Thursday, March 15, 2012

US steps up intervention in Yemen

Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA’A: March 16, 2012- No doubt that the United States of America exploited the presence of al-Qaeda in Yemen as a scarecrow to widely increase its intervention in the region.
The American intervention in Yemen has become even more open as the country’s political crisis continues to deepen. Determined to promote its interest in the country, regardless of Yemenis’ people aspirations or even the government’s own policies, the US is more than ever pursing its agenda, pressuring newly elected President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi into complying no matter what.
U.S ambassador to Yemen Gerard Feierstein actually made no secret of the Pentagon deep interventionist policy when he declared in a press conference that he was now single-handedly leading the power-transfer process.
Interestingly, it is under President Hadi that the white House is gaining further “access to Yemen as it increases its air strikes and military interventions in the country’ southern
Provinces, with rumors of ‘boots on the ground’ near the southern sea-port of Aden.
Ever since the presidential elections, scores of civilians have been killed by drones as America continues to target alleged al-Qaeda fighters across Yemen, oblivious of the growing resentment and popular anger which could lead to another insurrection.
The U.S war against terror in Yemen started back in 2002 when its missile hit in November Abu Ali al-Harthi a then “enemy of the state”, killing alongside him 5 other operatives.
The killing of al-Harthi is considered the first intervention by the U.S. in Yemen following the 9/11 attacks. Since then, the U.S. intervention in the country has increased to include everything, such as cutting the electricity power and water, and stopping entering oil and gas to the capital Sana’a, under the label “war on terrorism.”
Another example of the U.S meddling in Yemen is the intervening of President Obama to stop the release of Yemeni journalist, Abdulelah Haider Shaye, on February 2, 2011. In a phone call to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, President Barack Obama expressed his concern over the release of the journalist in the context of a general amnesty stressing that sine the man was linked to al-Qaeda he should not be let go. It is important to note at this stage that no concrete proof of his guilt was ever brought forward, neither by the U.S nor the Yemeni authorities.
The reality is that Shaya was a brave journalist who dared exposed America’s butchering of innocent civilians. He is only the journalist who exposed the massacre of the U.S in the village of al Majala in December 2009 in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan, in which dozens of innocent women and children were killed in the raid that targeted a training camp in the village. No AQAP militants were actually among the victims.
Moreover, Shaya revealed that the strike which the Yemeni government claimed was its own was conducted by American drones, revealing a clear breach of Yemen’s airspace.
The Pentagon would not comment on the strike and the Yemeni government repeatedly denied US involvement. Shaye was later vindicated when Wikileaks released a US diplomatic cable that featured Yemeni officials joking about how they lied to their own parliament about the US role, while President Saleh assured Gen. David Petraeus that his government would continue to lie and say “the bombs are ours, not yours.”
For these reasons the US asked the Yemeni government to stop the release of Shaya. That action reflected the reality of the U.S which while advocating democracy and freedom of speech across the world, breaches the law whenever it sees fit.
It is this double standard policy and a clear disregard for Arab lives which incenses Yemeni and to an extent the Middle East.
It has recently come to light that the United States is now building a secret CIA airbase at an undisclosed location in the Persian Gulf for the express purpose of carrying out increased air strikes in Yemen.
The new airbase will be led by the U.S. military’s top counterterrorism unit, the Joint Special Operations Command, with the CIA providing intelligence support. Air strikes by US drones and warplanes in Yemen, which have been occurring for some time, have been expanded recently, all conveniently justified by the alleged presence of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen.

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