Monday, September 17, 2012

President Obama Grabs Yemen

There is a new star in the U.S. imperial firmament: Yemen.
According to local Yemeni journalists some 200 armored vehicles filled with U.S. Marines arrived in Sanaa, the capital, on Friday and Saturday. U.S. President Barack Obama sent them there following an angry protest against the American Embassy on Thursday in which the Marines already protecting the embassy killed four protestors and injured another 48.

Anti-American feelings in Yemen were already high from years of U.S. meddling in the well-watered, mainly agricultural nation at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. The U.S. has backed unpopular leaders and carried on a war against rebels using armed flying drones. The deadly demonstration at the embassy was touched off by recent release of the anti-Islam film that in Yemen is also being attributed to Israel. The film was actually made by a former Egyptian Coptic Christian living in the United States.

In contrast to the "invitation" from U.S. puppet President Abd Rubbuh Mansur Al-Hadi, the democratically elected Yemeni Parliament voted against allowing the Marines to enter the country. Their statement said "We do not accept any foreign forces in Yemen, be it small or big forces, and for any reason." At the same time Parliament demanded that Al-Hadi protect all foreign embassies in the nation. Parliament also condemned the film. [As reported by Yemen Observer]

The Yemeni military and police have more than adequate forces available to keep the U.S. embassy safe in Yemen. So why did President Barack Obama send in the Marines?

It may be just an election year ploy, as Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has accused President Obama of being weak on imperialism, despite Obama's vast expansion of the "war against terror" during his administration.

Yemen has long been considered a valuable asset by the world's Great Powers. Only a couple of decades ago the British Empire and Communist Bloc were still fighting over it. A long, bloody rebellion convinced the British to leave and the Soviets gave up when the U.S.S.R. collapsed. [See history of Yemen]
Yemen has been torn by internal conflict, but that should not be the business of the U.S. If Yemen can't keep ambassadors safe, the U.S. could communicate through neutral countries like Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. invasion of Yemen is likely to expand, not be reversed. Get ready for another long, bloody, and largely pointless war.

History has taught the wise that it is easy to send troops into nations like Yemen, but it is difficult to extract them. Such deployments create greater anti-American sentiments and sap our national economy. Yemen is divided and suffering from a multi-party civil war. The U.S. might buy the allegiance of one or more factions, but the people of Yemen have a history of uniting against foreign intervention even as they fight each other.
President Obama is weak, but not for the reasons given by Mitt Romney. He is too weak to resist the bad advice of the security state that increasingly runs America. He continues to prop up corrupt regimes (including neighboring Somalia and Saudi Arabia) and meets protests with bullets.

Obama's tactics will fail in Yemen just as they have failed everywhere. This nation needs new leadership, and its own renewal of democracy. That does not appear possible under the current two-party regime.

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