American jets attacked Yemen a few days ago, according to a story in the New York Times and on The Long War Blog. They killed, among others, a mid-level Al Qada operative, Abu Ali al Harithi.
This follows Predator drone strikes in Yemen in May to kill other Al Qaeda operatives. Is there anywhere safe from an American Predator strike?
And President Obama has been accused of being anti-colonialist. Perhaps he doesn’t care to engage in the messy business of colonialism, preferring instead to simply project force (i.e., kill people his administration deems no longer fit to live) whenever and wherever he wishes. Killing with airstrikes anyone that might get in the Empire’s way, Predator drone or otherwise, just doesn’t seem as messy and complicated as actual management of a colony might be. Besides, who would oversee the colonies? I suppose the US could recruit its legions of overweight, middle-aged, white males that its economy recently decided (apparently for good)were no longer necessary for its own managerial ranks, but why would they want to live in Yemen? Does Yemen even have football (of the oblong American variety)?
Yemen is a small (population: 24 million), exceedingly young (median age: 18), exceedingly fertile (4.63 births per female) country sitting at the southern-most tip of the Arabian peninsula, guarding the Arabian Sea entrance to the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aden, through which passes a lot of oil. It might be helpful to view a map, from the CIA World Factbook.
What a blessing for the Empire Al Qaeda has been. Given to amorphous definition, Al Qaeda operatives are basically anyone that stands in the way of American expansionism. Yemen has plenty of them. As the Yemen civil war has picked up in intensity, American power and presence has oozed in to fill the power void. Yemen is strategically situated because of its proximity to shipping lanes, but is unfortunately geographically distant from the Empire’s main assets in the region: Iraq, Afghanistan, western Pakistan and Israel. Saudi Arabia can’t yet be considered completely within the Empire’s fold.
About Yemen–it was once a British protectorate, which is hardly surprising; here’s a bit more from the Factbook: