Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

Human Rights Day & U.S. Hypocrisy

December 14, 2010

Defensive America’s Contempt for Full Court, Press

by Nima Shirazi, Foreign Policy Journal, December 14, 2010

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” – André Gide

“WikiLeaks has shown there is an America in civics textbooks and an America that functions differently in the real world.” – James Moore

Sixty-two years ago, on December 10, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration, to which the United States is undoubtedly beholden, affirms:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Well, except for WikiLeaks, of course.

Internet giant Amazon.com, which hosted the whistle-blowing website, dropped WikiLeaks last week, “only 24 hours after being contacted by the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s committee on homeland security.” Lieberman’s call for censorship was also heeded by the Seattle-based software company, Tableau, which was hosting some informational, interactive charts linked to by WikiLeaks. These graphics contained absolutely no confidential material whatsoever and merely provided data regarding where the leaked cables originated and in what years they had been written. Nevertheless, for fear of government retribution, Tableau removed the charts, explaining,

Our decision to remove the data from our servers came in response to a public request by Senator Joe Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, when he called for organizations hosting WikiLeaks to terminate their relationship with the website.

Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal have all since followed suit.

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Yemen: Another US Battleground?

January 13, 2010

by Stephen Zunes, CommonDreams.org, Jan 12, 2010

The United States may be on the verge of involvement in yet another counterinsurgency war which, as is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, may make a bad situation even worse. The attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight by a Nigerian man was apparently planned in Yemen. There were alleged ties between the perpetrator of the Ft. Hood massacre and a radical Yemeni cleric, and an ongoing U.S.-backed Yemeni military offensive against al-Qaeda have all focused U.S. attention on that country.

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The new decade begins

January 4, 2010

Barry Grey,wsws.org, Jan 4, 2010

The new decade has begun with a series of events signaling that the United States will intensify its aggressive and militarist policies in Central Asia, East Africa, the Middle East and beyond. These actions indicate that international tensions, fueled over the previous decade by the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and military interventions in a number of other countries, will grow even more embittered and explosive.

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U.S. kicks hornet’s nest in Yemen

January 4, 2010

Failed attack on Detroit-bound plane was retaliation for American military ops in the Arabian country, sources say

Eric Margolis, The Toronto Star, Jan 3, 2010

Welcome to the Afghanistan of Arabia.

Yemen, the likely source of the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing at Detroit, has just rudely intruded into the west’s awareness. Sources there claim the attack by a young Nigerian was retaliation for extensive covert U.S. military operations in Yemen.

I first explored Yemen in the mid-1970s. This magical land of fierce tribesmen was just then creeping into the 11th century. At the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula, mountainous, verdant Yemen was the Biblical land of the Queen of Sheba and originator of perfume.

Sana’a, the walled capitol, was straight out of Arabian Nights. At dusk, a ram’s horn would sound and its gates would close for the night. Beyond lay warlike tribesmen who would slit your throat for a watch.

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Joe Lieberman: How About Another War?

January 2, 2010

John Nichols, The Nation,  Dec 28, 2009

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who began openly and aggressively angling for a war with Iraq just weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and who has been the most ardent advocate for expanding the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, appears to be determined to use the thwarted Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines flight as an excuse to launch another crusade for another war.

Lieberman, the neoconservative solon who wanted to be the Secretary of Defense in the administration of John McCain (his 2008 candidate for president) and who would gladly play the same role in the administration of a Sarah Palin or any other saber-rattling Republican, is proposing the launch of a new preemptive war on Yemen.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of attempting to explode a plastic device aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Friday, has told authorities that he traveled to Yemen to link up with al-Qaida operatives.

Lieberman admitted that in a Fox New interview that he was “not sure” whether the Nigerian succeeded in making contact with the individuals he “reached out to” in Yemen.

But “not sure” is good enough for Lieberman.

So, he says, it is time to start lobbing bombs — lots of them. (Presumably, Lieberman is talking about more attacks than have already been taking place as part of a U.S./Yemen partnership that has seen Washington spend $66 million this year on security and military assistance to Yemeni counter-terrorist forces — a project that most observers believe has included the use of U.S. warplanes, drones and/or cruise missiles in recent strikes against al Qaeda targets.)

Referencing his own travels to Yemen, and meetings with unnamed U.S. officials, the senator chirped: “Iraq was yesterday’s war, Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war.”

Lieberman, whose refusal to serve in the military when he could have during the Vietnam era has never prevented him from spouting hawkish views so over-the-top that his wiser colleagues to keep him off committees that deal with issues of war and peace, seems to be unaware that “acting preemptively” in the manner he suggests, is an act of war.

What’s the alternative? Doing what the Bush-Cheney administration failed to do. By working with the international community and employing smart diplomacy and policing strategies, the U.S. might well be able to address concerns about what is happening in Yemen… and Somalia… and Nigeria and a host of other countries.

Of course, Lieberman does not have much taste for smart diplomacy or policing strategies, as is obvious from his hamhanded tenure as chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Perhaps instead of getting all excited about starting another war, Lieberman would do better to focus in on the fact that the troubles on Christmas Day did not exactly reflect positive on the homeland security operations for which he is supposed to provide oversight and guidance.

New wars in 2010?

December 30, 2009
by William Pfaff, Antiwar.com,  December 30, 2009

While the government of Iran reels under the continuing pressures of a popular uprising, whose character is inexorably changing from protest at a rigged election, contrived by the ambitious and obscurantist Revolutionary Guard, into a challenge to the Islamic government itself, the American-backed campaign for further sanctions on the economy, and inevitably the people, continues, to punish Iran’s resistance to further international inspection of its nuclear facilities.

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US Attack Kills 120 In Yemen

December 21, 2009

Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Suspected “Terrorists”

By BRIAN ROSS, RICHARD ESPOSITO, MATTHEW COLE, LUIS MARTINEZ and KIRIT RADIA

December 18, 2009 “ABC News

On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.

One of the targeted sites was a suspected al Qaeda training camp north of the capitol, Sanaa, and the second target was a location where officials said “an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned.”

The Yemen attacks by the U.S. military represent a major escalation of the Obama administration’s campaign against al Qaeda.

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