Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
10-07-2010, 12:21 AM (This post was last modified: 06-19-2012 11:05 PM by h3rm35.)
Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire
By Andrew Gavin Marshall
Global Research, October 5, 2010
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of his least known and ultimately one of his most important speeches ever, “Beyond Vietnam,” in which he spoke out against the American war in Vietnam and against American empire in all its political, military and economic forms. In his speech, King endorsed the notion that America “was on the wrong side of a world revolution.” Dr. King explained:
During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military "advisors" in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
This is the nature of war of today: during King’s time, the pretext for war was to stop the spread of Communism; today, it’s done in the name of stopping the spread of terrorism. Terror has since time immemorial been a tactic used by states and governments to control populations. Al-Qaeda is no exception, as it was created and continues to largely function as a geopolitical extension of the covert apparatus of American empire. In short, al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert world of American intelligence agencies. In particular, the CIA, DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency], US Special Forces, and multinational mercenary companies such as Blackwater [now Xe Services]. Where they go, al-Qaeda goes; where al-Qaeda goes, they accumulate; where they lay the groundwork, the American empire stands behind.
Yemen is perhaps an excellent example of America being on the “wrong side of a world revolution,” as the secret war in Yemen being exacerbated in the name of “fighting al-Qaeda” is in actuality, about the expansion and supremacy of American power in the region. It is about the suppression of natural democratic, local, revolutionary elements throughout the country seeking self-autonomy in changing the nation from its current despotic, authoritarian rule sympathetic to American interests, into a nation of their own choosing. It is about repressing struggles for liberation.
This brings in the involvement of Saudi Arabia, itself interested in ensuring Yemen is a loyal neighbour; so they too must suppress indigenous movements within Yemen seeking autonomy, especially those that are Shi’a Muslims, as the Saudi state is a strict Wahhabist Sunni Muslim regime. Shi’as are primarily represented in the region through the state of Iran, Saudi Arabia’s “natural” enemy; both vying for influence in Iraq and both vying for influence in Yemen. Through this we see another key American imperial aim in this war, that of seeking to stir up a conflict with Iran, perhaps through a proxy-war within Yemen, or perhaps in hopes that the proxy war would expand into a regional war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, naturally drawing in Israel, Egypt and the United States. Finally, we have the strategic location of Yemen to consider, bridging one of the largest oil transport routes in the world, parallel to Somalia and the Horn of Africa (where America is waging another war, again on the “wrong side of a world revolution”).
Just as American geopolitical strategists had chosen to favour Tutsis over Hutus in Central Africa in an effort to expand the American presence and business interests in the region; so too have American strategists chosen to favour a brand of radical Sunni Islam over the Shi’a or moderate Sunnis, and thus they support oppressive Sunni governments (such as Saudi Arabia), and denounce Shi’a governments as oppressive (such as Iran). Not to say that there is no oppression within Iran (there is oppression within all states everywhere in the world, Iran is no exception), but compared to Saudi Arabia, Iran is a bastion of freedom. Al-Qaeda is manifestly a significant facet of the pro-Wahhabist fundamentalist Sunni strategy of American imperialists. If they finance, train and arm the Sunni rebels or send in already-trained, armed and well-funded terrorists (commonly known as ‘al-Qaeda’ – the “database”), then they create a counter to any other domestic opposition or regional Shi’a dominance.
This essay examines the American war in Yemen as a war of empire, as a war against the rising tide of people’s movements and the “global political awakening” that is taking place around the world.
Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Art of Empire
To understand the current conflict in Yemen, as with all conflicts, we must go to history. To simply cast the conflict aside in the light of “fighting al-Qaeda” is a gross misrepresentation. Yemen’s history is deeply entwined with that of Arab nationalist politics in the Middle East, adding to that a balance of imperial power in the region.
The location of modern Yemen is vital in the notion of Yemen’s significance to imperial powers. Millennia ago, a settled civilization was established in the fertile south-west region of Arabia, and was “comprised by the kingdoms of Ma’in, Saba, and Himyar.” These kingdoms “were significant in the broader history of the Middle East, in part because of the long-distance trade links to India and the states at the top of the Red Sea.” When Islam arose:
Yemen became part of the Arab and Islamic worlds and contributed both militarily to the Islamic conquests and culturally to the mediaeval Islamic period. From the tenth century onward, Yemen ... ceased to be part of the broader Islamic empires ... [and] it was ruled by a succession of dynasties, controlling more or less of to-day’s Yemeni territory. The last of these to control most of to-day’s North and South were the Qasimis, who ruled in the mid-seventeenth century. In the early modern period, Yemen fell under various degrees of external influence and control – in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Dutch and the Portuguese yielding to the Ottomans, and in the nineteenth century the Ottomans and the British dividing the country between them.
When the Ottomans left in 1918, following their defeat in World War I, Zeidi Imam took over North Yemen, which was run by the Imams, while South Yemen was controlled by the British. From the late eighteenth century, the British being the dominant power in the Arabian Peninsula, “sought to protect its imperial communications by entering into a series of treaties with the ruling shaykhs of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman and by bringing the strategic southern tip of the peninsula under direct British control as the Aden Protectorate [South Yemen].”
Various families competed for power in Arabia, with Abd al-Aziz Ibn Sa’ud emerging victorious when in 1924 he exiled the previously imposed leader (supported by the British, but highly unpopular), Sharif Husayn. Britain quickly negotiated an agreement with Ibn Sa’ud in 1927, called the Treaty of Jeddah, which “recognized Ibn Sa’ud as the sovereign king of the Hijaz and sultan of Najd and its dependencies; he, in turn, acknowledged Britain’s special relationships with the coastal rulers [of the Arabian Peninsula] and pledged to respect their domains.” In 1932, the state became known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Following World War II, the United States became the single greatest superpower and it overtook the colonial possessions of the old European empires that collapsed prior to, during, and following World War II. In the Middle East:
New social and political forces emerged after 1945 to challenge the old elites and demand reform. Among them were pro-Soviet communist parties, but much more important and popular were radical nationalist movements and independent groups of young army officers determined to free their countries from lingering foreign control and chart a new course toward development and greater social justice.
The Imams in North Yemen had begun laying claim to all of “natural Yemen,” directly challenging British rule in the south. In the 1940s, “there began to develop political oppositions, to both the Imams in the North and the British in the South.” The “Free Yemeni” movement in the North staged a failed coup in 1948 to free the North from the authoritarian rule of the Imams.
Egypt saw the most significant upheavals in the immediate post-War years. In 1952, a group of junior military officers in the Egyptian Army orchestrated a bloodless coup in which they overthrew the Egyptian Monarchy and Colonel Abd al-Nasser took power, forming the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC). The RCC’s primary political rival in Egypt was the Muslim Brotherhood, so when an assassination attempt on Nasser took place in 1954, the RCC outlawed the Brotherhood, arrested thousands of its members and executed several of its leaders. Nasser was not only the primary progenitor of nationalism in the region, but he was considered the exalted leader of the pan-Arab movement for unity.
Nasser set up a Soviet arms deal in 1955, in which Egypt exchanged cotton for Soviet military equipment, which dealt Nasser an impressive propaganda effect among Arab peoples who saw it as a rebuff of the Anglo-American grip on Egypt. Nasser, meanwhile, had been attempting to construct a dam at Aswan, and sought funds to do so from the World Bank in 1955. The World Bank approved a loan package (designed by the British and Americans), which would have required Egypt to accept particular conditions of the loan. Nasser had not made a decision on the package, when, in July of 1956, America announced it was withdrawing the offer.
On July 26, 1956, days following the loan withdrawal, Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal, giving Nasser incredible support across the Muslim and Arab worlds, as the Canal, “built with Egyptian labour but operated by a French company and used as the lifeline of the British Empire, had stood as a symbol of Western exploitation.” On October 29, 1956, Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt, and a UN-sponsored cease-fire was signed by Britain and France on November 6, following the condemnation of the attack by both the USSR and America. The Suez Crisis, an Egyptian military defeat, had become a political success for Nasser.
In Yemen, the struggle of the Free Yemenis in the North waged on against both the rule of the Imams in the North and the British in the South. The Free Yemenis were largely influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt initially, but changed the rhetoric as the 1950s changed the dynamic of politics in the region, with the rise of Arab nationalism, and thus, “the predominant politics of the oppositions in North and South was nationalistic, involving support not only for the general goal of ‘Arab unity’ but also for ‘Yemeni’ unity.” Following the failed coup in 1948, the opposition in the North was split between intellectuals and groups of officers. In 1962, the officers overthrew the Imams and proclaimed the “Yemen Arab Republic.”
When this took place in the North, opposition spread to the countryside in the South where a guerilla movement developed. Between 1963 and 1967, the guerilla movement became a powerful force competing for power in Aden and the countryside, and was split into two: a Nasser-influenced group and a more radical Marxist “National Liberation Front” (NLF). Nasser inserted himself into the Yemeni civil war in 1962. The deposed Imam of Yemen had escaped to the mountains and rallied tribesmen to his cause, with significant support from powerful regional monarchs (and staunch American allies), Saudi Arabia and Jordan. So the new Yemeni regime turned to Nasser for assistance, and by 1965, close to 70,000 Egyptian troops were in Yemen fighting for the military regime in power. After several years of fighting rebels and traversing harsh terrain, Egypt withdrew in 1968.
During the civil war, the British were still holding onto their protectorate in the South, and were still very much politically bruised by Nasser since the Suez Crisis. Thus, the British “devised a scheme with Israel’s secret service, the Mossad, to aid the anti-Nasser forces in Yemen by supplying them with arms and financial help.” This effort was aided by the CIA, as well as Saudi intelligence and the Iranian SAVAK. Throughout the 1960s, the United States rapidly accelerated a program of military support for Saudi Arabia, which included a $400 million Anglo-American air defense program, military bases, infrastructure, “and a $100 million U.S. program to supply Saudi Arabia with trucks and military transport vehicles.” The aim was to weaken Egypt and Nasser through a civil war in Yemen, with each side using various groups for their own geopolitical ambitions.
In 1967, the National Liberation Front (NLF) came to power in South Yemen, as the British left, and South Yemen became an independent state. Subsequently, North and South Yemen supported opposition movements within each other’s territory. In 1972, the two sides briefly went to war with one another, when the North attempted to conquer the South with Saudi and Libyan support. While Yemen’s civil war had seen Yemen divided among itself, it had also become a regional conflict between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Yet, when the radical Marxist NLF government came to power in South Yemen in 1967, the NLF had “pledged its support for the overthrow of all the traditional monarchies in the Arabian Peninsula”:
The Saudi regime thus faced two hostile Yemens, both of them with radical governments, both of them supported by the Soviet Union, and both of them committed to the establishment of republican forms of rule. [Saudi] King Faysal responded to this danger by mending fences with the northern Yemen Arab Republic and attempting to foment discord between it and the People’s Republic of the south.
The situation Saudi Arabia faced to its south created an impetus for the acceleration and growth of the Saudi armed forces. Thus, in the 1970s, “the Saudis allocated between 35 and 40 percent of their total annual revenues to defense and security expenditures.” In 1970, the defense budget had increased to $2 billion; by 1976 it was $36 billion.
In North Yemen, the radical left fought a guerilla war against the government from 1978 until 1982, with support from South Yemen. This movement in the North “saw itself as the vanguard of a mass movement that would bring about unity through overthrowing the military and tribal forces dominating the country.” The North Yemen government was not centralized, and so lacked a strong measure of legitimacy. During the 1970s, the President “promoted closer ties with the South as part of an attempt to strengthen the central government.” Throughout the 1980s, closer ties between the two nations were sought, and “unity” committees were established, but with little if any success. Not until the collapse of the Soviet Union and end of the Cold War in 1989-1990 was progress on unity made, when “the internal weaknesses of both regimes led them to agree to enter a provisional unification,” which occurred in May 1990.
Each state thought that they could exploit the process of unification to exert their own authority over the other region. Thus, unity was “not a policy aimed at fusion but an instrument for inter-regime competition.” The North, in particular, “believed it could impose its will on the South,” following the 1993 elections and through the process of misleading negotiations. Eventually, this goal started to be realized, and “Yemeni unity was thus achieved by the successful imposition of the Northern regime’s power on the South, in alliance with both Islamists in the North, and with dissident exiles from the South.”
However, these disagreements and problems “led to a de facto split in the country in early 1994, followed at the end of April by an outright Northern attack on the South. On 7 July 1994 Northern forces entered Aden, thus effectively unifying the country under one regime for the first time in several centuries.”
Operation Scorched Earth
During the 1994 civil war in Yemen, the North was aided in its war against the south by Wahhabist Sunni rebels (practicing the strict branch of Islam common to Saudi Arabia as well as al-Qaeda). Following the war and the success of the North, the government had granted the Wahhabis a stronger voice in the government. This is a major complaint of the Zaydis, a Shi’a branch of Islam. The Zaydis had Saada as their main stronghold in the North, but were driven from power in the 1962 revolution, left to a region that remained undeveloped. Saudi Arabia drew increasingly worried about having a rebellious group of Shi’a Islam fighters (the Houthi) so close to their border, with the potential to stir up groups within Saudi Arabia itself.
In 2004, the Yemen government tried to arrest the leader, Hussein al-Houthi, a Zaydi religious leader, which sparked fighting and the leader was subsequently killed in an air strike, leaving the movement to be run by his brothers. In 2004, between 500-1000 people were killed in the fighting. In 2005, the fighting continued, and an estimated 1,500 people were killed. Fighting broke out again in 2007 between the government and the rebels, in which hundreds of people were killed. In 2008, a Shi’a mosque was bombed during prayer in the Northern stronghold of Saada, with the Yemen government blaming the Shi’a rebels, who both denied responsibility and denounced the attack. This spurred on further clashes between the government and the rebels, so that by late 2008, since the outbreak of fighting in 2004, between 3,700 and 5,500 “militants and civilians” had been killed in the fighting.
In June of 2009, nine foreigners were kidnapped while having a picnic in Saada, “the bodies of three of them, a South Korean teacher and two German nurses were discovered. Five Germans, including three children and a Briton, are still missing and their status is unknown.” It was never determined who was behind the kidnappings and murders, but the government blamed the Houthi rebels. The Houthis in turn blamed drug cartels in the region for the murders. Yemen was faced simultaneously with a secessionist movement in both the North and the South, and was reportedly facing a “greater threat from al-Qaeda,” which had been a “growing concern” of the United States. In July of 2009, Gen. David Petraeus, CENTCOM Commander, “and an accompanying delegation, flew to Yemen and met with [President] Saleh,” at which one of the topics of discussion was “how to better combat terrorism.” In August of 2009, Yemen launched a military offensive against Houthi rebels in the North.
This was Operation Scorched Earth, launched by the Yemen military on August 11, 2009. Troops, tanks and fighter aircraft were used in this Yemeni blitzkrieg against the Houthi and Zaydi in the North, with the President vowing to crack down with an “iron fist.”
This led to a refugee crisis in which, by October 2009, over 55,000 people fled their homes due to the conflict. In November, the rebels had a border fight with Saudi Arabia, killing a Saudi officer and injuring several others. Saudi Arabian “warplanes and artillery bombarded a Shiite rebel stronghold,” and Saudi Arabia and Yemen were “cooperating and sharing intelligence in the fight.” Moroccan special forces trained in guerilla warfare were accompanying Saudi soldiers, and Morocco cut off relations with Iran, which was being accused of arming the Houthi rebels. Jordan also reportedly sent 2,000 of its own special forces to help Saudi Arabia.
The American Empire in the Gulf of Aden and Africa
What is America’s particular interest in Yemen, and more broadly, in the region that encompasses the Gulf of Aden, over which Yemen rests at the pinnacle? The Gulf of Aden connects the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea, with Yemen positioned directly across the water from Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea. The Gulf of Aden is a vital transport route for the shipment of Persian Gulf oil, forming “an essential oil transport route between Europe and the Far East.” Clearly, control of the major oil transport routes is a key strategic imperative of any global power; in this case, America. Yemen, situated beneath Saudi Arabia, positions itself as even more significant to American strategic initiatives, in securing their interests in the world’s most oil-rich nation and key US ally. An American-friendly government in Yemen is a Saudi-friendly government.
Another key facet of American imperial strategy in the Gulf of Aden and Yemen regards the American imperial strategy in Africa. In 2005, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the main policy-planning group of the US elite, published a Task Force Report on US strategy in Africa called, “More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa.” In the report, it was stated that:
Africa is becoming more important because of its growing role in supplying the world with oil, gas, and non-fuel minerals. Now supplying the United States with 15 percent of oil imports, Africa’s production may double in the next decade, and its capacity for natural gas exports will grow even more. In the next decade, Africa could be supplying the United States with as much energy as the Middle East.
The report stated that, “The United States is facing intense competition for energy and other natural resources in Africa,” identifying India and primarily China as its main competitors “in the search for these resources and for both economic and political influence on the continent.” In particular, “China presents a particularly important challenge to U.S. interests.”
Further, “To compete more effectively with China, the United States must provide more encouragement and support to well-performing African states, develop innovative means for U.S. companies to compete, give high-level attention to Africa, and engage China on those practices that conflict with U.S. interests.” In analyzing how the War on Terror had been brought to Africa, the report stated:
Post-9/11, the U.S. counterterror approach to Africa has been led by the U.S. military: CENTCOM in the Horn; EUCOM in West, Central, and southern Africa; and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). More quietly, U.S. intelligence cooperation with key states has expanded in parallel with the enlargement of the U.S. military’s role.
As the Guardian reported in June of 2005, “a new ‘scramble for Africa’ is taking place among the world's big powers, who are tapping into the continent for its oil and diamonds.” A key facet of this is that “corporations from the US, France, Britain and China are competing to profit from the rulers of often chaotic and corrupt regimes.” In May of 2006, the Washington Post reported that in Somalia, the US has been “secretly supporting secular warlords who have been waging fierce battles against Islamic groups for control of the capital, Mogadishu.”
In December of 2006, Ethiopia, heavily backed and supported by the US, invaded and occupied Somalia, ousting the Islamist government. The US support for the operations was based upon the claims of Somalia being a breeding ground for terrorists and Al-Qaeda. However, this was has now turned into an insurgency. Wired Magazine reported in December of 2008 that, “for several years the U.S. military has fought a covert war in Somalia, using gunships, drones and Special Forces to break up suspected terror networks – and enlisting Ethiopia’s aid in propping up a pro-U.S. ‘transitional’ government.” Again, another case of America being on the “wrong side of a world revolution.”
The Ethiopian troops occupied Somalia for a couple years, and in January of 2009, the last Ethiopian troops left the capital city of Mogadishu. In 2007, the UN authorized an African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Somalia. In March of 2007, Ugandan military officials landed in Somalia. Essentially, what this has done is that the more overt Ethiopian occupation of Somalia has been replaced with a UN-mandated African Union occupation of the country, in which Ugandan troops make up the majority. Since Uganda is a proxy military state for the US in the region, the more overt US supported Ethiopian troops have been replaced by a more covert US-supported Ugandan contingent.
In 2007, Newsweek reported that, “America is quietly expanding its fight against terror on the African front. Two years ago the United States set up the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership with nine countries in central and western Africa. There is no permanent presence, but the hope is to generate support and suppress radicalism by both sharing U.S. weapons and tactics with friendly regimes and winning friends through a vast humanitarian program assembled by USAID, including well building and vocational training.” The Pentagon announced the formation of a new military strategic command called “Africom” (Africa Command), which “will integrate existing diplomatic, economic and humanitarian programs into a single strategic vision for Africa, bring more attention to long-ignored American intelligence-gathering and energy concerns on the continent, and elevate African interests to the same level of importance as those of Asia and the Middle East.”
The article gave brief mention to critics, saying that, “not surprisingly, the establishment of a major American base in Africa is inspiring new criticism from European and African critics of U.S. imperial overreach.” Some claim it represents a “militarization of U.S. Africa policy,” which is not a stretch of the imagination, as the article pointed out, “the United States has identified the Sahel, a region stretching west from Eritrea across the broadest part of Africa, as the next critical zone in the War on Terror and started working with repressive governments in Chad and Algeria, among others, to further American interests there.” The article continued:
The problem is that, increasingly, African leaders appear not to want Africom. They see it as the next phase of the War on Terror—a way to pursue jihadists inside Africa's weak or failed states, which many U.S. officials have described as breeding grounds for terror. They worry that the flow of arms will overwhelm the flow of aid, and that U.S. counterterrorism will further destabilize a region already prone to civil wars.
Ever since the 2007 US-supported air strikes and invasion of Somalia, piracy has been a significant issue in the waters off of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. In 2009, several major nations, including America, Britain and China, sent navy ships into Somali waters to combat the pirates who were negatively impacting trade through the region. As Johann Hari explained in the Independent:
In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died...
At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving... This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".
In 2009, an American Navy commander suggested that the Somali pirates were in receivership of not only a great amount of sympathy from Yemeni people (while the government would help combat the piracy), but that “private citizens in Yemen are selling weapons, fuel and supplies to Somali pirates. And maritime experts worry that pirates are increasingly able to find refuge along Yemen's vast coast.” Some Yemeni officials “suggest the extensive international attention to piracy is just a pretext for big powers like the U.S. to gain control of the Gulf of Aden, a waterway through which millions of barrels of oil pass every day.” One member of the Yemeni Parliament suggested that, “Western powers are allowing piracy to continue as a way to serve their own interests.”
Al-Qaeda in Yemen
The current war in Yemen and US support for it is predicated on the basis of aiding Yemen in the fight against al-Qaeda. Said Ali al-Shihri was arrested by the Americans in 2001 in Afghanistan, and was promptly taken to Guantanamo Bay. The Americans released him into Saudi custody in 2007, and he “passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.” In other words, the US handed him over to Saudi Arabia, who enrolled him in a program for ‘former jihadists’, and then he became the second in command in Al-Qaeda in Yemen. As one American intelligence official stated, “he returned to Saudi Arabia in 2007, but his movements to Yemen remain unclear.” One Saudi security official had reported (on condition of anonymity) that, “Mr. Shihri had disappeared from his home in Saudi Arabia [in 2008] after finishing the rehabilitation program.”
In June of 2009, US officials were reporting that Al-Qaeda fighters were leaving Pakistan to go fight in Somalia and Yemen. The CIA, the Pentagon and the White House reported that Al-Qaeda groups in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia were “communicating more frequently, and apparently trying to coordinate their actions.” The CIA Director, Leon Panetta, said that, “the United States must prevent Al Qaeda from creating a new sanctuary in Yemen or Somalia.” Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Brookings Institution, a major US policy think tank, “I am very worried about growing safe havens in both Somalia and Yemen, specifically because we have seen Al Qaeda leadership, some leaders, start to flow to Yemen.” So the American national security establishment had refocused its efforts on Yemen. War seemed inevitable.
In the 1980s, millions of Yemeni men had worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sending remittances back home to Yemen. In 1991, in the lead-up to the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia viewed these migrant workers as a potential security threat, so they expelled 800,000 Yemeni workers back to Yemen, and henceforth, Yemeni labour was banned in Saudi Arabia. Saudi financed Wahhabi madrasas sprung up across Yemen, providing a place for the disenchanted and unemployed Yemeni Sunni population to find an outlet for their political and economic dislocation. President Saleh of Yemen had often used Yemeni Wahhabis “to fight his domestic opponents – first the communists, then the Zaidis, and then the H[o]uthis.”
In August of 2009, as the Saudi assault on the Houthi rebels in the North was underway, a Houthi leader and brother to the slain former leader, Yahya al-Houthi, spoke to a Middle Eastern news agency. He was a former Yemeni Member of Parliament, who had fled to Libya, and subsequently sought political asylum in Germany. He told Press TV:
Saudi Arabia wants the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh to remain in power because he is meeting all the Saudi demands especially those related to terrorism. Yemen is now a main party in carrying out terrorist plots sponsored by Saudi Arabia, therefore it is important for Saudi Arabia to keep Ali Abdullah Saleh in power as the overthrow of his regime would lead to many big secrets being revealed. The regime in Saudi Arabia also supports the Wahhabi ideology and is trying to spread this ideology amongst our people in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is also suffering from internal problems which it wants to export to Yemen. Many members of al-Qaeda , Yemenis and non Yemenis, are now in Yemen. In recent months [Yemeni President] Ali Abdullah Saleh has taken many recruits of Al-Qaeda who were afraid of falling into the hands of their regimes in countries like Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. His plan was to use these fighters from al-Qaeda to battle the Houthis in Saada. A training camp was also erected for these terrorists which still exists today in the area of Waila. These members of al-Qaeda and also Baathist elements are now taking part in the fighting alongside the Yemeni army against the Houthis. The areas of Malahit and Hasana which the Houthis have taken control over were used to transfer weapons from Saudi Arabia to the terrorists. These areas are also where most of the terrorists' plans are made.
In other words, according to al-Houthi, Yemen (along with Saudi Arabia) are directly supporting the al-Qaeda contingent in Yemen in an effort to sow chaos (thus providing a pretext for the military assault), as well as aiding in the fight against the Houthis. In October, as the fighting raged on, it was reported that the Yemeni governor in the northern province had “signed a deal” with al-Qaeda, in which the government “would provide the militants with arms, budget and other military requirements to assist the Yemeni army against the Shia fighters.” Saudi Arabia remains, as it did throughout the entire history of the movement (since the 1980s), as the principle financier of al-Qaeda.
In fact, in 2009, it was revealed that members of the Saudi royal family directly provide “extensive financial support for al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.” The documents were revealed in a court case in which families of victims of the September 11th attacks were seeking to bring legal action against the Saudis for their financial support. The documents were leaked to their lawyers, and the US Justice Department stepped in (on behalf of the Saudis), and “had the lawyers’ copies destroyed and now wants to prevent a judge from even looking at the material.” Clearly, al-Qaeda is not an organization autonomous of Saudi financing.
The Southern Secessionist Movement
Apart from simply the Houthis, the Saleh dictatorship seeks to suppress a Southern Yemeni secessionist movement seeking autonomy and liberation against the illegitimate central government. Since 2007, “southern Yemenis have been staging mass protests calling for reinstatement of southerners dismissed from the civil service and army, higher pensions, a fairer share of the country's dwindling national wealth, and an end to corruption.” The protests were met with “severe repression by the security services, which seemed to only spur on the demand for secession by the south, where most of the country's oil is located.” One Yemeni analyst stated that, “If there is one thing that will break the country, it’s going to be the southern secession.” One southern secessionist activist stated that Saleh’s government was using the pretext of al-Qaeda and it’s war on terror “for the liquidation of the southern movement,” and that, “the southern movement is trying to continue the peaceful struggle. But the powers in Yemen have used excessive violence against peaceful protests.” The government, for its part, has attempted to propagate the baseless claim that the southern secessionists have links with al-Qaeda.
Interestingly, al-Qaeda’s leader in Yemen, in a recorded statement, “declared support for the Southern Movement, but Southern leaders have thus far rejected his endorsement.” In an interview with France24, former South Yemen President, Ali Salem al-Beidh, explained that, “We have nothing to do with al Qaeda, we have never been in contact with this organization. Our movement rejects terrorism, which in contrast thrives in the north of the country. President Ali Abdallah Saleh uses al Qaeda to scare westerners and the United States.” Saleh’s government has committed several human rights abuses against the movement in the South, unlawfully and unjustly killing innocents during protests, with the military surrounding peaceful protests and opening fire.
Mass protest in South Yemen
The “rapidly spreading” protest movement in the South, explained the New York Times, “now threatens to turn into a violent insurgency if its demands are not met.” While the leaders of the movement favour peaceful protest, the government’s violent repression has made it so that “their ability to control younger and more violent supporters is fraying.” One southern leader stated, “We demand an independent southern republic, and we have the right to defend ourselves if they continue to kill us and imprison us.” Again refuting claims that the movement is tried to al-Qaeda, the leaders “say that they stand for law, tolerance and democracy, and that it is the north that has a history of using jihadists as proxy warriors.” A major problem arises within the Southern movement in that it remains deeply divided, with no clear singular leadership, drawing from an array of people, from socialists to Islamists, “with wildly different goals and unresolved disputes.”
The Underwear Bomber
On December 25, 2009, a 23-year old Nigerian-born man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, when he tried to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear. This incident, still shrouded in mystery, provided the excuse for American involvement in the conflict in Yemen, as it was reported that Farouk had been trained by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the newly-formed Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaeda group.
However, how Farouk managed to get on the plane, let alone past security with explosives on his person, is still an important question. After all, America knew about Farouk for up to two years prior to the incident, and even had him “on a list that includes people with known or suspected contact or ties to a terrorist or terrorist organization.” Britain’s MI5 knew three years prior to the incident that Umar had connections with Islamic extremists in Britain. Umar’s father, a former Nigerian government minister and successful banker, had even warned the US Embassy in Nigeria of his son’s extremist beliefs. Umar even had a US entry visa, and when the State Department stepped in to have his visa revoked, “intelligence officials asked [the State Department] not to deny a visa to the suspected terrorist over concerns that a denial would've foiled a larger investigation into al-Qaida threats against the United States.”
Suddenly, there was a flurry of reports from “respected” newspapers (such as the Washington Post and New York Times propaganda rags), that this “failure” of following through with the intelligence that was available on Umar meant that a review of security was needed, both in terms of possibly expanding the “watch lists” and in terms of expanding airport security, and proposing the use of body-scanners. Several politicians and news-rags were also calling for expanded military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Interestingly, there were several reports of eyewitnesses on board the plane who contradict the official account of Umar’s attempted terrorist act. An attorney on board the plane said that, “he saw another man come to the assistance of accused bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab when he tried to board the airplane in Amsterdam without a passport.” The attorney and his wife had both seen this incident. The wife, also a lawyer, stated, “My husband noticed two men walk up to the ticket counter lady. The only reason he noticed them is that he thought they were really a mismatched pair.” She said that Umar “wore older, scraggly clothing, but the man who was assisting him, who appeared to be of Indian descent, was dressed in what looked like an expensive suit and shoes.” She recounted that the well-dressed man had told the ticket agent, “We need to get this man on the plane,” and that, “He doesn’t have a passport.” The ticket agent responded that no one was allowed to board the plane without a passport, to which the Indian man replied, “We do this all the time; he’s from Sudan.” Yet no further information has come forward about this mysterious ‘second man’ who helped Umar board the plane. Nevertheless, the propaganda of this attempted terrorist ‘attack’ had taken effect, as people were again afraid of the menace of “Islamic terror” and “al-Qaeda,” and the U.S. got the pretext to justify its intervention in Yemen.
American Imperialism in Yemen
While the ‘Underwear Bomber’ was used as a propaganda vehicle for supporting direct US military intervention in Yemen, covert US military involvement in Yemen had already been underway for some time (as well as British). In 2002, a mere six months following 9/11, President Bush authorized the deployment of 100 US troop to Yemen “to help train that nation's military to fight terrorists.” The troops “would consist predominantly of Special Forces, but could also include intelligence experts and other specialists. The main target would be Al Qaeda fighters who are hiding in Yemen.” In September of 2002, it was reported that the United States was deploying Special Forces and CIA agents into the Horn of Africa in an effort to combat al-Qaeda in Yemen, and “800 US special forces have been moved to Djibouti, which faces Yemen.” In November of 2002, a CIA Predator drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – UAV) launched an attack on an al-Qaeda target within Yemen, killing six suspected al-Qaeda members, one of whom was an American citizen.
Prior to the ‘Underwear Bomber’ (as he has come to be known), the conflict in Yemen was primarily viewed as a civil war, and then with the participation of Saudi Arabia, as a regional Arab conflict. In September of 2009, it was reported that while the Yemeni government attempted to subdue a rebel Shi’a army in the north (Houthi), a refugee crisis was emerging, and a wider conflict was erupting, which could “suck the US into another sensitive conflict zone.” Many observed that if the US manages to stay out of the war, “the conflict might be subsumed in a regional war by proxy,” as in, through Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, further, was accusing Iran of supporting the Shi’a rebels in northern Yemen, with both money and arms, but Saudi Arabia “has produced no hard evidence.” From the time the Saudi assault on northern Yemen began in August of 2009, between 25,000 and 100,000 Yemeni refugees were displaced. One top official with the World Food Program (WFP) stated that, “We're not confronted with a humanitarian crisis, it's becoming a humanitarian tragedy.”
A member of the International Crisis Group (ICG) said, “that the United States might be forced to intervene as the security situation worsened to prevent Yemen becoming a ‘failed state’.” Further, “the country has been used as an al-Qaeda base before, and its strategic location between the oil supply routes of the Gulf and the piracy haven of Somalia means its stability is regarded as a key western interest.” Thus, said the ICG analyst, “You might well see American advisers, maybe even some special troops, go in for special operations.” President Obama declared in September of 2009 that, “the security of Yemen is vital for the security of the United States.”
In November of 2009, it was reported that a “delegation of military officers from Yemen arrived in the United States recently” for training, of which the purpose “was to familiarize the Yemeni military officers with formal training programs currently in use by the United States Marine Corps. Support to Yemeni military officer training is likely to increase the effectiveness of [Yemen’s] military force.” On December 13, 2009, (less than two weeks prior to the “Underwear Bomber” incident), it was reported that, “US special forces have been sent to Yemen to train its army amid fears the unstable Arab state is becoming a strategically important base for al-Qaeda.”
It would appear, then, that the “Underwear Bomber” incident arrived just in time for the United States to have an excuse to expand its war in the region. Without the propagandized attempted terrorist attack, the American public would not readily accept America’s entry into yet another war. Questions might be asked about the nature of the war, such as the US supporting the government of Yemen in its suppression and oppression of its own people and the autonomous movements developing within Yemen seeking change. Whereas with a terrorist attack (or attempted, rather), and the convenient link to al-Qaeda, which suddenly was reported to be heavily represented in Yemen, Americans see their involvement in Yemen as a war against al-Qaeda, and a necessary one at that.
Two days after the “Underwear Bomber” incident took place, the New York Times reported that, “in the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen.” In 2008, “the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country,” and simultaneously, “some of the most secretive Special Operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics.” Further:
The Pentagon is spending more than $70 million over the next 18 months, and using teams of Special Forces, to train and equip Yemeni military, Interior Ministry and coast guard forces, more than doubling previous military aid levels.
It was even reported that the US had been providing both intelligence and “fire power” to Yemen in its air strikes against “suspected al-Qaeda targets” throughout December, prior to the “Underwear Bomber.” The New York Times did its part to propagandize the al-Qaeda issue by stating that, “al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has rapidly evolved into an expanding and ambitious regional terrorist network thanks in part to a weakened, impoverished and distracted Yemeni government.” Naturally, the British were not far behind in supporting an imperialist campaign to crush indigenous movements for autonomy, directed against western-supported dictators. After all, the British have been doing this for centuries. Roughly one week following the attempted Detroit plane bomber story broke, it was reported that the UK sent counter-terrorist forces to Yemen, where they will train the Yemeni military “and will assist in planning operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” The British media referred to Yemen as “the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden,” and had revealed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that:
Even before the attack, Britain quietly sent a military unit, believed to be about 30-strong and include members of the SAS, to train and mentor Yemeni forces in surveillance and strike operations, intelligence gathering, hostage rescue and interrogation techniques. It is understood that the detachment is being assisted by members of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.
There further seems to be an effort to not only use al-Qaeda to advance US interests in the region, but also to draw a link to Iran, so as to further demonize Iran and even draw it into a regional war.
Pushing for a Proxy War With Iran
Government officials in Yemen had been declaring that the greatest threat to Yemen’s security comes not from al-Qaeda, but Iran, as they blame Iran “for fermenting the Shia rebellion,” and the chairman of Yemen’s national security agency stated that, “there are indeed signs, proof of Iranian interference.” While these allegations are made without any proof, “Western diplomats claim it is probable that Iran is providing money or materiel to the group, as it has to Hizbollah in Lebanon.”
In November of 2009, when Saudi Arabia had stepped up its military campaign in Yemen, the New York Times reported that, “the border skirmish could lead to the realization of Saudi Arabia’s worst fear: a proxy conflict with its archrival, Iran, on its doorstep.” Quoting a Yemeni professor as saying that the Iran link to the Houthis was “a myth,” the Saudi assault against the Shi’a group could provoke Iran to “turn myth into reality”:
A battle between the Arab world’s leading Sunni power and Shiite Iran, even at one remove, could significantly elevate sectarian tensions across the region. Iran gained tremendous leverage over the Israeli-Palestinian problem by supporting the militant groups Hezbollah, in Lebanon, and Hamas, in Gaza. Helping the Houthis, another guerrilla group with great staying power, could give them a way to put pressure on Saudi Arabia.
However, even as the New York Times acknowledged, the idea that the Houthis are more religiously aligned to Iran than the Arab Gulf nations is a misnomer, as the Houthi religion of Zaydism “is doctrinally closer to Sunnism than to mainstream Shiism.” However, facts take a back seat to war propaganda.
On December 18, 2009, roughly one week before the “Underwear Bomber,” Time Magazine ran an article in which they reported on the claims of Yemen and Saudi Arabia that the Houthis “are receiving their funding, weapons and training from Iran in a bid to destabilize the region.” While acknowledging that there is no evidence of Iranian involvement, the Time article was entitled, “Yemen's Hidden War: Is Iran Causing Trouble?” and the last sentence in the article wrote, “As for Iran — the only party that doesn't seem to have any real involvement just yet — the time may soon be ripe to jump in.” The Washington Post carried an article entitled, “Yemen denounces Iran's 'interference',” yet only in the final paragraph of the article did they report, “Yemen has accused Iran of funneling arms and providing financial backing to the rebels, but the Yemeni government has not provided evidence to support the assertions. The rebels have insisted that they receive no support from Iran or any other foreign powers.”
Saudi and Yemeni media and government propaganda presented a view that Iran was extensively involved in the internal conflict in Yemen. Yemen had seized an Iranian ship which it claimed was transporting weapons to Houthi rebels, while Saudi papers reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps was training the Houthi rebels. Another Saudi media outlet “reported that a dozen Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon were killed during battles in October,” and Saudi Arabia placed blame for the conflict on Iran, saying that “the insurgents are working for Tehran and [are] wanting to take their front to the Saudi border.”
While there has been no actual evidence of Iranian involvement put forward, the situation could become a self-fulfilling prophecy of the Saudis and Yemenis, in the sense that the more they accuse Iran of involvement, the more they demonize and publicly lambaste Iran, the more likely it is that Iran will be drawn into the conflict. If they are already the target of a campaign aimed at blaming their alleged involvement for creating the crisis, what do they have to lose from entering the conflict? Thus, Yemen could “possibly become a battleground for a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.” Regardless of whether or not the Iranians are or will be physically involved in the conflict, it has resulted in a war of rhetoric between both Saudi Arabia and Iran, further inflaming tensions between the two nations.
In January of 2010, General David Petraeus, commander of US Forces in the Middle East, said that, “the domestic conflict in Yemen could become a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.” He explained that, “it is not a proxy war now, but has the potential to become one, and there may already have been some movement in that direction.”
There was even a pathetic attempt on the part of the Washington Times to link Iran to al-Qaeda. Obviously, the Washington Times seemed to be blithely unaware of the fact that Iran is a Shi’a dominated state, which is religiously and ideologically opposed to al-Qaeda, which practices a strict Wahhabist Sunni brand of Islam, as propagated and practiced by Saudi Arabia, a major regional antagonist of Iran’s. To claim that there would be a link between Iran and al-Qaeda is simply to proclaim one’s own ignorance. No wonder then, that Senator John McCain, while on the campaign trail for President in 2008, so often ‘proclaimed his ignorance’ by several times making the claim that Iran was supporting al-Qaeda.
Could the United States be seeking to foment a wider war in the region? Could the civil war in Yemen be expanded into a proxy-war against Iran? Well, the United States (with the participation of several other NATO partners) fueled the proxy war in the last civil war, where the target was Nasserist Egypt. Could the US simply be employing the same strategy today as they were then, with simply a change of target? To understand this answer, we must look to the direct role played by the United States in the Yemeni civil war.
America Wages War on Yemen
Over a week prior to the “underwear bomber” fiasco, on December 16, 2009, the United States reportedly “perpetrated an appalling massacre against citizens in the north of Yemen as it launched air raids on various populated areas, markets, refugee camps and villages along with Saudi warplane,” according to the Houthi fighters. Over 120 people were reported to have been killed in the US bombing. The Houthi rebels have even reported that U.S. fighter jets “have launched 28 attacks on the northwestern province of Sa'ada.”
On December 21, 2009, days before the “underwear bomber” pretext, ABC news reported that the US had begun launching cruise missile attacks in Yemen under the authorization of President Obama, and the French media reported on one such strike having massacred “49 civilians, among them 23 children and 17 women.” While the air strikes were reportedly undertaken to target al-Qaeda in Yemen, they took place in the south near where some of the leaders of the secessionist movement were reportedly living. These raids had been increasingly taking place, and as the New York Times reported, “the United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support to the government of Yemen as it carried out raids.”
Over 2009, the Pentagon supplied the Yemeni military with $70 million, effectively subsidizing their military (as they do with a plethora of nations worldwide, most notably Colombia, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia), in order for Yemen’s military to be more able to crush the secessionist uprising in the South, the rebels in the North, and that pesky al-Qaeda which rears its head in any nation America seeks to conduct military operations in. As Newsweek reported in late December of 2009:
Over the past year U.S. and Yemeni interests have increasingly begun to align as Al Qaeda's presence in the country has grown. "We started seeing a lot of foreign fighters coming in—Saudis, Pakistanis," says one Yemeni diplomatic source. Many of those have arrived (or returned) from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. As they have, the networks of militants have begun to launch quiet, pinpoint strikes on local Yemeni intelligence chiefs—six or seven in the past several months alone. The government's retaliatory raids were launched partly in response to those strikes... Government raids are almost certainly the products of close cooperation with the U.S.—perhaps carried out by CIA-operated Predator drones launched from nearby Djibouti. A. A. Al-Eryani, a former Yemeni prime minister who advises the current president, says that there is "complete intelligence cooperation" with the U.S. on counterterrorism.
In other words, as the US brought in key Pakistani and Saudi assets (who themselves make up both the financial and operational arms of al-Qaeda), al-Qaeda militants began to emerge and launch strikes against Yemen. Suddenly, then, a pretext for US military involvement in the nation is delivered in the guise of fighting the “War on Terror.” Just as during the Cold War, the threat of ‘Communism’ was used to rally support for suppressing and waging war against national liberation movements all across the world, so now these movements are suppressed and waged war against under the guise of “fighting terror.” An odd ‘irony’ of history, then, that in order to “fight terror,” the West simply spreads it.
On December 29th, 2009, the Australian reported that, “the Americans have quietly opened a third, largely covert front against the al-Qa'ida terror network in Yemen, to combat a new generation of militants keen on transforming the country into a launching pad for jihad against the US, its Arab allies and Israel.” Besides the blatant propagandizing in the opening sentence, the first part reveals the fact of a new ‘secret war’ that America is waging. The article explained that a year previous, “CIA sent many of its top field operatives with counter-terrorism experience to the country, while some of the most secretive US special operations commandos began training Yemeni security forces in counter-terrorism tactics.”
As US Senator Joe Lieberman proclaimed, “Iraq was yesterday's war. Afghanistan is today's war. If we don't act pre-emptively, Yemen will be tomorrow's war.” Barbara Bodine, the former US Ambassador to Yemen, said that, “I think it would be a major mistake to turn this into a third front, if Iraq and Afghanistan are somehow front number one and number two.” She explained, “If we try to deal with this as an American security problem and dealt with by American military, we risk exacerbating the problem.” She astutely observed the nature of occupational forces when she warned, “If we go in and make this our war ... it is suddenly going to become a war against us and we will lose it.”
The United States took it upon itself to “press” the Yemeni government – a hard-line oppressive dictatorship – to “toughen its approach.” In February of 2010, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates approved “more than doubling U.S. funding to train and equip Yemeni security forces to combat al Qaeda” at a figure of $150 million, up from $67 million the previous year. However, “the sum does not include covert U.S. assistance for Yemen, which has quietly increased in recent months.” U.S. CIA Director Leon Panetta, however, raised doubts as to whether Washington can count on Yemen in the long-term to fight al-Qaeda. Covertly, the United States had increased ‘assistance’ to Yemen through U.S. Special Forces, the CIA and the National Security Agency, “sharing satellite and surveillance imagery, intercepted communications and other sensitive information to help Yemen pinpoint strikes against al Qaeda targets,” or at least what are said to be al-Qaeda targets, but usually end up as civilian casualties.
In April of 2010, it was announced that the Pentagon had implemented plans to “boost U.S. military assistance to Yemen’s special operations forces to lead an offensive targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” AQAP, providing roughly $34 million in “tactical assistance” to Yemen’s special forces. A further $38 million will provide Yemen with military transport aircraft.
As the United States has dramatically increased CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, killing thousands of innocent civilians, in May of 2010, the United States announced that it had deployed drones to Yemen to target al-Qaeda. In June of 2010, it was leaked that the U.S. “secret war” has expanded globally, as “Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60” at the beginning of 2009. As the Washington Post reported:
In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia... Plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world, meant to be put into action when a plot has been identified, or after an attack linked to a specific group... Obama, one senior military official said, has allowed "things that the previous administration did not."
Special Operations commanders have also become a far more regular presence at the White House than they were under George W. Bush's administration, when most briefings on potential future operations were run through the Pentagon chain of command and were conducted by the defense secretary or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We have a lot more access," a second military official said. "They are talking publicly much less but they are acting more. They are willing to get aggressive much more quickly."
... Bush-era clashes between the Defense and State departments over Special Operations deployments have all but ceased. Former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld saw them as an independent force, approving in some countries Special Operations intelligence-gathering missions that were so secret that the U.S. ambassador was not told they were underway. But the close relationship between Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is said to have smoothed out the process... In every place, Special Operations forces activities are coordinated with the U.S. ambassador and are under the operational control of the four-star regional commander.
The British are also involved in supporting the conflict in Yemen. In July of 2010, the head of Yemen’s Special Forces met with a British military delegation, in which “aspects of bilateral military cooperation between Yemen and the UK were discussed in addition to training, and ways to benefit from British military expertise to bolster the military and security capabilities of Yemen’s armed forces.”
In May of 2010, an air strike took place, which was reported to have killed al-Qaeda militants, in “a secret mission by the U.S. military.” However, “the strike, it turned out, had also killed the province's deputy governor, a respected local leader who Yemeni officials said had been trying to talk al-Qaida members into giving up their fight.” As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, “that would be the equivalent of some foreign military force killing the lieutenant governor of an American state in an air strike.” Further, the “U.S. attacks have had no apparent impact on al-Qaida or on anyone else in Yemen, apart from its civilian population who have taken casualties in badly targeted attacks.” Commenting on the fact that US Special Forces operations in Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Yemen, the reporter asks some important questions:
Why is Mr. Saleh our ally? Why are we killing innocent civilians in the back country of Yemen? Why are we stirring up the kind of trouble that can end up trashing Yemen the way we have trashed Iraq and Afghanistan? Does anyone believe for one minute that we are any safer for all that we are doing in those 12 countries -- probably more -- than we wou
11-04-2010, 02:35 AM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
.. alllow me finish that off for you H3rm35. It's worth a read, hopefully there is some contingent of the military that is aware this is a big giant setup and acts appropriately.
Quote:e -- than we would be if we had normal, mutually respectful, mutually helpful relations with them?http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticl...leId=21306
There are no others, there is only us.
11-05-2010, 02:15 AM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2010 02:40 AM by h3rm35.)
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Unanswered Questions in the Yemen Terror Scare
By Barry Grey
Global Research, November 2, 2010
World Socialist Web Site - 2010-11-01
In what has become a regular feature of American public life—especially on the eve of major elections—the airwaves were taken over Friday by breathless reports of a new terror threat. It is impossible to determine how much is fact and how much is fiction in the ever-expanding claims being made regarding two packages from Yemen allegedly containing high explosives and addressed to two synagogues in Chicago.
But the very fact that the decision was made, undoubtedly at a very high level, to give such massive media coverage to the alleged plot—before any concrete details were being reported and entirely on the basis of unsubstantiated claims made by, for the most part, anonymous officials—is sufficient reason to adopt a highly skeptical attitude.
The tag line of a popular American television series about a US counterterrorism group—“Not every conspiracy is a theory”—is apt. The hidden purposes behind the current government-media campaign remain unclear, but one thing is certain: no trust should be placed in any of the information being given out.
The suspicious packages, one shipped via UPS and intercepted at an airport in Britain and the other a FedEx package seized at an airport in Dubai, were immediately declared to be part of a major plot hatched by Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Late Friday afternoon, President Obama appeared at the White House to proclaim the terror scare a “credible threat.” He was followed by his press spokesman Robert Gibbs and his chief terrorism adviser, John Brennan, who boasted of the government’s swift response and promised undefined further actions to counter the alleged threat from Yemen and other countries.
Aside from the unsubstantiated character of the claims, a number of contradictions and anomalies remain unexplained. On Friday, MSNBC was deriding the bombs said to have been concealed within toner cartridges as crude and amateurish. CNN was reporting that no explosives of any kind were found in the packages. By Sunday, the US government and the media were describing the bombs as highly sophisticated—the work of professionals.
The New York Times ominously began its report on Sunday: “The powerful bombs concealed inside cargo packages and destined for the United States were expertly constructed and unusually sophisticated, American officials said Saturday, further evidence that Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen is steadily improving its abilities to strike on American soil.”
The press is uniformly citing US officials who state that the bomb maker is Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is named as the chief target of US reprisals, i.e., assassination. Yet in its account, the Times reports, without evidently sensing the contradiction, that this “expert” bomb maker built the “rudimentary” devices used by last year’s unsuccessful Christmas Day bomber in Detroit and a Yemeni suicide bomber who tried and failed to assassinate the head of Saudi intelligence, Mohammed bin Nayef, earlier in 2009.
On Sunday, Brennan said he agreed with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s claim that the package bombs were meant to explode in the air, not at the designated Chicago synagogues. No one, however, has explained why supposedly expert terrorists would flag their own bombs, designed to blow up airplanes, by sending them from Yemen to Jewish groups in the US!
Then there is the striking coincidence that the terror scare erupted just two days after the Financial Times carried a front-page article headlined “Chairman of BA Attacks US on Airport Security.” The article cited British Airways Chairman Martin Broughton angrily denouncing US demands for “completely redundant” airport checks and urging the British authorities to stop “kowtowing” to the Americans.
No doubt with Broughton’s statements in mind, US officials are already suggesting that the current threat will be used to continue and even expand the security measures imposed by the US on foreign carriers.
It is impossible to know with any certainty whether there is any basis for the official claims, or, if there is a kernel of truth, where fact ends and exaggeration and lies begin. But as always in such cases, it is appropriate to ask, “Who benefits?”
Apart from US air carriers eager to place ever more onerous requirements on their foreign competitors, there are a number of parties that have much to gain from whipping up public fear in general and animus toward Yemen in particular.
It was the Saudis, in the person of intelligence chief Nayef, who reportedly tipped off Washington Thursday about the explosive packages from Yemen. The Saudi sheikdom considers Yemen, with a weak government and a Shia rebellion in its northern regions bordering Saudi Arabia, to be a mortal threat to the stability of its regime. As the Times reported: “The Saudis consider the Qaeda branch in Yemen its biggest security threat and Saudi intelligence has set up both a web of electronic surveillance and spies to penetrate the organization.”
It would therefore be quite possible for Saudi spies to orchestrate the terror scare in order to push Washington to step up its covert operations in Yemen—a country of great strategic interest to the US because it straddles the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea and borders vital oil shipping routes.
As for the US, the sudden emergence of supposed terror threats has become a standard means of disorienting the American people and maintaining social control. In announcing this threat on the eve of an election, Obama is taking a page from the Bush playbook. The Bush White House used terror scares in an attempt to manipulate public opinion on the eve of the elections of 2002, 2004 and 2006.
This year, there is all the more need to distract public attention under conditions of a worsening economic crisis and growing frustration and anger against the entire political establishment. There are, moreover, specific domestic and foreign policy objectives that coincide with the creation of an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.
Abroad, there is the need to further escalate the killing in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the face of growing domestic opposition to the wars, and expand US military aggression to other countries. Under Obama, the US has already intensified its covert operations in Yemen, but it has been forced to halt its missile attacks on suspected insurgents since May, when one of its missiles killed a deputy provincial governor, prompting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to demand a halt to the strikes.
The US has been pressing the Yemeni regime to allow it to resume the strikes. As the New York Times noted Sunday, “American officials have been considering sending armed drone aircraft to Yemen to replicate the Pakistan campaign, but such a move would almost certainly require the approval of the mercurial Mr. Saleh.”
At home, the terror scares are used to justify the further buildup of the police powers of the state and deeper attacks on democratic rights. One of the most sinister aspects of the current government and media campaign is the singling out, without any evidence, of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, as the supposed mastermind of the plot.
In its article on Sunday, the Times baldly reported that “American officials said evidence was mounting that the top leadership of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including the radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was behind the attempted attacks.” The Times returned to this theme, citing American intelligence officials that the plot “may have been blessed by the highest levels of Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, including Mr. Awlaki.”
The newspaper noted that US officials “did not present hard evidence of Mr. Awlaki’s involvement,” and then went on to report, “This year, the CIA designated Mr. Awlaki—an American citizen—as a high priority for the agency’s campaign of targeted killing.”
Thus one of the uses to which the current terror scare is being put is to justify the assassination of an American citizen by his own government. The Obama administration is currently seeking to quash a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging its claim that the president has the legal power to order the murder of anyone, including an American citizen, whom he declares to be a terrorist.
For its part, the Times, the leading organ of the US liberal establishment,published an editorial October 10 supporting the White House position. (See:“The New York Times defends assassinations”).
The Yemen Hidden Agenda: Behind the Al-Qaeda Scenarios, A Strategic Oil Transit Chokepoint
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, January 5, 2010
On December 25 US authorities arrested a Nigerian named Abdulmutallab aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on charges of having tried to blow up the plane with smuggled explosives. Since then reports have been broadcast from CNN, the New York Times and other sources that he was "suspected" of having been trained in Yemen for his terror mission. What the world has been subjected to since is the emergence of a new target for the US ‘War on Terror,’ namely a desolate state on the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen. A closer look at the background suggests the Pentagon and US intelligence have a hidden agenda in Yemen.
For some months the world has seen a steady escalation of US military involvement in Yemen, a dismally poor land adjacent to Saudi Arabia on its north, the Red Sea on its west, the Gulf of Aden on its south, opening to the Arabian Sea, overlooking another desolate land that has been in the headlines of late, Somalia. The evidence suggests that the Pentagon and US intelligence are moving to militarize a strategic chokepoint for the world’s oil flows, Bab el-Mandab, and using the Somalia piracy incident, together with claims of a new Al Qaeda threat arising from Yemen, to militarize one of the world’s most important oil transport routes. In addition, undeveloped petroleum reserves in the territory between Yemen and Saudi Arabia are reportedly among the world’s largest.
The 23-year-old Nigerian man charged with the failed bomb attempt, Abdulmutallab, reportedly has been talking, claiming he was sent on his mission by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen. This has conveniently turned the world’s attention on Yemen as a new center of the alleged Al Qaeda terror organization.
Notably, Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran who advised President Obama on the policy leading to the Afghan troop surge, wrote in his blog of the alleged ties of the Detroit bomber to Yemen, "The attempt to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day underscores the growing ambition of Al Qaeda's Yemen franchise, which has grown from a largely Yemeni agenda to become a player in the global Islamic jihad in the last year... The weak Yemeni government of President Ali Abdallah Salih, which has never fully controlled the country and now faces a host of growing problems, will need significant American support to defeat AQAP.".
Some basic Yemen geopolitics
Before we can say much about the latest incident, it is useful to look more closely at the Yemen situation. Here several things stand out as peculiar when stacked against Washington’s claims about a resurgent Al Qaeda organization in the Arabian Peninsula.
In early 2009 the chess pieces on the Yemeni board began to move. Tariq al-Fadhli, a former jihadist leader originally from South Yemen, broke a 15 year alliance with the Yemeni government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and announced he was joining the broad-based opposition coalition known as the Southern Movement (SM). Al-Fadhli had been a member of the Mujahideen movement in Afghanistan in the late 1980’s. His break with the government was reported in Arab and Yemeni media in April 2009. Al-Fadhli’s break with the Yemen dictatorship gave new power to the Southern Movement (SM). He has since become a leading figure in the alliance.
Yemen itself is a synthetic amalgam created after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, when the southern Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) lost its main foreign sponsor. Unification of the northern Yemen Arab Republic and the southern PDRY state led to a short-lived optimism that ended in a brief civil war in 1994, as southern army factions organized a revolt against what they saw as the corrupt crony state rule of northern President Ali Abdullah Saleh. President Saleh has held a one-man rule since 1978, first as President of North Yemen (the Yemen Arab Republic) and since 1990 as President of the unified new Yemen. The southern army revolt failed as Saleh enlisted al-Fadhli and other Yemeni Salafists, followers of a conservative interpretation of Islam, and jihadists to fight the formerly Marxist forces of the Yemen Socialist Party in the south.
Before 1990, Washington and the Saudi Kingdom backed and supported Saleh and his policy of Islamization as a bid to contain the communist south. Since then Saleh has relied on a strong Salafist-jihadi movement to retain a one-man dictatorial rule. The break with Saleh by al-Fadhli and his joining the southern opposition group with his former socialist foes marked a major setback for Saleh.
Soon after al-Fadhli joined the Southern Movement coalition, on April 28, 2009 protests in the southern Yemeni provinces of Lahj, Dalea and Hadramout intensified. There were demonstrations by tens of thousands of dismissed military personnel and civil servants demanding better pay and benefits, demonstrations that had been taking place in growing numbers since 2006. The April demonstrations included for the first time a public appearance by al-Fadhli. His appearance served to change a long moribund southern socialist movement into a broader nationalist campaign. It also galvanized President Saleh, who then called on Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council states for help, warning that the entire Arabian Peninsula would suffer the consequences.
Complicating the picture in what some call a failed state, in the north Saleh faces an al-Houthi Zaydi Shi’ite rebellion. On September 11, 2009, in an Al-Jazeera TV interview, Saleh accused Iraq’s Shi’ite opposition leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and also Iran, of backing the north Yemen Shi’ite Houthist rebels in an Al-Jazeera TV interview. Yemen’s Saleh declared, "We cannot accuse the Iranian official side, but the Iranians are contacting us, saying that they are prepared for a mediation. This means that the Iranians have contacts with them [the Houthists], given that they want to mediate between the Yemeni government and them. Also, Muqtada al-Sadr in al-Najaf in Iraq is asking that he be accepted as a mediator. This means they have a link."
Yemen authorities claim they have seized caches of weapons made in Iran, while the Houthists claim to have captured Yemeni equipment with Saudi Arabian markings, accusing Sana’a (the capital of Yemen and site of the US Embassy) of acting as a Saudi proxy. Iran has rejected claims that Iranian weapons were found in north Yemen, calling claims of support to the rebels as baseless. 
What about Al Qaeda?
The picture that emerges is one of a desperate US-backed dictator, Yemen’s President Saleh, increasingly losing control after two decades as despotic ruler of the unified Yemen. Economic conditions in the country took a drastic downward slide in 2008 when world oil prices collapsed. Some 70% of the state revenues derive from Yemen’s oil sales. The central government of Saleh sits in former North Yemen in Sana’a, while the oil is in former South Yemen. Yet Saleh controls the oil revenue flows. Lack of oil revenue has made Saleh’s usual option of buying off opposition groups all but impossible.
Into this chaotic domestic picture comes the January 2009 announcement, prominently featured in select Internet websites, that Al Qaeda, the alleged global terrorist organization created by the late CIA-trained Saudi, Osama bin Laden, has opened a major new branch in Yemen for both Yemen and Saudi operations.
Al Qaeda in Yemen released a statement through online jihadist forums Jan. 20, 2009 from the group’s leader Nasir al-Wahayshi, announcing formation of a single al Qaeda group for the Arabian Peninsula under his command. According to al-Wahayshi, the new group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, would consist of his former Al Qaeda in Yemen, as well as members of the defunct Saudi Al Qaeda group. The press release claimed, interestingly enough, that a Saudi national, a former Guantanamo detainee (Number 372), Abu-Sayyaf al-Shihri, would serve as al-Wahayshi’s deputy.
Days later an online video from al-Wahayshi appeared under the alarming title, "We Start from Here and We Will Meet at al-Aqsa." Al-Aqsa refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that Jews know as Temple Mount, the site of the destroyed Temple of Solomon, which Muslims call Al Haram Al Sharif. The video threatens Muslim leaders -- including Yemeni’s President Saleh, the Saudi royal family, and Egyptian President Mubarak -- and promises to take the jihad from Yemen to Israel to "liberate" Muslim holy sites and Gaza, something that would likely detonate World War III if anyone were mad enough to do it.
Also in that video, in addition to former Guantanamo inmate al-Shihri, is a statement from Abu-al-Harith Muhammad al-Awfi, identified as a field commander in the video, and allegedly former Guantanamo detainee 333. As it is well-established that torture methods are worthless to obtain truthful confessions, some have speculated that the real goal of CIA and Pentagon interrogators at Guantanamo prison since September 2001, has been to use brutal techniques to train or recruit sleeper terrorists who can be activated on command by US intelligence, a charge difficult to prove or disprove. The presence of two such high-ranking Guantanamo graduates in the new Yemen-based Al Qaeda is certainly ground for questioning.
Al Qaeda in Yemen is apparently anathema to al-Fadhli and the enlarged mass-based Southern Movement. In an interview, al-Fadhli declared, "I have strong relations with all of the jihadists in the north and the south and everywhere, but not with al-Qaeda." That has not hindered Saleh from claiming the Southern Movement and al Qaeda are one and the same, a convenient way to insure backing from Washington.
According to US intelligence reports, there are a grand total of perhaps 200 Al Qaeda members in southern Yemen. 
Al-Fadhli gave an interview distancing himself from al Qaeda in May 2009, declaring, "We [in South Yemen] have been invaded 15 years ago and we are under a vicious occupation. So we are busy with our cause and we do not look at any other cause in the world. We want our independence and to put an end to this occupation." Conveniently, the same day, Al Qaeda made a large profile declaring its support for southern Yemen’s cause.
On May 14, in an audiotape released on the internet, al-Wahayshi, leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, expressed sympathy with the people of the southern provinces and their attempt to defend themselves against their "oppression," declaring, "What is happening in Lahaj, Dhali, Abyan and Hadramaut and the other southern provinces cannot be approved. We have to support and help [the southerners]." He promised retaliation: "The oppression against you will not pass without punishment... the killing of Muslims in the streets is an unjustified major crime." 
The curious emergence of a tiny but well-publicized al Qaeda in southern Yemen amid what observers call a broad-based popular-based Southern Movement front that eschews the radical global agenda of al Qaeda, serves to give the Pentagon a kind of casus belli to escalate US military operations in the strategic region.
Indeed, after declaring that the Yemen internal strife was Yemen’s own affair, President Obama ordered air strikes in Yemen. The Pentagon claimed its attacks on December 17 and 24 killed three key al Qaeda leaders but no evidence has yet proven this. Now the Christmas Day Detroit bomber drama gives new life to Washington’s "War on Terror" campaign in Yemen. Obama has now offered military assistance to the Saleh Yemen government.
Somali Pirates escalate as if on cue
As if on cue, at the same time CNN headlines broadcast new terror threats from Yemen, the long-running Somalia pirate attacks on commercial shipping in the same Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea across from southern Yemen escalated dramatically after having been reduced by multinational ship patrols.
On December 29, Moscow’s RAI Novosti reported that Somali pirates seized a Greek cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's coast. Earlier the same day a British-flagged chemical tanker and its 26 crew were also seized in the Gulf of Aden. In a sign of sophisticated skills in using western media, pirate commander Mohamed Shakir told the British newspaper The Times by phone, "We have hijacked a ship with [a] British flag in the Gulf of Aden late yesterday." The US intelligence brief, Stratfor, reports that The Times, owned by neo-conservative financial backer, Rupert Murdoch, is sometimes used by Israeli intelligence to plant useful stories.
The two latest events brought a record number of attacks and hijackings for 2009. As of December 22, attacks by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia numbered 174, with 35 vessels hijacked and 587 crew taken hostage so far in 2009, almost all successful pirate activity, according to the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Center. The open question is, who is providing the Somali "pirates" with arms and logistics sufficient to elude international patrols from numerous nations?
Notably, on January 3, President Saleh got a phone call from Somali president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in which he briefed president Saleh on latest developments in Somalia. Sheikh Sharif, whose own base in Mogadishu is so weak he is sometimes referred to as President of Mogadishu Airport, told Saleh he would share information with Saleh about any terror activities that might be launched from Somali territories targeting stability and security of Yemen and the region.
The Oil chokepoint and other oily affairs
The strategic significance of the region between Yemen and Somalia becomes the point of geopolitical interest. It is the site of Bab el-Mandab, one of what the US Government lists as seven strategic world oil shipping chokepoints. The US Government Energy Information Agency states that "closure of the Bab el-Mandab could keep tankers from the Persian Gulf from reaching the Suez Canal/Sumed pipeline complex, diverting them around the southern tip of Africa. The Strait of Bab el-Mandab is a chokepoint between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean." 
Bab el-Mandab, between Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Oil and other exports from the Persian Gulf must pass through Bab el-Mandab before entering the Suez Canal. In 2006, the Energy Department in Washington reported that an estimated 3.3 million barrels a day of oil flowed through this narrow waterway to Europe, the United States, and Asia. Most oil, or some 2.1 million barrels a day, goes north through the Bab el-Mandab to the Suez/Sumed complex into the Mediterranean.
An excuse for a US or NATO militarization of the waters around Bab el-Mandab would give Washington another major link in its pursuit of control of the seven most critical oil chokepoints around the world, a major part of any future US strategy aimed at denying oil flows to China, the EU or any region or country that opposes US policy. Given that significant flows of Saudi oil pass through Bab el-Mandab, a US military control there would serve to deter the Saudi Kingdom from becoming serious about transacting future oil sales with China or others no longer in dollars, as was recently reported by UK Independent journalist Robert Fisk.
It would also be in a position to threaten China’s oil transport from Port Sudan on the Red Sea just north of Bab el-Mandab, a major lifeline in China’s national energy needs.
In addition to its geopolitical position as a major global oil transit chokepoint, Yemen is reported to hold some of the world’s greatest untapped oil reserves. Yemen’s Masila Basin and Shabwa Basin are reported by international oil companies to contain "world class discoveries." France’s Total and several smaller international oil companies are engaged in developing Yemen’s oil production. Some fifteen years ago I was told in a private meeting with a well-informed Washington insider that Yemen contained "enough undeveloped oil to fill the oil demand of the entire world for the next fifty years." Perhaps there is more to Washington’s recent Yemen concern than a rag-tag al Qaeda whose very existence as a global terror organization has been doubted by seasoned Islamic experts.
F. William Engdahl is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order
1. Bruce Riedel, The Menace of Yemen, December 31, 2009, accessed in http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-s...=tag:all1.
2. Stratfor, Yemen: Intensifying Problems for the Government, May 7, 2009.
3. Cited in Terrorism Monitor, Yemen President Accuses Iraq’s Sadrists of Backing the Houthi Insurgency, Jamestown Foundation, Volume: 7 Issue: 28, September 17, 2009.
4. NewsYemen, September 8, 2009; Yemen Observer, September 10, 2009.
5. Albaidanew.com, May 14, 2009, cited in Jamestown Foundation, op.cit.
6. Abigail Hauslohner, Despite U.S. Aid, Yemen Faces Growing al-Qaeda Threat, Time, December 22, 2009, accessed in http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0...0be0NL7Cv.
7. Tariq al Fadhli, in Al-Sharq al-Awsat, May 14, 2009, cited in Jamestown Foundation, op. cit.
8. al-Wahayshi interview, al Jazeera, May 14, 2009.
9. US Government, Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Bab el-Mandab, accessed in http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/World_Oil_Tr...Full.html.
10 Adelphi Energy, Yemen Exploration Blocks 7 & 74, accessed in http://www.adelphienergy.com.au/projects...Yemen.php.
Yemen: New Venue For U.S. Geopolitical Great Game
Why Yemen? Is the West choosing a new target?
By Boris Volkhonsky
Global Research, November 2, 2010
Voice of Russia - 2010-11-01
-[T]he timing for the attacks (or, attempted attacks, or, presumably attempted attacks) was chosen very carefully. The United States face the mid-term elections, and the Democratic administration is heading for a worst defeat in decades. If we look back at a not so distant past, we can remember that a highly resonant terrorist attack is probably the best way to raise the rating of the ruling administration.
-Obama’s administration is looking at a new point of applying its attempts and initiatives. After the obvious failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, they may be looking at Yemen as a new venue of their geopolitical Great Game. The strategic importance of that country is hardly to be over-estimated. The power that controls Yemen, would control the most vital sea routes from Europe to Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.
-Of course, the clock of history cannot be reversed and turned backwards. But learning from the past seems to be very useful. And looking back at the 1980s, we may state that it was the US who, by supporting the mujahedeen forces in Afghanistan, created the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Now, by violently fighting them in the Middle East, they are turning the whole Muslim world against themselves and their allies.
Last weeks attempted attacks – either at US-bound aircraft or some synagogues somewhere in the US, presumably in Chicago – remain the hottest topic in Western media.
The pure facts run as follows. Last Friday two packages containing explosives were found on cargo planes which initially flew from Sanaa, Yemen, with destination in the US. One package was found in Dubai, the other one in East Midlands Airport near Nottingham, England. Both packages – one carried by UPS, the other one by FedEx – were addressed to synagogues in Chicago. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attempted attacks, but the security official were very quick in attributing the plot to the Yemeni section of Al-Qaeda.
The incident was followed by intense search of all cargo and passengers’ baggage in several US airports. Also, reports show that 26 more suspicious packages were detained in Yemen. On Saturday, Yemeni officials arrested a 22-year-old woman Hanan al-Samawi, a suspect in the plot. But later on Sunday, she was released on bail after it turned out that someone stole and used her identity card to plant the packages containing explosives.
Meanwhile, the panic has stricken the US and Western Europe. Most countries of the West upgraded the level of terrorist alert. Great Britain even declared a ban on any aircraft that started its flight in Yemen, to k\land on Britain’s territory.
The whole story needs some clarification.
First, why Yemen?
The fact is that the Yemeni authorities have a very poor control over their territory, and definitely have lesser desire to fight international terrorism than their Saudi neighbors. As a result, some notorious figures in the terrorist movement have found a safe haven in Yemen, especially after Afghanistan and Pakistan ceased to be such as a result of constant military activities.
Second, why now, and why Chicago?
Actually, the timing for the attacks (or, attempted attacks, or, presumably attempted attacks) was chosen very carefully. The United States face the mid-term elections, and the Democratic administration is heading for a worst defeat in decades. If we look back at a not so distant past, we can remember that a highly resonant terrorist attack is probably the best way to raise the rating of the ruling administration. And an attack uncovered before it was executed gives additional points to the authorities. So, whatever the real motives of the terrorists, the whole uncovered plot is designed to give Barack Obama and the Democrats a couple of points due to ‘voting out of compassion’. The fact that the explosives were addressed to synagogues in Chicago (Obama’s native town) speaks for itself.
Then, what follows next?
A most obvious answer would be that Obama’s administration is looking at a new point of applying its attempts and initiatives. After the obvious failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, they may be looking at Yemen as a new venue of their geopolitical Great Game. The strategic importance of that country is hardly to be over-estimated. The power that controls Yemen, would control the most vital sea routes from Europe to Middle East, South and Southeast Asia. At the moment, if anyone controls this vital region are the Somali pirates. For the US, taking hold of a territory there with prospects of building its military bases, would mean a return to the scene that, due to the failures of the recent one or two decades, seems at present lost.
But then, there is another and probably most crucial question. What means the US is ready to use against a force that from the very beginning was a pure US invention, i.e. Al-Qaeda?
By now, military measures have proved their complete futility, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. More so, if Yemen has really become a safe haven for extremists, it is due only to the American-led invasion of those two countries. So, a military operation against Yemen may result only in one thing: Al-Qaeda will shift its operations to another area, and hence, the seeds of terrorism will be further disseminated.
Of course, the clock of history cannot be reversed and turned backwards. But learning from the past seems to be very useful. And looking back at the 1980s, we may state that it was the US who, by supporting the mujahedeen forces in Afghanistan, created the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Now, by violently fighting them in the Middle East, they are turning the whole Muslim world against themselves and their allies. What will they achieve by spreading their military activities to yet another area in that volatile region, is a question, the answer to which hardly anyone would like to hear.
War in Yemen: CIA to Get Control of Special Forces, Drones?
By Robert Dreyfuss
Global Research, November 1, 2010
The Wall Street Journal reports today that the White House and the Pentagon are considering stepping up covert action in Yemen , giving the CIA operational control over US military’s Special Forces units. They’d operate what the Journal calls “elite US hunter-killer teams” to go after Al Qaeda and others allegedly responsible for terrorist attacks and attempts against the United States.
In addition, the plan includes using drone attacks, a la Pakistan, to target Al Qaeda operatives.
By giving the CIA control over the Special Forces units, the United States can claim that the whole enterprise is “covert,” that is, that it doesn’t need the permission of Yemen’s government to be carried out. Or, as the Journal puts it, the CIA get “get around restrictions placed on military operations.”
Adds the report:
“An increase in US missile strikes or combat ground operations by American commando forces could test already sensitive relations with Yemen, which US officials believe is too weak to defeat al Qaeda. Such an escalation could prompt Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh to end the training his military receives from US special operations forces.”
This is a really bad idea. Notoriously unruly and fractious , Yemen is already plagued by two separate civil wars, one in the north and one involving the potential breakaway of what used to be South Yemen, the leftist-populist state that merged with North Yemen to form the country that exists today. It’s a hornet’s nest, yet unlike Somalia—just across the Red Sea—Yemen actually has a government that tries to juggle the conflicting tribal and clan rivalries that have plagued it for decades. By bungling into Yemen with a massive US covert operation, the result is guaranteed to be an intensified crisis that will collapse and split the Yemeni government and lead to a Somalia-like state of disorder.
In fact, despite recent small-scale terrorist attempts, from the underwear bomber to the recently discovered bomb plot, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is not primarily focused on the United States , as the New York Times acknowledged this weekend. Instead, its focus is on Saudi Arabia and its royal family. A small number of American Muslims, including the infamous Anwar al-Awlaki, are based there, but they’re hardly an existential threat.
Yemen is desperately poor. It is on the verge of being the first country in the world literally to run out of water. Its skimpy oil reserves are drying up. All by itself, Saudi Arabia could fix Yemen by spending a few tens of billions of dollars there, and the United States could take the lead in creating an international consortium to rescue Yemen. Some in the Obama administration, such as Susan Rice, supposedly came into office with a plan to rebuild and repair so-called failed states, but now it appears as if the quicker, cheaper answer to send unofficial death squads to deal with the symptom, rather than fix the problem.
11-07-2010, 11:40 PM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Al Qaeda in Yemen is "Western-made"
Declaration of Yemeni Prime Minister
Global Research, November 7, 2010
Trend News Azerbaijan
Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Muhammed al-Mujawar said Saturday that al-Qaida was originally a Western-made group and was never created by his country, Xinhua reported according to the state-run Saba news agency.
The prime minister's remarks were made during a meeting in the capital Sanaa with ambassadors of Asian and African countries to Yemen to clarify Yemen's stance against those who propagated negative impacts on Yemen over the bomb parcels shipped to the United States last week.
"Al-Qaida was essentially a Western-made group and was never created by Yemen, it is alleged by those who seek to propagate this view internationally about Yemen," Saba quoted Mujawar as saying.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Friday claimed responsibility for the bomb parcels that targeted the United States.
It also said it was behind downing a UPS cargo plane by exploding one of its experimental bomb packages aboard the plane immediately after it took off from Dubai International Airport on Sep. 3, 2010.
According to Saba, Mujawar called on the international community to support his government's continuing efforts to fight al-Qaida regional wing.
Yemen has been exerting efforts to curb terrorist groups, which raised international security concerns again after two parcel bombs were found on U.S.-bound cargo flights from the Arabian peninsula country last week.
11-16-2010, 02:58 AM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
the original article is link-dense. please click the title to go there.
Al-Qaeda, Yemen, the New "Axis of Terror" and the "Great Game"
By Larry Chin
Global Research, November 14, 2010
In the wake of numerous reported terror attacks, officials now proclaim that Yemen to be a new "axis of terror". The Al-Qaeda splinter group, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and US-born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki are the targets of a new “war on terrorism” escalation.
While mainstream media seeds mass hysteria, full-scale military operations intensify throughout the Arabian Sea region.
The “war on terrorism” in Yemen is the pretext for the execution of long-running imperial plans. The Arabian Sea region has been the arena for superpower conflict for decades. It is the center of the West's 21st century war for control of Middle East oil. It has been an obsession of elites such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski for decades.
Yemen, neighboring Saudi Arabia, at the gate of the Red Sea, is situated in the very center of the hot spot, at one of the world’s most vital oil transportation “choke points”.
The background for the current crisis in Yemen is sharply detailed in an analysis by William Engdahl:
The Yemen Hidden Agenda: Behind the Al-Qaeda Scenarios
In this piece, Engdahl states:
“The strategic significance of the region between Yemen and Somalia becomes the point of geopolitical interest. It is the site of Bab el-Mandab, one of what the US Government lists as seven strategic world oil shipping chokepoints. The US Government Energy Information Agency states that "closure of the Bab el-Mandab could keep tankers from the Persian Gulf from reaching the Suez Canal/Sumed pipeline complex, diverting them around the southern tip of Africa. The Strait of Bab el-Mandab is a chokepoint between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and a strategic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean….”
“An excuse for a US or NATO militarization of the waters around Bab el-Mandab would give Washington another major link in its pursuit of control of the seven most critical oil chokepoints around the world, a major part of any future US strategy aimed at denying oil flows to China, the EU or any region or country that opposes US policy. Given that significant flows of Saudi oil pass through Bab el-Mandab, a US military control there would serve to deter the Saudi Kingdom from becoming serious about transacting future oil sales with China or others no longer in dollars, as was recently reported by UK Independent journalist Robert Fisk.
“It would also be in a position to threaten China’s oil transport from Port Sudan on the Red Sea just north of Bab el-Mandab, a major lifeline in China’s national energy needs.
“In addition to its geopolitical position as a major global oil transit chokepoint, Yemen is reported to hold some of the world’s greatest untapped oil reserves. Yemen’s Masila Basin and Shabwa Basin are reported by international oil companies to contain "world class discoveries." France’s Total and several smaller international oil companies are engaged in developing Yemen’s oil production. Some fifteen years ago I was told in a private meeting with a well-informed Washington insider that Yemen contained ‘enough undeveloped oil to fill the oil demand of the entire world for the next fifty years.’”
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
The emergence of AQAP in Yemen coincides with intensifying militarization , ramped up covert operations, and a heavy CIA presence.
“Al Qaeda, the alleged global terrorist organization created by the late CIA-trained Saudi, Osama bin Laden, has opened a major new branch in Yemen for both Yemen and Saudi operations.
“Al Qaeda in Yemen released a statement through online jihadist forums Jan. 20, 2009 from the group’s leader Nasir al-Wahayshi, announcing formation of a single al Qaeda group for the Arabian Peninsula under his command. According to al-Wahayshi, the new group, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, would consist of his former Al Qaeda in Yemen, as well as members of the defunct Saudi Al Qaeda group. The press release claimed, interestingly enough, that a Saudi national, a former Guantanamo detainee (Number 372), Abu-Sayyaf al-Shihri, would serve as al-Wahayshi’s deputy…
“The curious emergence of a tiny but well-publicized al Qaeda in southern Yemen amid what observers call a broad-based popular-based Southern Movement front that eschews the radical global agenda of al Qaeda, serves to give the Pentagon a kind of casus belli to escalate US military operations in the strategic region.[my emphasis-LC]
“Indeed, after declaring that the Yemen internal strife was Yemen’s own affair, President Obama ordered air strikes in Yemen. The Pentagon claimed its attacks on December 17 and 24 killed three key al Qaeda leaders but no evidence has yet proven this. Now the Christmas Day Detroit bomber drama [in 2009-LC] gives new life to Washington’s "War on Terror" campaign in Yemen…”
Lending further propaganda power to the pursuit of AQAP, Yemen is also the birth place of Osama bin Laden, and the scene of the bombing of the USS Cole.
Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Muhammed al-Mujawar said that al-Qaida is a "western made" group, and was never created by his country. According to another report, the threat is exaggerated in relation to the massive military and political resources now being devoted to Yemen.
To quote Engdahl:
”Perhaps there is more to Washington’s recent Yemen concern than a rag-tag al Qaeda whose very existence as a global terror organization has been doubted by seasoned Islamic experts.”
Who or what is Anwar al-Awlaki?
As documented by Michel Chossudovsky in America’s “War on Terrorism”, “Islamic terrorism”, including “Al-Qaeda” are assets of the CIA, a myth designed to obscure a vast covert operation and global war agenda. The “Militant Islamic Network” is a military-intelligence network that has been “run” on behalf of Anglo-American interests.
Now “Al-Qaeda”, the eternal covert operation and propaganda apparatus, has been given a facelift. A new generation of Osama bin Laden “disciples” threatens the world, now led by "homegrown Al-Qaeda" terrorists with operational ties to AQAP.
Anwar Al-Awlaki, an AQAP regional commander, has become the western media’s public enemy number one. The New Mexico-born cleric is a prime suspect for the foiled UPS cargo plane bomb plot (which US and Saudi intelligence knew about several weeks before it happened.), even though Yemeni officials are not clear about his role. He is wanted in Yemen for a suspected role for the October killing of a French oil company executive, and also wanted for the failed bombing of a US-bound plane in December 2009. He is also accused of having an e-mail connection to the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, and for giving jihadist sermons.
Atop the CIA’s “capture or kill” list, Al-Awlaki has been connected to 9/11 through reported associations with some of the so-called 9/11 hijackers. The rise of Al-Awlaki coincides with the naming of Adnan Shukrijumah as a new leader of “Al-Qaeda” global operations with an alleged connection to 9/11.
Just as Osama bin Laden has allegedly been hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan for almost a decade without detection, Al-Awlaki is reportedly in a mountain hideout in Yemen, where he is difficult if not impossible to locate.
A close examination of Al-Awlaki’s life reveals a bizarre career throughout which he has been thoroughly monitored and interrogated by the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and arrested and interrogated numerous times:
The Awar Al-Awlaki Timeline
What demands scrutiny is the fact that, despite his dangerous profile, and being covered like a blanket by intelligence authorities, Al-Awlaki has been permitted to live and travel freely and extensively throughout the US and the world, in such places as San Diego, California (where the Al-Qaeda cell was under scrutiny by FBI informants), and Falls Church, Virginia, a short distance from CIA headquarters.
It has been thoroughly documented by investigators such as Mike Ruppert that Al-Qaeda (an intelligence front to begin with) has not only been thoroughly penetrated by intelligence agencies and law enforcement. From Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon:
“Long before 9/11, US and foreign intelligence had achieved penetrations of al Qaeda by all three methods [human, signals and electronic intelligence-LC] and in many differing circumstances in a manner that suggests there was very little that al Qaeda did that the Bush administration and many other governments were not aware of…The bottom line is that, based upon what is known about successful intelligence penetrations for years prior to the attacks of 9/11, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda could not have sneezed without the CIA or the NSA knowing about it.”
To highlight one specific example, consider Al-Awlaki’s San Diego connection, and an operational relationship with 9/11 hijacker Nawaf Alhamzi (which Al-Awlaki has himself has denied, but US officials insist).
“Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhamzi and Khalid Almidhar share the distinction of having been active al Qaeda members connected to multiple terror attacks and also having been among the most closely watched, yet completely free to travel even while they were wanted men...the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA had been watching these two since at least 1999, but also that these agencies at times acted in ways to conceal or protect the pair’s movements from law enforcement agencies who had shown interest in them…”
“…Even after the two had been listed as possible terror suspects, they were allowed to re-enter the US after the Malaysia meeting [an Al-Qaeda summit-LC]---their visas unchallenged---and to live openly in San Diego.”
Another similarity between Al-Awlaki and the other US military-trained 9/11 “hijackers” with whom he is connected was a penchant for vice: Al-Awlaki has been arrested repeatedly for soliciting prostitutes.
Quoting Ruppert again:
“If the core of the 19 hijackers were US government OPFOR [opposition force intelligence assets-LC] , it would account for certain details of Mohammed Atta’s life, like his penchants for strip clubs, liquor, and women. These are hardly the passions of a devout Muslim about to become a martyr. Special Operations personnel, have, however, been known to engage in these vices from time to time.”
Despite the pronouncements of unreliable government authorities, and assumptive mainstream media reporting, it is unclear if any named Al-Qaeda mastermind is an intelligence asset, a double/triple agent, a political plant, a pawn, or “real” terrorist created in response to decades of military-intelligence provocations.
No terror incident, no mention of “terrorists” can be accepted at face value without full and open inquiries into the activities of military-intelligence agencies that utilize and manage “terror” assets, and the high government officials who orchestrate global war strategies in the name of “anti-terrorism”. Such disclosure has been rendered impossible, given the world power structure that shields true “evil doers” from all scrutiny and all law.
What is known about Anwar Al-Awlaki’s profile, however, is highly suspicious, and smacks of an intelligence "legend". Or are the repeated patterns mere coincidence?
As written Ruppert in Crossing the Rubicon:
“Given the degree of documented intelligence penetration of al Qaeda; the fact that Osama bin Laden had been a CIA asset during the first Afghan conflict against the Soviets; the fact that a number of the so-called hijackers and/or al Qaeda members had been trained in CIA training camps in Chechnya; had fought in CIA/US-sponsored guerrilla conflicts (e.g. in Kosovo with the KLA in 2000), or had received military training at US installations; given all that, it is reasonable to assume that one or more top al Qaeda officials were in fact double or triple agents…”
“…In covert operations, the best kind of an asset is one that has no idea who is really “running” him. That is not to say that I don’t believe there are terrorists out there who would do any kind of damage they possibly could to the United States. Even if there weren’t any before 9/11 (and there were), the US has gone out of its way to create animosity against this country that is in full flower all over the globe.”
The Big Lie keeps gets bigger
The perpetual threat posed by a fabricated outside enemy, and a fearful world populace, remain the centerpieces of elite policy, and they have been consistently maintained by both Bush/Cheney and Obama administrations. State-manufactured “terrorist” atrocities, provocations and false flag operations continue to elicit violent reaction in the form of “real” terrorism, in endless cycles.
It is ramped up when world leaders seek to manipulate populations at times of crisis. With the US government and the world economy teetering on the brink of collapse, and with a politically neutered Obama administration s for its political survival, a major crisis is at hand. War, the “war on terrorism” and other forms of aggression will be inflicted, in order to appease right-wing extremists, while conveniently serving larger elite agendas across the "Grand Area".
As if on cue, in a speech in Indonesia, President Obama demanded a united “war on terrorism”, stating that “all of us must defeat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates”.
Whatever comes next---war in Yemen, new “9/11s” of every variety---threatens what's left of the future of humanity.
06-01-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
I know its been a while since I revisited this, but here goes:
Drone attack kills 11 in south Yemen: residents
8:51 AM EDT, June 1, 2012
DUBAI (Reuters) - An unmanned drone killed 11 people who residents said they suspected of being Islamic militants as they met in a house in southern Yemen on Friday.
They said the men, who were thought to have included some foreigners, were inside a house in the town of al-Mahfad in Abyan province in south Yemen, where the United States and Yemeni army are trying to crush militants linked to al Qaeda.
(Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Alison Williams)
Starving and broke: Yemen
Wracked by internal strife, Yemen is on the edge of collapse while US meddling isn't helping, writes Ramzy Baroud
Yemeni forces continue to push against Islamic fighters affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Their major victories come on the heels of the inauguration of Abed Rabbu Mansour Al-Hadi, who is now entrusted with the task of leading the country through a peaceful transition. A new constitution and presidential elections are expected by 2014.
Faced with the most strenuous of circumstances -- the unyielding ruling family, the US-lead war on Al-Qaeda, sectarian tension, unsettled political divides between south and north, and unforgiving poverty -- the youth of Yemen successfully managed to introduce a hopeful chapter into an otherwise gloomy modern history. While they should be proud of this, they must also remain wary of the challenges awaiting them in the next two years.
The next phase will be decisive for Yemen. It would either take the country a step forward towards real reforms (which should resolve some of the country's most protracted regional strife and confront rampant inequality) or leave it to suffer a worse fate than that under the Saleh family. The early signs are worrisome, compelling regional experts to warn that Yemen may be heading the same route as Somalia.
"With two conflicts carrying on simultaneously, that of the Houthi Shia in the north and the secessionist movement in the south, the militarisation of Yemen and the primary US focus on it as another battlefield in which to engage Al-Qaeda, is only set to continue," wrote David Hearst in The Guardian on 25 May.
The US has much unfinished business in Yemen. Like other US military adventures, the focus often stays solely on military targets, without taking much notice of the larger social and political challenges in the country. Needless to say, from a Yemeni viewpoint the US must be the least attractive foreign power engaging their government. During the popular revolt against Abdullah Saleh last year, Yemenis were irritated by US support of their discredited president. They were also unhappy with the US's constant meddling in Yemeni affairs, and its unrelenting war on Islamic rebels. The current open coordination between the Yemeni president and the US is sure to prove costly to both parties in the long run. A recent Al-Jazeera report claimed that, "Washington has stepped up drone attacks in Yemen since President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February, and the Pentagon said it had recently resumed sending military trainers to the Arab state" (24 May 2012). This kind of reporting is hardly helpful to the image of the new president who many hope will lead the country to independence.
The fighting is intensifying against militants affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as many have reportedly been killed in the city of Zinjibar, the town of Jaar, and also in other areas in the south. The foolishness of engaging in traditional warfare against a decentralised network of fighters -- whether directly affiliated with or inspired by Al-Qaeda -- without paying much attention to the underpinnings of violence in a devastatingly poor country like Yemen, cannot be overstated. The strength of such militant groups is often driven by two main factors: their successful appeal to disfranchised, angry youth in marginalised and impoverished communities, and their physical maneuverability. Such groups can strike anywhere, anytime, with minimal means.
Even if one could accept that the central government of Yemen, with US support, might successfully route out Islamic fighters from their southern strongholds, this will certainly lead to the spreading out of terror acts to far beyond Yemeni borders. The 21 May suicide bombing during a military parade, which was readily claimed by Al-Qaeda, leaves no doubt that reclaiming a few towns in the south will not rid Yemen of its chronic violence. In fact, US-assisted war against mostly poor communities can only lead to more recruits for militant groups, and turn a traditional warfare, demarcated by tribal lines, into a violent mayhem that will complicate an already chaotic battleground.
The Yemeni government should know well that violence compounds, rather than resolves problems. This has been the norm since Yemen's independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1918, and from British colonial rule in the south in 1967. Violence throughout the tumultuous years since either widened conflicts, or created new ones. Yet, the new "transitional" government is playing into US hands by embarking on yet another unwinnable "war on terror". The issue is not that terror should not be fought, but how successful can such a fight be while recreating and augmenting the very circumstances that led to its inception?
Yemen is poor. Entire communities teeter between mere survival and complete and utter despair. The United Nations' Human Development Index -- which is measured based on life expectancy, level of education, and standard of living -- ranked Yemen in one of the most dismal spots, 154th out of 177 countries. Now, due to the revolution, the regime's insistence on holding onto power, the US war on Al-Qaeda, and the latter's unprecedented, and expected, growth, the situation is getting much worse. "More than 10 million people -- almost one in two men, women and children -- in Yemenâê¦ are facing a looming catastrophe. Families are surviving, but only just. Food and fuel price spikes, coupled with political instability, have left Yemen's economy in tatters," wrote Kelly Gilbride of Oxfam, in a heart-wrenching piece on CNN.com (24 May 2012). She further asserted that "Almost half of Yemenis do not have enough to eat today and Yemen is entering its hunger season. The world can bring Yemen back from the brink of catastrophe -- but only if it acts now."
But acting "now" should not just translate into a few donation pledges here and there. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is largely rooted in the fact that the country is an open field to competing interests, making it susceptible to corruption, exploitation and terror. To be spared hunger, Yemen must regain its independence -- not through a new flag and national anthem, but through an inclusive national programme that reaches out to all sectors of Yemeni society: the disfranchised, neglected south, the war-scarred north, and the rest of the country with its chronic inequality. Schools, hospitals and factories must replace military encampments. Large chunks of the budget -- especially of the newly pledged $4 billion from neighbouring Arab countries -- should help feed people, rebuild destroyed homes, and create job opportunities. Effectively all the changes should contribute to more stable social horizons.
As violence rises, US and allies "pulled" into Yemen
(warning - this is a bunch of bullshit)
* Military advisers, drone strikes show rising involvement
* Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula seen key US priority
* New government seen opening opportunity for change
By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
LONDON, June 1 (Reuters)- U.S. policymakers might talk down "boots on the ground" in Yemen but with an estimated several hundred military advisers already deployed, Washington and its allies are already being drawn ever deeper into the country.
Western security and intelligence officials have long seen Yemen as central to their fight against Islamist militancy, viewing local franchise Al Qaeda on the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) as the most dangerous single foreign group plotting attacks against the West. U.S. officials say the group was behind a thwarted airline attack plot last month, the latest of several such schemes.
But with a new Yemeni government seen providing the best chance in years to stabilise the chaotic country, there are growing signs of a wider strategy. U.S. and foreign involvement is increasing sharply, moving well beyond the long-running but now also intensifying campaign of drone strikes.
Growing numbers of special forces advisers are now training Yemen's military, while financial and humanitarian aid from Western and Gulf states has increased sharply. At last week's "Friends of Yemen" meeting in Riyadh, foreign powers pledged some $4 billion to the country. Britain said the country was at a "critical moment".
"The United States will continue to intensify its focus on the threats coming from Yemen, while enabling its allies in the region to fight Al Qaeda on the ground," said Juan Zarate, a former deputy national security adviser for countering terrorism under George W. Bush and now senior adviser at the Washington DC-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
"Yemen represents the soft underbelly of the Arabian Gulf, with Al Qaeda rooted in a country with deep economic and resource constraints and ongoing political, demographic, and social upheaval."
The aim, foreign powers say, is to help the Yemeni government stand on its own feet and avoid the country becoming a Somalia-style failed state.
That means not just ousting AQAP from territory it seized last year in southern Yemen but also tackling a separate northern Shi'ite tribal revolt. There is also an urgent need to address other longer-term problems including widespread corruption and growing food and water shortages.
Earlier this month, U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters there was "no prospect" of "boots on the ground" in Yemen. Certainly, with a presidential election a mere five months away and public fatigue with long-running wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is little enthusiasm for a major conventional military campaign.
Instead, Yemen looks set to be the scene of the kind of largely clandestine, barely publicly discussed U.S. intervention that many believe will be the model for conflicts in the years to come.
"After Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a realisation that large, troop-heavy interventions are not the way forward," says Christopher Steinitz, an analyst specialising in Yemen at the Centre for Naval Analysis, part of U.S. government funded think tank CNA. "What you're seeing here is a very different strategy using drones, advisers and local Yemeni forces."
Signs of success are mixed at best. While Yemeni security forces backed by foreign air strikes have advanced against AQAP strongholds, a brutal suicide attack against security forces in the capital Sanaa last month killed more than 100.
"The attack in the capital last week was certainly not a good sign," says Gabriel Koehler-Derrick, an expert on Al Qaeda and Yemen at the Combating Terrorism Centre at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. "It's about creating a perception that the government cannot protect its own."
LONG SHOT STRATEGY
The departure of embattled Presdent Ali Abdullah Saleh late last year and his replacement with former deputy Abd-Rabbu Hadi Mansour, western states hope, will improve the government's legitimacy both at home and abroad.
It also opened the door to the kind of support that would have been unthinkable while Saleh faced down a popular "Arab Spring"-inspired uprising and was accused of heavy-handed tactics and abuses.
During last year's uprising, Saleh's government also pulled much of Yemen's elite military - including key counterterrorism units - out of remote provincial areas to reinforce the capital.
With the protests largely over, such units can now return to the battle bolstered by U.S. training and weapons for use against AQAP or the ethnic Shi'ite rebels along the border with Saudi Arabia fighting the predominantly Sunni government.
But much still depends on the Yemeni authorities themselves. Not everyone believes that they can prove equal to the task.
"U.S. resources are limited these days," says Hayat Alvi, lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at the U.S. Naval War College. "As long as the Yemeni military remains cooperative with the U.S., it might be able to prevent it from descending into failed state status, but that's still a long shot."
Keeping U.S. military support largely unseen, some Yemen experts say, may be key to its success. With their periodic civilian "collateral damage", U.S. drone strikes are already unpopular within Yemen. The public deployment of U.S. troops in combatant roles would produce an even greater alienation.
But perhaps just as important as winning the battle against militancy, some Yemen experts say, is wider political reform to avoid a slide back into wider instability and infighting.
In what was seen as a barely veiled warning to former President Saleh and other prominent figures, the White House in May issued a far reaching executive order giving the U.S. Treasury the power to seize US assets of anyone "obstructing" the Yemeni political transition.
PART OF WIDER REGIONAL FACE-OFF?
That, many Yemen experts believe, could be enough to persuade Saleh and former allies both inside and outside government to avoid trying to exacerbate the situation for their own ends. Saleh himself had been supposed to leave Yemen under the U.S.-negotiated political deal, but has so far failed to do so.
For the Yemeni government, however, former Saleh loyalists and Al Qaeda militants are just two threats amongst many. For Yemen and its Saudi neighbours in particular, the northern uprising is seen as at least as much of a concern. Allegations it might in part be backed by Iran have attracted some U.S. attention, but conclusive evidence has proved largely elusive.
Experts say there is little or no sign of AQAP involvement in the northern revolt, with the largely Sunni militant group periodically attacking Shi'ite leaders in some of their bloodiest attacks so far.
"If Tehran were involved (in the northern uprising) ... that would be an issue for the U.S. government (but) it still wouldn't be nearly as important as the counterterrorism picture," said CNA's Steinitz.
AQAP's bomb makers are seen as among some of the most sophisticated in the world, responsible for several unsuccessful attempted "underwear bombings" of airliners and working on developing undetectable devices. Online preachers are also believed to have radicalised individuals in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Some wonder whether AQAP's decision to seize territory and confront the Yemeni government in conventional fighting might prove a mistake. Letters seized from Osama bin Laden's compound after his killing last year show him advising directly against such an approach, warning it might fail to deliver on the expectations of local populations.
It also, security experts say, makes the militant forces much easier to attack from both ground and air.
But whether the campaign against AQAP succeeds or fails, some including US Naval War College expert Alvi warn that a "myopic" focus on counterterrorism may be blinding it to other issues.
In particular, she suspects that in Yemen as elsewhere, the U.S. is being quietly drawn into growing region-wide struggle between ethnic Sunni and Shi' ite forces itself fuelled by growing confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Saudi's Yemen policy, she believes, is focused primarily not on Al Qaeda but on crushing the northern Yemeni rebellion. That comes as Riyadh battles its own Shi'ite uprising in eastern Saudi and attempts to shore up Bahrain's Sunni rulers. Whether it wants to be or not, Washington is seen being dragged into the same agenda.
"They are locked in a sectarian competition... and this will go on for a long time, if not forever," Alvi says. "Anything Shi'ite is interpreted as Iranian supported in the eyes of the Saudis... this is also the inspiration for Gulf states to be so outspoken against the Assad regime in Syria, not because of the goodness of their hearts but because of Assad's good relations with Iran."
Whatever the wider reality, however, some warn anyone hoping for rapid change in Yemen could be sadly disappointed.
"Yemen is Yemen. It will sometimes improve, sometimes deteriorate but it's unlikely to break out of the pattern it's been in for the past decade," said CNA's Steinitz. "I don't think anyone in the U.S. government has unrealistic expectations about this."
06-04-2012, 11:32 PM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
06-15-2012, 12:44 AM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Africa and the Middle East: Recolonisation and the Crisis of the Nation State
By Prof. Ali Kadri
Global Research, June 14, 2012
When colonialist forces created states in their own images, they re-founded institutions that organise social structures in line with their strategies. When, after decolonisation, many of these states in Africa and the Middle East weakened under military or neoliberal assaults, they were dubbed ill-governed or 'overdeveloped.' The 'or' between military and neoliberal is inclusive. The neoliberal bent is imposed by shifting national class structures to accept the imperialist terms of surrender via neoliberal policies by power structures, foremost in which, is actual or potential military power. As for overdeveloped, it is said that ex-colonies borrowed over-fitted systems of government and administration from their Western patrons. More recently, many of these ex-colonies have failed and many others teeter on the brink of failure. Libya, Yemen and Syria can now be added to Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. However, these failures are not a onetime occurrence after which states resurrect in better shape or form. They have become states that exist in a continual condition of violence and collapse.
After the destruction of their indigenous industry and national means for the reproduction of life, they are relegated to a condition of insecurity, dependency and the export of raw material. Imperialist forces ensure that rent from resources are devolved in ways that entrench divisions across social groups that, in turn, vie for raw material or geopolitical rents. In this new breed of states, the state is neither an institution of all institutions nor an institution in itself. It just administers rent redistribution and protects vital raw material sources. Iraq recently, for instance, bought drones to protect its pipelines when more than one million of its orphaned children are stranded in the street of Baghdad and daily car bombs wreak havoc and destruction across its landscape.
This new breed of state is neither sovereign, in the sense it cannot provide national, communal or individual security, nor does it exercise autonomy over policy. It is simply there to ensure continued divisions so as not to facilitative the aspirations of working people irrespective of sex, colour, gender, sect etc., in a more resistant stance to imperialism. As models engineered in response to the crisis of capital, they are instruments of working class differentiation and control. And, the possibility exists that there could be more of these states now. What occurred in Iraq and Libya can engulf all of Africa. In the post-Soviet era, the old form of the sovereign and nationally industrialising state no longer tallies with present-day imperialist ambitions. In an organically set mode of capital accumulation, when some states break the mould of underdevelopment, others will pay a heavy price of underdevelopment.
At its peak in the eighteenth century, the state was ideally conceptualised. The nation state was ‘the realisation of the spirit’ or ‘the actuality of the ethical idea (Hegel).’ It was also ‘[a]n autonomous state, one in which the authority of its laws is in the will of the people in that state (Kant).’ By the time class divisions deepened in the nineteenth century, the state became ‘the institution of organised violence which is used by the ruling class to maintain the conditions of its rule (Marx) or, putatively, ‘the organisation that monopolises legitimate violence over a given territory (Weber).’ In our age of colonialist intervention couched under humanitarianism, the state became a social club modelled upon the fagging system of English public schools. Late in the twentieth century, the concept of the state had to annul the concept of class altogether from the definition of state. The state became an association of persons, living in a determinate part of the earth’s surface, legally organised and personified, and associated for their own government. This new breed of state, however, fits none of the above definitions. It is a differentiated and degenerative form of even the nation state defined as a social club. Individuals in these on-the-brink states have no one government that they can call their own.
Ideally, for Hegel to have reached his definition of the state as the actualisation of ethics, he followed the contradictory path of the development of the spirit over time as it oscillated between the in-itself mode to the for-itself mode embracing larger and more inclusive forms of social organisations. In the despotic Orient, he thought one was not free but all are free. In the slave age, some were free. In the Prussian state, one and all were free. In this modern form of 'on-the-brink state', however, neither one nor all can be said to be free.
Materially, from its very birth, the nation state was a constituent of capital and armed with a welfare task, principally, the function of reproducing, by more or less coercive and ideological means, a malleable and acquiescent working class. The state became the mediation of the dominant class in the political process. But in this new breed of state, social disarticulation is profound on the material level, resulting from wealth discrepancies and the fragmentation of the social order. On the level of consciousness manifest in the schism separating social consciousness from social being, it is even more profound. What I mean by the latter is that although workers would stand to benefit from collaboration and unionism, they adopt reconstructed identities bolstered by tainted rents that would drive them apart. Thus, as ballot box elections bereft of social and economic rights are organised, the citizen would not be voting in a state encompassing the whole of the national territory, for that state does not exist.
What exists is the social group, the sect and/or ethnicity for which the personal vote is quasi mandatory because it handles the disbursement of rents and, hence, livelihood. In no minor measure, the crisis of alternative social ideology contributes to this fragmentation. This new breed of state, furthermore, is no longer the institution by which the comprador class organises and maintains a dependent mode of integration with global capital; for a comprador class to exist, it must be set against the 'other' or the national bourgeoisie. Here, there is no national bourgeoisie to speak of. In Iraq, for example, two opposing militias guarding two different pipelines are said to shoot at each other when luring tankers to their delivery points. This is a stage in development where militias pitted against each other with the premeditated support of various US military bases come to represent a large part of the form of social organisation that make up the state.
On the development side, it goes without saying that this new breed of state not only engenders reverse development, it also debilitates man. Shorter life expectancy, higher infant mortality and illiteracy abound. Equally important, fragmented, insecure and de-developing states fall prey to drone politics and diplomacy. Their de-development drastically shifts the balance of forces in favour of imperial powers. There will of course be the isolated anti-imperialist violent incident, but it is no more than the sting of a wasp in the armour of the charging knight of empire. Capital wins when it controls and under-develops raw material exporting states as was the case in Iraq. Militarism and the encroachment side of accumulation can be said to have flourished so far, further leveraging a market expansion side of accumulation beset by the crisis of financialisation. But development is not only combined and uneven, it is also organically tied together. This means that the rate at which capital metabolises man and nature will also rise in inverse proportion to the crisis of capital under financialisation.
The growth process in middle income countries achieved so far as a concession related to shifting balance of forces with imperialism, will imply more dislocation wrought upon the poorer class countries. Many more countries are poised to undergo this metamorphosis to a state, which is the form of social organisation of militias plus American drones/military bases. Iran is one possible target, which would expand the car bomb corridors from the Fertile Crescent to Afghanistan. Capital successfully tested these new forms of social organisation in the periphery. At the expense of the working class, it has been nicely drawing the rewards of Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq for more than two decades. However, much like it tested other disasters before in the colonies and then applied them at home, in the defunctness of present day social ideology replete with Eurocentricity, capital might just as well bring these experiments closer to home.
06-15-2012, 03:29 PM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
major dots are being connected in this thread...glad you posted some updates, I had missed some of this.
"Listen to everyone, read everything, believe nothing unless you can prove it in your own research"
06-17-2012, 08:21 PM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Excellent Thread.. Thanks For Posting..
Marc "TheQleaner" Fisher
The Illuminati Order
Novus Ordo Seclorum
06-18-2012, 03:18 AM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
thanks guys - if you find anything related, feel free to post it in here, as is the same for any of my threads.
06-18-2012, 08:48 PM
RE: Yemeni situation: al-Qaeda is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Libya: New AFRICOM And NATO Beachhead In Africa
By Rick Rozoff
Global Research, June 17, 2012
On June 15 the news agency of the U.S. Defense Department, American Forces Press Service, ran a story on commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Army General Carter Ham's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee four months before in which he which averred that last year's war against Libya "imparted important lessons" for the Pentagon's newest regional military command.
Operation Odyssey Dawn, as the first twelve days (March 19-31) of the naval blockade and air attacks against the North African nation of slightly more than six million people was codenamed, was AFRICOM's first operation - its first war - before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization took control with its six-month Operation Unified Protector.
Testifying with General Ham was Admiral James Stavridis, jointly commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
AFRICOM was created by EUCOM under the tutelage of dual EUCOM and NATO top commanders Generals James Jones and Bantz John Craddock in the years before achieving full operational capability - that is, being launched as an independent unified combatant command - on October 1, 2008. In the year preceding that, during its October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008 initial operational capability, it was subordinated to EUCOM. Almost all of Africa's now 54 countries (with South Sudan becoming an independent nation last year) were in EUCOM's area of responsibility and all but Egypt (still covered under U.S. Central Command) are now in AFRICOM's. As such, AFRICOM encompasses more nations than any other Pentagon regional command and all but one nation in a continent that is the world's second-most populous, with Africa's population having surpassed one billion last year.
The war against Libya was the inauguration of AFRICOM as an active military force capable of waging large-scale combat operations, as it was NATO's first war in Africa, building on a strategy first unveiled in the massive Steadfast Jaguar war games in Cape Verde in 2006 to launch the global NATO Response Force.
During his congressional testimony, AFRICOM chief Ham applauded new military-to- military relations with the barely functioning government of Libya, which was bombed into power by NATO warplanes and U.S. Tomahawk cruise and Hellfire missiles, specifying the activation of an Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli that, according to the Pentagon press service, "can help coordinate security assistance, international military education and training and other security cooperation. "
The same source reported that "Ham said military operations in Libya drove home the point that all U.S. combatant commands including Africom must be capable of operating across the full spectrum of conflict," and quoted him directly as pledging:
“It is probably not going to be very often where Africa Command goes to the more kinetic, the more offensive operations in Africa. But nonetheless, we have to be ready to do that if the president requires that of us.”
As he already has. U.S. Army Africa commander Major General David Hogg recently disclosed that the Army will begin the deployment of over 3,000 troops to Africa beginning next year , complementing special forces operations in Central Africa, a counterinsurgency campaign in Mali, involvement in the ongoing war in Somalia (especially from Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti where the U.S. has 2,000-3,000 troops, aircraft and ships), drone missile attacks in Yemen and Somalia directed by U.S. military personnel in Seychelles and Ethiopia and other, more covert, military operations throughout the continent.
Ham also spoke of AFRICOM's Operation Odyssey Dawn being the model for expanding war-time cooperation with traditional NATO allies to include military partners in the Arab world, which is to say those outside Africa; to wit, the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Last year Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, long-standing U.S. military partners and since 2004 members of NATO's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative program, supplied warplanes under NATO command for the merciless six-month bombardment of Libya.
The AFRICOM commander added that the collaboration between his command and EUCOM was central to the AFRICOM cum NATO war last year, saying, "we could not have responded on the timelines required for operations in Libya had air and maritime forces not been forward-stationed in Europe” and “Operations in Libya have truly brought U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command to a higher level of collaboration.”
Recall that AFRICOM was incubated by EUCOM and that Admiral Stavridis is commander-in- chief of EUCOM and NATO military forces in Europe alike and as such was in charge of Operation Unified Protector from March 23 to October 31 of last year.
Ham also stated that Europe is, "both through NATO and through the European Union," as paraphrased by American Forces Press Service, "heavily invested in security matters in Africa." In his own language, "it is our strong relationship and partnership with U.S. European Command that allows us to have access and meaningful dialogue in the planning and coordination of those activities.”
Speaking alongside Ham, Stavridis reinforced the former's position that AFRICOM and EUCOM remain inextricably linked, as EUCOM supplies AFRICOM with practically all his personnel and equipment (in many cases joint NATO assets) as well sharing headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany with it.
He mentioned in particular that the two Pentagon commands "shared nautical component commanders" and engaged in unison in "anti-piracy" naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea and off the Horn of Africa as well as in Africa's oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, though the admiral was discreet enough not to offer the above details.
In addition he stated:
“We are also exploring ways that we can create efficiencies in intelligence and information sharing. And I believe we essentially share intelligence facilities now, and there may be some ways to do even more of that.”
Earlier this year Stavridis, in speaking of expanding NATO cooperation around the world, including for the first time "exploring possibilities with...India and Brazil," recommended Libya as a candidate for NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership, which includes every North African nation except that country - Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria - stating:
"Today, the Mediterranean Dialogue, we're in the process of talking, for example, with Libya. Already many of the other nations in General Ham's [AFRICOM's] region are part of this. The nations around the Mediterranean are natural NATO partners."
After the murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last October, Agence France-Presse cited U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder urging that "Libya could bolster its ties with the transatlantic alliance by joining NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, a partnership comprising Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Jordan and Israel.”
At a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers last December, "several NATO officials and spokespersons expressed interest in Libya joining the Mediterranean Dialogue,” according to a report in the Tripoli Post.
The statement issued by the ministerial included this initiative:
"Significant political developments have taken place this year in North Africa and the Middle East. Against this background and in accordance with our partnership policy, we have agreed to further deepen our political dialogue and practical cooperation with members of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.. .We stand ready to consider, on a case-by-case basis, new requests from countries in these regions, including Libya, for partnership and cooperation with Nato, taking into account that the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative are natural frameworks for such requests.”
U.S. Central Command and NATO are greedily eyeing Syria and Lebanon as their next military client states, as the next Mediterranean Dialogue cohorts after Libya, which will leave the entire Mediterranean region a NATO sea except for Cyprus  and Gaza , which will become the final acquisitions.
The absorption of Libya with Syria to follow would be entirely in keeping with the pattern NATO has established of militarily integrating nations it has attacked and brought about "regime change" in over the past seventeen years.
Bosnia is a NATO partner being prepared for the bloc's Membership Action Plan, the final stage before full membership in the alliance. After the 78-day NATO air war against it in 1999, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated into three entities: Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. The last has been referred to by a former Serbian president and prime minister as the world's first NATO state.
In 2009, only three years after it became independent, NATO offered Montenegro a Membership Action Plan. Serbia was brought into NATO's Partnership for Peace program in 2006 and hosts a NATO military liaison office. Bosnia and Montenegro are supplying NATO with troops for the war in Afghanistan. Bosnian troops also served under the NATO-supported Multinational Division Central-South in Iraq.
This year NATO announced that Afghanistan and Iraq are members of a new military program, partners across the globe.
Nations bombed and occupied by the Western military organization are tapped for bases and troops to be used in wars against the next victims of aggression.
In regards to Africa, the offensive by the axis of AFRICOM, EUCOM, NATO and the European Union, with assistance from the Arab monarchies, to resubjugate the continent by returning it to the conditions of a century ago is well underway.
Pentagon’s Last Frontier: Battle-Hardened Troops Headed To Africa
June 12, 2012
http://rickrozoff. wordpress. com/2012/ 06/12/pentagons- last-frontier- battle-hardened- troops-headed- to-africa/
Cyprus: U.S. To Dominate All Europe, Mediterranean Through NATO
March 3, 2011
http://rickrozoff. wordpress. com/2011/ 03/03/cyprus- u-s-to-dominate- all-europe- mediterranean- through-nato/
Chicago Summit: NATO To Complete Domination Of Arab World
April 18, 2012
http://rickrozoff. wordpress. com/2012/ 04/18/chicago- summit-nato- to-complete- domination- of-arab-world/
06-19-2012, 11:07 PM
RE: Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
Libyan weapons reach Somali al-Qaida
Defense officials worry about long-term security
UPDATED 4:06 AM EDT Jun 19, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNN) -
The Arab Spring of revolution has given rise to a new summer of concern in North Africa.
While Moammar Gadhafi is gone, the weapons used by the rebels who overthrew him are now a threat to the whole region, according to Amanda Dory, a top Defense Department policy official on Africa.
"The breakdown of security in Libya has generated a significant flow of militants and weapons and has decreased legitimate cross-border traffic at a time of great economic fragility and turbulence," said Dory, the deputy assistant secretary of defense on African affairs.
Many of those weapons, the Pentagon fears, are ending up with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) the branch of the terrorist network in North Africa, especially in Mali, which in recent months has seen a coup and a separatist effort.
The al-Qaida affiliate "continues to increase its activities, including collecting large sums of money through kidnapping for ransom schemes," Dory said Monday. The Department of Defense "is closely watching what this will mean for the stability of the region and the ability of AQIM to target partner and U.S. interests."
Beyond Libya and Mali, the Defense Department is also active in the effort to hunt down the Lord's Resistance Army, a group that's been terrorizing central Africa and has for years kidnapped children and turned them into soldiers.
"Regional governments clearly have the lead in the effort to counter" the Lord's Resistance Army, Dory said. "They're the ones who are ultimately responsible for ending the LRA threat and protecting local communities. And the United States is seeking to help them in these responsibilities."
Some 100 U.S. troops, mostly Special Forces, are in Africa working to stop the LRA.
06-23-2012, 02:02 AM
RE: Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
At least 39 killed in US assassination drone attacks in Somalia
Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:36PM
At least 39 people have been killed in two US assassination drone attacks in Somalia, the latest of CIA's airstrikes in foreign countries.
The US military uses remote-controlled drones in Somalia for reconnaissance operations and targeted killings.
Washington has been carrying out assassination drone attacks in other countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.
The United States claims the CIA-run strikes are aimed at militants. But witness reports and figures offered by local authorities indicate the attacks are taking a heavy toll on civilians.
The United Nations has also condemned the drone strikes, saying they pose a challenge to international law.
08-25-2012, 02:10 AM (This post was last modified: 08-25-2012 04:18 AM by h3rm35.)
Yemeni/Somali situation: al-Q is an arm of the covert American intelligence agencies
some interesting info I've been digging into:
Glencore is one of the world's largest commodity and agricultural companies. it went public w/a record breaking IPO back in may of last year that made billionaires of its executives.
Yesterday, the daily mail had an article about it's director's opinion about the "global food shortage" brought on by "drought":
Quote:The head of one of the world's leading commodities and agriculture companies has said the current global food crisis is 'good for business'.
from their website:
Quote:Glencore, headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, is one of the world's leading integrated producers and marketers of commodities. Glencore has worldwide activities in the production, sourcing, processing, refining, transporting, storage, financing and supply of metals and minerals, energy products and agricultural products. We strive to be a reliable and competitive partner in the markets in which we operate, and we aim to support our customers and suppliers at each stage of their expansion and development.
sounds like a great place to nest intelligence operatives, huh? It sounds like its got "its own" intelligence network already, right?
Now check this out:
Quote:Yemen's Aden Refinery has sold about 60,000-80,000 tons of naphtha to Glencore for August and September lifting. This is Aden’s first spot sales in at least nine months, as per Reuters. The volumes were broken down into two shipments, with the first shipment scheduled for H2-August loading and the second for Sept. 10-15 lifting. Each shipment comprises a combination of two naphtha grades: 15,000-20,000 tons of light naphtha plus another 15,000-20,000 tons of heavy naphtha. The premiums were not immediately clear, but traders estimated the price levels to be around US$25/ton above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board basis, sharply down vs a year ago when it sold a heavy naphtha grade cargo at about a US$40/ton premium.(emphasis mine)
I think I'm gonna dig into this company a bit deeper. more info to come.
edit: been reading a bunch, and it seems most likely that Glencore is most cozy with Mossad, and was named by the CIA for paying illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein... I'm going to develop this info into another thread.
US Asks Yemen to Return Fugitive Property Executive - Sources
Quote:Friday, Aug 24, 2012
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