Monday, June 20, 2011

In Yemen, Are US Drone Attacks Buying Trouble for Later?

From The National comes a report that the US is targeting drone attacks, not against specifically al-Qaeda targets, but against "Islamic militants" who have been asserting their authority in the southern portion of the country and have established themselves in the port city of Aden, Yemen's business capital and a place famous as a cornerstone of Britain's imperial era.

As one observer notes, however,

Nabil Bukairi, director of the Abaad Research Centre in Sana'a, said: "You cannot fight an entire country. The ideology of jihad is wide spread in the south, and to uproot it, you would have to kill millions of people.

"This is the beginning of a long war that will kill thousands and solve nothing."

Both Bush and Obama have insisted that the US is not at war with Islam.  But by using drones to attack such militants (and inevitably wind up killing women and children as "collateral damage"), the US is buying trouble, not only for its own interests in Yemen and beyond, but also for any successor to Ali Abdullah al-Saleh who might look to the US for support.

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