— The Erimtan Angle —

In my previous post, I talked about Yemen’s upcoming elections and the Yemeni population’s addiction to Khat, but from a purely geo-political point of view the small Arab state is extremely important. The U.S. established a base for its drones in Yemen, and the continuation of the War-on-Terror depends on the continuing existence of that “catch-all ghost entity”, employing the Escobarian phrase, Al Qaeda . . . and here is the intrepid Jeremy Scahill giving his opinion on the matter.

(17 Feb 2012)

Even though the mere existence of Al Qaeda as a SPECTRE-like worldwide network has always been in doubt, currently, following the execution of its supposed kingpin Usamah bin Laden, talk of Al Qaeda has been receding. Still, in Yemen, the military U.S. presence and support for Ali Abdullah Saleh (arguably to be replaced by Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi) is explained by the existence of a shadowy group called Al Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula, even though this fierce terrorist group only boasts about 700 or so members. The Associated Press’ Bradley Klapper lays it out in some detail: the “Obama administration is putting its hopes for Yemen in a vice president long seen as the loyal deputy to strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, confident that at the very least he can shore up a counterterrorism alliance with Washington against Al-Qaeda’s resurgent Arabian Peninsula offshoot. Ushering in democracy may be significantly harder. But American support for Yemen’s transition appears to be as much a matter of US security interests as the lofty ideals of the Arab Spring”.[1]  Klapper’s words seem to indicate that the U.S. administration is hell-bent on continuing its War-on-Terror, thereby perpetuating its financial and moral support for the Military-Industrial Complex,[2] and thus appears equally willing to sacrifice the Yemeni population’s aspirations for democracy and a higher levels of freedom and prosperity (or would that be another Khat-induced state?). In a rather cynical fashion, Klapper appears to concur when he says that the “transition starts next week when Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is rubber-stamped as Yemen’s new leader, ending 34 years of one-man rule under Saleh, a polarizing figure who craftily kept his opponents divided for decades before the protests across North Africa and the Middle East caught up with him”.[3]  Or is he merely being facetious when he calls Yemen’s upcoming elections nothing but an exercise in rubber-stamping???

But Klapper hits the nail on the head when he says that the “United States is keen to see stability prevail in the Arabs’ most impoverished nation”.[4]  Steady as she goes, seems to be Washington’s continuing advice ever since the days of Bush, Jr. who instigated the War-on-Terror and thus forstered the growing fortunes of the Military-Industrial Complex. And President Obama seems eager enough to continue this legacy as well . . .  In addition to safeguarding the flow of oil through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden as well as pacifying Saudi Arabia, not keen on a too turbulent southern neighbour.


[1] Bradley Klapper, “US looks to regime figure for transition in Yemen” AP (18 Feb 2012). http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article577311.ece.

[2] “President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (01 March 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/president-eisenhowers-farewell-address/.

[3] Bradley Klapper, “US looks to regime figure for transition in Yemen”.

[4] Bradley Klapper, “US looks to regime figure for transition in Yemen”.

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