World roundup: March 23 2022
Stories from Yemen, Afghanistan, Colombia, and more
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
The Saudi military says it destroyed two explosives-packed boats launched by Yemeni rebels into the Red Sea on Wednesday. There’s no confirmation of this but the rebels have used this tactic in the past to attack either Saudi ports or Red Sea shipping. Elsewhere, a car bombing in the city of Zinjibar in Yemen’s Abyan province killed at least four people and wounded 12 others. The target appears to have been a convoy carrying the provincial commander for the Southern Transitional Council’s Security Belt militia, who was among the wounded. As far as I know there’s been no claim of responsibility as yet.
Over at his Forever Wars newsletter, Spencer Ackerman explains why Yemen is destined to suffer because of the war in Ukraine:
For as long as we live in the hydrocarbon era, MBS' assessment of the fundamental interests at stake for the U.S. will be correct. Laid against that assessment, the U.S. and European economic response to the Ukraine invasion increases MBS' leverage. Conspicuous in that response have been Biden's exhortations to increase domestic energy production while mumbling something about moving away from fossil fuels in some distant future. That mumbly part is the only way to actually break MBS' power, but too many people with too much influence over the United States' oligarchic political system extract wealth out of the current arrangement.
The invasion of Ukraine, on its own terms, is worth every effort at an urgent diplomatic resolution for its reversal. So too is the immediate end of what Sheline reminds us has killed 400,000 people; pushed 16 million to the precipice of starvation; and is known by Yemenis as the Saudi-American War. The structure of global capitalism during a decadent phase of American hegemony places Yemen on the altar to be sacrificed so the U.S. can decimate the Russian economy. What an alignment of villainy the hydrocarbon era empowers.
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