HomeArticleMeditations On Yemen

Meditations On Yemen

We don’t like to talk about Yemen. We don’t like to think about Yemen.

Yemen is the elephant in the room.

Yemen is the black eye on a child that everyone at church pretends to believe is from falling down the stairs again to avoid an uncomfortable confrontation.

Yemen is the incestuous molestation everyone knows has been happening but they just keep eating their Thanksgiving dinner and making small talk.

The mass atrocity that is happening in Yemen is the worst thing that is happening in our world, and it isn’t even close.

It is worse than anything the mass media ever talk about.

It is worse than Donald Trump’s rude tweets.

It is worse than immigrant kids in cages.

It is worse than racism and police brutality.

It is worse than anything that is being done by governments that Washington doesn’t like.

It is probably worse than even your most paranoid and far-fetched theory about the evil things powerful elites might be doing behind veils of government secrecy.

And they’re doing it right out in the open.

Untold hundreds of thousands already dead since 2015, with millions displaced and suffering due to blockades, disease, and military violence.

All this death and suffering is entirely man-made, and it is entirely the fault of the US-centralized power alliance.

The horrors in Yemen, which are being spearheaded by a Saudi-led coalition, would not be happening without the express approval and support of the US and its tight empire-like network of allies. A consensus in Washington could force a Saudi withdrawal and an end to the war and the blockades immediately.

This isn’t a mass atrocity that requires an intervention. All that’s required is the cessation of intervention, from the US-centralized power alliance.

But it does not cease. And I’ve been tripping harder and harder the last few days on how insane and immoral it is that we’re not talking about that constantly.

It’s hard to get a subject trending when it isn’t happening in New York City and doesn’t directly involve a Clinton or a Kardashian. But there’s really no more urgent injustice in the world right now.

Yemen cries out. We try not to look at it, but it cries out.

Yemen is there when we are silent, no matter how hard we try not to look at it, no matter how much we dissociate and compartmentalize away from it.

Yemen is there in those still moments when we are undistracted.

Yemen is on the backs of our eyelids when we close our eyes.

We’ve all seen the pictures. Those tortured, impossibly thin bodies. I don’t need to show them to you again. You’re seeing them right now in your mind’s eye.

It is weird that we don’t talk about that more, that we don’t think about that more.

The correct response to the US government and its allies when they make accusations against a nation they don’t like is “Yemen”.

The correct response to the mass media when they’re babbling about irrelevant nonsense is “Yemen”.

Year after year this has been going on, and because it’s far away we’ve been able to look elsewhere and not think about the horrors that our governments have been permitting and facilitating. So we’ve done so. We gain nothing from looking. That hell on earth needn’t trouble us if we don’t look.

But we’ve got to. We’ve got to look. We lose more and more of our humanity every day that goes by when we don’t.

Yemen cries out.

Look at it. Look, and don’t turn away.

Force the eyes of the world open.

Force an end to this hell on earth.

_______________________________

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Latest comments

  • Great, powerful writing, Caitlin! Yes, Yemen. I published a comprehensive article on the war – the genocide and ecocide – a couple of years ago (and it’s still going on!) in the Peace Press of the N CA Peace & Justice Center that I regularly write for – also one on the fake chemical attacks in Syria that the White Helmets blamed on Assad, and a number of suggestions for protests and political and environmental actions. All free of charge to read at Patreon.com/BarryBarnett and pjcsoco.org/peacepress. Feedback welcome. I love your writing. I also have poetry, political fantasy stories and much humor and satire on my FREE website (donations welcome, of course, but no pressure – mainly want to get my ideas out there. Thank you for your great writing and coverage!

  • Ummm……..Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq……I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN.

  • What will it take for this to stop?
    Will we come to realize that we cannot inflict death upon one another?
    Will we realize that we cannot ‘explain away’ the evils that have been done in our names?
    What will it take?
    Seriously,
    When will we admit to ourselves that we are the same?
    That what we do to one another will come home to us as well?
    What will it take?
    When will we see this truth?
    When will we finally make peace with ourselves?

  • “We don’t like to talk about Yemen. We don’t like to think about Yemen…The mass atrocity that is happening in Yemen is the worst thing that is happening in our world… We try not to look at it, but it cries out.”
    .
    Looking at unpleasant things has never been a strong point of human beings. Especially for those in “Empires”.
    .
    But in our age today, one’s personal preference to not see certain things will be rendered moot. There will be many unpleasant things emerging in the coming days and these things will be right in front of our faces and in our cities and towns and we will not be able to ignore them. We might be able to ignore things going on half-a-planet away that media keep hidden, but we will not be able to ignore the bitter harvest coming our way.
    .
    There is a personal karma, and there is a collective karma. And both of these things eventually have their way with us. Most of humanity does not believe in karma because if they did, they would NEVER do many of the things they do or conduct their lives as they do.
    .
    People today talk about “The Great Reset”, a reordering of our lives after things being torn apart by reactions to a virus. There will be a reset, but not one worthy of the name Great. The true Great Reset is coming for each of us when we are forced to look at who we are and what’s we’ve done and what we haven’t done and who we’ve hurt and how we haven’t helped those in need in our life path. And when that day comes, there is no looking or turning away.

    • Your last two sentences are worthy of any shaman, roundball or otherwise.

  • For me, it always comes back to trying to identify the problems clearly.
    `
    Most of us have been conditioned (brainwashed,) from a very young age, to believe what we see and hear in the media, to believe in and trust the institutions, agencies, organizations and professionals that are running things. After all, we have been told over and over, for all those years, that our countries are good and honorable, that our leaders are good and honorable. We have not only been told this by the media, but by (most of) our teachers, our families, our coworkers and our friends. All of our lives
    `
    To survive in this society, we have been literally forced to believe that we were part of something good. And yet . . . we have also been conditioned to hate and treat each other with a lack of respect and dignity, to think that we are better than the “other” based on the most flimsy of reasons. Color of skin? In some areas even the shade of darkness? Height? Weight? Religion? Ethnicity? Sexual orientation? Class stature? . . ..
    `
    Those are not reasons to hate! Those are not the problems!

    1. We have a global crime syndicate in control of much (all?) of the world’s governments.
    2. They use the media to propagandize people keeping us divided, distracted, confused and isolated.
    3. They bribe, blackmail, arrest, scare, threaten, kill, torture, target and harass people into submission.
    4. They’ve been successful at dividing, confusing and isolating people making it hard to come together on possible solutions.
    5.They commit genocide and crimes against humanity all over the planet.
    6. The last thing the robber barons want are solutions that work for everyone. And they will do anything to stop them.

    I do believe we are breaking this conditioning. It’s hard, I know. I have trouble with controlling my (conditioned) reactions at times, but I’m trying to develop strategies to recognize my triggers and head them off. I absolutely believe there are solutions. More and more, people are seeing that we are in this together. That by treating all people with dignity and respect, compassion and forgiveness. We are treating ourselves with those very same values.
    Love. Peace.

  • Dear Caitlin,

    Unable to find an email address to send you the poem and the photo that inspired it about the atrocities occurring in Yemen.

    Please email me at sehoganan@gmail.com and I’ll send them to you.

    Best,

    S.A. Hogan, horror/thriller author

  • “It is not “can any of us imagine better?” but, “can we all do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
    — Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, Dec 1, 1862.
    The words of the man who led a tiny, radical, third party to overcome the two party system and seize the Presidency and a majority on both houses of Congress all based on the radical principles that slavery was immoral and must be ended.
    “We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

  • There is something pathetic when looking at some of the most powerful countries in the world: the United States, Great Britain, and France plotting with Saudi Arabia’s criminal regime to destroy the Houthis’ resistance movement in Yemen. In the last few weeks, hundreds of airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in and around Hodeidah have endangered the lives of 150,000 children. These coalition actions violate basic humanitarian rules and the rule of law. The War in Yemen is a massacre, and it is the responsibility of the international community to uphold justice in the face of such tragedy. This article can be read here:
    The War In Yemen Is Not A War, It Is A Massacre
    https://iranian.com/2018/11/27/the-war-in-yemen-is-not-a-war-it-is-a-massacre/

  • Yemen is the exact illustration of what will happen to any nation that the U.S. war machine responds to, when thwarted in its attempts to steal that country’s resources, or if it is at odds with even the most hideous regime in other countries we support for our own interest.
    Hell, it is a microcosm of where the U.S., itself, is headed. all you have to do is look at the slipshod, uncaring response to COVID-19 here in the States. the psychopaths at the top, by definition, don’t care about anyone or anything except themselves.

  • Meditations on Yemen by Americans.

    Where is it.
    What is it.

    Is Houthi a red or a white wine.

    I wish you could say it ain’t so. I really do..

  • Lets get real. Yemen is one of the hellholes of the world along with Somolia and a couple others. We would not even know it existed if not for the internet. It never even crosses my mind. What does cross my mind is that the US is so obsessed with control that they venture into these hellholes in an effort to control everything. At least in afganistan the CIA wants the poppy trade, that is a reason, but Yemen and Somolia, give me a break.

    • Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. It includes relatively fertile land, and has a strategic location, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. There is no reason it has to be a hellhole, except for foreign interference (soviet/us during the cold war, saudi-us more recently). Historically, Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. It was an important node in the spice route, and was the source of spices like frankincense and myrrh. Several prosperous kindoms have arisen on Yemen’s soil. The Romans called it Felix Arabia (Happy Arabia), as did the Greeks (only they said it in Greek). The port of Aden occupies an ideal position and has been established since ancient times. According to local legend, it is as old as human history itself. Another legend has it that Cain and Abel are buried somewhere in the city. I also read somewhere that some claim Aden is the original Eden. Historians today agree that the biblical Queen of Sheba was from Yemen, even though they don’t agree she really existed.
      .
      I first became aware of Yemen when I watched a documentary on TV probably 30 years ago or more. They have ancient multi-story skyscrapers built of mud, with a unique architectural style. I was fascinated from the first time I saw them.
      .
      Somalia, also borders the Gulf of Aden. It has a rich cultural heritage. During the Clinton presidency, just before the US intervention, I remember a Somali woman being interviewed on TV. I can’t remember her exact words, but basically she was saying that the Somali’s were a proud people with a long history, and that they didn’t need foreigners to govern them, they could do it for themselves. Yet another country trashed by ham-fisted Europeans.
      .
      My understanding is that the US got drawn into the war in Yemen gradually. Roughly 10 years ago, I was reading about border clashes with Saudi Arabia, which gradually drew the Saudis into a full-blown war. I think in the end it became a point of personal pride for MBS. The US just got drawn into it by inertia as much as anything. Of course, the US could stop it at any point, but remember the US and the Saudis have a long-standing agreement to protect the petro-dollar.
      .
      Not sure why the US got involved in Somalia. It seems to be an on again/off again affair. Like Yemen, Somalia is in a strategic location on the Horn of Africa (major shipping lane). I think one of the dynamics was that the Islamic courts, which grew up after the collapse of the central government, and which had wide public support, were setting an example of non-western alternative style of governance, at the point where the US was becoming obsessed by muslim terrorists, so they just got lumped in with all the other enemies.

  • It is very difficult to consider a ” spy ” a hero, but this article does that by explaining the murderous intentions of the United States government after World War II. This enlightening article can be read here:
    Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War, MAD – and the 75 years of no nuclear war – that their efforts gifted us by Dave LIndorff
    https://thiscantbehappening.net/rethinking-manhattan-project-spies-and-the-cold-war-mad-and-the-75-years-of-no-nuclear-war-that-their-efforts-gifted-us/

    • Thanks for the link, Ron. I have little doubt that Lindorff is right. And although it’s likely put me on some sort of watch list, I will continue to publicly thank Putin & Co. for upgrading Russia’s nuclear weapons so as to continue indefinitely the MAD stalemate, and also for intervening in Syria, at Syrian request, to at least temporarily obstruct our criminally insane warpath in the Middle East.

      • Yes, ditto on both!

        • Gentlemen, you can rest assured that everyone who posts here on Ms Johnstone’s excellent website is on a lot of lists and watched constantly. I abhor any kind of violence so I am just considered a ” justice pest ” rooting for the little guy.

  • Caitlin, you meditate? me too 🙂

  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/21/who-are-the-houthis-fighting-the-saudi-led-coalition-in-yemen (Nov. 21, 2018)

    Some Highlights of this Article:

    Goals in Yemen’s civil war

    The Houthis’ slogan, known as the sarkha, or scream, is “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse on the Jews, victory to Islam.” Apart from the resistance narrative, the Houthis have no stated political or governance goals for Yemen…

    Relationship with Iran

    Both Hezbollah and Iran have increased their provision of guns, missiles, military training and funds for the Houthi war effort since 2014, happy to see their Saudi enemies expend soldiers and money on the Yemeni stalemate.

    Prospect of peace talks

    The main issue will be the fate of Hodeidah, a significant source of revenue for the Houthis and arguably their most important asset. The UN wants both parties to agree to place it under UN jurisdiction, which it says is the only way to alleviate Yemen’s cholera and malnutrition crises. (end of recitations)

    There we go… if we all simply elect the Globalist New World Order (UN) to take charge of everything this curse on the land(s) will magically disappear. As we all know, the UN and its occupying forces has forever remained totally free of corruption.

  • Warfare in Yemen is tribal , religious, and perpetual , and none of our business !

  • A very moving column. Thank you. A great thinker once spoke about how a little child in Asia (Vietnam) feared America. It is hard to bear but that is what we are becoming more and more – feared by children everywhere.

  • The worst part about Yemen is the U.S. imposed blockade. Before the war, Yemen imported 90% of its food, and the basic U.S./Saudi strategy has been to starve Yemen into surrender. It has similarities to the Iraq blockade of the 1990’s, or the blockade of Gaza. If something isn’t on the T.V. screens in a dramatic way, it didn’t happen.

  • I fear that we have reached a point where evil is the natural order of things. We see so much of it, we become inoculated against it. If one were to dwell upon it, insanity would soon ensue. There is a reason why the increase in suicide over last year is greater than the wildly exaggerated fact free death count from Covid-19. One can only absorb so much horror.

    • I feel much the same way, JWK, yet force myself to believe that somehow, some way, we will stop the Yemens by uncovering and facing up to what is in us–especially, it seems, in groups of us–that causes or enables the endless atrocities…and, for the first time since we crawled down from the trees, learn how to deal with THAT, how to exorcise it once and for all. I concede that this belief in the spiritual progress of humankind involves, as Albert Schweitzer put it, an act of heroism (minus the egotism). But I’m convinced that nothing new can happen until we make, together, this existential move. Caitlin would no doubt put it differently, but this is what her blog, at least to me, is all about, what sets it apart from others which, also admirably, make us stare at evils we’d rather not focus on.

  • Saudi feels a pressing geopolitical need to move south. Yemen in the way. Soon be gone. Watch it happen.

  • Palestine.

  • I have seen the date 2015 used many times but I still do not understand it.
    Obama and Saudi Arabia were murdering people in Yemen at least as early as 2009.
    .
    Even before the targets in Yemen had been “legally” designated as
    a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
    dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
    “al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)”.
    .
    The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
    with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
    .
    An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
    Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
    Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
    from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
    Prize.
    .
    ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
    the escalation in the War on Terror.
    .
    The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
    of a war crime.
    .
    Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
    She attempted to cover her butt by backdating a memo. Backdating itself is
    a crime, particularly in the context of hiding a war crime.
    .
    The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
    is not official nor “legal” until it is published in the Federal Register.
    An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    had done the paperwork.
    .
    The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
    Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
    December 14, 2009, in a vain attempt to cover her butt.
    .
    Obama’s acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
    .
    Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama’s coverup saying it was their
    own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
    .
    Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
    honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
    and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
    .
    Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
    .
    “Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
    still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
    few coins she has to send that child to school — because she
    believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child’s
    dreams.
    .
    Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
    always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
    intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
    we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
    We can do that — for that is the story of human progress; that’s the
    .
    hope
    .
    of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
    that must be our work here on Earth.
    .
    Thank you very much.
    (Applause.)
    .
    One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
    and covered it up.
    .
    Here is ABC’s Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama’s attack:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs
    .

    ps.
    I am pleasantly surprised to find that the ABC video is still available at YouTube, and it can be discovered byboth DuckDuckGo and Google. One curious thing though, the “Views” counter rarely changes at Youtube. It stands at 2434 views. Is an algorithm throttling down the counter? Perhaps it just needs a nudge.

  • Thank you for this, Caitlin. Well said and much needed. Hurts like an ulcer.

  • I have seen the date 2015 used many times but I still do not understand it. Obama and Saudi Arabia were murdering people in Yemen at least as early as 2009.
    .
    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/25/how-to-inoculate-yourself-from-establishment-bullshit/

    Even before the targets in Yemen had been “legally” designated as
    a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
    dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
    “al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)”.
    .
    The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
    with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
    .
    An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
    Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
    Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
    from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
    Prize.
    .
    ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
    the escalation in the War on Terror.
    .
    The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
    of a war crime.
    .
    Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
    Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
    .
    The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
    is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
    An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    had done the paperwork to make the killing legal.
    .
    The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
    Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
    December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
    .
    Obama’s acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
    .
    Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama’s coverup saying it was their
    own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
    .
    Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
    honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
    and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
    .
    Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
    .
    “Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
    still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
    few coins she has to send that child to school — because she
    believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child’s
    dreams.
    .
    Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
    always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
    intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
    we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
    We can do that — for that is the story of human progress; that’s the
    .
    hope
    .
    of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
    that must be our work here on Earth.
    .
    Thank you very much.
    (Applause.)
    .
    One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
    and covered it up.
    .
    Here is ABC’s Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama’s attack:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHcg3TNSRPs
    .
    Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2010/12/wikileaks-cable-corroborates-evidence-us-airstrikes-yemen/
    .
    Actual cable at Wikileaks:
    https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10SANAA4_a.html
    .
    More at ABC [12/18/2009]:
    https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
    .
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190624203826/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
    .
    https://web.archive.org/web/20190725171012/https://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/cruise-missiles-strike-yemen/story?id=9375236
    .
    ps.
    I am pleasantly surprised to find that the ABC video is still available at YouTube, and it can be discovered by both DuckDuckGo and Google. One curious thing though, I have never seen the “Views” counter change much at all at Youtube. I wonder if an algorithm is throttling the counter down. It stands at 2434 views. Perhaps it just needs a nudge.

  • Ms Johnstone ” we ” are not supposed to talk about ” shithole countries ” where are arms dealers are raking in the big profits. Money is being made so everything else is just put aside. Bleeding hearts and troubled souls is not what we are ever about. Next thing you will probably do is list the companies and their paid for congressional lackeys for some kind of boycott. We are in the business of killing people; it pays big money!

  • i once wrote the US cannot defeat any nation that does not have an air force.
    Proof? Viet-nam. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, et al. The next one is Yemen. We will lose there.
    Along the way toward losing we will kill a million kids, mommies and grannies, because they are so evil in the eyes of our politicians.
    Even and especially the Dumbercraps…i only wish one wish: that every politician in DC instantly became a clone of Barbara Lee or Cynthia McKinney…and now AOC and the Squad. It’s a nice trend–led by las femmes.. but meanwhile, we are the world’s #1 mass murderer, not the CoViD-19 virus.
    we are.

    • And along the way, the arms dealer branch of the global, robber baron, crime syndicate will make billions for their war crimes. And billions of people, unaware that they’ve become part of this flim flam, will sleep, snuggly, in blissful, self satisfied ignorance. For now.

  • Interestng that the US demonises China, Russia, Venezeula, etc. yet is friends and ally with the princes of Saudi Arabia, the worst head choppers and human rights offenders in the Middle East.

  • Thank you, Caitlin, for addressing this horror of American Imperialism. I’ve only followed you for a few months, but this seems to be the first time you’ve addressed Yemen and I’m really glad that you have done so.

    I know you have a significant following and this crime against humanity needs as much shouting from the ramparts as possible.

    BTW, your “narrative matrix” framework has been invaluable to me for critical analysis. Anyone who thinks they are doing serious criticism of politics, economics, sociology, psychology, and a host of other fields, needs to include the frame of the narrative matrix in their thinking and analysis.

    It’s very illuminating.

  • Wow what a powerful article on Yemen. Yes you are absolutely correct very few people are talking about it. Ryan Dawson of ANC reports spoke about it for quite a bit and what was really going on there and had the most common sense take on the subject.

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