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Sadly the old whiny Joe has been asking for more trouble, this time in Yemen. Lieberman and others have been fanning the flames, and that is just what the enemy wants them to do. Or at least that is one theory, drag the US into another quagmire in the middle east.

Now this Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's attempt..this is perfect for the hawks.

Here is some backgroud:

Yemen has been fighting the "Sa'dah insurgency", one of those fights that are hard to win. These are Shia rebels and there is some talk that they have been receiving aid from Iran/Hezbollah.

Yemen has been getting some support from the US and Saudi-Arabia, The saudis have used military force in the region.

Does this sound familiar:

Yemen, located at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is a poor Muslim country with a weak central government, armed tribal groups in outlying areas, and porous borders, which makes it fertile ground for terrorists

Pakistan/Afghanistan is in some ways quite similar.

How is this linked to Osama Bin laden? Well, there is very little evidence of OBL doing anything, but he has advocated this kind of tactic:

National security officials in the administration need to go back and read Peter Bergen's Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden in which he recounts many aspects of bin Laden's plan from the Islamic extremist uber-guru's own words - which was to draw the US deeply into the Middle East, and by its presence -- destabilize the governments in the region.

And now you have Joe Lieberman talking tough and Jane Harman trying to do the same.

In a statement over the weekend, Harman, D-El Segundo, warned that Yemen "is the next F.A.T.A." - an acronym for the tribal area of Pakistan that runs along the Afghan border.

"What I have been worrying about for a long time is that al-Qaida is in Yemen," Harman said in an interview Monday. "It is a failing government. As we crack down more successfully in F.A.T.A. - and we will - I worry a lot of the operations and training will move to Yemen."

What do we have?

-A local insurgency, (possibly) supported by Iran/Hezbollah.
-Some Al Qaida presence
-Local government fighting the insurgents, supported by the US and possibly by the Saudis.

Problem is, how much do you trust the local government? Are they using the US (technology/missile strikes) in their own fight against these rebels. If they give the US some information, is that information reliable? Al Qaida training camp, or a local insurgent camp?

This is what Steve Clemons is saying:

Bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and enemies yet to be named win with each new soldier deployed to the Middle East and South Asia.

President Obama must step back and think about America's current strategic course.

I hope the President is willing to think carefully before he acts because the last thing he needs, is another quagmire.

Oh, btw, the best way to win the next elections: get Bin Laden. I hope this President is more serious about that, the last President sort of..dropped the ball.

Originally posted to allmost liberal european on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:53 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Meh. (3+ / 0-)

    This is still a local rebellion, so I think it's best that the US, with its image problems, not interfere. Arm the government, and they'll probably proceed to step beatdown as it is.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:01:22 AM PST

    •  That seems to be the easy way to go (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, Dauphin

      At least that way the US would not end up being part of the quagmire/insurgency. But There are people pushing for more, lot more than just providing the local government with weapons.

      "Hey Joe, could you check his bearings. Again!"

      by allmost liberal european on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:38:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we give them weapons... (0+ / 0-)

      If we give them weapons we are involved.   We become the enemy, the insurgents are perfectly capable of reading the "made in US" stickers.   Do you want the local insurgents to join forces with al Qaeda?

      Don't you wonder why, with each passing year, the choices get worse?   The possibility of winning is an ever receding goal?   This is when you have lost an insurgent war.   It is time for us to pack up and leave the Middle East!

  •  We're already in Yemen. (3+ / 0-)

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:04:54 AM PST

  •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

    "What I have been worrying about for a long time is that al-Qaida is in Yemen," Harman said

    sure you've been, Jane, sure you've been.

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

    by James Allen on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:17:46 AM PST

  •  none of these attacks required control of (6+ / 0-)

    large areas of land. they could have been planned in a basement in cleveland or any room in a holiday inn. military action is not needed, indeed it will prove counter productive. what is required is good intelligence & police work.

  •  The more we expand our military presence in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyland 8

    Moslem countries, the greater will be the support for the likes of Al-Qaeda.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 03:17:58 AM PST

  •  What is an al Qaeda training camp ?? (5+ / 0-)

    What do we know?

    We've known for eight years, and our own CIA announced it, that the cabal initiating the events of 9/11 actually convened in Germany.

    We've known for roughly that amount of time that the 9/11 pilots were trained right here in the US.

    We've known since then that the bulk of the funding for aQ's operations came from Saudi Arabia.

    We've known since Day 2 that all the 9/11 perpetrators were from United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt and the greatest portion - 15 - from Saudi Arabia.

    We've known, and it has been widely reported, that there are al Qaeda "training camps" in Somalia.

    We've known, and it has been widely reported, that al Qaeda operates globally, with bases in over twenty countries.

    We've known, through reports from both the Iraq Study Group, and no less than three National Intelligence Estimates, that our military presence in the Middle East and Central Asia radicalizes the population and is a recruiting tool for al Qaeda.

    We have ongoing evidence that this aforementioned radicalization is responsible for cultivating home-grown terrorists - here in the US, in Great Britain and elsewhere.

    We know - and it has been widely reported - that dozens of terrorist attacks throughout the world have been successfully preempted by shared intelligence gathering and good police work.

    In light of all of this accumulated knowledge, how can any of us persist in buying into defining any aspect of the "war on terror" in military terms?

    And since we've also known - for many decades - that within the culture of terrorists themselves, fighting for those beliefs, dying for those beliefs, being killed for those beliefs, leads to martyrdom, then why-on-earth would we be in any hurry to make Osama bin Laden a martyr?  


    We have zero evidence that our military presence anywhere in the world can prevent even a single terrorist attack, and we have all the evidence in the world that our military presence radicalizes and cultivates terrorists within any given population - including our own.

    In fact, quite the contrary, in any given year in the past decade, the greatest number of 'terrorist bombings' have all occurred in places where we have our greatest military presence.

    There is no end to this folly as long as we keep defining this "war on terror" as having any military component whatsoever.  The United States should immediately withdraw ALL of its military forces from the Middle East and Central Asia.

    Anything less is simply denial of the facts, and buying into delusion.

  •  Somalia is a perfect case of what will happen. (4+ / 0-)

    The Islamic Unions courts took over southern Somalia from the warlords (2006) which were supported by the CIA. The Bush Bush administration sent in the Ethiopian to crush the Islamist and drive them away.... the end result is Al-Shabaab more extreme version of the Courts but with the added believe that their extremist tactics is what liberated the country from the Ethiopians.

    The best action is sometimes no action.

    (I am not advocating nonviolence, but noninterference, stay out of other peoples wars!)

  •  I thought he wanted us there to work on our tans. (0+ / 0-)

    You've gotta admit, we have been looking a bit pasty lately...

  •  I thought the Khobar Bombing in the 80s (0+ / 0-)

    was to get the US OUT of the Middle East.... link

    Now they want us back?

    Wishy-washy terrorists.

    Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 04:25:13 AM PST

  •  US is already in Yemen (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 04:31:31 AM PST

  •  Joe knows exactly what he is doing (0+ / 0-)


  •  Saudi, Egyptian, Jordanian. US presence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Yemen contra the Zaidi Houthas has been overlooked for some time.

    Here's an interesting piece from Rannie Amiri focused on the Saudis and US.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 04:52:23 AM PST

  •  Rachel/Richard Engel from last night (3+ / 0-)

    I learned more about Yemen from Engel last night than I ever knew before.  (OK, that not saying much.)  He gave some interesting insights about the country and its considerable challenges.  No transcript up yet :-(

    Sorry I don't get embeds.  Here is the link.  It's the first segment.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 05:15:10 AM PST

    •  A remarkable program ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      on a lot of levels.  Thanks for that link.  I'm beginning to think that I don't avail myself enough of Ms. Maddow's broadcasts.

      But still, even among people who should know better, like Engel in your link, there seems to be a pervasive mindset that some portion of military intervention in these affairs is appropriate - despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Nobody needs to sit in a tent in a remote desert to plot nefarious deeds against western powers.  They can do it while eating falafels around a checkerboard table in Washington Square Park, right here in Manhattan ... and for all we'd know, they already have.

      At one point, Engel conflates Pakistan with being a "rogue State" - which it is not, by any stretch of the imagination.  Perhaps he meant Afghanistan, which more than qualifies.  But what I find disturbing is that the President of the United States projects the idea that this country can, and will, project military might anywhere in the world that it feels might present a "terrorist threat" - and that those assertions, and the concomitant faulty reasoning that under-girds them, go largely unchallenged, even among what we've come to believe is "progressive" media, like Ms. Maddow's show.

      Every time Obama leaves a podium after saber rattling, someone in the media should be shouting, "Hey!!!  What do you mean by that?  Are you willing to launch a cruise missile into Toronto if you find out that that's where the next 'terrorist plot' was hatched?"  

      And if he's forced to respond to such questions with the inevitable, "Of course not.  That wouldn't solve anything!"  Then the follow up question must be, "Then what makes you think, Mr. President, that launching one into Yemen will solve anything?"

      Until that day arrives, the MSM is no better than it was back in 2001 after 9/11 - and we've learned nothing since then.

      •  I understand your reasoning (0+ / 0-)

        and agree with it for the most part.  My meager understanding of the situation in Yemen is that we may have their approval, tacit or otherwise, to pursue bad guys in their country.  I'm not sure whether I agree or not that we should do that.  The reasons you state make perfect sense.  OTOH, the only tool that we've bothered to really develop for ages is the military one.  Our "intelligence" services are a joke, except when they are coming after us.  They (at least their leadership) pander to all kinds of political and other power, often neglecting real and very important information because it's inconvenient for their "clients."  I'm every bit as cynical and disillusioned as you are.  Mine's just directed toward a few different villains.  I'm not sure whether Obama has bought into the MIC status quo or that he simply has nothing else to work with.

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 08:19:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  ABC: Bush freed 2 from Gitmo, now ringleaders... (4+ / 0-)

    This story has been missed by just about everyone except ABC, but no one's picked it up.

    In Nov. 2007 Bush ordered two terrorists to be released from Guantanamo and sent "home" to Saudi Arabia without a trial.  Why?  Who knows, but the network reports these two are among the four who helped the Nigerian kid explode his powder on the plane on Christmas.

    Where's Peter King? Liz Cheney? Karl Rove? Mary Matalin? All the usual suspects ready to pounce on the Dems???

    Help spread this story.  Bush is to blame.

  •  Mielenkiintoinen. (2+ / 0-)
    1. I'm not sure that Osama is still alive;
    1. I dont think al-Qaida is such a monolithic organization that it plans and sets long term strategy;
    1. We're already in Yemen;
    1. We'd be stupid to get involved in what really is a local rebellion/insurgency - of course its too late for that;
    1. The more we get inolved in killing people over there the more they will want to kill us;
    1. This NW Airlines attack was probably plannned in somebodys kitchen in Kallio not Yemen;
    1. The "Long War" is like that carnival game with the hammer and the monkeys where you hit one on the head and another one pops up somewhere else;
    1. Experience should have taught us by now that having our military active all over the world doesnt really stop terrorism;
    1. bin lauden, alive or not, and al-qaida, centralized or not, win an inch with each American trooper deployed - as you said.

    My $0.02

  •  I am holding my breath (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allmost liberal european

    I hope the President is willing to think carefully before he acts because the last thing he needs, is another quagmire.

    Me too, but the framing has begun. The President seems to get more and more hawkish to me....Like I commented earlier...India and Spain did not go to war after their terrorist attacks...

    We have destablized this region since the war on Iraq and we need to start looking seriously at what we are doing..Also, it is time the Sauds are looked at and come up to the plate.

    We are called upon once more to shape a better destiny. Doubts may rise; hopes recede but let's say we did our part. --President Obama

    by coffejoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 07:06:03 AM PST

  •  Because two wars - with one on deck in Iran . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allmost liberal european

    is just not enough. We need to start yet one more war in which we will kill Islamic civilians and waste US lives and treasure.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 07:43:12 AM PST

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