Red Yemen: From Socialist State to Bombed-Out Neoliberal Ruin

The Saudis, backed by the Americans, have been waging a war against Yemen since 2015, causing massive civilian casualties as well as famine and a cholera epidemic. How did Yemen get here? Yemen’s modern history is fascinating and overlooked, and few are aware of the Marxist republic that existed in South Yemen from 1967 to 1990.

To help place recent events in their historical context, Rania Khalek was joined by Helen Lackner, a research associate at SOAS, visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the author of several books, including, “Yemen in Crisis: The Road to War.” And she has a forthcoming book “Yemen: Poverty & Conflict” (Routledge).

0:00 Intro
1:43 Yemen’s socialist past
7:25 Why did socialism emerge only in South Yemen and the aggressive regional reaction to it
9:49 Why was Yemen divided into two states until 1990?
16:35 The US crushed Yemen for voting against the 1991 Iraq war
20:02 Disastrous impact of structural adjustment policies on Yemen in the 1990s
23:30 The role of so-called Afghan Arabs in Yemen in the 90s
25:42 What kind of regional and international aggression did socialist Yemen face?
27:28 Who are the Houthis and what do they want?
33:15 How Ali Abdullah Saleh used the “war on terror” and Wahhabis against the Houthis
39:25 Why is Saudi Arabia fighting a war on Yemen, who is fighting who, why and what is the US role?
47:33 What is Yemen’s geostrategic importance?
50:55 Is it true that growing Qat, the narcotic many Yemenis chew, has depleted the country’s water supply and damaged its agriculture?
54:52 The war on Yemen under Biden vs Trump
59:52 Why does the war on Yemen get so little attention?
1:01:44 What piqued Helen Lackner’s interest in Yemen?

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