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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/22/21

The U.S. empire's very limited options for conquest

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In the last couple of weeks before Trump left office, Mike Pompeo told three highly strategic lies: that Yemen's Houthi rebels, are "terrorists," that Iran is the "home base" for Al-Qaeda, and that China is committing "genocide" against Xinjiang's Uyghurs. His aim was to ensure that the wars against Iran, Yemen, and China would continue going into the next administration. And given how committed Biden's foreign policy team is to wars with these and all other current U.S. adversaries, it was as if Pompeo had simply done his equally war-hungry successor Antony Blinken a friendly favor.

We can be virtually certain that Biden and his administration aren't going to end the war against the Yemeni people, despite Biden's promise to the contrary. He's going to continue this genocidal war for the same reason that he's going to continue the hybrid war against Iran; as journalist Ahmed Abdulkareem has written, Biden's team is going into Yemen with all the same assumptions that Trump's team applied to it:

Yemeni politicians have called on Biden to change how the White House views the conflict and to stop treating it as a proxy war with Iran over influence. Unfortunately, it has been reduced down to that binary argument, with U.S. officials on both sides of the aisle blaming the entire affair on Iran, reductively claiming that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, and framing the entire conflict in an Iran-centric geopolitical context"--"-and not the true context of foreign aggression and a battle to control the strategic areas and some of the region's most lucrative untapped oil and gas reserves"Continued pressure on Yemen will inevitably force the Houthis to lean more heavily into their relationships with Iran, Russia, and China, all perceived enemies of the United States, as they indeed have done under the Trump presidency.

And since Iran, Russia, and China are all unquestioningly treated as enemies by both sides of the U.S. partisan aisle, this dynamic will solidify the narrative that the Houthis are nothing more than villains. Washington has created a self-reinforcing feedback loop of geopolitical escalations, both for mideastern proxy conflicts and for an arms race with nuclear superpowers. Using lies like the ones Pompeo just told as a rationale, the Biden White House is going to carry out a vast series of atrocities, ones befitting of an imperialist beast in the waning days of its global hegemony.

Since expansion isn't very realistic, the main goal of the U.S. empire right now is consolidation. While it will further its military buildup and economic warfare against Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, and the DPRK during the Biden years, it's not in a position to achieve regime change in any of these countries, nor to prevent China's economic rise. So it's going to lean into the territories that it can still reliably exploit, or that it can inflict serious damage upon. For the populations caught within the proxy wars that Washington and its attack dogs are waging, this is going to mean even more mass starvation, violence, and displacement while the imperialists build makeshift colonies on top of the bloody chaos.

This is what the Yemenis have already been experiencing. As Trump has starved them with sanctions, and as Saudi Arabia has manufacturedan oil crisis to further destroy their economy, Washington's colonial extension Israel has been swooping in to further its own settler-colonial expansionist goals.

While the Houthi authorities grow ever more concerned about Israel's ambitions to gain control over the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Israel has been seeking a permanent footprint inside Yemen. It hopes to replace the original inhabitants of Yemen's islands with Israeli settlers in a manner similar to how Israel has colonized so much of Palestine, one of the transgressions from Israel which prompted the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces to warn in October that "Yemen has long been at the main target of US-Israeli plots and the ongoing onslaught clearly proves this. The Armed Forces call upon Yemenis from all walks of life to raise their awareness about the real intentions of foreigners. Our struggle is nothing but a fateful battle for liberation and independence."

These operations to destroy the infrastructure, food distribution networks, and homes of Yemenis reflect how colonial powers have traditionally expanded themselves: wage genocidal war against the indigenous population so that the settlers can take the land from demoralized and weakened nations. Israel-and the U.S. by extension-is using this opportunity to build additional colonies because this is a way to help advance Zionism's end goal for the region. This end goal is the "Greater Israel" plan, wherein Israel becomes an imperialist power throughout southeast Asia and therefore effectively conquers many of the countries surrounding it. Part of this naturally entails setting up Israeli settler-colonies far outside of even the furthest places where Israel has established colonies within Palestine.

Such a vision would require the destabilization of huge chunks of the region. This is why Israel has lately been working to build upon every part of Washington's warfare efforts; it's been taking aggressive actions which range from bombing Syria in an unusually deadly capacity, to supporting a color revolution effort in Lebanon with the goal of politically defeating Hezbollah within the country, to assisting Washington in aiding the terrorist groups which help with the imperialist subversion efforts in Syria and Yemen, to assassinating Iranian scientists.

Israel is a wannabe imperialist power that wants to control far more than its little strip of land, but that won't realize its "Greater Israel" plan because of how increasingly ineffectual Washington is at carrying out regime change in the region. If the Zionists can't overthrow the governments of Iran and Syria, or replace Lebanon's Hezbollah government with a pro-Israel technocracy, intensifying the genocide against the Yemenis and carving out a sphere of influence in Yemen is what they'll lean onto more in the coming years.

Such are the growing limitations of Zionism in the 21st century, and of the other global facets of the declining U.S. empire. The Biden administration will no doubt try to use Pompeo's fortifications of the "Uyghur genocide" narrative to further Washington's project to create an Islamic jihadist breakaway state in Xinjiang (the plan for which is appropriately modeled after Zionism). But if China's deradicalization program has been able to stop any further Uyghur extremist terror attacks within Xinjiang for these last couple years, the empire's endgame for Xinjiang won't come into being anymore than the "Greater Israel" idea will. Biden will also no doubt work to intensify the proxy war that Washington's fascist puppet regime in Ukraine is waging against Russia, but by all indications Russia will win this war.

Similar limitations face the empire in its regime change plans for Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, the DPRK, and other places. Washington so far hasn't even succeeded at achieving regime change in Thailand, which is one of the many countries that's making China's Belt and Road Initiative into a force to rival Western neo-colonialism. The empire's capacity for redrawing the geopolitical landscape is now so limited that the main thing it can accomplish is create little crevices in Yemen for Zionism to expand into, which are being won at the cost of inflaming further militant Houthi resistance against U.S./Israeli designs for the region.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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