Labor has backed the savage attack on at least 60 targets in 16 locations around Yemen by the US and Britain.
Aerial bombardments took place in the capital Sanaa, the Houthi Red Sea port of Hudaydah, Dhamar and the north-western city of Saada.
The bombing was a response to harassment of shipping connected to Israel by Houthi forces in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the narrow waterway at the entrance to the Red Sea which commands the route to the Suez Canal.
A Houthi official responded defiantly, “Do the American, British and Zionists expect that any aggressive act against Yemen will distract us from defending Gaza?
“We swear, even if we turned into atoms scattered in the air, we will not leave Gaza. We will continue to target Zionist ships and those going to the Zionist entity [Israel].”
Australia was one of ten countries to participate in the attack. Australian personnel were likely to have been involved in Bahrain at the joint maritime task force headquarters.
And Anthony Albanese gave political cover for the offensive when he signed a joint statement sponsored by the US that threatened the Houthis.
The Houthis are allied to Iran, which also supports the Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
Greens spokesman David Shoebridge slammed the bombing as an “effective death sentence for thousands of people” who relied on Yemeni ports to receive food and medicine.
Yemen is the 177th poorest country in the world and has been wracked by civil war for a decade. More than 370,000 people have died from fighting or famine, according to the United Nations.
Labor has done nothing to stop the slaughter in Gaza. It has refused to call for a permanent ceasefire, continues to approve weapon exports to Israel and has not backed South Africa’s case against Israel in the International Court of Justice.
But it has sprung into action to defend shipping lanes, putting profits before the lives of people in Palestine, Yemen and Lebanon, which Israel bombs almost daily.
Defence Minister Richard Marles said, “The actions that have been taken today, supported by Australia, are about maintaining freedom of navigation on the high seas.
“They are about maintaining global trade, and that is completely central to Australia’s national interest.”
It’s a message that he will no doubt want China to hear in relation to shipping lanes in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.
The West’s bombing of Yemen puts the lie to any idea that the US is trying to constrain Israel’s savage attack on Gaza.
The US continues to provide the arms for Israel’s butchery and is now threatening regional war to intimidate anyone who provides support to the Palestinians.
The attack on Yemen is yet another reason to be out on the streets for Gaza, building a mass movement against not just Israel but US and Australian imperialism.
By David Glanz