
Binoy Kampmark
Open Guidelines: The Foreign Interference Problem in Australian Universities
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Greece and the Struggle for Freedom
Colin Todhunter
Lab Rats for Corporate Profit: Pesticide Industry’s Poisoned Platter
James Graham
Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn on the Eve of the Debate
Elliot Sperber
Scrutiny – From Scruta
November 18, 2019
Olivia Arigho-Stiles
Protestors Massacred in Post-Coup Bolivia
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail