Almost immediately after it was learned that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a US airliner using explosives concealed in his underpants, received training in Yemen, US politicians called for Barack Obama, the US president, to expand the ‘war on terror’ – which remains very much a war despite the administration’s official ban of such vocabulary – to that country.
The president obliged, declaring that the US would strike anywhere to prevent another attack.
Such calls were in fact unnecessary, as the US is already involved in Yemen, supervising attacks on militants that have been credited by analysts with helping to further inflame anti-Americanism and support for al-Qaeda in the country.
Indeed, far from heralding a more successful US effort to stamp out Islamist terrorism, the soon to be deepening footprint in Yemen is a sure sign of America’s defeat in the war against violent extremism in the Muslim world. [continued…]
Elena Rezneac’s lavender eye shadow shimmered in the sun outside a crowded Internet cafe in Yemen’s capital city. The 21-year-old Moldovan student giggled as she pushed her sunglasses up above her blond ponytail.
“If you read about Yemen in the news lately, you think there are terrorists running around and bombs in all the streets,” she said. “But when you are here, it’s calm. I have to go online to remember there’s a war going on.”
Others among the thousands of foreign aid workers and students of Arabic who live in this impoverished nation expressed a similar view. [continued…]