Friday, June 10, 2011

A statement regarding the attacks by the First Armored Division on the peaceful protesters in 60th Street

June 10, 2011
The Media Council of the Youth Revolution in the Change Square of Sana'a condemns the brutal attack inflicted on the youth revolutionaries during their sit-in in 60th Street near the acting President AbduRabo Mansour Hadi's house to demand the formation of an urgent Presidential Transitional Council to manage the country in the transitional phase by the First Armored Division. The soldiers assaulted the youth and hit them with batons and rifles as well as fired live bullets to the air to intimidate and terrorize the youth. They also threatened them with death if they continue in the sit-in and arrested some of the youth that we don't know their fate until now. They did not even respect the females where they were assaulted as well and intimidated.
As a result of this barbaric irresponsible act which corresponds with Saleh's regime, puts us in front of a mysterious picture of the disposition of actions in the next phase. It is a violation of the freedom and rights of peaceful expression in a revolution that did not end yet. Therefore, we call for an immediate investigation under the supervision of the youth who were assaulted to find out the reasons and circumstances that led to these attacks. Although the mechanism and organization of this planned march that was announced in advance with its goals was already mentioned to the First Armored Division before it happened and they never showed any objection.
We renew our complete rejection of any unequivocal support to the revolution or the youth by any party that is restricting the freedom of the revolutionaries and restraining them from continuing their peaceful struggle until meeting all their demands. As we also reject any attempts to militarize the revolution or to circumvent it in any way possible.
Asserting that these irresponsible acts will not deter us from continuing our revolution until achieving all the demands and goals of the revolution and to build the modern civil state.
Glory and eternity to the martyrs, victory to the revolution, and love live free Yemen
Issued by the Media Council of the Change Square- Sana'a
Wednesday, June 8th 2011

Yemen: War on autopilot

June 10, 2011 by J.E. Dyer

Clausewitz was right about this: war is the continuation of policy by other means. Waging war is an execution of policy, and what it requires constant supervision from is policy, not rules or plans adhered to by rote.

Ed had a useful piece Thursday on the latest strikes against Al Qaeda in Yemen, and asked whether that amounts to inaugurating another “new war” for which President Obama failed to seek Congressional authorization. His conclusion was that it doesn’t, because the strikes on Al Qaeda are a continuation of the global war on terror (GWOT), for which there is ongoing authorization.

I don’t disagree with that conclusion, but I also don’t think it answers the right question. The better question right now is not whether Obama has the authority to conduct strikes in Yemen, but whether continuing the GWOT on its previous basis, despite changing conditions in the Middle East, is a good application of policy.

Yemen is fast sinking into a civil war. President Saleh, injured and evacuated for medical treatment, almost certainly won’t be going back. Al Qaeda in Yemen is no longer merely a rogue element against which the US and a recognized government in Sanaa are making common cause. It is now one of the factions seeking to influence the outcome of Yemen’s internal struggle. Some in the mix of factions – namely, the Shia Houthi tribe – have support from Iran; others from Saudi Arabia.

Now, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for US policy as it pertains to the fate of Yemen. It would take a tremendous effort to pursue a favorable outcome in Yemen without armed intervention – and armed intervention is unthinkable.

Granting that, however: is continuing the air strikes on Al Qaeda, using the same rhetoric and gloating press releases as in 2009-10 – as if nothing has changed in Yemen – really the right thing to do? We can insist that we are not involved in the internal melee there, but we’re attacking one of the factions in it. In this strange situation, we have taken a giant de facto step away from the semi-fiction of “cooperating with the Yemeni government,” because that “government,” whatever is left of it, is in no position to “cooperate” with anyone.

Instead, we are – in effect – entering an all-but-lawless territory at will and opening fire, for no purposes but our own. We assume no responsibility for Yemen’s internal problem, while nevertheless using force that will affect its outcome on Yemeni territory. Aside from other considerations, this approach lacks any assumption of moral or political leadership on the part of the United States. “Who cares what happens to Yemen, as long as we can kill Al Qaeda operatives?” is a not-unreasonable reading of the policy effectively at work here.

The narrow cynicism of that may resonate with some Americans, on both sides of the political spectrum. But it is the opposite of global leadership. It tacitly posits the United States as a nation wholly on the defensive, without vision, moral confidence, or compunction, reduced to using the territory of others for a sniper perch. That is not the United States we have been for the last 70 years – but the “GWOT on autopilot” is making it seem like that’s the nation we are becoming.

I faulted George W. Bush for not sufficiently engaging on the moral and political side of counter-jihadism. But with the Obama administration, the bottom has simply fallen out in that regard. However imperfectly, Bush did make an effort to bolster the civic position of average citizens and potential reformers in the Muslim world. He used stand-off attacks on jihadist cadre far less than Obama does, and “hearts and minds” engagement substantially more.

Obama has reverted to a lowest-common-denominator mode of execution favoring drone strikes. Perhaps he thinks military force “works” to produce outcomes the way a piston fires, by a morally neutral set of physical rules. However he sees it, his understanding doesn’t seem to extend to this: that when you wade into someone else’s civil war and start shooting, you are sending a big signal of some kind. Sound policy acknowledges when a condition of that magnitude has changed, and checks to see if its assumptions and goals should be revised.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,” Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

Eight People Killed in Lahj Province

By Fatik Al-Rodaini
Sana'a, June 10, 2011- At least eight people, including five soldiers, were killed in Yemen's southern province of Lahj.
Local media outlets reported that armed tribesmen attacked checkpoints belonging to an army unit in Al-Habeleen district. The sources said that an exchange of gunfire between the two sides resulted in killing five soldiers and three armed men. No further details were reported.
Yemen's southern provinces have been witnessing sporadic clashes between Yemen's security forces and southern movement militants in which tens from both sides were killed and injured.

Clashes Renew between Sadeq Al-Ahmer's Fighters and Security forces

By Fatik Al-Rodaini

Sana'a, June 10, 2011- Sporadic battles renewed on Tuesday night in Yemen's northern province of Sana'a, in Al-Azeraqeen checkpoints between Yemen's security forces and the Sadeq Al-Ahmer's fighters.

''The clashes have continued for almost four hours,'' a resident told the Yemen 24 news. ''The security forces have prohibited the Al-Ahmer's fighters from entering the Al-Azerageen checkpoints,'' he added.

In a separate incident, at least one person was killed and tens others were wounded in renewed clashes between tribesmen and security forces in Arahab city on Tuesday night. On the other hand, local tribal sources said that clashes erupted on Friday between two Yemeni camps in Al-Samea mountain, and Al-Friqah district and armed men from Arahab city in which at least one person was killed and others were wounded.

Sources said that armed tribesmen have been laying a siege since two weeks against the Al-Samea camp in order to prohibiting the soldiers from joining their partners in the capital, Sana'a.

No more details were reported.

US battling terror amid ‘scary’ Yemen crisis: CIA chief

June 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: Yemen’s “scary” turmoil has not halted cooperation with the United States to battle extremists, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), CIA chief Leon Panetta said Thursday.

“While obviously it’s a scary and uncertain situation, with regards to counter terrorism we’re still very much continuing our operations,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Panetta, whom President Barack Obama has nominated to succeed outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, said Yemen had been “destabilized” since protests demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ouster flared in January.

“It’s obviously a dangerous and uncertain situation,” said Panetta. “And yet we are continuing to work with those individuals in their government to try to go after AQAP. And we are continuing to receive cooperation from them.”

Rival Rallies Unfold in Politically-Charged Yemen

VOA News June 10, 2011

Rival rallies are unfolding across Yemen where supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh are cheering his reported recovery from injuries while opponents are calling for the formation of a transitional government without him.

Saleh's loyalists are celebrating word from Saudi Arabia that the president has been moved out of intensive care there. He is recovering in the neighboring country from facial and burn injuries sustained in an attack a week ago on his presidential compound,

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters are pushing Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur Hadi to set up a transitional government council during Saleh's absence. The president handed power to Hadi before his departure last weekend. Opponents have for months been calling for Saleh's immediate departure from office.

Meanwhile, officials in Yemen say an air raid on suspected Islamic militants in the southern part of the country has killed at least three people.

Few details of the attack near the town of Jaar were immediately available. One official told the French News Agency the strike killed three relatives of an al-Qaida militant.

Suspected al-Qaida gunmen last month seized the nearby city of Zinjibar after fighting in which scores of soldiers were killed. But troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh have launched a counter-attack to try to regain control of the city.

In a separate incident, suspected separatists in southern Yemen attacked a military checkpoint. At least three Yemeni soldiers and two militants were killed in the skirmish.