…as his Tweets at the bottom will amply demonstrate; his pleasure is only too evident; i.e.: #MaximumPressureWorks. Stir in the Sunni Ruling class v. the Shi’a nations, and Israel as well. The epic hypocrisy is that the US exports Democracy!
‘US brands Yemen’s Houthi rebels “terrorists,” paving way for mass starvation’, Bill Van Auken, wsws.org. Jan. 11 2021 (w/ permission)
“Waving aside warnings by humanitarian organizations that his action threatens mass starvation in Yemen, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that Washington will designate the Houthi rebels, who govern territory containing 70 percent of the Yemeni population, as a “foreign terrorist organization.”
This cynical and potentially catastrophic measure is being taken by the ostensibly “lame-duck” secretary of state as part of an unrelenting “maximum pressure” campaign of punishing economic sanctions and continuous military provocations against Iran.
Washington has sought to portray the Houthi movement, which has existed and ruled over parts of Yemen for generations, as a puppet of Tehran, something the Houthis have continuously denied. Claims of substantial amounts of Iranian aid for the Houthis in the nearly five-year-old war launched against them by Saudi Arabia have never been proven.
As for “terrorism,” the statement refers vaguely to Houthi “cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping.” Pompeo also insisted that one “need not look further” than a December 30 attack launched against the airport in the southern port city of Aden that killed 27 people. The attack, which took place as a Saudi puppet “unity government” landed at the airport, was blamed by Riyadh and Washington on the Houthis, who denied they were responsible. Afterwards, Saudi forces ordered the arrest in connection with the attack of a senior leader of the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC), which, with backing from the United Arab Emirates, repeatedly clashed with Saudi puppet forces over the past two years.
Washington’s branding of the Houthis as terrorists for “cross border attack” and inflicting civilian casualties is the height of hypocrisy given the billions of dollars’ worth of weapons along with logistical aid the US has provided Saudi Arabia as it has waged an unrelenting campaign of bombings that has killed an estimated 100,000 people, most of them civilians.
With basic infrastructure, hospitals and food production deliberately targeted, the war has unleashed the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet. More have starved to death—including 75,000 children under the age of five—than have died from military violence, while at least half the population is facing famine, and the worst cholera epidemic in modern history has infected 1.2 million. On top of this, COVID-19 has begun to spread uncontrollably across Yemen.
For Washington, all of these civilian victims are mere collateral damage in US imperialism’s drive to exert uncontested hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.
While the State Department’s terrorism charges are entirely fabricated, the impact of the US designation will be all too real.
“Yemen’s faltering economy will be dealt a further devastating blow,” Mohamed Abdi, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Sanaa, said, warning that the sanctions imposed together with the “terrorist” designation would “hamstring the ability of aid agencies to respond” to the catastrophic conditions in the country.
Oxfam warned: “The consequences will be felt acutely across a country also hit hard by extreme hunger, cholera and COVID-19, as banks, businesses and humanitarian donors become unwilling or unable to take on the risk of operating in Yemen.”
The terrorist designation constitutes an act of “pure diplomatic vandalism,” said International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband. “After four years of a failed war strategy that has created the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe, the last thing the Yemeni people need is further interruption of aid and economic flows.”
While Pompeo claimed that Washington would issue licenses to allow “certain humanitarian activities” to continue in Houthi-governed territory, the Washington Post reported that the US Treasury Department had opposed the designation on the grounds that the conditions of war in Yemen would make it impossible to effectively issue waivers.
At the same time, top Trump administration officials and advisers, including Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner have made trips to the region.
The latest official dispatched to the Middle East is Anthony Tata, the retired general and Fox News commentator, who was installed as undersecretary of defense for policy, the number three position at the Pentagon, in a post-election purge ordered by Trump. Tata, a notorious fascist and Islamophobe who denounced Obama as a “terrorist leader,” a “Manchurian candidate” and a Muslim, met with Khalid bin Salman, Saudi deputy minister of defense and royal family member along with other Saudi officials on January 7.
According to the Pentagon readout of the discussion, Tata discussed “the U.S.-Saudi defense partnership, particularly in light of the threats by Iran” and praised the “Kingdom’s commitment to share the responsibility for supporting U.S. forces.”
In the remaining portions, he references analysts saying that this antiIranian program is designed to flummox Joe Biden’s reset with Tehran. Biden of course, has already told Tehran that rejoining the JCPOA would mean rewriting portions of it. Tehran so far has said ‘Nix on that!’
SoS Pompeo has also designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in this jaw-dropping agitprop Jan. 11, 2021 press release:
“The State Department has designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists.
The Trump Administration has been focused from the start on denying the Castro regime the resources it uses to oppress its people at home, and countering its malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
With this action, we will once again hold Cuba’s government accountable and send a clear message: the Castro regime must end its support for international terrorism and subversion of U.S. justice.
For decades, the Cuban government has fed, housed, and provided medical care for murderers, bombmakers, and hijackers, while many Cubans go hungry, homeless, and without basic medicine. Members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, traveled to Havana to conduct peace talks with the Colombian government in 2017. Citing peace negotiation protocols, Cuba has refused Colombia’s requests to extradite ten ELN leaders living in Havana after the group claimed responsibility for the January 2019 bombing of a Bogota police academy that killed 22 people and injured more than 87 others.
Cuba also harbors several U.S. fugitives from justice wanted on or convicted of charges of political violence, many of whom have resided in Cuba for decades. For example, the Cuban regime has refused to return Joanne Chesimard, on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List for executing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973; Ishmael LaBeet, convicted of killing eight people in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1972; Charles Lee Hill, charged with killing New Mexico state policeman Robert Rosenbloom in 1971; and others.
Cuba returns to the SST list following its broken commitment to stop supporting terrorism as a condition of its removal by the previous administration in 2015. On May 13, 2020, the State Department notified Congress that it had certified Cuba under Section 40A(a) of the Arms Export Control Act as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. counterterrorism efforts in 2019.
In addition to the support for international terrorism that is the basis for today’s action, the Cuban regime engages in a range of malign behavior across the region. The Cuban intelligence and security apparatus has infiltrated Venezuela’s security and military forces, assisting Nicholas Maduro to maintain his stranglehold over his people while allowing terrorist organizations to operate. The Cuban government’s support for FARC dissidents and the ELN continues beyond Cuba’s borders as well, and the regime’s support of Maduro has created a permissive environment for international terrorists to live and thrive within Venezuela.
Today’s designation subjects Cuba to sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba, restricts U.S. foreign assistance, bans defense exports and sales, and imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items.
The United States will continue to support the Cuban people in their desire for a democratic government and respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, expression, and association. Until these rights and freedoms are respected, we will continue to hold the regime accountable.”
These are part of the burgeoning designations that cause most of the people on the planets believe the US Empire is the largest single exporter of violence and terrorism in the world. And it didn’t start under Trump and Pompeo, did it?
As to Joe Biden’s call to create a new Domestic Terrorism law post-Capitol ‘insurrection’? No, Chuck; it wasn’t Pearl Harbor, nor Kristallnicht as others claimed? You may want to take a gander at:
‘The MAGA Terrorism Trap; In the wake of the Capitol attack, Joe Biden proposed a new domestic terror law. But you’d be surprised who’s most likely to get caught in its net’, melsmagazine.com, Jan. 13, 2021
Jan 12 When the regime killed Iranians in the streets, protesters sent us the proof and we broadcast it for the world to see. We sanctioned their murderers, jailers, and the corrupt judges in their fake courts.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)