Thursday, March 1, 2012
Yemen: America's Dangerous Game. A film
This is the title of a film about a half hour in length. The entire film can be found at Al Jazeera here.
For years the U.S. supported former president Saleh of Yemen and he supported the U.S. war on terror in turn. Often Saleh would report that U.S. attacks were actually carried out by Yemeni forces.
However with the protests and disunity within Yemen the U.S. backed a plan by the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) that ultimately resulted in a deal that saw Saleh transfer power to his vice-president who ultimately ran as the only candidate for president and of course won. Saleh his family and relatives were all granted immunity from any prosecution for crimes during the protests. Many protesters were killed.
The Obama administration has long been carrying on secret operations in Yemen using drones, air attacks, and special forces to carry out a war against AQAM Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula. These covert operations have at times killed the wrong people and have not seem to have stopped the growth of radical Islamism in Yemen.
Quite the opposite. Militants took over several provinces and the central government has still to regain some territory. In a tribal society when members of the tribe are killed by drones this just sets up a desire for revenge and is used by militants to recruit new members.
In the film U.S. officials call AQAP the most dangerous enemy now in the war on terror. However, in Yemen new radical Islamists also are growing in number often said by media to be associated with AL Qaeda. With two separatist movements and a democratic protest movement that has been replaced by an old guard government with Saleh relatives heading security forces there could very well be much more conflict in Yemen with little progress towards democracy.