And now war in Yemen?

Has President Obama, the former peace candidate, now started a 4th war?

The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power.

On Friday, American jets killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a midlevel Qaeda operative, and several other militant suspects in a strike in southern Yemen. According to witnesses, four civilians were also killed in the airstrike. Weeks earlier, drone aircraft fired missiles aimed at Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who the United States government has tried to kill for more than a year. Mr. Awlaki survived.

via U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes – NYTimes.com.

Underwear bomber planners were Gitmo alums

ABC reports that al Qaeda Leaders Behind Terror Plot Were Released by U.S.:

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.

Both Saudi nationals have since emerged in leadership roles in Yemen, according to U.S. officials and the men's own statements on al Qaeda propaganda tapes.

Combating terrorism with art therapy classes! We had these guys in custody! We are planning to let more of them out! The terrorists seem to be so much smarter than we are.

War in Yemen?

It seems that Al Qaeda’s base of operations is now Yemen, not Afghanistan. That country on the
Arabian peninsula is where the Nigerian bomber got his training and where new threats are coming from. President Obama has said that our quarrel is not with Islamic radicals in general, just Al Qaeda. So should we now invade Yemen?

Just before Christmas, American forces participated with those of the Yemeni government in an air strike said to have killed 30 al Qaeda operatives. (One of them was thought to be the guru of the Ft. Hood shooter, but he apparently is still alive and may have played a role in the Underwear Bombing.) So President Obama, who must have approved the strike, may be thinking in these terms.

How about if we forget about nation building and long-term occupations? Instead, we just attack the terrorists where we find them, and then leave? And if they re-assemble, attack them again. And then leave.


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