Monday, December 28, 2009

Obama's other big war

Look at this headline in the New York Times: " U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion." Do you need to read any further? The headline simply and briefly provided you with a justification for the Obama war in Yemen. As if the issue of Al-Qa`idah summarizes the complex issues of the Yemeni conflicts--in the plural for sure. Absent from this is the major issue: the failed and corrupt and oppressive rule of `Ali `Abdullah Salih. And then this: " In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen. A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country, according a former top agency official. At the same time, some of the most secretive Special Operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics, senior military officers said. The Pentagon is spending more than $70 million over the next 18 months, and using teams of Special Forces, to train and equip Yemeni military, Interior Ministry and coast guard forces, more than doubling previous military aid levels." Nowhere does it say that many of the conflicts in Yemen, like the Huthi rebellion and the Southern separatist movement have nothing to do with Al-Qa`idah. And the US is involved in the Yemeni wars not only against Al-Qa`idah. Patraeus admitted to Al-Arabiyya that the US navy is imposing a blockade to prevent Huthi rebels from importing weapons. That is not about Al-Qa`idah either.