Monday, June 13, 2011
Yemen.................This Is No Good
“The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen,” The New York Times reported on Wednesday, “exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets.”
As we noted sporadically, Yemen’s demographics amount to gasoline waiting for a lighted match. When empty bellies launched protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Yemen quickly followed.
One week ago today, an explosion in a mosque wounded the 32-year dictator and U.S. ally Ali Abdullah Saleh. Depending on whom you want to believe, it was rocket fire or a planted bomb. Regardless, he was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment, and he may not return for months.
Hence, the aforementioned power vacuum.
“Half the capital is controlled by a former henchman of Saleh who hates him,” says veteran foreign correspondents, “and the other half is controlled by security forces run by Saleh’s eldest son.”
On that picture, we can superimpose the U.S. battle against al-Qaida sympathizers and a host of tribal conflicts and secessionist movements. Throw in the fact that Yemen is 52% Sunni and 46% Shia and you’ve got flashpoint No. 2 scenario for $220-a-barrel oil.