What war in Yemen you ask. What Fourth War?
Foiled Bomb Plot Sparks Calls for Expanded Military Presence in Yemen
by John Hudson at the Atlantic Wire
The U.S. is seriously considering sending elite “hunter-killer” teams to Yemen following the mail bombing plot by militants in Yemen. The covert teams would operate under the CIA’s authority allowing them to kill or capture targets unilaterally, The Wall Street Journal reports. Support for an expanded U.S. military effort in Yemen has been growing within the military and the Obama administration, according to The Journal. Now pundits in the blogosphere are echoing calls to ramp up special operations in the country.
* Expect a U.S. Escalation, writes The Economist: “You can be sure that the US will be seriously considering amping up its semi-secret military campaign in Yemen. And you can be almost certain the US military and the CIA will redoubling their search for Mr Al-Awlaki.”. . .
* It’s Time to Get Serious About Yemen, writes Time’s Robert Baer, a former Middle East CIA field officer. . .
* The Bomb Plot Demonstrates the Importance of Our Involvement in the Middle East, writes The Wall Street Journal editorial board. . . .
* No Time for Complacency, writes Jed Babbin at The American Spectator.
Get the picture?
While we were all obsessed with the economy and the never ending election cycle, the US has established a base in Yemen, increased military operations by sending in the JSOC to target an American citizen for assassination, huge increased military aid and increased CIA controlled drone attacks that are killing more Yemen civilians then alleged members of Al Qaeda. But, but there was the latest package bombs and the underpants bomber. No, these actions all started long before that, back before the underpants bomber. In mid-December of 2009, Obama authorized the launching of cruise missiles at suspected Al Qaeda training camps:
On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News …
The Yemen attacks by the U.S. military represent a major escalation of the Obama administration’s campaign against al Qaeda.
About all we are certain that was accomplished by these attacks, as with most missiles and unmanned drone strikes, a lot of civilians were killed, mostly women and children.
Then in late January, as reported by Siun at Firedoglake, it was learned that it was more than a couple of missiles:
Back in December, before the underpants bomber, I had asked if Obama had launched his fourth war – in Yemen. Reports had appeared that just a few days before, he had apparently authorized drone attacks on reported Al Qaeda fighters.
Today we learn that Obama has done more than send in drones.
Dana Priest reports in the Washington Post:
U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people, among them six of 15 top leaders of a regional al-Qaeda affiliate, according to senior administration officials.
Priest goes on to report that the US military operation in Yemen involves attempts to assassinate US citizens considered “High Value Targets:”
That US civilian is American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who has been specifically targeted for assassination by President Obama without evidence or due process. That’s right no evidence because, despite the White House claims that the Awlaki is the person behind the bombs, they have no basis for the accusation other than speculation and hearsay.
This must be making the likes of David Broder, who advocates attacking Iran to cure our economic woes, and the war hawks, who justify the killing of civilians as necessary to keep us safe, happy as a flock of vultures with a fresh kill.
h/t Siun at FDL and Glenn Greenwald at Salon.