- Besides waging direct or proxy wars on multiple fronts
in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Sudan, Eastern
Congo, elsewhere in Africa, and likely to erupt almost anywhere at any
time, Yemen is now a new front in America's "war on terror" under
a president, who as a candidate, promised diplomacy, not conflict, if elected.
- In 2008, he told the Boston Globe that:
- "The President does not have power under the Constitution
to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not
involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
- None exists, yet he's done the opposite and much more.
- -- reinvented a "Cold War" with Russia;
- -- is encircling it and China with military bases, and
proceeding with provocative plans to install interceptor missiles in Poland
(for offense, not defense) and advanced tracking radar in the Czech Republic;
- -- escalated war in Afghanistan;
- -- appointed a hired gun assassin to lead it, General
Stanley McChrystal, infamous for committing war crime atrocities as former
head of the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC);
- -- authorized death squad assaults to pursue it, including
extrajudicial assassinations, torture, and indiscriminate bombing of Afghan
communities without regard for civilian lives;
- -- expanded the war into Pakistan and now to Yemen;
- -- is militarizing Latin America using Colombia and the
Dutch islands of Aruba and Curazao to fly unmanned surveillance/attack
drones over Venezuela and perhaps elsewhere in the region;
- -- plans to use Colombian insurgents to commit "false
positive" border incidents blaming Venezuela as a pretext for a retaliatory
attack, supported, of course, by Washington as a way to target and perhaps
remove Hugo Chavez;
- -- failed to subvert Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's
reelection; continues destabilization tactics for regime change; and may,
preemptively without cause, attack Iran's nuclear facilities;
- -- ousted the democratically elected Honduran president,
installing a fascist regime to replace him;
- -- supports the worst of Israeli war crimes and oppression
- -- governs America under police state laws to resist
unrest if it arises in the wake of outlandish administration policies;
and according to some
- -- plans a major false flag US attack to enlist popular
support, divert attention from the deepening economic crisis, and provide
a pretext for new fronts in the "war on terror" with unlimited
funding to pursue them at the expense of neglected homeland needs.
- Target Yemen
- Journalist Patrick Cockburn calls Yemen:
- "a dangerous place. Wonderfully beautiful, the mountainous
north of the country is guerrilla paradise. The Yemenis are exceptionally
hospitable....humorous, sociable and democratic, infinitely preferable
as company to the arrogant ignorant playboys of the (rich regional) oil
- Sana'a is the capital, home to the central government
and largest city, an ancient one dating back to the 6th century BC Sabaean
dynasty. However, it's power is limited, given the strength of tribes,
clans, and influential families in a society very much a gun culture and
prone to direct action.
- On average, Yemenis own three guns per person in a nation
of 21 million people, including one or more automatic weapons, like an
AK-47 as well as heavier arms. Yemeni Professor Ahmed al-Kibsi once told
a British reporter: "Just as you have your tie, the Yemeni will carry
his gun," and isn't at all shy about using it.
- As a result, Cockburn says "Yemen has all the explosive
ingredients of Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan," so entanglement
there may become another quagmire, besides the others in the region already.
"It is extraordinary to see the US begin to make the same mistakes
in Yemen as it previously made in Afghanistan and Iraq" - overextending
and getting too involved to exit.
- William Hartung, Arms and Security Initiative director
at the New York-based New America Foundation, calls the Yemeni government
one of the most unstable in the world, so weapons, training, and direct
intervention may backfire if an anti-Washington regime replaces it.
- Cockburn says America doesn't "learn from past mistakes
and instead....repeats them by fresh interventions in countries like Yemen."
Perhaps not, however, since part of Washington's scheme is to keep fighting,
divert people from more pressing issues at home, and enrich thousands of
war profiteers with public money, leaving future generations with the bill.
- The UN says poverty in Yemen is widespread with about
45% of the population living on less than two dollars a day. The New York
Times calls Yemen one of the world's oldest civilizations and poorest Middle
East country (ignoring Occupied Palestine), "as well as a haven for
Islamic jihadists:" to wit, the ubiquitous Al Qaeda, a 1980s CIA creation
always trotted out whenever "war on terror" efforts need stoking
and a convenient enemy to be blamed.
- According to The Times:
- "Yemen gained new attention in 2009 from American
military officials, who are concerned about Al Qaeda's efforts to set up
a regional base there."
- In December, US officials claimed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab,
a Nigerian citizen, traveled to Yemen, was trained by Al Qaeda, obtained
explosive chemicals (PETN), and tried using them to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit-bound
airliner on Christmas Day.
- According to Webster Tarpley in a December 29 Russia
Today interview, Abdulmutallab is a CIA "protected patsy (for the)
provocation designed to facilitate US meddling in (Yemen's) civil war (pitting)
the Saudi-backed central government against the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi
rebels," being bombed by US and Saudi air strikes.
- He was denied a UK entrance visa, wasn't on a No Fly
List, paid cash for a one-way ticket to Detroit, checked no luggage, had
a US visa but no passport, and was helped on board by a "well-dressed
Indian" to facilitate what appears to be a Washington false flag plot
using Abdulmutallab as a convenient dupe.
- The Wayne Madsen Report adds more calling the airliner
incident a false flag operation "carried out by (the) intelligence
tripartite grouping of CIA, Mossad, and India's Research and Analysis Wing
(RAW)." Earlier they "worked together along with former Afghan
KHAD intelligence agents to assassinate former Pakistani Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto....to destabilize Pakistan" for planned balkanization,
the same scheme planned for Afghanistan.
- Madsen added that Abdulmutallab's PETN "was weak
(exploding like a fire cracker), technically deficient (and failed to go
- What's at stake? At most, Yemen has four billion proved
barrels of oil reserves and modest amounts of natural gas, hardly a reason
for war. More important is its strategic location near the Horn of Africa
on Saudi Arabia's southern border, the Red Sea, its Bab el- Mandeb strait
(a key chokepoint separating Yemen from Eritrea through which three million
barrels of oil pass daily), and the Gulf of Aden connection to the Indian
- Tarpley believes Washington is:
- "play(ing) Iran against Saudi Arabia so as to weaken
both the pro-Moscow Ahmadinejad government in Iran, and also those Saudi
forces that are fed up with their status as a US protectorate. The US is
openly now sponsoring a regroupment of Al Qaeda in Yemen, including by
sending fighters direct from Guantanamo. The new CIA-promoted synthetic
entity is Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsule (AQAP), a gaggle of US patsies,
dupes, and fanatics which is claiming credit for the (Abdulmutallab) incident."
- Washington's usual tactics are at work:
- -- create a false flag incident;
- -- heighten fear through the complicit media;
- -- ride to the rescue with popular support;
- -- keep oil prices high;
- -- boost market opportunities for security equipment
- -- weaken civil liberties through new police state measures;
- -- erode Iranian and Russian influence; and
- -- gain greater control over the region's southern portion,
the entire Middle East and all of Eurasia.
- Coming next may be another enlisted or unwitting stooge
to take down an airliner, blame it on Iran, Yemeni rebels, or Al Qaeda
and provide an excuse for greater intervention, mass slaughter and destruction
in another country, then on to the next one as part of an offensive to
expand regional war and destabilization toward the ultimate goal of global
"full spectrum dominance.
- At Washington's behest, the Saudis began bombing and
using tanks against Yemen in early November. So far, hundreds have been
killed or wounded and thousands displaced. In addition, a rebel group called
the Young Believers claims US jets launched multiple attacks in Yemen's
northwest Sa'ada Province. Britain's Daily Telegraph also reports that
US Special Forces (meaning death squads like in Afghanistan) are training
Yemen's army, and likely operating covertly on their own.
- On December 29, Iran accused Washington, the UK, and
other western countries of fomenting the week's anti-government protests.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Hahmanparast claimed a complicit minority
in the country was involved with outside support, saying:
- "This is intervention in our internal affairs. We
strongly condemn it," after president Obama praised "the courage
and the conviction of the Iranian people (and condemned the government's)
iron fist of brutality."
- Iranians have long memories of US meddling. In 1953,
CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin's
cousin, engineered a successful coup ousting democratically elected Prime
Minister Mohammad Mossadeq (the country's most popular politician) after
he nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company following a dispute about
revenue sharing. Now it's all about terrorism, Islamic extremists, and
the ubiquitous Al Qaeda as convenient excuses Washington uses to threaten
or attack anywhere.
- It's no wonder that legitimate commentaries accuse America
of fanning the flames of war with rhetoric, new troop deployments to Afghanistan,
and General McChrystal naming the country's major insurgent group threats
as the Qjetta Shura Taliban, the Haqqani Network (closely aligned with
the Taliban), and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG, linked to Afghanistan's
Hezbi Islami Party) - the latter two former CIA assets in the 1980s, and
the Taliban an ally before 9/11.
- They're now claimed to be active in Pakistan and mortal
enemies in America's "war on terror," about to consume Yemen
in Washington's fury, helped by headlines like the December 29 Times Online
- "Hundreds of al-Qaeda militants planning attacks
from Yemen," according to its Foreign Minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi,
appealing for help to equip counterinsurgency forces.
- "Of course there are....al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen
and some of their leaders," he said. "We realize the danger.
They may actually plan attacks like the one we have just had in Detroit."
- On December 30, The New York Times published a Reuters
report headlining, "US Seeks to Boost Yemen For Expanded Al Qaeda
Fight," saying America plans:
- "to expand military and intelligence cooperation
with the government of Yemen to step up a crackdown on al Qaeda militants
believed to be behind a failed plot to blow up a US passenger jet,"
according to unnamed US officials.
- President Obama vowed "to use every element of our
national power to disrupt, to dismantle, and defeat the violent extremists
who threaten us - whether they are from Afghanistan or Pakistan, Yemen
or Somalia, or anywhere where they are plotting attacks against the US
- Without elaborating, Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman
said "We are going to work with allies and partners to seek out terrorist
activity, al Qaeda....This is not new."
- Increased US-Saudi attacks and military aid are part
of the effort - up from $4.6 million in FY 2006 to $67 million in FY 2009,
and according to the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed senior Pentagon
official, to as much as $190 million in FY 2010. Included also are unknown
black budget amounts, greater numbers of US Special Forces on the ground
for training and covert death squad activities, and stepped up air attacks.
- Whitman explained that Yemen is now America's second
largest recipient of overt counterterrorism aid, after Pakistan, a sign
of the area's importance to Washington. US Special Forces operated there
in 2002, and according to The New York Times, the CIA sent in many counterterrorism
operatives in 2008 along with other US forces for overt and covert purposes.
- Reports in the US and foreign media suggest larger scale
US-backed Yemeni attacks are imminent, and according to CNN, citing two
unnamed senior US officials:
- "The US and Yemen are now looking at fresh targets
for a potential retaliation strike. The effort is to see whether targets
can be specifically linked to the airline incident and its planning....the
agreement would allow the US to fly cruise missiles, fighter jets or unmanned
armed drones against targets in Yemen with the consent of that government,"
that's, of course, gotten and will proceed with or without it.
- Inflammatory US media reports and commentaries now promote
war by portraying Yemen as a hotbed of terrorism, citing ubiquitous Al
Qaeda forces creating chaos throughout the country, and saying unless America
acts, conditions will worsen and spread.
- According to The New York Times on December 27:
- Washington "has quietly opened (a) largely covert
front against Al Qaeda in Yemen," using CIA operatives and Special
Operations commandos, according to an unnamed Agency official. Writers
Eric Schmitt and Robert Worth call the country:
- "a refuge for jihadists, in part because (the) government
welcomed returning Islamist fighters who had fought in Afghanistan during
the 1980s. (These) militants have made much more focused efforts to build
a base in Yemen in recent years, drawing recruits from throughout the region
and mounting attacks more frequently on foreign embassies and other targets."
- Washington has close relations with Field Marshall Ali
Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's ruling despot. From 1978 - 1990, he was president
of the Yemen Arab Republic, and since then headed the united Republic of
Yemen. During the Cold War, America backed the Islamist regime in the North
against southern secular nationalists aligned with the Soviets. In the
country's 1994 civil war, former Yemeni Afghan fighters helped Saleh secure
the power he still holds.
- Washington recruited him for its expanded regional wars.
They cause great loss of lives, wider instability, an unsustainable expense,
and leave vital homeland needs unmet, but are a bonanza for the war profiteers
fueling them and others to follow for a sure-fire stream of blood money.
- What's Next?
- Up the ante in Afghanistan and Pakistan, entanglement
in Yemen, then perhaps confront Iran with White House spokesman Robert
Gibbs saying on November 27:
- "Our patience and that of the international community
is limited, and time is running out. If Iran refuses to meet its obligations,
then it will be responsible for its own growing isolation and consequences."
Apparently a "package of consequences" are planned, according
to another unnamed official.
- Air attacks may be one of them with New York Times support.
On January 10, chief diplomatic correspondent, David Sanger, reported on
US - Israeli talks over the past year about possibly striking Iran's nuclear
sites as well covert sabotage efforts "to undermine electrical systems,
computer systems and other networks on which Iran relies."
- Like Judith Miller's press agent role for the Pentagon
in the run to the Iraq war, Sanger is a notorious Pentagon and State Department
conduit, so his reports read more official propaganda than legitimate journalism
- a longstanding Times pro-war, pro-business, anti-labor bias going back
decades, and very evident now.
- On December 23, The Times gave Alan Kuperman, Nuclear
Proliferation Prevention Program director at the University of Texas, op-ed
space to headline, "There's Only One Way to Stop Iran," and he
doesn't suggest diplomacy.
- He says Obama should welcome Iran's rejection of his
nuclear deal because it "did not require Iran to halt its enrichment
program," even though it's in full compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT) giving Washington and other nations no right to stop it.
- Yet Kuperman insists Iran will likely divert its surplus
higher-enriched fuel to weapons, and President Ahmadinejad "initially
embraced the deal because he realized it aided Iran's bomb program."
- However, "peaceful carrots and sticks cannot work,
and an invasion would be foolhardy, (so Washington) faces a stark choice:
military air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities or acquiescence
to Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons."
- IAEA inspections show no proof of a secret nuclear weapons
program, and former IAEA director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, said in February
2009 said "many other countries are enriching uranium without the
world making any fuss about it."
- Five days before he retired on November 27, he told Reuters:
- "We have no indication that there are other undeclared
facilities in Iran. I want to be very clear about that." He also urged
patience because Iran posed no imminent threat, and said "people should
stop threatening the use of force because that simply....creates a justification
or pretext for countries....to go underground because (they're) threatened."
- He stressed that the IAEA found no evidence that Iranians
had technology needed to assemble a nuclear warhead or that they're even
- Kuperman isn't convinced and accuses Iran of "suppl(ying)
terrorist groups in violation of international embargoes. (So, if it) acquire(s)
a nuclear arsenal, the risks would simply to too great that it could become
a neighborhood bully or provide terrorists with the ultimate weapon, an
- Never mind that America's 2002 and 2006 National Security
Strategy (NSS) and 2001 Nuclear Policy Review authorize the development
of new type nuclear weapons, and the right to use them in first-strike
preventive wars under the doctrine of "anticipatory self-defense."
- Iran threatens no one, but Kuperman recommends military
strikes anyway, regardless of the law, whether they'll succeed, and no
matter the potentially horrific consequences, including inflaming the whole
region, disrupting oil supplies, harming world economies when they're most
vulnerable, and making America more hated than ever.
- Still he says:
- "Postponing military action merely provides Iran
a window to expand, disperse and harden its nuclear facilities against
attack. The sooner the United States takes action, the better."
- In other words, two fronts aren't enough so add Yemen.
Then make it a foursome with Iran, the sooner America does it the better,
and The New York Times promotes this view after expressing caution in its
January 3 editorial headlined, "No delusion of bombing Iran"
- "Fortunately, President-elect Barack Obama says
his approach to Iran will include 'a new emphasis on respect and a new
emphasis on being willing to talk....' "
- This approach "may or may not work," says The
Times. "But it is a road that (should be tried and) should have been
taken years ago."
- Not now apparently or earlier, in fact, as Times writers
play an indispensable role feeding misinformation to the world and supporting
imperial wars with the rest of the dominant media. They'll have plenty
to say as a new Yemen front unfolds and maybe an Iran one to follow.
- Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre
for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday
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