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Posts Tagged ‘Yemen’

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Politicking in the Mos Eisley Cantina

Monday 25 April 2011
by: Davidson Loehr, Truthout

Our economic and political mess became more clear once I realized that most of the important political deals take place in the Mos Eisley Cantina. You know the scene from the first “Star Wars” movie in 1977: a dark, smoky bar located somewhere in a twilight zone: a liminal and lawless hideout where the ethically reprehensible is the norm.

We know our elected officials don’t do their political work up in the daylight of our world, because none of the big ticket laws they pass have anything to do with what the majority of our citizens want. There are differences between the two political parties, but they’re differences of degree, not kind. How can it be that the people we elected to serve us routinely sell us out to the highest bidders?

The majority of US citizens are against our illegal invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and our bombing of Libya to remove Qaddafi, the brutal dictator we have coddled for decades. And a majority of our citizens would also be against our other four military operations – in Yemen, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa and Columbia – if they knew about them. Most of us were not fooled when President Obama said he unilaterally authorized bombing Libya because his heart bled for the half million citizens Qaddafi will probably kill – though for the past week, it seems we’ve stopped caring. If our hearts really bled that easily for the slaughter of innocents, why didn’t we invade countries that had no oil? And if we think the death of a half million innocents is repugnant enough to demand preventative action, what about President Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq, which caused the deaths of half a million Iraqi children? When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US secretary of state] thought that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children from sanctions in Iraq was a price worth paying, Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.” (See here.)

The majority of our citizens want our soldiers brought home now. As John Kerry said to our House Foreign Relations Committee in 1970 about the ongoing Vietnam War: “How do you ask someone to be the last person to die for a mistake?” Today’s answer seems to be that members of Congress do it without much genuine emotion, because wars – whether right or wrong – are immensely profitable for some of the corporations whose lobbyists woo our representatives in dark places. And few if any of their children are going to be in those wars.

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Nasrallah (source)

Hezbollah Leader Nasrallah Speaks in Solidarity with the Arab Spring, Equates Gaddafi with Israel

opednews.com By Mac McKinney

March 21, 2011 at 23:09:24

Hezbollah General Secretary Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave a powerful speech on the revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries on March 19th, picked up by Press TV. Nasrallah had plenty of criticism for the United States, of course (what else is new), but reserved plenty for all the tyrannies in the Middle East, welcoming their downfall. He reserved much of his scorn for Gaddafi, equating Gaddafi’s attack on his own people with the brutal Israeli attack on Gaza in late 2008-early 2009.

The above Press TV video was also posted at Information Clearing House, of which an excerpt of the accompanying text appears below:

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech on revolutions and unrest in multiple Arab countries:

-Our gathering today is to voice our support for our Arab people and their revolutions and sacrifices, especially in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.

-The value of this solidarity is moral, political, and ethical, and its effects are also moral. The origin of what is going on — which could decide the fate of an uprising here, a confrontation there, or a resistance there — the origin is the steadfastness of peoples, linked to their faith and high spirituality.

-You remember that during the July [2006] war, every word and statement in any state and anywhere in the world had its impact on the resistance, the people and the displaced.

-The same is the case with the Arab revolts. We tell them that we support them, that we stand by your side and we are ready to help you toward your interest and ours, with your and our capabilities.

-We have to stress that these revolutions are the will of the people themselves. Any accusation that the US manufactured and launched these revolutions is unjust speech toward these peoples, especially that we are talking about regimes which are allied with the USA, serve the American project and pose no threat to Israel.

(FULL TEXT CONTINUED HERE)

SOURCE

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Anti-government protestors gather by the bodies of the demonstrators who were killed on Friday's clashes with Yemeni security forces, during their funeral procession in Sanaa,Yemen, Sunday, March 20, 2011. (AP Photo)

Yemen Army Commanders, Top General Defect, Join Anti-Government Protesters

AHMED AL-HAJ   03/21/11 08:43 AM   AP

SANAA, Yemen — Rival tanks deployed in the streets of Yemen’s capital Monday after three senior army commanders defected to a movement calling for the ouster of the U.S.-backed president, leaving him with virtually no support among the country’s most powerful institutions.

Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of the army’s powerful 1st Armored Division, was the most senior of the three commanders to join the opposition. He announced his defection in a message delivered by a close aide to protest leaders at the Sanaa square that has become the epicenter of their movement.

Some of the tanks and armored vehicles deployed in the Sanaa square where protesters have been camping out to call for the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whose forces opened fire from rooftops and killed more 40 demonstrators on Friday. Others were deployed at state TV, the Central Bank and the Defense Ministry.

Saleh, who has cooperated closely with a U.S.-backed offensive against his nation’s branch of al-Qaida, looked to be far closer to what analysts increasingly have called inevitable: a choice between stepping down after 32 years in power or waging a dramatically more violent campaign against his opponents.

A senior opposition leader said contacts were underway with the president over a peaceful way out of the ongoing crisis. One option under discussion, he said, was for Saleh to step down and a military council takes over from him to run the country till presidential and legislative elections are held.

The leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the contacts, declined to say how much progress the talks have made, but gave 48 hours as the likely timeframe for a breakthrough.

Also Monday, Saleh sent his foreign minister to Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s powerful neighbor and the on-and-off backer of the Yemeni leader, with a message to King Abdullah. The contents of the message were not known.

At least a dozen tanks and armored personnel carriers belonging to the Republican Guards, an elite force led by Saleh’s son and one-time heir apparent, Ahmed, were deployed outside the presidential palace on Sanaa’s southern outskirts, according to witnesses.

The deployment appeared designed to counter the presence of elements of the 1st Armored Division elsewhere in the city.

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John Nichols, The Nation, Dec 28, 2009

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who began openly and aggressively angling for a war with Iraq just weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and who has been the most ardent advocate for expanding the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, appears to be determined to use the thwarted Christmas Day attack on a Northwest Airlines flight as an excuse to launch another crusade for another war.

Lieberman, the neoconservative solon who wanted to be the Secretary of Defense in the administration of John McCain (his 2008 candidate for president) and who would gladly play the same role in the administration of a Sarah Palin or any other saber-rattling Republican, is proposing the launch of a new preemptive war on Yemen.

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Two al Qaeda Leaders Behind Northwest Flight 253 Terror Plot Were Released by U.S.

Former Guantanamo Prisoners Believed Behind Northwest Airlines Bomb Plot; Sent to Saudi Arabia in 2007

ABC News- By BRIAN ROSS, ANNA SCHECTER and JOSEPH RHEE
Dec. 28, 2009

Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.

Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007, according to the Defense Department log of detainees who were released from American custody. Al-Harbi has since changed his name to Muhamad al-Awfi.

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Obama says U.S. to hunt failed plane attack’s backers

REUTERS

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Patricia Zengerle and Will Dunham)

KAILUA, Hawaii
Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:31pm EST

“We will not rest until we find all who were involved and hold them accountable,” Obama said, interrupting his year-end vacation in Hawaii to assure Americans that his administration was doing all it could to ensure security after a Nigerian man managed to smuggle explosives onto a Detroit-bound flight.

“The American people should be assured that we are doing everything in our power to keep you and your family safe and secure during this busy holiday season,” he said.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, is charged with attempting to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane as it approached Detroit on a flight from Amsterdam with almost 300 people on board.

Abdulmutallab has told U.S. investigators that al Qaeda operatives in Yemen supplied him with an explosive device for the attempted December 25 attack and trained him on how to detonate it, officials said.

Obama said the U.S. reaction would be forceful.

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President Obama ordered U.S. Military Strike on Suspected “Terrorists”

By BRIAN ROSS, RICHARD ESPOSITO, MATTHEW COLE, LUIS MARTINEZ and KIRIT RADIA, “ABC News“, December 18, 2009

On orders from President Barack Obama, the U.S. military launched cruise missiles early Thursday against two suspected al-Qaeda sites in Yemen, administration officials told ABC News in a report broadcast on ABC World News with Charles Gibson.

One of the targeted sites was a suspected al Qaeda training camp north of the capital, Sanaa, and the second target was a location where officials said “an imminent attack against a U.S. asset was being planned.”

The Yemen attacks by the U.S. military represent a major escalation of the Obama administration’s campaign against al Qaeda.

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