Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When Did U.S. Start Warring in Yemen?

Michael S. Rozeff
August 6, 2013

Quick research suggests that Bush authorized making war in Yemen around November of 2002. That was the time of the first drone strike. Obama intensified the war in 2011, following up on his earlier intensification in 2009. Even a CFR publication by Micah Zenko (Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies) is highly critical of drone warfare and recognizes that retaliation grows and anti-U.S. groups enlarge as the U.S. increases its violence.

Today’s headlines say that the recent “terror” warning applies specifically to Yemen. The U.S. has advised Americans to leave Yemen. The anticipated retaliation is not terror. It is action taken in response to earlier offenses and injuries, which in turn were ill-considered actions initiated by the U.S. as revenge against even earlier offenses (the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Aden) and so on going back decades.

Bush escalated the fighting, although the U.S. was unsure who bombed the Cole. According to Condoleezza Rice, Bush “made clear to us that he did not want to respond to al Qaeda one attack at a time. He told me he was ‘tired of swatting flies.’” Instead he decided to eliminate al Qaeda through war, the war on terror.

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