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YEMEN: U.S. plays role in repression

Letter by Frank W. Goheen, Camas on April 24, 2012 at 10:02 am with 14 Comments »
April 24, 2012 10:02 am

That the United States supported former Yemenite strongman and fierce dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh for many years is no great secret. Members of Saleh’s family received U.S. military training, and a number of elite Yemen Army units they headed were responsible for instances of savage repression and gross violations of human rights.

Saleh was a “star pupil” in America’s anti-terrorism school, and Washington  was only too glad to underwrite his harsh counter-insurgency methods. All of this was done in the name of fighting al Qaida and other Islamic militant groups.

Saleh is gone, but his influence lingers inside Yemen. America continues to conduct drone air strikes against what it calls “suspected al Qaida cells,” and Saleh’s successor has made it plain that his foremost aim is to crush all resistance to central government rule.

What this amounts to, essentially, is enforcing the desires of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia for a Yemen that does nothing to upset the pro-Western applecart on the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen’s people are frightfully poor and afflicted with the sorts of maladies that invariably accompany poverty, but that amounts to little or nothing in our superpower eyes when stacked up against our goal of wiping out every last vestige of Islamic militance, terrorism and ideology.

Are we truly making war on “terrorism,” or are we simply repressing very poor people?

Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. alindasue says:

    “Are we truly making war on “terrorism,” or are we simply repressing very poor people?”

    We may never fully know the answer to that question since the first casualty of war is usually truth.

    I do know that our history is full of oppressors and dictators who were originally funded or trained by the USA because of the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Sadaam Hussein was a classic example.

  2. aislander says:


  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    I can always tell who has read Sun Tzu and who has not….The Art Of War is still the finest treatise on strategy for war or business ever written and taught the world over.

  4. taught but seldom followed.

  5. Frankenchrist says:

    I can always tell an armchair warrior: people pontificating about Sun Tzu or Clausewitz as if they have any relevance in the post-nuclear globalized information age.

  6. Franken – the principles containmed in The Art of War are as applicable today as when it was written some 2,500 years ago.

    While I seldom agree with B-C-G he does havw most excellent tastes in his reading material.

    B-G-C – I also find A Book of 5 Rings to be useful – especially on the individual level

  7. Frankenchrist says:

    My curmudgeonly opinion: “The Art of War” is simplistic tripe like “Know your enemy and you will win 100 battles.” Gee, really? Yes, it’s true but certainly isn’t some extraordinary ancient Chinese wisdom. I like “The Prince” but I am under no illusions it is applicable to a modern political campaign.

    If war could be simplified to cookbook level we wouldn’t be losing in Afghanistan after ten long years.

  8. flamotte says:

    Thank you. This is one of the few whispers of Yemen in the press. Like Bharain, it is completely ignored by our media because the corporate-military media don’t want us to know that our government supports ruthless dictator and fascist monarchs. Our support for these dictators takes away our moral credibility in condemning Assad in Syria.

  9. blakeshouse says:

    Frank and Flame…not only perfect imitations of Lardnos but both poster children for retroactive abortion.

  10. Frranken,
    By your argument the Constitution has no relevnace today.

    IMO – you focus on the trival and fail to see the principles.

  11. BlaineCGarver says:

    Tripe? Hardly… Well, maybe the beheading, poisoning and stuff <;-)

  12. BlaineCGarver says:

    For example: Remember when some Lefty Idiot POTUS required “standards” for CIA informants? That shot the bottom completely out of intel gathering.

  13. BlaineCGarver says:

    FC said: “If war could be simplified to cookbook level we wouldn’t be losing in Afghanistan after ten long years.”

    Want to bet? If we could let Generals run the war, and not the courts, the ACLU and State Dept, we could wrap up in a short while….of course, the landscape would glow for awhile….

  14. B-C-G,
    The real downfall of our intel geathering was the replacement of human assests with technology.

    Under the Art of War we would have relied on our special force, worked with the non-taliban warlords, and not tried to change the state or its people.

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