NY Times: The Covert American War in Yemen
Now Sees Intensified Drone and Fighter Jet Attacks
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the logic of Barack Obama. In the last week he’s variously talked about “headwinds,” “bumps in the road” “nasty challenges,” “rugged terrain” and “blips” upsetting the nation’s “ongoing recovery.” He’s labeled some of those headwinds** as: the crisis in Japan, high oil prices, the impending debt limit crisis and instability in the Middle East. Of course, Mr. Obama gets much of the blame for the high oil prices since he’s taken to banning oil drilling in the Gulf region and virtually everywhere offshore and inland; and he and the Democratic Party get most all the blame for the debt limit crisis since they’ve raised the nation’s debt over $5 Trillion virtually all by themselves; but the big surprise is his comment about instability in the Middle East.
Rather than pouring calming oil on the waters, it seems our Nobel Peace Prize “earning” president has almost single-handedly done everything imaginable to ratchet up the tension in the ever-volatile Middle East and other Islamic lands. It seems now that all Mr. Obama’s rah-rah-siss-boom-bah for the so-called “Arab Spring” has backfired in Yemen.
Besides initiating actions shaking the confidence of our only strong and predictable Middle East ally (Israel) for roughly twenty-seven consecutive months now high-li ‘er low-lighted by his speech at the end of May, Mr. Obama has been leading the cheerleading for the ill-named Arab Spring “democratic revolutions,” going so far as to label the Tunisian man set afire after dousing himself with gasoline as “another Rosa Parks.” Mr. Obama has been openly rooting for the mobs in the streets rather than for the peacekeepers long in office. Since in Egypt, long regarded as the most advanced of the Muslim states, a November, 2009 poll found that 87% of the populace favored Sharia Law; beheading of apostates; lopping off a thief’s hand; stoning of adulterers; and the requirement of the burkha and other huge restrictions on female behavior; it seems that so-called democracy and real freedom do not and will not co-exist. In other words, it’s highly likely that the changes Mr. Obama is spurring on will NOT include freedom or economic improvement for the people of these countries but will include the installation of more Jihadocracies such as Iran (the world’s #1 exporter of terrorism).
Now besides the open wars in Afghanistan and Iran; thanks to the New York Times we now know that our government has involved us in covert wars in Libya and Yemen. In Libya (actually our War #4, and NOT #3 since the covert war in Yemen started two years earlier and outranks Libya “in seniority” as War #3) Obama has continued the air strikes and no longer bothers to deny the reports of American “boots on the ground” there as we’re now entering into the fourth week since the War Powers act on that involvement expired, with nary an official sentence from the Oval Office to Congress. Moammar Gaddafi in Libya is easily the third worst national leader in the area behind #1 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and #2 Dictator Assad in Syria. So none of the “strongmen” in power in these Middle Eastern countries are wonderful, but they all did keep peace; respect the lives and rights and religion of minority Jews and Christians and other faiths in their lands; and leave Israel alone – since the most popular chant in Egypt now is “Kill the Jews, Kill the Jews,” one might conjecture that Obama got his wish and now we’re all going to suffer.
In Yemen, according to the latest information generated by the Times, we have been waging a covert war since 2009 with American “boots on the ground” for virtually the entire time. But in recent weeks the use of drone attacks and jet fighter attacks has intensified markedly according to the paper. Up until now and the Times’ revelations, the large extent of the war in Yemen had been the single most successful and closely-guarded secret of the Obama administration.
While the senior leadership of Al Qaeda has lost arguably its two top leaders in six weeks and is lying low all over Pakistan: Yemen has, of course, been the prime source of the Al Qaeda Middle Eastern operations aimed at America for the last few years. The ex-American Anwar Awlaki who inspired the failed “air cargo attack,” “the underwear bomber,” and “Times Square bomber” and the successful attacks on Ft. Hood, Texas and upon an Arkansas Army recruiting station^^ has been the target for at least two unsuccessful drone strikes in the last year. The infamous Arab Spring “democratic revolution” and growing power vacuum in Yemen has allowed militants to consolidate as they’ve advanced in the south and Yemeni soldiers have retreated toward their Capitol in Sana.
The Times initially learned about the covert war in Yemen after details came out following the successful jet-fighter strike last Friday which killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a mid-level Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. Weeks earlier, following the killing of Usama Bin Laden and capture of information at his compound in Pakistan, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric whom the United States government has tried to kill for roughly the last fifteen months. Strikes had been paused for at least half a year because of several bungled attacks blamed upon faulty information. CIA operatives in Yemen have now more openly championed American involvement against Al Qaeda leaders among the rebels as a way to keep Al Qaeda from consolidating itself as the eventual rebel leaders. The Times report also informed us:
“Officials in Washington said that the American and Saudi spy services had been receiving more information — from electronic eavesdropping and informants — about the possible locations of militants. A senior Pentagon official, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that using force against militants in Yemen was further complicated by the fact that Qaeda operatives have mingled with other rebels and antigovernment militants, making it harder for the United States to attack without the appearance of picking sides.
“The American campaign in Yemen is led by the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, and is closely coordinated with the Central Intelligence Agency. Teams of American military and intelligence operatives have acommand post in Sana, the Yemeni capital, to track intelligence about militants in Yemen and plot future strikes.
“Concerned that support for the campaign could wane if the government of Yemen’s authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, were to fall, the United States ambassador in Yemen has met recently with leaders of the opposition, partly to make the case for continuing American operations. Officials in Washington said that opposition leaders have told the ambassador, Gerald M. Feierstein, that operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula should continue regardless of who wins the power struggle in Sana.
The Yemeni President Saleh incurred severe wounds from a rocket attack upon the presidential compound last week and was evacuated to a Saudi hospital. News of the evacuation inspired great rebel celebrations and an upswing in military action. Saleh’s military have retreated to better protect the Capitol and the intensification of American strikes upon Al Qaeda targets have coincided. American CIA operatives have expressed two major worries amid the action boiling over in Yemen: 1) Their attacks upon Al Qaeda will be misconstrued as support for Saleh and 2) The information pipeline could get “corrupted” by Saleh so that attacks meant to be pinpointed upon Al Qaeda could be called in against purely rebel targets or against Saleh’s military . . . and as a result of either of these situations, the appearance of “taking sides” might be created. In any cases, for the war-mongers among us, these are truly halcyon days.
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,
** Headwinds hurting the economy?? Probably because the nation’s caught between his atrocious policies that SUCK; and his and his administration’s utter incompetence that totally BLOWS . . . .
^^ The 2009 Little Rock recruiting office shooting on June 1, 2009, when a Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad opened fire with a rifle in a drive-by shooting on soldiers in front of a U.S. Army and military recruiting office. The Obama administration, as in the Fort Hood shooting, kept almost totally out of the news that this was a Jihad attack by a Muslim in contact with Al Qaeda in Yemen and Awlaki. The homegrown terroris killed Private William Long, and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula. After arrest, Muhammad freely acknowledged shooting the men; that he had intended to kill as many Army personnel as possible as well as Jews if he could have found any. According to Wikipedia, an SKS rifle, a Mossberg International 702 rifle, two handguns, 562 rounds of ammunition, and military books were in his car when arrested. The attack was justified he said according to Islamic Laws and the Islamic Religion. Jihad—to fight those who wage war on Islam and Muslims. He had recently returned from 16 months in Yemen, and it was the first of two gunfire attacks in 2009 on US military facilities by Muslims with links to radical clerics in Yemen, who were upset at U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Muhammad is charged with capital murder and attempted capital murder, 10 counts of unlawful discharge of a weapon, 15 counts of engaging in a terrorist act. Muhammad also was to be tried for three counts of initiating violence while in jail. The trial scheduled for February 23, 2011 is now set for July 10, 2011.