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Brecht Jonkers examines the potential consequences of European involvement in the US-Zionist military strategy in the Red Sea, highlighting the irrationality and self-destructive nature of such a decision for Europe.

Aside from being a morally corrupt decision, any European involvement with the US-Zionist plan to go to war over the shipping lanes in the Red Sea would be simply irrational and detrimental to the interests of Europe itself.

The United States has basically gone to war against Yemen for the sake of Israel’s economic survival. This makes sense from a purely strategic and economic point of view. The US and Israel are two heads of the neoliberal, imperialist hydra, after all. Their global interests are intertwined.

Of course, this means that since recently, any and all US shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden has become fair game for Yemeni retaliation strikes. But let’s take a look at the map here. The US, still being a global economic powerhouse for the time being, has the good fortune of being located smack-dab in the middle between Europe and Asia, far removed from either by massive oceans.

Their import and export vessels can chart the Atlantic towards Europe and the Pacific directly to the high-tech industries and assembly plants of Asia. US shipping doesn’t need to pass any bottlenecks or chokepoints like the Suez Canal in order to reach the most important markets. According to Forbes, in 2020 less than half of all US imports even came by ship, with 26% of all imports coming from Canada or Mexico. While 19% of US imports came directly from China, most of these came by ship directly to the West Coast or by plane, neither of which needed the Suez Canal.

The United States, by and large, does not need the Suez Canal, and the risk of US transport shipping being hit by Yemeni forces is minimal. The US is in this war for the sake of Israel, with relatively low risk to its own economy.

Now let’s compare that to the trade route map of Europe. The European Union only has four major feasible trade routes outside of the direct connection across the Atlantic to America: the renewed Silk Roads, which have been reconnected by railroad, the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic, the Cape Route all around Africa, or the Suez Canal route.

The European Union relies massively on Asia, particularly on China, for its industrial and technological imports. According to Reuters, at least 23% of all EU imports come from Asia, and this percentage comes almost exclusively through the Suez Canal. It’s a vital choke point for the EU economy, and can make or break the economy of the Union.

Europe, like it or not, is but the westernmost appendix of the supercontinent of Eurasia — connected to Asia by a vast landmass, and geographically inextricably linked to the Far East. Whereas American states can sail the high seas straight to Asia just like Columbus initially planned on doing from Spain, no such luck is given to the Old World. European merchants can go by land straight through Central Asia, or by one of only a handful of possible sea routes. Of the latter, the Suez Canal is by far the most used and most practical option.

Now, at this point there is nothing to worry about, regardless of what the panicked screams of the mainstream media will try to tell us. At this moment, Yemen targets only four kinds of ships in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden:

  • Israeli ships
  • Ships bound for or coming from Israel
  • US ships (only since the US started attacking Yemen)
  • British ships (only since the UK started attacking Yemen)

European ships that don’t supply Israel are completely safe, even if companies decide to reroute their ships through different detours in unnecessary “precautions” that only serve to further increase prices on the European markets.

This will change, however, if EU countries decide to join the US war on Yemen. This would be suicidal, an act of complete inane gung-ho imperialism that would not only kill people in Yemen but also destroy Europe’s economy. And all that just for the sake of Washington and Tel Aviv.

As Yemeni diplomat Abdul-Malik al-Ajri said recently: “America does not care if your interests are harmed, as most of its exports pass through the Atlantic Ocean.”

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Brecht Jonkers

Brecht Jonkers is a historian and geopolitical analyst from Belgium.

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