Yemen as quagmire

"Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told the BBC that Yemen had the will and ability to deal with al-Qaeda, but was undermined by a lack of support.

He estimated that several hundred al-Qaeda members were operating in Yemen and could be planning more attacks.

A Yemen-based branch of the network has claimed it planned the failed attack.

Yemeni officials said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up the Detroit-bound jet on Christmas Day, was living in Yemen from August until the beginning of December, the official Saba news agency reported. "  BBC


I was Defense and Army Attache in the US Embassy in Sana, North Yemen in 1981 and 1982.  I have been back several times. most recently three or four years ago.  The same man, Ali Abdullah Salih, is president of a united north and south Yemen.  He was merely president in the north when I lived in Sana.  There have been no "breaks" in his service.

The country is an example of tribalism run riot.  Except for the coastal plains the terrain is a wilderness of dissected mountain ridges, each of which is topped by a very defensible village. 

The tribal structure is very complex and divided into; confederations, tribes, clans, families, etc.  In the north of the country live Zeidi (Fiver) Shia.  Their type of Shiism is the closest to Sunni Islam.  Their jurisprudence is actually based on Mu'tazilism.  The rest of the country is largely inhabited by Sunni Shafa'i.

There is constant war in Yemen, war over women's honor, water rights, land, beasts or just for the fun of it.  The government does not exercize any substatial control over most places outside the cities.  The tribesmen are both in the army and out of it and a favorite political move is for some dissident officer to desert taking many of his men and such odds and ends as; small arms;  artillery and tanks to his home district after proclaiming "come and get me."  The tribesmen are heavily armed.  An AK-47 is a standard accessory in personal fashion, and they DO shoot at each other a lot.

The Yemenis are crafty folk.  In the Cold War they were adept at getting free money and weapons from the USSR, USA, Saudi Arabia, and East Germany.  They hired the French, Taiwanese and Italians to do odd jobs for them using other peoples' money.

Salih is particularly good at that.  He delights in "screwing" the big guys by playing on their fears. 

This is the next Afghanistan?  pl



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45 Responses to Yemen as quagmire

  1. curious says:

    My proposal either create genetically modified fungus that kill khat tree, or introduce transgenic khat with cannabis property instead of stimulant like khat.
    in essence, the entire Yemen will crash due to withdrawal symptom no getting their khat.
    What is with these crazies and their drug? (just like opium in afghanistan)

  2. How quaint. Isn’t UBL’s family from there?
    Why don’t we just let them kill themselves? We can watch it from time to time on al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya over drinks in the comfort of our own living rooms…
    A late friend of the family, she was the widow of an American diplomat, told me an amazing story about a mission their friend Bill Eddy had to the ruler of Yemen during WWII…a different world.

  3. Abu Sinan says:

    Yeah, I know a bunch of Yemenis here. They are Zaidi, who self describe themselves as “Shi’a Lite”.
    My wife is originally Yemeni on her father’s side, as are many Saudis, including bin Laden.
    It is not a place we want to get heavily involved in if we can avoid it, but it wouldnt be the first time it has been the battleground for ideologies not homegrown, think Nasr and Pan Arabism.

  4. JohnH says:

    Quagmires are US…

  5. Patrick Lang says:

    Meaningless. pl

  6. Are they still chewing Khat in Yemen?
    The Saudis have been launching air strikes!
    What have they been hitting in Yemen?

  7. Jackie says:

    Your description of Yemen makes Afghanistan seem quaint by comparison.
    I hope you are feeling better.

  8. DCA says:

    It seems as though you have described Afghanistan, just with some substitutions (“coastal” for “riverine” and maybe “Sunni” for “Shi’a”)–except that the Yemen is a little less poor, and has had continuity of the central government. Are there any other differences that matter?

  9. DE Teodoru says:

    Yemen is not an entity we can either generalize about nor deal with holistically. Please note what a prior mess Obama is digging himself deeper into is coming to:
    American hubris is turning into egomania as Israel and neocons lead our generals by the nose into fun and games killing Muslims indiscriminantly. Generals fearing pink-slpinig as in post-Vietnam want neocon “WW IV” to go on to “victory” (eg. their retirement so they can run for president). Should I tell my American grandkids that it’s over because we’re going to chase psycho teens who fail to bomb airliners all over the world because we can’t get good air-security people?
    Meanwhile back in Afghanistan the ragged Taliban advances while McChrystal makes blue smoke PowerPoints:
    The Dems had an obsession, the old saying about Ike and Korea: DEMS START WARS AND REPS FINISH THEM. In 1967 Nixon made clear that Vietnam made action on Mideast in 1967 impossible and never again would he as president allow Vietnam to cripple the US elsewhere. So his plan– HE *DID* HAVE A PLAN– was to protect China’s NORTH in return for China blocking North Vietnam’s march West to India as a Soviet proxy. To prove that the US had no intent to put permanent bases under China’s soft underbelly, he pulled out of Vietnam. When Hanoi did attack, the Dems were so worried that after the 1972 Offensive Saigon might survive and reinforce that old saying that they cut off Saigon from bullets to gas to medical supplies. But when Saigon collapsed, the Chinese stuck to the deal and asked Thieu’s replacement as President, Big Minh, to hold out surrender for 48 hrs while Chinese stop Hanoi’s march at Dalat. Minh had this Diemist thing about “entre nous vietnameins” and refused. But when Hanoi moved West after consolidating the South, China attacked, again keeping its word and saving Thailand. To understand what this meant we must read NSA transcripts from 1958 when Ike insisted that we take a forced stance in Laos because if Laos goes Thailand is gone; so while Ike didn’t see intrinsic value in Indochina, he wanted to hold it as the “cork in the bottle” that stop’s Hanoi’s march West over SE Asia. Weeeeell, it looks like the then VP, in 1970s president, Tricky-Dick Nixon snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he worked out a deal with China and crevassed a massive irreparable cut between Soviets and Chicoms that made Reagan’s Cold War victory possible. Responding to the Soviet offer of a “tonsillectomy” on the Chinese, attacking their nuclear facilities, Nixon as pre-elect warned that any attack on China is an attack on US. He thus snatched Vietnam victory (saving Thailand) from jaws of defeat. But Obama is a bit of an ass and doesn’t read history. Petraeus (reading his PhD thesis) and McChrystal must be cognitively illiterate out of careerist ambition and know no history. West Point class of 76 is made up of generals that should have been limited to sergeant because West Point was hard-up for students. We are paying now for the inability of the Pentagon to learn from Vietnam. I recall a general on loan to the Bush White house warning me in 2003 that if I want meaningful dialogue with him on Iraq I better never bring up that “looooser’s war, Vietnam.” The dumb always get the stars because they are so good at fetching the ball for their masters. But what do you do when the stars got their heads?
    Please read below and contemplate the analogy:

  10. DE Teodoru says:

    corrected, sorry
    Yemen is not an entity we can either generalize about nor deal with holistically. Please note what a prior mess Obama is digging himself deeper into is coming to while our soldiers live like animals:
    ….and a bit of the Soviet memory that explains why they want revenge:

  11. DE Teodoru says:

    corrected, again, sorry, again!
    One thing about neocons, when they want war they want it as WORLD WAR IV against ALL Islam. Note Lieberman’s demand of Obama:
    We’re suppose to kill Arabs at one end while Israeli forces kill Palestinians at the other. Perhaps this will explain why this drive to kill Arabs everywhere by Lieberman:

  12. turcopolier says:

    Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

  13. Curious,
    Question for you: have you ever tried qat? Do you know what it’s like? I have. It’s like two very strong cups of coffee. Nothing more, nothing less. Get off the puritan anti-drug hobby horse. The Yemeni’s could certainly have a better case for criticising us for our obsessive alcohol intake.

  14. turcopolier says:

    The late Middle Ages. Pl
    Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

  15. Charles I says:

    “the next. . . ”
    Then by all means, don’t go there. Pay the Saudi’s or something.

  16. turcopolier says:

    When I was Defatt in yemen the saudis were paying us and the Taiwanese to do what you want the Saudis to do. There were half a dozen wars in Yemen then. Pl
    Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

  17. F5F5F5 says:

    Do you think Yemen is becoming an Al Qaeda sanctuary like Afghanistan once was?
    The Yemenis seem too busy killing and kidnapping each other to bother fighting any great satan outside their borders, or provide any stable long term sanctuary for training camps and the like.
    Also Yemen doesn’t have to resist direct influence or domination from any non-muslim country.
    So it’s not quiet enough to be a rear base, and there’s no transcendent cause there for arab-afghan volunteers to die for.
    Al Qaeda doesn’t seem to have any place left in the world to coalesce anymore.
    What’s left seems to be police and spook work.

  18. turcopolier says:

    I think this is all nonsense for the reasins you list. Pl
    Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

  19. Patrick Lang says:

    That was always the case. That is what I did there. pl

  20. Patrick Lang says:

    I think that is a bit much. I have seen them so “banged ” on qat that they could have walked across the sky. pl

  21. The Twisted Genius says:

    Yemen may very well be on the road to becoming a quagmire for the U.S., however this “underwear bomb” incident points out a quagmire closer to home.
    CNN’s Jeanne Meserve reported that a “single well placed source” told her that the underwear bomber’s father was interviewed by a CIA officer and a report was prepared and sent to Langley. A State Department spokesperson said a report was prepared and sent to the National Counterterrorism Center. And yet AbdulMutallab’s name and passport number were not put on the no fly list. The State Department spokeperson added that “any decision to have revoked the suspect’s visa would have been an interagency decision.”
    What a crock! What interagency process puts Ted Kennedy and Cat Stevens on the no fly list but dismisses the warnings of a prominent Nigerian businessman about his own son? These interagency meetings must make the mad hatter’s tea party look like a dignified affair. This was an intelligence failure similar to 9/11. I thought the 9/11 Commission’s reforms and DHS were supposed to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 intel failures. The whole CNN report smacked of bureaucrats making up lies to cover their sorry, incompetent asses. We are doomed!

  22. curious says:

    The Yemeni’s could certainly have a better case for criticising us for our obsessive alcohol intake.
    Posted by: Sean Paul Kelley | 29 December 2009 at 04:47 PM
    Khat psychoactive ingredient is cathinone, a methamphetamine analog. However its concentration is low in leaf and can’t be extracted easily like coca leaf. (another leaf earthling love to chew, next to tobacco.) Cathinone is a Schedule I drug under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act. (not sure why they even bother categorizing it.)
    Compare to alcohol? They don’t have a case, not even close, even counting fatal alcohol related accidents. Khat has bigger economic impact. Water use, a scarce resource in Yemen and the widespread use obviously eating up good part of Yemenis income. Tho’ if they are happy spending afternoon chewing it, who am I to complain how they should run their economy. Just don’t come begging for money when oil and water run out. (7 and 20 years, respectively.)
    anyway, overview of Yemen problems. (It’s pretty bleak, specially the part of not having real economy after oil runs out.)

  23. Fair enough Col. Lang. Truth be told, I tried qat while in Ethiopia a few years ago. It really didn’t do much to me, as I wrote: it felt like I’d drank several cups of coffee very fast. But other than that? Perhaps the qat in Amharaland isn’t quite like the qat in Yemen. I sure wish I had visited Yemen last March when I was in Oman. Another missed opportunity.

  24. Ael says:

    Given that Yemen’s population is rapidly expanding (almost half are under 15) and that their oil fields are running dry, at what point will they not be able to afford to feed themselves?

  25. David Habakkuk says:

    It is going to be ‘déjà vu all over again’, is it not: nothing is learnt, or at least not much.

    In Washington — as also in London — there is this undentable conviction that we are the clever ones who understand the world, while those we are dealing with in countries outside the charmed world of ‘Western civilisation’ do not really know what is going on.

    In fact, when it comes to the kind of knowledge that matters in dealing with the Yemen — as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia etc etc etc — the boot is commonly on the other foot. People from these places with in-depth local knowledge, and who in many cases have more or less imbibed Machiavellian intrigue with their mother’s milk, will outfox us time and again.

    One of my favourite examples of this kind of inanity comes in the long article on Ahmad Chalabi which Dexter Filkins published in the NYT back in 2006. Confronted by an actually rather minor example of that effrontery which is Chalabi’s stock in trade, Filkins wrote:

    Shameless, huh? I thought so, too. Almost a thing of beauty. It was so outrageous I almost wanted to forgive him, as a teacher might her sassy but cleverest boy. And that’s the thing about Chalabi: he’s very difficult to dislike. It may be his secret.


    The fact that Chalabi had taken the government of the United States, quite spectacularly, to the cleaners seems not to have dented the conviction of Filkins that he was in a position to patronise him: or made him contemplate the possibility that Chalabi may have regarded him as a ‘useful idiot’.

    What makes this failure all the more remarkable, and depressing, is that precisely this assumption of superiority had been one of the things which Chalabi had deftly and devastatingly exploited, in luring the U.S. and U.K. into a war from which the major beneficiary was the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  26. Abu Sinan says:

    Khat, as a cultural item, completely outstrips alcohol in the US.
    Imagine the US where almost every house had a seperate room where the men sit around for hours, even days, drinking and drinking and doing little else.
    Khat and liquor are apples and oranges.

  27. From the Times (London):
    “Security sources are concerned that the picture emerging of his undergraduate years suggests that he was recruited by al-Qaeda in London. Security sources said that Islamist radicalisation was rife on university campuses, especially in London, and that college authorities had “a patchy record in facing up to the problem”. Previous anti-terrorist inquiries have uncovered evidence of extremists using political meetings and religious study circles to identify potential recruits. ..”
    Well obviously we should bomb London. It is clear that “Londonistan” is a seething hotbed of Al Qaeda nastiness.
    Aside from an air war against London, we can use our Navy…up the Thames, of course.
    Our ground forces can also go in. We could mobilize them in northern France, Ireland, and Sweden for a three pronged invasion.
    The main objective, of course, would be regime change. I have heard that our intelligence community has detected WMD at Buckingham Palace in a secret underground laboratory. Not only that but we also have information from unidentified sources that all that so called ecological stuff being done by a certain prince is merely cover for biological warfare research (yes, I know this will be hard for fanciers of Dorset Cereals to fathom).
    Clearly, it is a vast global conspiracy…a royal one at that. Thus we need to wage war against Londonistan in order to replace the present royal family with a new one. Senator Lieberman and the Neocons could form the selection committee.

  28. PS says:

    One of the neo-cons (Kristol or some other fool) was saying yesterday that the int’l community (NFI) needed to tell the Yemenis to put a stop to this or the IC would step in. I had to ask myself who had a couple of spare divisions to devote to rooting out extremists from a rugged country that hasn’t fully emerged from the Middle Ages. Whoever it is, I am sure that a large Asian country will be glad to buy the bonds to finance that boondoggle.

  29. zanzibar says:

    Excellent observation David!
    I was just thinking recently who the Chalabi look alike would be in terms of Afghanistan, Iran and now possibly Yemen.
    The con that Chalabi ran to bamboozle very receptive “strategic thinkers” like Perle and Wolfowitz and other neo-cons was in retrospect a masterpiece. Not that neo-liberals “thinkers” are any different.
    I don’t know the current politics in the UK, but where do you think the British people are coming to with respect to Tony Blair and his role in the deception?

  30. DE Teodoru says:

    Gen. Powell finally stood up for himself– a bit late– and expressed an Ike-like concern over all the “terrorism” experts trying to make themselves necessary by revving up the issue—reminds of days of professional anti-Communists. alQaeda as an Internet apparition is not what we should worry about. Better to worry about America broke and in debt to the Chinese while they leak nuclear technology to every two bit regime that would love a deterrent without needing a standing army that could cause a coup. We have been fighting alQaeda in Yemen just as intensely as in Pakistan since 2001. “Forward” bleeding to death while our border remains tangled in bureaucratic competition for Congressional funding is no solution. How many World War IV fronts against Islam does Petraeus need in order to kick off his presidential campaign? Let’s start recognizing our limited realm of the possible vs. impossible. Can we afford to go to war with every nation from which troubled boys come with bombs strapped to their scrotum?

  31. The beaver says:

    I remembered reading an article on Yemen some 15 yrs ago and have managed to track it:
    Interesting story and draw your own conclusions

  32. The beaver says:

    Looks like someone else has come to the same conclusions:

    The US will get entangled because the Yemeni government will want to manipulate US action in its own interests and to preserve its wilting authority. It has long been trying to portray the Shia rebels in north Yemen as Iranian cats-paws in order to secure American and Saudi support. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) probably only has a few hundred activists in Yemen, but the government of long time Yemeni President Ali Abdulah Salih will portray his diverse opponents as somehow linked to al-Qa’ida.

  33. MRW. says:

    Jesus Christ, I hope someone in the White House is reading this site.

  34. David Habakkuk says:


    Just before Christmas, Tony Blair gave an interview to the Sunday Times, which was printed under the headline ‘It’s only you Brits who don’t appreciate me, insists Tony Blair’.

    He blamed his negative image on the press, explained that it was ‘not true that nobody likes me’, and remarked that there was ‘a completely different atmosphere around me outside the country.’

    The comments on the article give a vivid picture of the visceral hatred very many people here now feel for Blair — a hatred which crosses party lines.

    Anger at being deceived into war in Iraq is one element — but the way that the economic crisis has produced disillusion with the finance-centred economic model championed by Labour and Tories alike is also crucial, as is the linked sense of cynical elites lining their pockets.


    For my own part, I think the best verdict on Blair was that given two years ago by the economist and veteran government advisor Sir Christopher Foster, who described him as ‘the worst prime minister since Lord North’ — remarking that ‘he’s lost us a form of government that creaked and groaned but worked reasonably well.’


    Whether the anger ends up being simply negative and destructive, or whether it can help generate the kind of constructive energy required if we are to recover at least some of what has been lost, seems to me an open question — both in relation to Britain, and also to the United States.

  35. Jackie says:

    Mr. Habakkuk,
    Thank you for pointing to the article on Blair. It is not just Britains who hate him. Poor Tony Blair lost any respect I had for him when he decided to be G. W. Bush’s best friend forever. I remember in 2003 or 2004 he addressed a joint session of our congress and told them how “well done” the Iraqi adventure was. Must be too much religious fervor.
    I would also like to thank everyone here for the lack of hysteria on the underwear bomber subject. All the press given to this would be, failed “terrorist” seems to elevate his importance out of proportion.

  36. zanzibar says:

    Isn’t it interesting that those that have the real experience of a leader – the citizens – are negative while those that know only the PR image don’t have the same impression?
    I don’t get why Tony Blair did what he did in deceiving the British and the rest of the world with respect to the “imminent” threat of Iraq. The only explanation I have is hubris.
    The political parties on both sides of the pond bought into the thesis of finance-based economies as it enabled the massive growth in credit to provide exceptional growth and asset inflation while masking the underlying fragility of the real economy. The people loved it too as asset inflation provided “current income” and increased standards of living that their contracting real wages could not.
    I can relate to the disillusionment and cynicism of the Brits with regard to the financialization of the UK economy as we face the identical problem here in the US. With money printing to benefit those that played a central role in causing the financial crisis continuing on steroids I am not very sanguine about the intermediate term prospects of the credit system. The US has reduced the duration of its national debt considerably and will need to not only refinance nearly 20% of its outstanding Federal debt but also finance the additional debt incurred to support the various “stimulus” programs as well as entitlement programs. Since the economy cannot withstand higher rates I think the politicians in an election year will resort to even more money printing. History has not been kind to the people in such situations.
    On that dour note I wish you and everyone at SST, particularly our host Pat a wonderful New Year!

  37. Chris Brace says:

    “What a crock! What interagency process puts Ted Kennedy and Cat Stevens on the no fly list but dismisses the warnings of a prominent Nigerian businessman about his own son?”
    Whats the betting an email filter threw out a message because it included the words “I am a former Nigerian minister and banker” and so assumed it was a scam email, so the departments never actually knew what each other were up to,

  38. David Habakkuk says:


    Hubris is certainly part of the answer as to why Blair behaved so foolishly. A bit of background may perhaps help make this more comprehensible.

    In the arguments of the late Seventies and Eighties, there were two matters about which the Thatcherites were unambiguously right. By the mid-Seventies, the trade unions were making large areas of the British economy virtually unmanageable, and the country close to ungovernable. Meanwhile, state intervention in the economy here had been in general nefarious in its effects.

    The Labour left, from which Blair comes, only finally abandoned their commitment to support for trade union luddism and industrial interventionism after successive electoral thrashings. When however they finally did so, prominent figures, including Blair, experienced something close to a religious conversion. They swallowed a very large part of the Thatcherite free market fundamentalist package whole — and although many in the party had misgivings, Blair managed to take his party with him.

    For the reasons you give, the economic results were apparently very impressive, here as in the U.S. — with the underlying problems being disguised. But with the economy apparently doing well, and the Tories in disarray, Labour under Blair looked by 2003 in command of the political landscape. In a sense then, it was understandable that this went to Blair’s head.

    In foreign affairs, the corollary of the triumph of Thatcherite ideas was a widespread assumption across the political spectrum here of the fundamental neoconservative notion that the retreat and collapse of Soviet power demonstrated that there was some kind of natural teleology, leading to the triumph of Anglo-Saxon political and economic models.

    This process, many assumed, could be encouraged by the muscular use of military power — and would provide the basis for a permanent unilateral U.S. hegemony. The vision of Britain as a junior partner in this unilateral hegemony — sometimes along with Israel — provided a resolution to unresolved dilemmas about British identity in a post-imperial world.

    It was all a dream world — but it is one from which many in the British elite are finding it difficult to awake.

  39. Charlamagne says:

    Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
    American Declaration of Independence?
    Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
    They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
    What kind of men were they?
    Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
    Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
    Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
    Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
    At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his head-quarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
    Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
    Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.
    These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more.

  40. Ian says:

    I would have thought that Somalia is the once and future Afghanistan. Yemen might fall apart and end up as a hotbed of terrorists and extremists; Somalia is already there.

  41. zanzibar says:

    Thanks for the context.
    Isn’t it interesting that the religious conversion to the “Thatcherite free market fundamentalism” did not withstand first impact of the credit crisis? How the formerly free market fundamentalists in both the UK and US were quite happy to absorb the losses of their banking friends with the taxpayers checkbook. And what did the taxpayers get in return?
    Today’s note by John Hussman Timothy Geithner meets Vladimir Lennin speaks to the issue of exactly how I feel about this.
    I am afraid that the US and UK with their post-cold war “muscular” foreign policy expend resources that they don’t have with no real objective other than to be militarily engaged in lands that they don’t really get.
    Do you think the British people are coming to the realization that they’ve been hoodwinked and will do something about it? I don’t believe that folks here get it yet and as a result I am skeptical that there will be any mass outrage anytime soon.

  42. I was looking for a knowledgeable source to help as an interviewee in my humble article about Yemen. Could you please, colonel W. Patrick Lang, share your time with me in this interview by phone or email? I´m a Brazilian journalist. I work for the international desk of a local paper from Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, southeast Brazil.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best regards
    Alexandra Martins.

  43. Dear Cel.
    why the central governament is so relapse towards the ongoing Al Qaeda moviment in the country – considering the recent prisons?

  44. greg0 says:

    Found another blog posting about ‘the next quagmire’ by Jeff Huber here –
    Huber mentions in the comments section how he thought Somalia would have been next…

  45. CARMEN says:

    Dear sir,
    I am a United States citizen, my son is in Yemen I applied for I-130 for my son on 2006 when he was under age, after so many forms and waiting time, they finally got the visa unfortunately at that time I couldn’t go to the interview with them, but I appointed another person to represent me at the embassy interview, at that time my son was 20 years old already, but the embassy put as an excuse that the person who represent me at the Embassy did not had his ID. It passed exactly one year for him to get another interview and finally he got the interview the other day. At the interview the Ambassador did not let him talk or ask my son anything, he just handle him some information regarding the GHAT and told my son to come back in 3 years. Even though my son told him that he has never take any kind of drugs or drink neither smoke.
    I really don’t understand why? Last year my son took a medical examination for the Embassy, few days ago he took another medical examination for the interview, my son has never taken any kind of drug or drink or smoke or Khat.
    I really don’t know what to do, my son is willing as many test as he require to proof that he has never being under any kind of drug, the only thing he wants is to reunion with us.
    Thank you for your attention.

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