Source: U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Patrick Reilly.,
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

U.S. imperialism has bombed Yemen several times this month, in retaliation for the Houthis’ attacks on ships in the Red Sea. U.S. President Joe Biden has also promised “sustained” military action against the Houthis to protect the “free movement of goods”. American imperialism’s sidekick, British imperialism, also tagged along. And as the press keeps boasting, Canada is involved too.

But the devil is in the details: how exactly has Canada been involved? Defence Minister Bill Blair and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly explain: “Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed with U.S. Central Command supported the precisely targeted strikes undertaken yesterday by the armed forces of the United States and United Kingdom.”

This is vague. So how did Canada support the strikes? Turns out, the extent of Canada’s involvement was two planners and one intelligence analyst! So Canada gets to send a few cheerleaders while the big boys handle things. This is like when you’re playing a video game and you give your little brother a turned-off controller so he feels included.

But Canada has done one thing: it has talked. Talk is cheap, so this is more within Canada’s capabilities. The Canadian government has mirrored all the main statements of its big brother, the U.S. Just like U.S. National Security Coordinator John Kirby, the Canadian government called the strikes “consequences” for Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Canada is considering following the U.S. by designating the Houthis a terrorist organization. The government also matched the U.S. in hypocrisy: it claimed the operation was meant to “advance sustainable peace and security in the region”. This is disgusting coming from the same Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly that just reaffirmed Canada’s support for Israel’s barbaric war on Gaza. 

But Palestinians can rest easy knowing that Joly is “deeply concerned” about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza triggered by the war. The Israeli “Defense” Forces have killed more 25,000 people in Gaza, i.e. more than one in a hundred. Almost 85 per cent of Gazans have been displaced, with over a million crammed into Rafah in South Gaza, which is itself being bombed. Supplies are so scarce that now 500,000 people in Gaza are starving, and the whole population is at “crisis-levels” of hunger. The Canadian government has not lifted a finger to defend the innocent lives in Gaza. Canada hasn’t proven its military might. But it has proven that it can defend atrocities as well as anyone. 

The Houthis themselves captured this well. A Houthi leader, Abdel Malek Al-Ejri, said the Houthis will not strike back against Canadian ships because: “The raids were carried out above all by the U.S. and the U.K. Their allies, including Canada, only played a superficial role.”

The farce goes on. In a statement on the bombing of the Houthis, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Defense Minister Bill Blair even went so far as to imply the bombing was necessary to permit the flow of humanitarian aid. This is the same Joly who, as mentioned, reaffirmed Canada’s support for Israel—the same Israel that is restricting the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza to levels so low that the whole population is at crisis levels of hunger! They have no shame.

Then there’s international law and the “international rules-based order”. After recent events, Justin Trudeau reminded us that Canada is a  “tremendous supporter of the international rules based order.” He has also insisted that the Houthi attacks violate international law, and the imperialists insist that attacking the Houthis is totally legal because it protects the free movement of goods. If we listen to Trudeau, attacking the poorest people in the world is justified—so long as it protects profits.

But this defender of “peace” and “stability” has a problem: South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). As a great defender of the international rules-based order, Justin Trudeau had to give his “wholehearted support” to the ICJ. Yet Canada is a supporter of Israel, and it’s difficult to argue Israel’s offensive isn’t at least “genocidal”. So Trudeau, pathetically, relied on logical tricks. He simply rejected the premise of the case. It seems he is a great student of formal logic… or maybe it’s just that admitting South Africa has a point would just be too hypocritical even for him.

Regardless, all this is rich coming from a government that was quick to brand the Russian invasion of the Ukraine a “genocide” back in 2022, yet now backs Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, and is supporting bombing the Houthis, who have been attacking commercial ships precisely in support of Palestine. The Canadian government’s ability to twist and turn to justify anything (so long as it’s in the interests of themselves and their imperialist big siblings) is truly next-level.

All this is exposing “international law” in the eyes of millions across the world: the imperialists cite it when it suits them, and “reject the premise” when it doesn’t. They’re happy to use it to justify raining bombs on the poorest country in the Middle East. Yet they have not lifted a finger to protect the more than 25,000 people killed or the millions displaced in Gaza—quite the opposite, they’ve actively supported Israel’s genocidal offensive by sending money, guns, and bombs.

But perhaps the most tragic irony is that the strikes on the Houthis will only stoke the flames. The Houthis are battle-hardened. They’ve endured a decade-long civil war against the “internationally recognized” Yemeni government. They’ve endured years of bombing by Saudi Arabia (backed by Canada). They’ve lived through a famine triggered by a vicious blockade. After all this, it’s hard to believe the Houthis would be frightened into submission by a handful of U.S. and British bombs and missiles.

Unsurprisingly, the Houthis continued to attack ships after the recent strikes from American and British jets and ships. They even escalated by firing a missile at an American warship. So the U.S., Britain, and their little brother Canada have poured fuel on the flames in the Middle East, which is already on the brink of a regional war, to achieve essentially nothing.

This is the impasse of the imperialists. Their plans for the Middle East are in tatters. The region is careening toward war. The situation has fuelled the economic crisis in already unstable Middle Eastern countries: the anger in these countries could erupt at any moment. And the imperialists can do absolutely nothing about it. They’ve even lost control of their own reliable ally in the Middle East, Israel. Its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, openly rejects all their proposals for a “peaceful”, “stable” two-state solution.

Imperialism is backed into a corner in the Middle East. This aggression against Yemen is nothing but a desperate maneuver to save face. This was proven by the fact that the imperialists warned the Houthis a few hours in advance of the first strikes. 

All this hypocrisy, all these lies, and all they can do is pour fuel on the flames. The imperialists look like clowns in the eyes of millions across the world. And Canadian imperialism is the biggest clown of all: it gets to sing the praises of U.S. and British imperialism and enjoy all of the guilt—without actually helping them militarily in any way.