Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Really Secret Campaign in Yemen?

Today, the NYT reported that "The Central Intelligence Agency is building a secret air base in the Middle East to serve as a launching pad for strikes in Yemen using armed drones." They received this secret information from an "American official" yesterday. As with last Wednesday's story, it shows that US officials are really good at keeping secrets.

My guess? We'll all know where the secret base is before the end of July.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Secret Campaign in Yemen?

The NYT ran a story yesterday, ironically entitled "U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes."

Secret from whom? Certainly NOT the Yemenis!

In the story, it is related that Abu Ali al-Harithi was killed by American jets. No, not that Abu Ali al-Harithi. He was killed by a drone strike in Yemen back in 2002.

Interesting to consider: when the first al-Harithi was killed, it came out that the US had been behind the strike after the Yemeni government had assured its people that they had run the operation. This is because senior people in the US government couldn't keep their mouths shut. There was an incredible amount of blowback.

Could this be déjà vu all over again?.

It is only days since President Saleh left the country. Yemen is on the verge of civil war. Yemenis already have a deep sense of mistrust for the US. Is this really the right time for a story of this nature to come out? Should we be telling Yemenis that, while most of them face the most trying time of their existence, the US will remain and potentially infringe upon their sovereignty, regardless of the political outcome in their country?

I don't think so.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Saleh Gone for the Moment

The question is whether he will return or not. There have been reports that as much as 80% of the military has now defected, and that the remainder of the ruling family left in Yemen may be in trouble (remembering that Hamid al-Ahmar had said they should leave for their own protection months ago.)