Revenge of the Renegades of the Red Sea

Revenge of the Renegades of the Red Sea

. 7 min read

[Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 7, 2024, at Exile in Happy Valley].

There is something just absolutely soul crushing about watching a war on live television, especially when all the networks seem to be rooting for the bad guys. However, despite what those jackals on cable news might tell you, what's going on right now in Gaza is not a war, it is a goddamn holocaust and even in an age when forever wars seem to grow on trees, this bloodbath is downright unprecedented in its almost casual cruelty. While the unblinking cameras roll, one of the most powerful modern armies on earth is laying into a glorified concentration camp with the full weight of its hi-tech arsenal while pretending to be the victim because a few sadistic orphans they used to sponsor managed to get in a shot between massacres.

Shall we pour over the grotesque statistics one more time? In less than 3 months, the state of Israel has slaughtered over 22,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including nearly 10,000 children. Another 50,000+ have been wounded and everyone on the ground with a functioning calculator seems to agree that this estimate is likely extremely low. Another 7,000 people are missing, including about 5,000 women and children, most of whom are presumed to be dead or dying, crushed beneath the rubble of a crowded urban graveyard decimated by million-dollar murder machines. 85% of a population of 2.3 million is now homeless with 70% of all homes in Gaza and half of all buildings damaged or destroyed. At least a quarter of this population is now on the brink of famine and infectious disease, with public health experts predicting nearly 500,000 to drop dead where they cower within the next year.

Genocide is the word for this, and we all know it, but we all just sit by every day and watch it happen as if it were some kind of sick new reality TV show about blowing up brown children. It's fucking sickening and the western media's posture of detached objectivity is the worst kind of complicity money can buy. That's because this genocide isn't simply an Israeli genocide, it is an Israeli facilitated proxy genocide and American tax dollars pay for every bomb dropped on another hospital. While the Biden Administration gasps like a soap opera debutante at the deeds of their increasingly unhinged Zionist golem, they hand that sick thing another blank check to keep the bodies rolling. We arm these cannibals with $3.8 billion dollars in aid a year and Genocide Joe still has to circumvent Congress to hand them another $106 million bucks in tank shells so they can shoot orphaned teenage amputees in the ICU.

This is an American holocaust, and we all have blood on our hands now. We can no longer pretend like we don't know but what do we do? What can we do? What can anyone do? The sense of helplessness hangs heavy in the air with the stench of burning corpses like fog. But then, like a flash of lightening in the desert sky, the Houthi rebels appear. A rugged, swashbuckling, renegade militia of bearded brown pirates straight out of some bygone era of guerrilla solidarity and radical chic. It's hard for any self-respecting anti-imperialist not to smirk while these Shia Che Guevaras slice up the Red Sea with AKs and Zodiac boats and finally hold western capital responsible for their crimes by simply taxing their access to the waters off their impoverished shores. 

The Houthi rebels have boldly hijacked Israeli linked cargo ships and scared many more away with a driving steel rain of drone strikes and missile attacks, and the enemy is feeling the pain. 12% of all global trade passes through the Red Sea, which connects the Mediterranean to Asia via the Suez Canal. This includes a whopping 30% of the world's shipping traffic. While the Houthis daring nautical stunts have carefully avoided a single civilian casualty, they have effectively rerouted global trade by forcing freight companies to sail all the way around the Cape of Africa for their imperial plunder, causing two-week delays and raising costs by 15%.

And the beautiful thing about this pirate insurgency is that the west is totally powerless to prevent it. America is rattling its silver saber with Operation Prosperity Guardian, a ten-nation coalition that conspicuously excludes any state actually on the Red Sea, with an armada of 20 warships led by two aircraft carrier battle groups. But what have they achieved? A few downed dinghies and a dozen dead rebs? The Houthis laugh and bark "bring it on!" That's because they know that there is nothing the masters of the universe can do that will save them one dime. Any military action in those waters will only drive business farther away.

For once, the peasants have these fuckers by the balls and the only weapons that Babylon has left at their disposal are your television set and your smartphone. They are working very hard to tell you exactly who they want you to believe these rebels really are and roughly 90% of what they are telling you is pure weapons-grade horseshit. "Iranian proxies! Iranian proxies!" Every time a Shia picks up a gat, you can hear some retired five-star American pigfucker with a merkin toupee squealing "Iranian proxies!" and it's often half-true but not this time. Yemen's Houthi rebels may be Shiites but only technically. The Houthis actually belong to a renegade strain of Shia Islam known as Zaydism which is closer in its fundamental theology to Sunni Islam than it is to the dominate Twelver Shiites of Iran who tend to view the Zaydis as heretics.

The Houthi movement formed in the northern Saada province of what was then North Yemen in the 80s as a broad coalition of tribal groups committed to the revival of Zaydism which had previously ruled the region as an imamate for over a thousand years before the west stepped in with their endless procession of proxy strongmen. One of those strongmen was an ambitious thug named Ali Abdullah Saleh who came to power in 1978 and united Yemen for the first time with his conquest of the communist South in 1990. Saleh didn't take too kindly to the flamboyantly anti-imperialist Houthis who calling him out for being a hired gun for infidel conquistadors, so he violently cracked down on what had originally been a fairly moderate movement with a series of massacres that culminated in the assassination of the Houthi's founder and namesake, a Zaydi religious scholar and former member of parliament named Hussein al-Houthi, in 2004. 

This is when the insurgency really began. Hussein's brother, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, quickly transformed the movement into a formidable militia modeled after Lebanon's Hezbollah and in 2012, on the heels of the Arab Spring, his insurgency exploded into a nationwide popular rebellion. The US and their Saudi henchmen attempted to stop the bleeding by swapping out Saleh for his top general, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, but he didn't last two years before being overthrown in 2014. 

While it is true that the Houthis quite openly take inspiration from Iran's Islamic Revolution and that the Mullahs have frequently stated their moral support for the movement, their influence has been grossly overblown by the western powers who this rag-tag militia have consistently humiliated. The Iranian's actually financed Hadi and begged their Houthi admirers not to overthrow the prick. Even after Tehran's arch enemies in Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen with America's support in 2014 there exists no verifiable proof of any kind of substantial Iranian assistance.

Even the State Department has admitted as much in cables released by Wikileaks, stating that their analysts believed that the lion's share of the Houthis growing arsenal actually came from corrupt officials within Yemen's American-armed Republican Guard who would later collapse and largely join the Houthis after Hadi hit the bricks and sided with the Saudi invaders. The real motivation behind the Houthi's bombastic campaign in the Red Sea is actually a simple thirst for revolutionary justice. 

Much like Gaza, Yemen has been the victim of an atrocious American proxy genocide. After kicking Hadi out, America had their tools in Saudi Arabia cut Yemen off from the outside world with a crippling blockade before financing a seven-year carpet bombing campaign. By the time Washington's Wahhabi puppets finally forfeited in a truce in 2022, 377,000 Yeminis had been slaughtered, the overwhelming majority of them being women and children of Zaydi decent.

What the Houthis are doing in the Red Sea right now is what the Houthis have always done best and it's something that any aspiring enemy of the pigfucker state should steal a chapter from. The Houthis are turning the tables on their cowardly tormentors by flipping the script. They have affectively launched their own counter-blockade against another one of America's proxy states and in the process, they have brilliantly highlighted the fact that the genocide in Gaza is actually just one piece in an international campaign of Washington sponsored terrorism that also includes the genocide in Yemen.

This is what makes the Houthi rebels truly dangerous to empire. It's not their ideology. It's their strategy. A form of decentralized guerrilla solidarity that we could all benefit from. Just think about it; Queer anarchists like yours truly hit the streets demanding to abolish the RICO Act which is used to lynch non-binary Atlanta Forest Defenders and outlaw bikers alike. The Hell's Angels return the favor by trafficking bootleg hormone blockers into states banning their use by minors, selling them to teenage runaways at cut-rate prices using untraceable crypto currencies, empowering hackers to expand the dark web to include humanitarian supplies to besieged polities like Gaza and Yemen, encouraging the decentralization of power among their people which would in turn allow local Queer groups to rise up in solidarity with their conservative Muslim brethren which would in turn encourage conservative Muslims to reproach the third genders that they once coexisted with prior to western colonization.

Local actions directed at a single enemy, provoking a chain reaction of international revolutionary upheaval. I believe that this is what that ghoul Henry Kissinger warned us about with his infamous "Domino Theory" and I do believe that it could still be a beautiful thing.