By Dave Lindorff
I'm the first to admit that I don't know all that much about Yemen, or about the Houthi rebels who have taken control of Sana'a, the ancient Arab country's capital, leading to the hasty evacuation of all US military forces (some 250 Special Forces personnel and the staff of the US embassy) from that country located at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
But I do know that what is being portrayed as a "disaster" for for the US global "counter-terrorism" effort is not being reported honestly to us by this country's complacent and compliant corporate media.
Nowhere can I find any article in the corporate press asking what role the US's massively unpopular campaign of bombings and drone-fired missile attacks on alleged terrorists -- attacks that have killed countless civilians, and that have also included wholly erroneous massacres of innocents such as wedding caravans -- has played in the creation of a situation that is likely to become a bloody civil war. This in a country that already endured one such catastrophe lasting from roughly 1964 - 1994. We're talking about a generation's worth of bloodletting, both between tribes, and between a north dominated by the Saudi monarchy, and a south supported by the Soviet Union and, for many years, its alley, Egypt. The idea that the US would casually take actions that could re-ignite such a horror in a place that had to be seen as a tinderbox is simply appalling.
If the goal of President Obama's global drone wars was to combat and degrade global terrorism, it has been an embarrassing and tragic failure not just in Yemen, but in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia too.
In Yemen, besides failing abysmally to wipe out the terrorists who have been ensconced in that country for years, drone attacks have contributed to the unrest that has led to the collapse of the government in Yemen and to the spawning of a new civil war, this time between Shi'ite and Sunni people. In Pakistan, drone attacks and other CIA subversion has led to the near collapse of that huge country's central government. In Afghanistan, drone attacks have certainly contributed to the resurgence and even popularity of the Taliban, causing President Obama to reverse his announced decision to scale down the size of the US occupation army, and to leave troops in that country indefinitely, for fear that the Taliban would just take over the country the moment the last US troops were gone. In Somalia, meanwhile, US drone attacks have only pushed Islamist fighters out into places like neighboring Kenya. Nice job, America.
You might think that this latest disaster in Yemen would get a good airing in the US media, and that the whole Obama idea of undeclared boundryless drone warfare would be questioned. On its face it has been an unmitigated failure, mostly killing just innocents including women and children.
But no. There is really no mention of drones in connection with the collapse of the government in Yemen, and the threat of civil war there. In fact, in today's NY Times report on Yemen, readers are assured that the US will continue with its drone attacks in Yemen, despite not even having the fig leaf of governmental permission any longer to hide behind.