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For a second day in a row, several countries are either closing their embassies in Yemen or significantly cutting back operations at their embassies.

The American and UK embassies remained closed for a second day in a row, with no word on when they'll reopen.  The AP reports that France and the Czech Republic also closed their embassies, and Spain and Germany have restricted public access to their embassies there.

The NYT also reports that Japan has shuttered its embassy there--and indicates Yemeni forces may have found part of the reason why.

Yemeni government forces killed two suspected Qaeda militants on Monday and wounded others in a firefight 25 miles north of the capital, Yemeni officials said, tying the militants to the continuing threats directed against the United States and British Embassies here.

The fact they launched this attack so fast might be an indication of what Petraeus discussed with Yemen's president on Saturday.

Yemeni forces were apparently hunting a pretty big fish.

The Yemeni forces were tracking Nazih al-Hanq, whom they suspected of belonging to the regional terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, when they came under fire in the city of Arhab, the officials said. They said that two of Mr. Hanq’s bodyguards were killed and perhaps three others wounded, but that Mr. Hanq escaped in the area between the villages of Al Hanq and Beit Boussan.

Such a quick, focused response should put an end to any "Obambi" talk on the fringe.  That being said, To think that we knew about the al-Qaeda presence here as early as 2000, and yet spent six years tilting windmills in Iraq rather than help the Yemenis ... well, this is one occasion where dereliction of duty should be a criminal offense.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 02:39 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lather, rinse, repeat (11+ / 0-)

    and yet spent six years tilting windmills in Iraq rather than help the Yemenis ... well, this is one occasion where dereliction of duty should be a criminal offense.

    The Iraq debacle/crime/atrocity should be hung on the collective goper neck as often and as thoroughly as possible.  As they whine about stimulus money to create jobs, throw the Iraq price tag at them.  As they whine that Obama isn't focused on national defense, hit them with the ultimate loss of focus perpetrated by their party.  The fact that we're talking about massive loss of life for their lie is almost too hard to even talk about.  

    And, man, I hope something gets resolved in Yemen without spiraling out of control.  

    2010. Time to win some more.

    by Sun dog on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 02:47:56 PM PST

  •  Who needs embassies when we have drones? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    May as well close them permanently, no?

    There is no planet B

    by Minerva on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 02:50:19 PM PST

  •  You don't understand (6+ / 0-)

    We fought them in Iraq so we wouldn't have to fight them here in Yemen!

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 03:19:56 PM PST

    •  We fought them in Iraq so we could fight them in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kingsmeg, Situational Lefty

      Yemen.

      See, if we were to stop having wars, our entire way of life would collapse.

      Sadly, I am not joking.

      We have wars and create monsters so we can have wars to create monsters, the cycle must continue.

      •  Next thing you know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msmacgyver, RenderQT

        the GOP will try to hang this around Obama's neck as a form of a Pro-Iraq argument.

        Eight years after 9/11, and the murderers involved haven't been caught, captured, or prosecuted.  And it all happened on Dubya's watch.  Ya can't blame Clinton for it...his administration's last major run-in with Al-Queda was in that mudhole called Somalia (specifically, Mogadishu).

        The Republicans can try to spin this all they want - all I see is political fail.

        Hurley - "Bucky, the mice will agree with anything. You guys are all idiots, right?" Mice - "Right!"

        by Dingodude on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 04:08:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lieberman says bomb Yemen, (0+ / 0-)
    so that must be what we're gonna do.  He clearly calls the shots.  Our big, strong tough-on-terrorist President must make all the centrists proud.  Have you looked to the left lately to see how progressive support is lining up for another tiresome exercise of our dominant industrial export:  war and pain?  Oh, crickets, you say.  Oh well, progressive input is not welcome, nor required.  Enjoy your newest war.
  •  BBC ties closures to missing arms trucks (3+ / 0-)

    BBC

    The closure of three embassies in Yemen followed local security forces losing track of six trucks full of arms and explosives, say reports from Yemen.

    I am trying to understand the part about
    Six trucks of explosives 'disappear' in Yemen

    Fears of a terrorist strike against Western embassies in Yemen have grown amid claims a convoy of lorries laden with explosives had been smuggled into the country's capital city
    snip
    In an apparently botched surveillance operation, militants driving six trucks filled with weapons and ordnance succeeded in giving security forces the slip as they entered the city, according to local media.  

    ABC has it to with same lack of explanation

    Reports from Yemen say security forces have lost track of six trucks full of arms and explosives.

    Reuters has a denial

    A Yemeni security official denied a BBC report that six trucks belonging to the security forces and loaded with arms and explosives had gone missing.

    But such odd wording...they lost track of 5 trucks of explosives. How do you do that?

    •  "lost"? More like "handed over" (0+ / 0-)

      someone either got paid off or threatened or volunteered to let that stuff go. That just doesn't "disappear".

      I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

      by decembersue on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 04:40:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are lots of players in Yemen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joynow, Kingsmeg

      The government doesn't really control anything outside the cities. (It's a pretty crappy government too, with yet another dicatator-for-life in charge.)

      Outside the main centers, you have Shiite Houthi rebels, there are socialist secessionists in the south and you also have al-Qaeda. There's basically a state of permanent war between the govt and the socialists and the govt and the Houthis.

      The government has managed to get Saudi Arabia on side to fight off the Shiite Houthis - SA is scared of the rise of political Shiism in the region - Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen (who are also linked to Shiite minorities in SA).

      So there are lots of reasons why the Yemeni government and SA would want us in Yemen - to get rid of their non-al-Qaeda enemies. I'm not sure how committed the Yemeni government is to getting rid of al-Qaeda though - like in SA, there's still lots of support for al-Qaeda in Yemen on the side that we will be on if we go into Yemen.

      As for the trucks going missing, it's quite common for tribesmen to be in the government army for a while and then take off back home with all their arms and weaponry. The missing weaponry and the closing of the embassies may or may not be linked but stuff goes missing in Yemen all the time because it's a pretty lawless place.

      I'm not sure that we really want to be there.

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