In September, Obama touted Yemen as a success story!
Sometimes, more can be learned from what a world leader fails to say.
One of the topics President Obama failed to cover in his State of the Union address is the situation in Yemen, a country that has descended so far into chaos that two U.S. Navy warships now stand ready to evacuate Americans from the Embassy.
Just prior to the President’s speech, California Senator Dianne Feinstein urged that the embassy be closed immediately and the personnel evacuated.
The U.S. government should immediately close and evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, according to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
I asked her today whether the embassy, which remains open despite raging violence throughout the Yemeni capital, should be closed. She responded: “Based on what I know so far, yes.”
“I’m very concerned about our embassy there, who is still there, who isn’t still there, and what the plans are,” Feinstein added.
Contrast this to what the President said of Yemen just last September:
President Obama recently told Thomas L. Friedman of The Times that failing to help Libya form a new state after the fall of Qaddafi was his biggest foreign policy regret. Yet the fate of that country has been largely absent from discussions about the new war, which is certain to last longer and unleash a wider array of consequences.
Instead, Mr. Obama, in making the case for carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State, drew a dubious parallel to counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, which he billed as successful.
While dangerous Al Qaeda offshoot organizations in tribal areas of southern Yemen have been weakened by drone strikes, calling Yemen a success story is absurd.
Not only absurd, but potentially dangerous to Americans in that country. Just because Obama scrubbed any mention of Benghazi doesn’t mean we have forgotten the lives lost there.
VICE News recently compiled a video, “Yemen: A Failed State”:
Heavily featured in this analysis is another group that somehow escaped mention in the year’s State of the Union Address: Al-Qaeda. It appears as if these terrorists are no longer on the run; their Yemen branch claimed credit for the Charlie Hebdo slaughter.
Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor for The Telegraph, has a substantive analysis of region — pointing out the clear winner (Iran, as supporter of the Yemen rebel group) and the obvious losers in recent events.
An Iranian politician close to that country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, could not contain himself. Ali Reza Zakani, an MP, boasted that Sana’a [Yemen’s capital] was now the fourth Arab capital in Iranian hands – after Beirut (through Hizbollah), Damascus (through President Assad) and Baghdad (through Iraq’s democratically elected Shia-led government).
…[O]on the surface, a stunning blow for the West. The US and UK – and regional allies like Saudi Arabia – strongly backed a political settlement in Yemen following an “Arab Spring” uprising against the country’s long-time leader, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late 2011.
That put a pro-western replacement, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, in office, presiding over a parliament that was supposed to represent all shades of Yemeni political thinking apart from al-Qaeda, which is strong in some southern and eastern parts of the country.
Truly, more was learned last night about the state of the Union by figuring out what Obama failed to mention. Let’s just hope our people come back home safely.DONATE
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