Steven Sotloff writes:
Though the foiled plot to mail packages filled with bombs to synagogues in Chicago has bumped congressional midterm elections as the top story in the United States, here in Yemen it has caused barely a ripple. While Washington focuses on combating the regional al-Qaeda affiliate believed to be behind the plot, Yemenis are much more concerned with a sectarian rebellion in the north, a secession movement in the south and the economic crisis that has crippled the country.
Most Yemenis are unaware that the packages that caused heightened concerns in the United States originated in their country, because the Saleh government has muted coverage of the story in the local press.
Washington’s policies of drone strikes coupled with high-profile military and diplomatic visits risk further alienating an already hostile Yemeni population and driving them into the arms of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the local al-Qaeda affiliate the Obama administration is so focused on neutralizing.
“Americans come here and attack without knowing what is going on,” as one Yemeni put it. “We don’t want to be Iraq. This is an American war, not Yemen’s, and we don’t want to be a part of it.”