IG Report: Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Failed to Assess Civilian Casualty Risks

IG Report: Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Failed to Assess Civilian Casualty Risks

By Staff, Agencies

The State Department failed to implement its own policies to fully assess and mitigate the risk of civilian casualties when it declared a national security emergency authorizing the transfer of sophisticated US weapons to Saudi Arabia last year, the department’s inspector general has found.

The IG report, released Tuesday, also concluded that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo followed legal requirements in certifying the emergency over bipartisan congressional objections to the $8 billion sale, which also included some armaments to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

That conclusion was emphasized in a prerelease briefing for reporters Monday by a senior State Department official. “The big takeaway” from the report, the official said, was “that the Secretary used these authorities in accordance with the law.”

But much of the report focuses on human rights concerns that Congress raised in attempting to hold up the sales and requesting the IG investigation in the first place. The office of the inspector general declined to comment Tuesday.

A UN report issued in September 2019 said the United States may be complicit in potential war crimes in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Yemeni Ansarullah revolutionaries has been accused of intentionally starving Yemenis as a tactic of war and killing thousands of civilians in airstrikes carried out with US-supplied precision-guided munitions. Human rights organizations have made similar charges.

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is largely a result of policies pursued by the Saudi-led coalition backed by the United States.

At the time of the IG review, the report said, “coalition air strikes in Yemen continued to result in high rates of civilian casualties and damage to civilian sites.”

Because the Arms Export Control Act does not define the word “emergency,” the report said, the IG did not evaluate whether Pompeo’s stated reason – aggression from Iran – constituted one. But in making the emergency declaration, it said, the State Department did not meet other requirements to “fully assess risks and implement mitigation measures to reduce civilian casualties and legal concerns associated with the transfer of” precision-guided munitions.

The Monday briefer, in response to a question, said the report included “a recommendation that State implement additional mitigation measures to reduce the risk of US origin defense articles. . . contributing civilian harm, reducing the risk of civilian harm. So we agree with that, of course.”

But details of the IG’s findings and the department’s response to the civilian casualty concerns were not part of the public release. They were instead part of a classified annex to the report, following a claim of “executive branch confidentiality interests, including executive privilege,” according to a cover letter signed by acting inspector general Diana R. Shaw.

Some parts of the annex, provided to Congress, were “inappropriately redacted,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel [D-N.Y.] said in a Tuesday letter to committee members. He said he would seek a reversal of the blackouts.

Parts of the publicly released report were also blacked out, including those related to the timing of Pompeo’s emergency declaration. According to an unredacted copy obtained by The Washington Post, State Department staff first proposed the use of the emergency authority to bypass congressional restrictions on April 3, 2019, nearly two months before Pompeo, on May 24, told Congress that emergency action was required.

The following month, Assistant Secretary of State R. Clarke Cooper indicated to lawmakers that the unspecified emergency had arisen just days before Pompeo’s declaration.

Other redactions deal with when the weapons were actually provided. According to blacked-out portions of the report, at the time of the IG review last fall only four of 22 arms transfers included in the emergency had been transferred. “Precision-guided munitions were among the first items delivered,” one redaction said.

Delivery of 11 of the 22 was scheduled to begin before the end of 2019, and five “would not begin delivery until 2020 or later,” according to redacted portions. In a letter to the inspector general, attached to the report, Cooper said that “the Certification itself was perhaps the most major ‘deliverable,’” apparently as a reflection of administration support for the Saudis.

The report does not make entirely clear what happened to the other two “cases.”

During a visit to Saudi Arabia in spring 2017, his first trip abroad, President Trump hailed what he said was Riyadh’s agreement to purchase US weapons worth $110 billion. Although Trump has repeatedly resisted any attempt to limit the sales, total Saudi purchases have been far below that number.

While the administration is legally bound to notify Congress of any arms transfers, only a veto-proof majority vote of the House and Senate can stop them. Bipartisan majorities had repeatedly voiced concern over weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, both because of the Yemen situation and the Saudi killing of political opponent Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. While majorities voted not to permit the emergency transfer, Trump vetoed the measure.

The report also noted that the department had “regularly” approved the shipment of components of weapons identical to some of those listed in the emergency without congressional notification, under a “threshold” exception provided in the arms export law.

Congressional ire over the sales rose last spring, when Trump, at Pompeo’s request, fired Steve Linick, who had served as inspector general since 2013. Linick’s successor as acting IG, Stephen Akard, resigned last week after only a few months and was replaced by Shaw, his deputy.

In focusing on the legality of Pompeo’s emergency declaration and playing down what the report said about civilian casualties, Engel said the Monday briefer, whom he identified as Cooper, was trying to “pre-spin” the findings in “an attempt to distract and mislead.”

The IG report noted that under the Trump administration’s Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, issued in April 2018, “the United States seeks to reduce the risk that supplying US defense articles and services to foreign allies and partners will harm civilians.” Consistent with international law, it said, the policy “expressly prohibits the Department from approving arms transfers in cases where the United States has knowledge that the transferred arms will be used to commit attacks intentionally directed against civilians.”

The policy, it said, is the same as that of the Obama administration, with the addition of the word “intentionally” for attacks directed at civilians.

For the 6th year, Yemenis never Know the Holiday أضحى سادس في ظلّ العدوان: العيد لا يعرف اليمنيين

For the 6th year, Yemenis never Know the Holiday

By Rashid Haddad – Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by al-Ahed Staff

The Yemeni capital, Sanaa, welcomed Eid Al-Adha this year, with a stagnation that dominated both the popular and modern markets.

This comes as most of the streets are almost empty of cars and pedestrians due the lack of oil derivatives. The crisis has begun since a month and a half, when the aggressive [Saudi] coalition arrested 17 ships loaded with more than 320 thousand tons of gasoline and diesel.

And it is not the only fuel crisis that the Yemenis are suffering this holiday.

According to the latest United Nations report, as the aggression and the blockade continue for the 6th year on a country where more than 20 million are under the poverty line, many are struggling to provide basic life necessities, in light of the rise in food prices by 15.

It is a hike that the sacrifices [sheep] were not far from. Its prices in local markets – just days before the holiday – increased by 50% compared with last year.

In an attempt to alleviate the suffering, Sanaa authorities announced the disbursement of half salary for state employees, in an attempt to bypass the pressure exerted by the United Nations to end this process, which is funded by Al-Hudaydah’s Central Bank branch.

Meanwhile, the matter is still a dispute between The Rescue Government and the Government of the Outgoing President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

During the past few days, the Finance Ministry in Sanaa withdraw more than 8 billion riyals from the aforementioned account and disbursed it as half salary, which was met with more international dissatisfaction.

An official source in “The Rescue Gov’t” denounced the pressure exerted by the international sides on the government. In parallel, he revealed that the “Supreme Political Council” received UN offers to halt the half salary payment in exchange for the release of the seized fuel shipments. This was rejected by the Council President, Mahdi Al-Mashat. The government called on the United Nations to supervise the disbursement process, calling on it to work hard to stop the employees suffering. It further accused the UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths’ office of failing to resolve this file two years ago despite the concessions made by Sanaa leadership. Moreover, the “The Rescue Gov’t” renewed its willingness to pay the salaries of all state employees according to the statements of 2014 if the problem of oil and gas revenues, taxes and customs, which are supplied to the Hadi government account, is addressed.

Sanaa, along with it the governorates under the control of “the Rescue”, suffers from a crisis in gas supplies as well, due to the custody of a tribal sector, with coverage from the Hadi government, the trailers coming from the Safer facility, in the Juba region between the governorates of Maarib and Al Bayda.

Meanwhile, the damage caused by the floods in the past days worsens the situation, especially in Al-Hudaydah and Hajjah governorates. According to local sources, more than a thousand poor families in the countryside of Al-Hudaydah were affected by the torrents, which destroyed dozens of homes and buried others, and washed away their farms and thousands of sheep, as well as the IDP camps in the Abas region in Hajjah Governorate. Because of the severe damages, dozens of activists launched a call to implement a popular relief campaign for coastal residents in the two provinces.

اليمن رشيد الحداد الخميس 30 تموز 2020

صنعاء | تستقبل العاصمة اليمنية صنعاء عيد الأضحى، العام الجاري، بركود تجاري يطغى على الأسواق الشعبية والحديثة، فيما تكاد غالبية الشوارع تكون خالية من السيارات والمارة بسبب أزمة المشتقات النفطية التي تعانيها المدينة منذ أكثر من شهر ونصف شهر، بفعل احتجاز تحالف العدوان 17 سفينة مُحمّلة بأكثر من 320 ألف طن من مادّتَي البنزين والسولار.

وليست أزمة الوقود الوحيدة التي يعانيها ملايين اليمنيين في هذا العيد. فمع استمرار العدوان والحصار، للعام السادس على التوالي، على بلد يعيش أكثر من 20 مليوناً من سكّانه تحت خطّ الفقر، يكافح الكثيرون من أجل توفير أدنى متطلّبات الحياة، في ظلّ ارتفاع أسعار المواد الغذائية بنسبة 15% بحسب آخر تقرير رسمي صادر عن الأمم المتحدة. وهو ارتفاعٌ لم تكن الأضاحي بعيدة عنه، إذ ازدادت أسعارها في الأسواق المحلية – قبيل العيد بأيام – بنسبة 50% عن العام الماضي.

وفي محاولة منها لتخفيف حدّة تلك المعاناة، أعلنت سلطات صنعاء صرف نصف راتب لموظفي الدولة، متجاوزةً بذلك الضغوط التي تمارسها الأمم المتحدة عليها لوقف هذه العملية التي يتمّ تمويلها من الحساب الخاص برواتب الموظفين في فرع البنك المركزي في الحديدة، والذي لا يزال مثار خلاف بين حكومة الإنقاذ وحكومة الرئيس المنتهية ولايته عبد ربه منصور هادي. وخلال الأيام الماضية، وَجّهت وزارة المالية في صنعاء بسحب أكثر من 8 مليارات ريال من الحساب المذكور وصرفها كنصف راتب، وهو ما قوبل بمزيد من عدم الرضى الأممي.

إزاء ذلك، استهجن مصدر مسؤول في «الإنقاذ» الضعوط التي تمارسها المنظمة الدولية على الحكومة، كاشفاً تلقّي «المجلس السياسي الأعلى» عروضاً أممية بوقف صرف نصف راتب للموظفين مقابل الإفراج عن شحنات الوقود المحتجزة، وهو ما قابله رئيس المجلس مهدي المشاط بالرفض. ودعت الحكومة، الأمم المتحدة، إلى الإشراف على عملية الصرف، مطالِبةً إيّاها بالعمل الجادّ على رفع معاناة الموظفين، مُتّهمة مكتب المبعوث الأممي إلى اليمن مارتن غريفيث بالفشل في حسم هذا الملف منذ عامين على رغم التنازلات التي قدّمتها قيادة صنعاء. وجدّدت «الإنقاذ» استعدادها لصرف رواتب موظفي الدولة كافة وفق كشوفات عام 2014 في حال عولجت مشكلة إيرادات النفط والغاز والضرائب والجمارك التي تُورّد إلى حساب حكومة هادي.

تعاني صنعاء أزمة حادّة في المشتقّات النفطية والغاز المنزلي

وفيما تعاني صنعاء، ومعها المحافظات الخاضعة لسيطرة «الإنقاذ»، أزمة في إمدادات الغاز أيضاً، جرّاء احتجاز قطاع قبلي، بتغطية من حكومة هادي، المقطورات القادمة من منشأة صافر، في منطقة الجوبة بين محافظتَي مأرب والبيضاء، تأتي الأضرار التي تسبّبت بها السيول في الأيام الماضية لتزيد الطين بلّة، وخصوصاً في محافظتَي الحديدة وحجّة. ووفقاً لمصادر محلية، فقد تضرّرت أكثر من ألف أسرة من الأسر الفقيرة في ريف الحديدة من جرّاء السيول، التي دَمّرت عشرات المنازل وطمرت أخرى، وجرفت مزارعها ومعها الآلاف من رؤوس الأغنام، فضلاً عن تضرّر مخيمات النازحين في منطقة عبس في محافظة حجة. وبفعل جسامة تلك الأضرار، أطلق عشرات الناشطين دعوة إلى تنفيذ حملة إغاثة شعبية لسكان المناطق الساحلية في المحافظتين.

«دعوهم ينزفوا حتى الموت وعندما يتعبون سيصلون إلى حلّ»!

د. علي أحمد الديلمي _

بعد أن اختبروا الكثير منها، لم يعد اليمنيون يثقون بنجاح التسويات، حتى وإنْ كانت برعاية أممية، كما أنّ الواقع الجديد للحرب في اليمن، التي تحوّلت إلى حروب متداخلة، جعل المجتمع الدولي يُعيد النظر في مسارات الحلّ السياسي ويُغيّر طبيعة المفاوضات من مفاوضات بين طرفين إلى مفاوضات متعدّدة الأطراف وهؤلاء الأطراف جميعهم يحملون السلاح ويعمد كلّ طرف منهم إلى وضع شروطه بناء على ما لديه من أوراق القوة وأدوات الضغط الأخرى التي يمتلكها على أرض الواقع. نتيجة لهذا الوضع المعقد في طبيعة الصراعات ونمط التحالفات المتغيِّرة بين اليمنيين، وجد جميع المبعوثين الأُمميّين إلى اليمن صعوبة في استكمال مهمّتهم التي جاؤوا من أجلها وكذلك في كسب ثقة كلّ الأطراف اليمنيين، ما أدى إلى فشلهم في معظم الأحيان، إلا في ما يتعلّق ببعض أعمال التهدئة المنوطة بالأمم المتحدة كمنظمة عالمية من واجبها دعوة كلّ الأطراف إلى الانخراط في مسار السلام للحفاظ على الأمن والسلم الدوليين.

لم يكن تاريخ الأمم المتحدة في صراعات سابقة في اليمن محموداً على الإطلاق، وفي كتابـه «اليمـن الثـورة والحـرب»، يوجـز الكاتــب البريطاني إدغــار أوبالانس تدخـُّل الأمم المتحدة في اليمـن بأنـه «كان إخفاقــاً كئيبــاً بســبب التأييــد الضئيــل الــذي يقــع تحــت رحمــة مزيــد مــن الضغــوط المتصارعة، وأدى إلى سـوء فهـم وعـداء أكـثر مـن تهيئـة المناخ الـذي يقـود إلى السلام». ويضيف: «إنّ بعثــة الأمم المتحدة أُحيطــت بمنازعات داخليــة، ونظــر إليهــا بشــكّ عميـق من جانـب كلّ الأطراف المشتركة في النــزاع والحــرب». وبــدا الموقف الدولي مــن حــرب اليمــن والـصـراع العــربي المتعلق بهــا، مطابقــاً لعبــارة أطلقهـا أحـد مستشـاري البيـت الأبيض حينهــا في جمــع مــن الدبلوماسيين العــرب: «دعوهــم ينزفــوا حتــى الموت، المصريون تنشغل قواتهــم، والسعوديون ينفقــون، واليمنيــون يعانـون، وعندما يتعبـون سـيصلون إلى حــلّ”.

وأظهرت تطوُّرات الأشهر الأخيرة أنّ المبعوث الأممي الحالي إلى اليمن مارتن غريفيث، الذي يتحرك مشمولاً بدعم دولي غير مسبوق، خصوصاً من بلاده بريطانيا التي تتولى مهمّة حاملة القلم في الشأن اليمني في مجلس الأمن، يمضي في طريق شبه مسدود فجميع أطراف الصراع لا تثق به، حتّى أنها تنظر إلى دوره بشكّ عميق، بالإضافة إلى عدم فهمه تعقيدات الوضع في اليمن واعتماده على القوالب الجاهزة التي تُعطى له من مكتبه الذي يعتمد على الآليات الجاهزة لعمل الأمم المتحدة والتي لا تراعي التغيرات والأحداث اليومية، بينما يستمرُّ المبعوث الأممي في جهوده ومبادرته رغم كلّ الصعوبات.

وكان مصدر في مكتب غريڤيث كشف مطلع الشهر الحالي أنّ أطراف الصراع في البلاد تسلَّمت مسودة اتفاق جديد لحلّ الأزمة المستمرة منذ نحو 5 سنوات.

وأوضح المصدر لوكالة أنباء “الأناضول” أنّ غريڤيث سلّم الأطراف الثلاثة الرئيسية (الحكومة، الحوثيّون، التحالف العربي) مسوّدة مُعدَّلة لحلّ الأزمة.

وتتضمّن المسودة التي نشرتها “الأناضول” في أبرز بنودها “وقفاً لإطلاق النار في كافة أنحاء اليمن، إضافة إلى عدد من التدابير الاقتصادية والإنسانية الضرورية لتخفيف معاناة الشعب اليمني، وتهيئة البلاد لمواجهة خطر تفشّي فيروس كورونا”.

كما تنصّ على “وقف إطلاق نار شامل في كافة أنحاء اليمن يدخل حيِّز التنفيذ فور التوقيع عليه”.

وتُلزم المسودة الأممية “طرفي النزاع وجميع من ينتسب إليهما بوقف جميع العمليات العسكرية البرية والبحرية والجوية”. كما تتضمّن “تشكيل لجنة تنسيق عسكري برئاسة الأمم المتحدة وعضوية ضباط رفيعي المستوى من طرفي النزاع، لمراقبة وقف إطلاق النار، إضافة إلى إنشاء مركز عمليات مشتركة يتولى التنسيق لتنفيذ الاتفاق، وإدارة تدفق المعلومات”.

فيما تشمل التدابير الاقتصادية والإنسانية معالجة ملفات رئيسية منها “الأسرى، والرواتب، والمطارات والموانئ، والطرق الرئيسية بين المحافظات”.

وتتضمّن المسودة في ترتيباتها الاقتصادية والإنسانية “إطلاق جميع المعتقلين والمحتجزين، وفقاً لاتفاق ستوكهولم، إضافة إلى فتح طرق رئيسية في محافظات تعز والضالع (جنوب) وصنعاء ومأرب والجوف (شمال)”.

كما تنصّ على “فتح مطار صنعاء الدولي أسوة بباقي المطارات اليمنية، ورفع القيود عن دخول الحاويات والمشتقات النفطية والسفن التجارية بموانئ محافظة الحديدة (غرب)”.

وبحسب توقعات الكثيرين من أصحاب الشأن والقريبين من دوائر الصراع داخل اليمن، فإنّ مثل هذه المبادرات والأعمال التي يقوم بها المبعوث الأممي تظلّ بعيدة عن الواقع وما يدور بين أطراف الصراع داخل اليمن والقوى الإقليمية والدولية المرتبطة بأطراف الصراع التي تعمل خارج أطر الأمم المتحدة وأدواتها.

فهل تصحُّ مقولة المستشار الأميركي “دعوهم ينزفوا حتى الموت وعندما يتعبون سيصلون إلى حلّ”؟

*دبلوماسي يمني

فيديوات متعلقة

أخبار متعلقة


South Front

Saudi Arabia has become a hostage of its own military campaign in Yemen. The Kingdom suffers from both its own inability to achieve a military victory in the conflict and regular losses from the retaliatory actions of the Houthis. At the same time, the Saudi leadership has no opportunity to withdraw from the conflict and abandon its proxies there because this will undermine its already shaky position in the region and cause a wide-scale political crisis inside Saudi Arabia itself. The impact from such a crisis will be especially devastating.

Over the past years, the Kingdom has been passing through turbulent times due to the economy slowing down and the acute struggle for power within the Saudi elites. In 2020, with the global economic crisis and the COVID-19 outbreak, the situation inside Saudi Arabia became even more complicated.

On July 13, the Houthis announced that they had conducted a new combined missile and drone strike on targets inside the Kingdom. According to Brigadier General Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Houthi government, the strikes hit the following targets:

  • positions of US-made Patriot missile systems, warplanes’ shelters and the housing complex for pilots at Khamis Mushait;
  • military sections of Abha, Jizan and Najran airports;
  • the oil infrastructure in Jizan.

Additionally, Brigadier General Sari said that missiles and drones hit the Saudi-operated Tadawin camp in the Yemeni province of Marib during the meeting between Saudi officers and leaders of Saudi-backed forces. Dozens of members of Saudi-led forces were killed and injured in the attack, according to Brigadier General Sari.

The Houthis warned that they will continue their strikes on Saudi Arabia utill the end of the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen. This is the second Houthi strike on targets inside the Kingdom in less than a month. On June 23, Houthi forces launched missiles and drones at military targets near the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Commenting on the July 13 incident, the Saudi military claimed that it had intercepted 8 “booby-trapped” drones and four ballistic missiles launched towards Saudi Arabia. The coalition often denies any losses or casualties as a result of Houthi strikes and works to censor data appearing through social media networks. However, results of the previous Houthi strikes and the success rate of Patriot missile systems deployed in Saudi Arabia are a sign that this statement may be an ordinary attempt to cover yet another military failure.

On July 1, Saudi Arabia announced the start of a new air bombing campaign to neutralize and destroy the offensive capabilities of the Houthis, first of all its missile and drone arsenal. Since then, multiple Saudi airstrikes have hit the provinces of Saada, Ma’rib, al-Jawf, Hajjah, al-Bayda as well as on the Yemeni capital of Sanaa. Many of the hit targets were located in urban areas. The Saudi coalition provided few details regarding the targets destroyed.

On July 2, Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the coalition, declared that the first round of airstrikes destroyed ballistic missile and drone storage facilities, assembly workshops and communication stations of the Houthis. On July 3, the coalition announced that its warplanes had destroyed two booby-trapped boats 6km south of Salif Port in the province of al-Hudaydah.

The Houthis slammed Saudi claims as propaganda claiming that most of the bombed targets were civilian ones. In particular, Brigadier General Sari said the July 3 strike hit fishing boats and a salt factory. The July 13 strike on Saudi Arabia contributes to the version that the Saudi coalition at least overestimated results of its bombing campaign.

At the same time, the Houthis continued successful offensive operations against Saudi-backed forces in the provinces of Marib and al-Bayda.

In the current conditions, the further development of the conflict creates a real threat that the Kingdom’s leadership will not only loose the campaign in Yemen, but will struggle to deal with a Houthi offensive in the south of Saudi Arabia. Such a scenario may eventually lead to the collapse of the current Saudi regime.


The Houthis (Ansar Allah) have released a new dramatic video showing attacks on forces of the Saudi-led coalitin in Yemen.

Houthis Blow Up Convoys Of Saudi-led Forces In New Dramatic Video (Map)


Armed Forces Spokesman Announces Massive Operation by Number of Qasef-2K, Drones on Khamis Mushait, Najran



Armed Forces spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e, announced Friday, that the Air Force conducted a massive operation with a large number of Qasef-2K, drones on Khamis Mushait and Najran.

He explained that the broad operation targeted the operation and control room at Najran airport, on Fighter Jets’ Hangers and Warehouses of King Khaled Air Base in Khamis Mushait and other military targets, stressing that the operation had hit its targets accurately.

Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e said Thursday in his intervention with Almasirah TV that “the continuation of the aggression and siege means continuing of the legitimate response,” noting that the recent military escalation by the aggression alliance is not new, and that the Armed Forces are able to defend Yemen.

“Our people will not starve to death, and we have options that we have not revealed yet,” said Sare’e.

Sare’e vowed to the Saudi enemy by saying: We will continue targeting the Saudi depth with its military and sovereign institutions, and we will make sure that our targets are far from harming the Saudi people.

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تطهير ردمان وقانية ضربة موجعة للعدوان السعوديّ


وصف موقع أنصار الله اليمني، العملية العسكرية الكبرى لأبطال الجيش واللجان الشعبية اليمنية في تطهير مديرية ردمان وقانية في البيضاء، بأسرع عملية على الإطلاق منذ بدء الحرب على اليمن، لكونها حُسمت خلال 24 ساعة.

في تفاصيل العملية العسكرية الكبرى ونتائجها والطريقة التي نفذت بها تكشف حجم أهميتها في هذا التوقيت، خصوصاً أن هذا العمل العسكري يدلل على طبيعة الإنجازات النوعية لأبطال الجيش واللجان الشعبية، وتمثل ذلك في تحرير مديرية ردمان في البيضاء بالكامل وقانية وصولًا إلى مناطق ماهلية وأجزاء من مديرية العبدية بمحافظة مأرب، حيث يعني تحرير هذه المناطق تطوراً دراماتيكياً كبيراً على المستوى العسكري لارتباطها بمحافظة مأرب، فضلاً عن أن منطقتي ردمان وقانية لهما أهمية استراتيجية في تغيير المعادلة العسكرية لتحرير ما تبقى من محافظة مأرب.

كما كشفت هذه العملية العسكرية وتفاصيلها الموثقة بالمشاهد وما تبينت من أرقام، كاشفة عن تطوّر نوعي في التخطيط والتنفيذ للقوات اليمنية المشتركة فحسب ما أعلنه المتحدث باسم الجيش العميد يحيى سريع فإنه تمّت خلال عملية تحرير مديرية ردمان وقانية وصولاً إلى مناطق ماهلية وأجزاء من مديرية العبدية في محافظة مأرب أكثر من 400 كم مربع وعدد القتلى والمصابين والأسرى أكثر من 250، وتدمير ما لا يقل عن 20 مدرعة وآلية، واغتنام كميات كبيرة من الأسلحة منها مخازن بأكملها وكذلك آليات ومدرعات إماراتية وسعودية، وهي المعطيات التي أدت كما يبدو الى الانهيارات المتسارعة في صفوفهم وسقوط أدواتهم واحدة تلو أخرى.

وبحسب ما أوضحه متحدث القوات المسلحة العميد يحيى سريع في مؤتمر صحافي عقده أول أمس، شهد العدو خلال العمليات العسكرية باتجاه قانية، انهيارات واسعة في صفوفه وخسائر يومية.. وقال «خلال عملياتنا بقانية حاول الخائن ياسر العواضي الالتفاف بالتنسيق مع دول العدوان على قواتنا من مديرية ردمان، بالرغم من محاولة السلطة المحلية بردمان نصحه بالتوقف وعدم الانجرار مع مخططات دول العدوان»، لافتاً إلى «رفض الخائن العواضي كل نصائح السلطات المحلية بالتوقف عن التحشيد وإدخال المرتزقة بما فيهم عناصر تكفيرية ..»، مبيناً أن «عمليات ردمان جاءت بعد رصد نشاط واضح للخائن العواضي عبر حشده مجاميع مسلحة من المرتزقة، والتمركز في مناطق مختلفة، ما شكل تهديداً كبيراً لحياة المواطنين»، مضيفاً أن «الخائن العواضي استعان بدول العدوان التي قدّمت تلك الدول الدعم من مال وسلاح ومرتزقة وإسناد جوي، في الوقت الذي كان فيه العواضي قد جهّز مصنعاً لعبوات ناسفة لاستهداف القوات المسلحة وأفراد اللجان الشعبية والقوات الأمنية بالبيضاء».

وتطرق متحدث القوات المسلحة إلى «الدعم العسكري الذي قدمته دول العدوان للخائن العواضي عبر لواءين عسكريين بقيادة المرتزقين عبد الرب الأصبحي وسيف الشدادي، بالإضافة إلى عدد من المدرعات والآليات وأسلحة أخرى متنوّعة ومرتزقة من تنظيمي القاعدة وداعش، فضلاً عن غطاء جوي بأكثر من 200 غارة لطيران العدوان، لإعاقة تقدم الجيش واللجان الشعبية والمتعاونين من أبناء قبائل البيضاء».

كما أكد أن «الخطة الهجومية للقضاء على فتنة الخائن العواضي قضت التقدّم من أربعة مسارات الأول من مديرية القرشية والثاني من مديرية السوادية والثالث من مديرية الملاجم فيما كان المسار الرابع من مديرية السوادية .. مشيداً بهذا الصدد بتعاون المواطنين من أبناء ردمان إلى جانب أبناء القوات المسلحة في تجنيب المديرية الدمار والاحتلال، والذي ساهم في القضاء على الفتنة خلال وقت قياسي».

لقي التحالف السعودي ضربات موجعة من عملية «وإن عدتم عدنا»، إلى عملية «نصر من الله»، مروراً بعملية «البنيان المرصوص»، وعملية «فأمكن منهم»، وكل عمليات الجيش واللجان الشعبية تمثل ضربات موجعة لتحالف قوى العدوان الصهيو أميركي السعودي الإماراتي التي تسعى جاهدة لاحتلال اليمن ونهب خيراته، والسيطرة على ممراته الدولية.

ختاماً، فإن طبيعة التفاصيل بالمجمل لهذه العملية العسكرية والإنجازات الميدانية الأخرى في مختلف الجبهات لقوات الجيش واللجان الشعبية تثبت –برأي خبراء عسكريين – تطوّر قدراتها ونجاحها في تحويل مسار المعركة لصالحها وتحقيق توازن ردع فعلي وطبيعة المستوى الاحترافي والنوعي الذي وصلت إليه المؤسسة العسكرية اليمنية، لتقابل هذه الانتصارات النوعية بمباركة رسمية وشعبية واسعة لكون هذه العملية العسكرية حولت مسارات العدوان التصعيدية إلى هزائم على الأرض.

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No place for justice in UN dictionary: Lebanese journalist


June 28, 2020 – 15:18

TEHRAN – Mohamad Kleit, a Lebanese journalist specialized in international affairs and geopolitics, tells the Tehran Times that the United Nations celebrates its 75th anniversary, while this international organization has failed to achieve justice.

“Considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip and building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank,” says Kleit, who is deputy editor at U-News Agency.

On the future of the United Nations, Kleit notes, “I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out their taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.”

The text of the interview with Mohamad Kleit is as follows:

Question: The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War with several objectives primarily the prevention of war and maintaining peace in disputed areas. But the UN has failed to prevent war and fulfill peacekeeping duties many times throughout its history. In your opinion, what have been the main causes of this passivity?

Answer: The United Nations’ passivity is basically caused by the strong political powers controlling some of its major and most critical decisions; particularly by the United States of America which spent $10 billion in 2018 (almost 30% of UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded by the United States). This affects United Nations and its Security Council’s decisions in areas that the U.S. is directly involved in, for example, Syria, Yemen, Iraq in 2003, and others.

“Considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip and building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank,” says Kleit, who is deputy editor at U-News Agency.

On the future of the United Nations, Kleit notes, “I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out their taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.”

The text of the interview with Mohamad Kleit is as follows:

Question: The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War with several objectives primarily the prevention of war and maintaining peace in disputed areas. But the UN has failed to prevent war and fulfill peacekeeping duties many times throughout its history. In your opinion, what have been the main causes of this passivity?

Answer: The United Nations’ passivity is basically caused by the strong political powers controlling some of its major and most critical decisions; particularly by the United States of America which spent $10 billion in 2018 (almost 30% of UN’s peacekeeping operations are funded by the United States). This affects United Nations and its Security Council’s decisions in areas that the U.S. is directly involved in, for example, Syria, Yemen, Iraq in 2003, and others.

“They (UN) didn’t call out who was clearly responsible for this (Yemen) catastrophe, yet they called for a political solution back in 2016 in Kuwait that would indirectly preserve the Saudi Arabia’s interest while acknowledging the newly formed government in Sana.”

It also acts as a pressure force on political issues, most recently the Israeli atrocities against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, where Israel doesn’t abide by any Security Council decision nor UN resolutions ever since the entity joined the UN. This is because the U.S. has close ties and joint interests in Israel, thus it is not dealing with the Palestinian cause in an objective manner, where the U.S. always sides with Israel, consequently belittling any UN resolution, regardless how righteous and just it is.

Q: Ever since the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, Palestinians have been fighting against what a UN investigator once described as Israel’s ethnic cleansing. Today Israel controls dominantly over Palestine territories. It also has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza and is continuing its construction of illegal settlements on occupied lands in defiance of several UN resolutions calling for an end to those activities. What is your take on it?

A: As in other areas of turmoil and disruption, the UN has its hands tied because of the U.S. financial advantage over its regular budget. This poses a threat and jeopardizes any resolution issued by the UN in matters the U.S. would consider part of its so-called “national security”, which, as history taught us, extends across the world far from the U.S. national borders.

Now considering Israel is the “U.S. pampered baby”, metaphorically speaking, any international resolution would be negligible if it doesn’t preserve Israeli interests, even if those interests were ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, preservation of the illegal and inhumane blockade on the Gaza Strip, building illegal settlements on the Palestinian soil in the West Bank, or even detainment of Palestinian children for investigation while mistreating prisoners of opinion and protests.

History has also taught us that Israel has never once abided by any UN resolution that isn’t fully in its favor, even when it’s waging an occupation like the one in 1982 in Lebanon or bombing civilian sites in Syria that is being internally war-torn since 2011. It also, rudely, disrespects any UN resolution that is internationally consented, like Resolution 1701 to end the 2006 war on Lebanon that was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council on 11 August 2006, where each side of the war (Lebanese Resistance Movement and Israel) goes back to their international borders before the war started in July, yet Israel, until this day, violates Lebanese airspace with fighter jets and occasionally targets civilian, scientific, and military targets in Syria from the Lebanese airspace.

Q: Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to crush the popular Ansarullah movement and reinstate former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of the Riyadh regime. Many experts accuse the UN silence regarding Saudi Arabia’s aggression and argue that the UN has failed to send humanitarian aid and support to civilians amid a blockade imposed on the war-torn country. What is your thought?

A: Justice is a negligible term in international books; it is only used when the elite nations preserve their interests on the expense of smaller powers, or helpless nations in that case. The Saudi-led coalition, that is supported militarily and politically by (just to name a few) the UAE, USA, UK, France, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and other nations, launched a war on Yemen in 2015 that has been described by the UN itself as “one of the worst human catastrophes in modern history.” The war started on the request of the ousted Yemeni president Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi, who took Aden for refuge after a large-scale protest in the capital Sana, where a coalition of Yemeni parties rules now, most prominently Ansarullah led by Abdul Malek al Houthi. Now considering Ansarullah’s opposition to Saudi Arabia’s control over Yemen (Saudis controlled and interfered in Yemen’s politics and economy for over 40 years during the reign of Ali Abdullah Saleh and then Mansour Hadi), which would jeopardize what they call “national security”, thus they launched a full-scale war on Yemen that has led to the death of well-over 30,000 persons and displaced millions, while 19 million are suffering from poverty and in danger of famine.

What did the UN do? They didn’t call out who was clearly responsible for this catastrophe, yet they called for a political solution back in 2016 in Kuwait that would indirectly preserve Saudi Arabia’s interest while acknowledging the newly formed government in Sana. The talks failed because of the continuation of hostilities until 2018 in Stockholm, where another round of talks happened to mark a breakthrough, yet the war is still ongoing with more complications and disasters to put in short.

From 2015 until this day, neither did the UN nor the international community point out that it’s Saudi Arabia and the UAE which are the direct causes of the catastrophe by a huge margin, with the help of the U.S., Israel, the UK, and France, yet they put both sides (the Saudi-led coalition and the Sana government) as equally responsible for the war… It is quiet intriguing for a man shooting an AK47 and an RPG to be held the same responsibility as another man flying an F-16 with U.S. satellites giving him pin-point directions (not all the time though) with missiles that have proven to have the ability to put entire villages to the ground. This is a major problem that stands in the way of any problem-solving procedure that would be in the best interest of Yemen’s future, which is pointing out who holds responsibility for the problem in a just and fair way, not on the basis of equality.

Q: The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary, while it is dealing with serious challenges, including poverty, disease, environmental breakdown, ongoing conflicts, and so on. In your view, is the UN ready to face the future?

A: In addition to the ongoing global crises from Palestine, Yemen, to general African wars, to the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Coronavirus and its financial backlash put huge pressure on the UN, as well as the rise of alt-right movements and populist ideologies affect the on-the-ground operations of the UN. One major example is U.S. President Donald Trump retreating from the World Health Organization with accusations that it is siding with China (U.S. economic rival), as well as cutting funding for UNRWA which is specialized with Palestinian refugees. Both cases place huge pressures on both organizations, considering that the U.S. is their biggest donor. The first one is a political decision to pressure WHO into joining the “Ideological Cold War” (as China’s Foreign Ministry named it) against China, while the second is to pressure the Palestinian authorities into accepting Trump’s “Deal of the Century” which is completely a pro-Israel agreement basically aimed to give full control of the West Bank to Israel.

These are just examples of what the UN is going to face from the U.S., in particular, as a cost for its not-so-total kneeling to the man in Washington. I personally see that the role of the UN will be minimized considering that major powers are out taking what they want with disregard to any UN resolution or the disruption of global stability.

Trump: Live by the Oil, Die by the Oil


Trump: Live by the Oil, Die by the Oil

Tom LuongoApril 23, 2020

From the very beginning I’ve been a staunch critic of President Trump’s “Energy Dominance” policy. And I was so for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because it was stupid.

Not just stupid, monumentally stupid. Breathtakingly stupid.

And I don’t say this as someone who hates Trump without reservation. In fact, I continue to hope he will wake up one day and stop being the Donald Trump I know and be the Donald Trump he needs to be.

I don’t have Trump Derangement Syndrome of any sort. Neither MAGApede nor Q-Tard, an Orange Man Bad cultist or NPC Soy Boy, I see Trump for what he is – a well-intentioned, if miseducated man with severe personal deficiencies which manifest themselves in occasionally brilliant but mostly disastrous behavior.

Energy Dominance was always a misguided and Quixotic endeavor. Why? Because Trump could never turn financial engineering a shale boom into a sustainable advantage over lower-cost producers like Russia and the OPEC nations.

The policy of blasting open the U.S. oil spigots to produce a production boom built on an endless supply of near-zero cost credit was always going to run into a wall of oversupply and not enough demand.

The dramatic collapse of U.S. oil prices in the futures markets which saw the May contract close on April 20th at $-40.57 per barrel is the Shale Miracle hitting the fan of low demand and leaving the producers and consumers in a state which can only happen thanks to biblical levels of government intervention.

A broken market.

The next morning, ever needing to look like the good guy, Trump tweets out:Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

We will never let the great U.S. Oil & Gas Industry down. I have instructed the Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Treasury to formulate a plan which will make funds available so that these very important companies and jobs will be secured long into the future!163KTwitter Ads info and privacy56.6K people are talking about this

It’s clear from this statement that Trump is ready to throw more trillions at the oil industry to keep it and the millions of jobs from disappearing as he does what he always does when confronted with a real problem, doubles down on the behavior that caused it in the first place.

Politicians, even the best ones, are ultimately vandals. They have no other tool than to reallocate scarce capital towards their ends rather than that demanded by the market.

And the main reason why Trump was never going to win the Energy Dominance War he started was because the world doesn’t want the type and kind of oil the U.S. produces at the quantities needed to “Win!”

Ultra-light sweet crude coming from the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian simply isn’t that high in demand for export. It’s of limited usage. And, in the end, if the price is right enough, offering oil for sale in ‘not-dollars’ only makes that demand curve even more elastic.

The collapse in oil prices which Trump is desperate to stop won’t simply because Trump stands there like King Canute, arms outstretched. He and his terrible energy policy stand naked now that the tide has gone out.

And the reason for this is simple. There is more to the world economy than money. Money is what makes the economy work but it, in and of itself, is incapable of creating wealth. All money does is act as a means to express our needs and desires at the moment of the trade.

Trump’s vandalizing the world’s energy markets for the past three and a half years now comes back to bite him. To prop up surging U.S. production he has:

Supported a disastrous war against the people of Yemen

Repurposed U.S. troops clinging to positions in Syria while stealing their oil

Nearly started a shooting war with Iran…. Twice.

Embargoed Venezuela, stole its money, attempted a failed coup and brought even more support to President Maduro from Russia and China.

Spent billions pointing missiles at Russia via NATO.

Supported a vicious war to prevent the secession of the Donbass.

Delayed the construction of Nordstream 2.

Sowed chaos enough to set Turkey to claiming the Eastern Mediterranean while fighting a losing war in Libya.

Started a massive trade war with China.

Spent trillions throwing the U.S. budget deficit for 2020 out beyond 20% of the U.S.’s 2019 GDP.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. None of these acts are defensible as anything other than immoral and counterproductive.

Having antagonized literally more than three-quarters of the world with this insanity, Trump will now turn his destructive gaze on the very people he purports to serve, the American people. Saving jobs through subsidies is capital destructive. It doesn’t matter who does it, Trump, Putin, Xi or FDR.

If Trump tariffs on imports it will only keep the cost of energy for Americans higher than it should be at a time when they need it to be as cheap as possible.

The incentive to improve performance by these companies, shutter expensive wells, default on debt or shift capital away from the unproductive will not happen. The healthy cleansing of bankruptcy is averted. The vultures who profited on the way up will not go bankrupt because the bust is avoided and those that were prudent waiting for this moment will not be rewarded with the reins of the means of production.

And again, we see another one-way trade for Wall St.

All Trump will do here is entrench the very powers that he thinks he’s been fighting, destroying small businesses, nationalizing, in effect, whole swaths of the U.S. economy and setting up the day when everyone else around the world shrugs when he bark.

Because the net effect has been to see the rise in more of the oil trade conducted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. That trend will continue in a deflating price environment where the need to service dollar-denominated debt is soaking up the supply of dollars faster than the Fed can monetize the debt issued by the U.S. Treasury.

The oil trade will shift from dollars. Dollars will be used to pay off debt, the world will decouple from the dollar and all those dollars currently hoarded overseas and whose demand today will be supply tomorrow will ensure the U.S. economy suffers the worst kind of depression, one of rising commodity prices, falling asset prices and falling wages.

So, Trump will continue to be, as I put it recently, The Master of the Seen, choosing, as always, to ignore the unseen effects of propping up firms that should rightly go the way of all bad ideas, like Marxism.

The U.S. had a grenade dropped on its budget. It looks like a nuclear bomb, but that’s only because of the continued arrogance and necessity of politicians, like Trump, needing to be ‘seen’ doing something caused far more damage than it would have if they hadn’t intervened in the first place.

The adage, “never let a crisis go to waste,” is apropos here. Politicians use the cover of crisis to act. They have to be ‘seen’ acting rather than not. Trump is acutely aware of this because he truly can’t stand criticism.

A man without principles, Trump acts mostly out of his need to deflect criticism and be ‘seen’ by his base as their champion.

But no, Trump outs himself as the biggest Marxist of all time, defending the workers while robbing them of their future through the destruction of their real wealth. His policy mistakes become our real problems. And he compounded those problems by listening to the medical complex vultures about COVID-19 and now he’s trapped but everyone else will pay the price.

He is someone without the sense or the understanding that sometimes the best thing to do is admit defeat, reverse course and put down the scepter of power. But Trump doesn’t know how to do that. He doesn’t know how to actually lead.

Energy Dominance will turn into an Energy Albatross and it will weigh on Trump’s neck in his second term that will see him leave office reviled as the great destroyer of not only the U.S.’s wealth, but more importantly, its standing in the world.

Merchants of Death: Multibillion-dollar Bailout for Arms Industry Amid Rising COVID-19 Toll

By Bill Van Auken

Global Research, April 23, 2020

World Socialist Web Site

“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” US President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday in a startling threat that could trigger a catastrophic war throughout the Middle East and beyond.

The threat to launch a war 7,000 miles from US shores in the midst of coronavirus pandemic, whose death toll in the US is rapidly approaching 50,000, comes on the heels of Trump’s Monday night tweet announcing a suspension of all immigration into the United States, a transparent attempt to scapegoat immigrants for the ravages of the pandemic and the layoffs of tens of millions of workers.

There is in both of these actions an expression of desperation and a flailing about in the face of a national and global crisis for which the US ruling class has no viable solution. It is a crude attempt to change the subject and divert public attention from the catastrophic consequences of the criminal indifference of the government and the ruling oligarchy it represents to the lives and well-being of the vast majority of the population.

Pentagon officials reported Wednesday that they had received no prior notification of Trump’s tweet, much less any orders for a change in the rules of engagement in the Persian Gulf.

Nonetheless, the brutal and fascistic rhetoric of Trump reflects a drive to war by US imperialism that has not been tempered, but rather intensified, by the global pandemic.

Even as Trump issued his tweet, US warships were sailing toward a confrontation with China in the South China Sea. At the same time, the Pentagon was announcing a shift in its deployment of long-range, nuclear capable B-52 bombers to make their presence less predictable to Beijing and Moscow and thereby ratchet up tensions.

In recent days, the US has sharply escalated its air strikes against the impoverished African nation of Somalia, even as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to ravage its population. Escalating war threats continue against Venezuela, and the Pentagon continues to provide support for the near-genocidal Saudi-led war against the people of Yemen.

Nowhere does this war drive find more naked expression than in the massive government bailout that is being organized for the US arms industry. With tens of millions of workers unemployed, many facing hunger, and a drive by both the Trump administration and state governors to force a premature return to work, billions upon billions of dollars are being lavished upon military contractors to sustain their guaranteed profits and the obscene fortunes generated for their major shareholders.

The Pentagon’s top weapons procurer, Undersecretary of Defense Ellen Lord, told a press conference Monday that some $3 billion has already been funneled to the arms makers in the form of early payments for existing contracts, in addition to billions more approved by Congress in the first CARES Act, which pumped trillions of dollars into the financial markets. She indicated that much more will be doled out once Congress passes another stimulus package.

Asked by a reporter how much would be need to insure Washington’s Merchants of Death from any losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, she replied, “We’re talking billions and billions on that one.” Lord added that the first priority for this aid program was the “modernization process of the nuclear triad.”

These industries are hardly the picture of the deserving poor. The fact that massive financial resources that are desperately needed to save lives and rescue millions of workers from poverty are instead being poured into their pockets is a crime.

In a conference call this week to inform Lockheed Martin shareholders of first-quarter earnings, the company’s CEO, Marilyn Hewson, boasted that the corporation’s “portfolio is broad and expanding” and its “cash generation” strong. She said the company looked forward to “supporting our warfighters’ needs.”

Indeed, Lockheed Martin pulled in $2.3 billion in cash during the single quarter and expects to top $7.6 billion—coronavirus effects notwithstanding—over the year. It has a $144 billion backlog in orders, an all-time high.

Asked whether she had any qualms about political fallout over completing a $1 billion stock buyback in the midst of the crisis, she replied, “We’re very different, I think, than those who have experienced a very significant impact to their demands.” Hewson announced that the company had set aside a grand total of $10 million for COVID-19-related relief and assistance.

The “very different” character of these companies was also noted in a financial column published in the New York Times for the benefit of its well-heeled readers, titled “Opportunity in the Military-Industrial Complex.”

Pointing to the projected $741 billion Pentagon budget for the coming year, the Times counsels: “That combination of federal dollars and corporate heft may represent an opportunity for investors who don’t mind profiting from warfare. A modest bet on a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that buys military contractors and aerospace companies may help buffer the deep recession brought on by the coronavirus.”

In short, one can reap substantial wealth from—and amid—mass death.

One of the principal concerns expressed by Undersecretary of Defense Lord as she spelled out plans for the multibillion-dollar bailout of the arms industry was the disruption of supply chains, particularly those originating in the maquiladora sweatshops just across the US border in Mexico. She also mentioned problems in India.

Thousands of Mexican workers have struck and protested against the deadly conditions inside these plants, conditions that are being prepared for workers throughout the planet as back-to-work orders are shoved through. At a plant in Ciudad Juárez owned by Michigan-based Lear Corporation, 16 workers have died from COIVD-19, while area hospitals are overflowing with victims of the virus.

The Pentagon and US Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau have intervened with the Mexican government, demanding that the maquiladoraworkers be forced back into the plants as “essential” to US imperialism’s war machine, just like their counterparts in the US. Lockheed relies on low-paid Mexican workers in Chihuahua, Mexico to produce electrical wiring for the US military’s Black Hawk and S-92 helicopters and F-16 fighter jets, while Boeing gets parts from a plant run by PCC Aerostructures in Monterrey. General Electric, Honeywell and other military contractors also profit off the labor of Mexican workers across the border.

Transmitting the dictates of the Pentagon in the language of contempt for human life that characterizes all of the policies of the Trump administration and the US ruling class, Ambassador Landau launched a Twitter campaign demanding that Mexican workers go back into the maquiladoras for the greater good of US imperialism. He enjoys the full collaboration of Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, promoted by the pseudo-left as a “progressive” and even “socialist,” who has prepared the country’s National Guard for deployment against strikers.

Warning that workers’ jobs are tied to supply chains linking them to US arms manufacturers, Ambassador Landau said, “if we do not coordinate our response, these chains can evaporate.”

He added, “There are risks everywhere, but we don’t all stay at home for fear we are going to get in a car accident. The destruction of the economy is also a health threat.”

These are the same reactionary, antiscientific and misanthropic arguments being made in the US and internationally in an attempt to force workers back into the factories and workplaces with the certainty that many will fall sick and die.

Workers in the arms industry in the US, like their counterparts in Mexico, have also struck and protested over being forced to work as part of the “critical infrastructure” of US imperialism. Workers at the Bath Iron Works in Maine and the BAE Systems shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia, both run by General Dynamics, have struck over the failure of the employers to provide them with protection against infection and death. Similarly, workers at the GE Aviation plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, which produces engines for US Marine helicopters, picketed the plant over the lack of protective measures or any guarantee for workers who fall victim to COVID-19.

This resistance of the working class across national boundaries is directly opposed to the rabid nationalism and reaction that characterizes the response of the ruling classes, not only in the US, but in Europe and internationally, to the intensification of the capitalist crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. To defend their profit interests, they will condemn millions to sickness and death, even as they prepare for world war and fascist dictatorship. The only alternative is for the international working class to put an end to the profit system and rebuild society on socialist foundations.


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Featured image: B-52s lined up at Andersen Air Force Base (Source: WSWS)The original source of this article is World Socialist Web SiteCopyright © Bill Van AukenWorld Socialist Web Site, 2020

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