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Thread: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    putting in a good word for twitter here too, invaluable

    Will post some bits I was reading during the week later

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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Apart from safety, one of the purposes of vacating staff from embassies is to act as a preventative deterrent. Bombers are less likely to waste resources attempting to blow up an empty embassy.
    Great idea. Vacate them all, and take all the spooks and messers who inhabit them home with you.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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    RTE just interviewed a woman journalist (Iona ?) who has been in the Yemen for three years. She said drone attacks on the Yemen by the US intensified in the last ten days. She also said the government story that Al Qaeda intended to take over three towns and launch missiles at US embassies lacked credibility and was simply not feasible.

    She also said that this year the Yemen underwent more drone attacks than did Pakistan.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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  4. #19
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Just for good measure,, reports are coming in of yet another drone strike, at least 6 confirmed dead. Probably for their own good anyway...

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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    So eh, are these empty embassies on fire yet?
    Happiness is an inside job.

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    Like everybody, Yemeni's have their dream. Unlike most, their dreams are constantly shattered by drones, because they don't fit in the vision of those who think they matter more than others...

    I dream of a day when only peace and tranquility exist in Yemen & the world.

    I dream of a day when I call family and friends in Yemen and they tell me that they have safety, water, electricity, fuel, decent life and all basic services by the state.

    I dream of a day when all Yemenis; men and women are the most educated people with the best quality education.

    I dream of a day when Yemen is 1 of the wealthiest countries in the world.

    I dream of a day when Yemen is a democratic and stable country.

    I dream of a day when I blog about fashion and beauty since we don't have human rights violation.

    I dream of a day when all soliders are playing guitars not carrying weapons.

    I dream till my dreams come true one day...
    Afrah Nasser
    (In self-exile in Sweden since May 2011, Afrah Nasser is a freelance writer and blogger since 2010 focusing on women's rights, democracy, and politics of Yemen.)

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Somewhere between Iraq and Libya?

    The appearance of supposed Al Qaeda forces anywhere seems to be a ground-breaker to prepare for the arrival in one form or another of boots on ground.

    The Yemenis have been much involved in the Arab spring democratisation movement, and there are also strong socialist traditions there.

    I hope they are not going to be subjected to US war mongering and theft.
    The hit on USS Cole was quite some time ago. The Al Qaeda forces have not just appeared. Yemen has always been important and there have been senior Yemenis in the ranks over the years.
    It has not led to boots on the ground.
    But drones in the air.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    Petty that didn't apply to the "weapons of mass destruction" scam, it could have saved a lot of innocent lives then, and many more to come, for the whole current mess in the region is a direct result of that "fact"...

    With all due respect Count, I have personal, first hand experience with US foreign policy when it comes to "protecting their interests". 9 years of it (1981-1988), capped by the downing of flight IR655 by USS Vincennes in July 1988. As a result of that war crime (here's one of the mainy fabricated facts you are so set against: the crew on USS Vincennes were the only ones of all the many ships and aircraft in the area who very conveniently didn't hear the broadcast from Bandar Abbas air traffic control) in the Strait of Hormuz, me and my crew spend days fishing bits and pieces of human bodies out of the Strait. Not something I'll forget in a hurry, and not an experience that will allow me to start trusting US policies. Any country that thinks it has the right to interfere in the politics or economy of another country is, simply by claiming that right, wrong from the outset. No matter what facts ("our interest") they fabricate. Everybody is indeed entitled to their own opinion, but nobody, not even the US, is entitled to force their opinion on others, be it by fabricating facts or creating scenarios to manipulate opinion and justify the unjustifiable. When I read/see/hear American foreign policy, I know, from experience, that I'm looking at a pack of lies. And with all that, I do of course not even mention the US support and subsequent tolerance of the Greek Junta, just because it suited them...
    It doesn't justify going blowing up marathon runners in Boston or other crimes like that, far from it. The US foreign policies do however create a very fertile recruiting ground for recruiting the nutters who will do stuff like the Boston bombing. The US policies provide them with the reason, that is a fact, the only fact.



    This is only one of the many examples of how US foreign policy is the maker of it's own problems. Flight IR655 is another one. If you want to know why Iranians dig their heels in when it comes to not standing to attention when Uncle Sam says so (How dare they!), there is one of many very good reasons. The SAVAK is another one, as is Saddam Hussein, once a very important American puppet. The Americans may have forgotten because it ain't on TV any longer, the Iranians haven't forgotten. A few million deaths later, it's etched in their memory for ever. That is the difference. Same with the Iraqi's, Afghani's, Yemeni's, and every body else who has been/is being pushed around by US foreign policy.
    It would be a very good thing if the American people would simply start thinking a little about things instead of watching the sound and light shows over Bagdad and Tripoli on CNN (in between the important bits like Sex in the City, Oprah and Dr Phil of course), and instead ask a very simple question: "What if somebody did this to us, what would I do?". The answer to that is enough reason to revise the policy, or should be.

    In a nutshell, the problem is that US foreign polices look at what they can do others for, rather than what they can do for others. Modern day history gives many, many instances of this, backed up by many, many deaths...

    Ephilant, you seem to hint or imply without actually explicitly saying so, that you were A: in the US Navy 1981-1988 and B: in command of a US Navy vessel in the strait of Hormuz at the time the downing of IR655. You used the expression "my crew". Would you care to clarify that? It seems to me highly unusual that someone with just an nine year career would be in command of such a vessel.


    With respect to the rest of your response to my post @12, in which I feel you went well beyond the scope of my criticism of your "oil study" citation, I'll note the following:



    @ 5 above, in response to a post by Morticia @ 4, you cited a US EIA analysis brief on Yemen to support your earlier implied contention in the OP that likelihood of a US invasion of Yemen was increasing. In the OP you speculated on claims of WMD as a pretext for invasion. When Morticia discounted the possibility of invasion, for lack of oil, you replied by citing the "oil study" as if it were some evidence of malevolent US intent.


    I simply pointed out that the study was routine and not in any way dissimilar to ones the EIA conducts on a continuous basis.


    In your reply @15 to my post @12 you chose to completely ignore that, and instead seized on my use of a common phrase that contains the word "fact", and used that to craft a reply that reflects your disagreement with US policy, (everyone's entitled etc.), but it has a big fat zero to do with the substance of my criticism of your contention that the EIA analysis brief on Yemen could be construed as evidence of malevolent US intent.


    I'll take that as an acknowledgement that my criticism stands. I'm now more rather than less inclined to think you are scare mongering. That's a long winded but diplomatic way of saying I think you're rambling off topic, but I'll take a minute to address the actual reply you did make rather than ignore it, otherwise I'm guilty of the charge I just leveled at you. But, I'm not going to chase you round and round attempting to justify every US activity you find objectionable.


    I don't for a minute doubt the sincerity of the beliefs you hold, and I'm no apologist for the Iran fiasco. I'm on record on that here on several occasions.

    On the other hand, the Libyan and Syrian rebels have both sought US involvement. Several Asian countries and Australia are currently seeking closer military ties with the US for fear of China. Consequently, US foreign policy is far more complex than that of most other countries, and you know the old adage, every complex problem has a simple solution, and it's usually wrong.

    Many foreign interests make demands on US "Blood & Treasure" for their own benefit, hence the wide US involvement Most Americans understand that as the only global superpower criticism come with the territory, whether they like it or not, and Americans themselves are critical of continually of their government. Just look at some of the content in my own post @13 and you'll see direct and implied criticism.

    Equally, it seems to me that many non Americans don't understand the complexity of US decision making in global affairs for the very reason that their governments (and hence media) are not equipped to, and/or have had little experience in making such decisions, at least since WWII, so it's out of living memory. And that's not a stereotypical claim that non Americans are ignorant or stupid, although the reverse claim is often made, as you yourself did @15 above. Some Americans may be fat, stupid, or lazy, but not all, and you can level that charge against many or most nations.

    Non American critics often look at US decisions thru the filter of their own most pressing individual concern, be it humanitarian, military, financial, etc while the US is forced to look at the bigger more complex picture.

    Best CB.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Great idea. Vacate them all, and take all the spooks and messers who inhabit them home with you.
    Thank you for that real practical and helpful suggestion. I'll endeavor to ensure it's brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?



    Si
    x alleged al-Qaida militants killed today in a new drone strike in Yemen. AP: "The strike - the sixth by a U.S. drone over the past 10 days - came as Yemen remained on high alert following threats of a terror attack targeting Western and Yemeni government interests. [Edit] BBC now reporting 14 militants killed Thursday.


    So far, about 29 suspected militants have been killed by unmanned U.S. aircraft in an apparent stepped-up drone war in Yemen. While the United States acknowledges its drone program in Yemen, it does not confirm individual strikes or release information on how many have been carried out." Read it here.

    Doubts about the initial reports that the Yemenis had foiled the big attack. The WSJ's Maria Abi-Habib, Margaret Coker and Siobhan Gorman: "Yemeni officials said Wednesday that the country's security forces had broken up several plots by al Qaeda militants but the government distanced itself from those reports later in the day, illustrating Washington's challenges as it tries to work with Yemen's government to combat al Qaeda's branch there.

    And, the U.S.-Yemeni relationship on counter-terrorism is "checkered," they report: "The relationship between Washington and the government in San'a is under scrutiny now, as the U.S. says Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is behind a new terror alert that has led the State Department to stop work at embassies and issue world-wide travel alerts. The history of U.S.-Yemeni counterterrorism relations has been checkered with missteps and mistakes, even before this latest terror alert. Mr. Hadi-who came to power in large part due to America's diplomatic intervention-has tried to strengthen military and economic ties with the U.S. Some officials in San'a, however, worry that President Hadi's credibility has been undercut by reports issued by government spokesmen earlier in the day that the country's security forces had uncovered and foiled a variety of terrorist plots-including, the spokesmen said, planned attacks against a major Yemeni oil facility, military installations and Western embassies." Read the rest here.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. has spent hundreds of millions in Yemen - but what does it buy? Since November of 2011, the United States has pledged nearly $600 million to Yemen for everything from spy drones to opinion polls to pickup trucks as part of a shadow war to fight terrorism there. But we, along with FP's own Noah Shachtman wondered just how much Washington is getting for its money. It is an open question, even within U.S. government circles... Only a portion of the $600 million committed since late 2011 goes directly to fight terrorism -- about $250 million, according to State Department officials. The rest goes towards 'helping to strengthen governance and institutions on which Yemen's long-term progress depends,' as then-White House counterterrorism czar (and unofficial envoy to Yemen) John Brennan explained last year. That includes cash to 'empower women,' 'combat corruption,' and provide 'food vouchers, safe drinking water, and basic health services' Brennan added.

    But: Those assistance programs come with criticisms, however, even from within the U.S. government. The primary concern: that the U.S. lacks the capacity to oversee objectives in Yemen. The Government Accountability Office recently faulted American assistance to Yemen, saying that 'Yemen's unstable security situation constrains U.S. training of Yemeni security forces, restricts oversight of civilian assistance projects, and endangers Yemeni nationals who work for the United States.' GAO investigators cited the threats to Yemenis working for the Americans, including a Yemeni employee of the American embassy in Sanaa who was murdered in 2012. "Because of leadership and coordination challenges within the Yemeni government, key recipients of U.S. security assistance made limited use of this assistance until recently to combat [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] in support of the U.S. strategic goal of improving Yemen's security," the March 2013 report found.In that way, Yemen isn't unlike other countries -- Iraq and Afghanistan to name but two -- in which the United States has struggled to keep pace with the influx of billions of dollars of assistance over the years only to come up short in terms of accounting for it all. And in both cases, the United States had thousands of military and civilian personnel working in the country. Not so in Yemen.

    Monitoring all these programs are tough, and the capacity to do it is harder. "We need to remember that we have done at least as badly in planning and managing aid as the worst recipient country has done in using it," Tony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington told us.

    A Gallup poll, pickup trucks and drones: just some of the counter-terrorism programs in Yemen. During 2012, for instance, the Pentagon spent about $14 million on a single U.S. Special Operations Forces counterterrorism enhancement program in which a limited number of American military personnel provided training and equipment -- from small arms and ammo to radios to rigid hull inflatable boats to night vision goggles to navigational systems -- to Yemen's counterterrorists. Another program, referred to in Pentagon briefing papers as the "Fixed-Wing Capability Program," spends about $23 million "by providing equipment and training to improve the operational reach and reaction time of Yemen's CT forces," including two short take-off and landing aircraft. The United States spends another $75 million on building the counterterrorism unit of Yemen's Central Security Forces. During 2013, the Pentagon spent nearly $50 million on what's called an "integrated border and maritime security" program to help the Yemenis be more effective with aerial surveillance and ground mobility, according to a defense official. That helped the Yemenis build up the capacity to monitor threats along the country's nearly 1,200 mile coastline. The program includes 12 short take-off and landing aircraft, each with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as flight and maintenance crews. The United States has spent other money on Yemen, including $24 million the Coast Guard spent to build two 87-foot coastal patrol boats, and another $11 million for about 340 F-350 Ford pickup trucks, according to publicly-available contracting data. Another $27 million was spent for a contract with Bell Helicopter for four Huey II helicopters within the last three years.

    Two years ago, the polling firm Gallup, Inc. was paid more than $280,000 for a "Yemen Assessment Survey." Around the same time, Yemen was part of a major contract to provide crew-served weapons, gun mounts, and stands for .50 caliber weapons. Last year, the Army paid $3 million to Harris Corporation for radios for the Yemenis, and the Navy paid $5.4 million for aircraft engines and spare parts for CASA 235 transport planes. Also last year, the Army paid $1.9 million for tactical UAVs in both Kenya and in Yemen.

    Whatever the long-term solution is for Yemen, the Center for National Policy's Scott Bates the events of the last week highlight the need to stay engaged in the region. Bates said he wouldn't second-guess the decision to shut down the embassies this week, but generally speaking that kind of across-the-board action should be avoided. "What this means is that Capitol Hill should work with the White House to figure out a long term strategy of engagement in the Middle East that does not require us to take these measures in the future," he told us. Read the rest of our report here.

    Was there a call-in code for the "conference call?" Yesterday, citing three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence, the Daily Beast's Eli Lake and Josh Rogin wrote that the intercepted communications between Ayman al-Zawahiri and AQAP's Nasser al-Wuhayshi was actually a "conference call" between a larger number of al-Qaida representatives in a number of locations. "All told, said one U.S. intelligence official, more than 20 al Qaeda operatives were on the call," they wrote. But other journalists covering national security who sought to stand up the same story tell us us they had trouble doing that.

    Will Bunch: "Within hours of publication, however, a bevy of national security journalists began casting doubts on the leaked information contained within the Beast's report. Two theories were quickly born. Adam Goldman of the Associated Press wondered if the leak was manufactured to protect human intelligence (that is, a leaker within al Qaeda), while Ken Delanian [sic] of the Los Angeles Times suggested that it was intended to glorify the NSA's signals intelligence capabilities at a politically vulnerable moment. Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, meanwhile, failed to see how the entire story - the leak, the method of intercept, and the contents of the call - added up. Bunch's post here. Gellman, on the Tweeterers: "Something's very wrong with the tale sources tell @EliLake about a 24-party Legion of Doom 'conference call.'" Gellman tweeted a few times about the story, later clarifying: "Eli Lake does great work. I assume his sourcing is good. I still can't make the USG account add up."
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    So far, about 29 suspected militants have been killed by unmanned U.S. aircraft
    (my emphasis)

    Which of course says it all. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    Yemeni authorities have offered a five million Yemeni riyals bounty for information leading to the capture of "militants". I suppose just killing people on sight and declaring them "militants" is one way of bringing down the bill for all the military hardware the US has flogged to them? Just knock the $23K of the bill, is it? Oil and gas would of course be the main currency to pay for the toys, no?
    The rest of the above post is about the most comprehensive collection of US "spin" I've seen in a long time. Well done! It is however rather difficult to comprehend that anybody would regard this a proof of the legitimacy of the actions currently undertaken in the Yemen.
    In fact, the actions are, as agreed by the US themselves, very much so illegitimate. The Yemen National Dialogue, recognized by the US, has unanimously declared the whole drone program illegal and ordered it to stop immediately. But the US once again choses to take or leave as it sees fit, rather than obeying the real legitimate, US recognized bodies in the country itself. Can't both have your cake and eat it, no matter how hard you try....
    Last edited by Ephilant; 09-08-2013 at 07:09 AM.

  12. #27
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    Ephilant, you seem to hint or imply without actually explicitly saying so, that you were A: in the US Navy 1981-1988 and B: in command of a US Navy vessel in the strait of Hormuz at the time the downing of IR655. You used the expression "my crew". Would you care to clarify that? It seems to me highly unusual that someone with just an nine year career would be in command of such a vessel.
    Fishing for info?why not ask google, I'm sure they've already passed on everything they know to the "relevant authorities"
    No, I never was, and never would be a member of any military organisation, anywhere in the world. In fact, when I was of the age deemed to be ripe for training as canon fodder, in the days that conscription still existed, I was indeed called up and refused to go. Fortunately enough, the then existing laws left a little loophole which allowed me to do this. Otherwise I would have, God forbid, had to do something illegal, like possibly refuse to shoot people just because I'm told to. I despise anything military, always have and always will. As far as I am concerned, "the military", irrespective of what fancy dress they wear or which flag they fly are the scourge of the earth and should be banned from the planet with immediate effect, toys and all.
    But your question does show how subtle pulling stuff out of context is. How can you jump to the conclusion that 9 years in the Persian Gulf constitutes a career of nine years, leave alone a career in the US navy?
    I spent a long time out on sea, worked my way up from deckhand to master, and specialized in deep sea fire-fighting, salvage and rescue. Which, by the nature of things, put us in the middle of every oil conflict, which invariably involved witnessing the "good work" done by the various super powers in "protect their interests". Never saw too much protection of the interests of the various peoples on whose territory their wars were fought though...

    @ 5 above, in response to a post by Morticia @ 4, you cited a US EIA analysis brief on Yemen to support your earlier implied contention in the OP that likelihood of a US invasion of Yemen was increasing. In the OP you speculated on claims of WMD as a pretext for invasion. When Morticia discounted the possibility of invasion, for lack of oil, you replied by citing the "oil study" as if it were some evidence of malevolent US intent.
    I simply pointed out that the study was routine and not in any way dissimilar to ones the EIA conducts on a continuous basis.
    In your reply @15 to my post @12 you chose to completely ignore that, and instead seized on my use of a common phrase that contains the word "fact", and used that to craft a reply that reflects your disagreement with US policy, (everyone's entitled etc.), but it has a big fat zero to do with the substance of my criticism of your contention that the EIA analysis brief on Yemen could be construed as evidence of malevolent US intent.
    Even a child can understand that all that response is showing Morticia is that she is mistaken in her statement that Yemen has no oil. Again, a very subtle way of questioning somebody about a perceived statement rather than what is actually being said. I think it's called "putting words in my mouth" as well as "jumping to conclusions", something which happens regularly, and when done by the wrong people ends up costing many, many lives.
    The study is indeed not itself evidence of malevolent US intent. However, it gives a very potent reason for subsequent malevolent US intent, dressed up as "foreign policy". Just like the report on "weapons of mass destruction" did, and the whole Iran debacle (as you rightfully) call it did. I'm sure many hours were wasted fine-tuning many statements like this to trigger the "correct result". A bit like Greek elections me thinks

    Equally, it seems to me that many non Americans don't understand the complexity of US decision making in global affairs for the very reason that their governments (and hence media) are not equipped to, and/or have had little experience in making such decisions, at least since WWII, so it's out of living memory. And that's not a stereotypical claim that non Americans are ignorant or stupid, although the reverse claim is often made, as you yourself did @15 above. Some Americans may be fat, stupid, or lazy, but not all, and you can level that charge against many or most nations.
    Would you like to ask those millions who paid for this complex American foreign policy with their lives (including Americans!) what exactly it is they don't understand about these policies? Or better even, would you explain to the millions of dead people and their relatives what understanding gave anybody the right to kill or have them killed, and why those left behind have no right to be cheesed off about this?
    We have of course very recent evidence of just how "equipped" the American authorities are, and what is used to make their decisions (legalities don't seem to bother them too much either, it would seem). As for Americans being fat, stupid, etc, again, that is not something I said. What I am saying is that part of the US policies at home is to bombard the US population with such an overload of this kind of dumbing down TV crap that the population in general does indeed forget how to think for itself. If only all that money could be spent on educating them... But then we would of course not have thousands of them joyfully marching into to the Iraqi/Yemeni/Afghani/Kuwaiti/etc desert to shoot up everything and everybody in sight, simply because they have been ordered to and it doesn't dawn on them to ask any questions. When, during the Nurenberg trials the German military on trial answered "Befehl ist Befehl", everybody was shocked by the answer, knowing the horrific results of the attitude. When the US orders its soldiers to march into a foreign country and do the damage, using the same "I'm only obeying orders" attitude, it's considered their "patriotic duty"???

    Like the other super powers, the US would do very well to realize that history tells us the status of super power is a temporary one, despite the flexing of military muscle. Trampling all over others does not exactly make for good friends, irrespective of the reasons given or fabricated. It does make for a very solid basis of long-term distrust and a deep routed wish for revenge...
    Last edited by Ephilant; 09-08-2013 at 01:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    (my emphasis)

    Which of course says it all. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    Yemeni authorities have offered a five million Yemeni riyals bounty for information leading to the capture of "militants". I suppose just killing people on sight and declaring them "militants" is one way of bringing down the bill for all the military hardware the US has flogged to them? Just knock the $23K of the bill, is it? Oil and gas would of course be the main currency to pay for the toys, no?
    The rest of the above post is about the most comprehensive collection of US "spin" I've seen in a long time. Well done! It is however rather difficult to comprehend that anybody would regard this a proof of the legitimacy of the actions currently undertaken in the Yemen.
    In fact, the actions are, as agreed by the US themselves, very much so illegitimate. The Yemen National Dialogue, recognized by the US, has unanimously declared the whole drone program illegal and ordered it to stop immediately. But the US once again choses to take or leave as it sees fit, rather than obeying the real legitimate, US recognized bodies in the country itself. Can't both have your cake and eat it, no matter how hard you try....
    Not really. It's just a small sample of what arrived in my inbox on the subject yesterday, and I only subscribe to what I believe are reputable news sources.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    Fishing for info?why not ask google, I'm sure they've already passed on everything they know to the "relevant authorities"
    No, I never was, and never would be a member of any military organisation, anywhere in the world. In fact, when I was of the age deemed to be ripe for training as canon fodder, in the days that conscription still existed, I was indeed called up and refused to go. Fortunately enough, the then existing laws left a little loophole which allowed me to do this. Otherwise I would have, God forbid, had to do something illegal, like possibly refuse to shoot people just because I'm told to. I despise anything military, always have and always will. As far as I am concerned, "the military", irrespective of what fancy dress they wear or which flag they fly are the scourge of the earth and should be banned from the planet with immediate effect, toys and all.
    But your question does show how subtle pulling stuff out of context is. How can you jump to the conclusion that 9 years in the Persian Gulf constitutes a career of nine years, leave alone a career in the US navy?
    I spent a long time out on sea, worked my way up from deckhand to master, and specialized in deep sea fire-fighting, salvage and rescue. Which, by the nature of things, put us in the middle of every oil conflict, which invariably involved witnessing the "good work" done by the various super powers in "protect their interests". Never saw too much protection of the interests of the various peoples on whose territory their wars were fought though...


    Even a child can understand that all that response is showing Morticia is that she is mistaken in her statement that Yemen has no oil. Again, a very subtle way of questioning somebody about a perceived statement rather than what is actually being said. I think it's called "putting words in my mouth" as well as "jumping to conclusions", something which happens regularly, and when done by the wrong people ends up costing many, many lives.
    The study is indeed not itself evidence of malevolent US intent. However, it gives a very potent reason for subsequent malevolent US intent, dressed up as "foreign policy". Just like the report on "weapons of mass destruction" did, and the whole Iran debacle (as you rightfully) call it did. I'm sure many hours were wasted fine-tuning many statements like this to trigger the "correct result". A bit like Greek elections me thinks



    Would you like to ask those millions who paid for this complex American foreign policy with their lives (including Americans!) what exactly it is they don't understand about these policies? Or better even, would you explain to the millions of dead people and their relatives what understanding gave anybody the right to kill or have them killed, and why those left behind have no right to be cheesed off about this?
    We have of course very recent evidence of just how "equipped" the American authorities are, and what is used to make their decisions (legalities don't seem to bother them too much either, it would seem). As for Americans being fat, stupid, etc, again, that is not something I said. What I am saying is that part of the US policies at home is to bombard the US population with such an overload of this kind of dumbing down TV crap that the population in general does indeed forget how to think for itself. If only all that money could be spent on educating them... But then we would of course not have thousands of them joyfully marching into to the Iraqi/Yemeni/Afghani/Kuwaiti/etc desert to shoot up everything and everybody in sight, simply because they have been ordered to and it doesn't dawn on them to ask any questions. When, during the Nurenberg trials the German military on trial answered "Befehl ist Befehl", everybody was shocked by the answer, knowing the horrific results of the attitude. When the US orders its soldiers to march into a foreign country and do the damage, using the same "I'm only obeying orders" attitude, it's considered their "patriotic duty"???

    Like the other super powers, the US would do very well to realize that history tells us the status of super power is a temporary one, despite the flexing of military muscle. Trampling all over others does not exactly make for good friends, irrespective of the reasons given or fabricated. It does make for a very solid basis of long-term distrust and a deep routed wish for revenge...


    Fishing for info? I have no reason to do that. I asked you a direct question, and, explained my reason for asking. It was your ambiguously worded statement. You said you had personal experience of protecting the interests of US foreign policy, "9 years of it", and at the scene of a major incident. I can't think of another obvious alternative to the one I posited. Can you?

    Your use of the term "protecting US foreign policy interests", and conflating it with your presence at the scene of a major disaster, seems on explanation to have been an inaccurate overreach.

    Instead, you may have observed like the rest of us, and your work took you closer than most, but you didn't actively participate in protecting US foreign policy interests, for nine years or less. You worked in the shipping services industry. I think that's a fairer summary. Do you agree?

    Thanks for the explanation. It's a lesson in the perils of how we choose our words.


    Related:


    The drone war returns with a vengeance. A U.S. drone strike just killed three people in eastern Yemen, Reutersis reporting this morning. This comes on top of the 12-14 people were killed in three American drones strikes in the country on Thursday. (There's also been a mysteriousP-3 Orion spotted flying around the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. The U.S. Navy uses some of its P-3s to scoop up electronic communications. It was also looking at putting powerful ground-scanning radars meant to find terrorists on several of its Orions, which are traditionally used for submarine hunting.) This latest news brings the grand totalof people killed by U.S. drones in Yemen over the last two weeks to 28. One of the key unanswered questions about these strikes: how are they related to the recent closure of more than 20 U.S. embassiess? As FP's Elias Groll points out, this uptick in dronestrikes comes after U.S. President Barack Obama said in may he was looking to rein in the drone campaign. Groll used researchby Dronestream'sJosh Begley to put together a rather fascinating interactive map of American drone strikes in Yemen before and after the President's speech. "U.S.drones have struck five times in Pakistan and 11 times in Yemen since Obama's speech. Not since January -- when, during a five day period, Washington carried out eight suspected strikes -- have U.S. missiles rained down on Yemen with the frequency they arenow. While three-strike days are not unprecedented in Yemen, they are far more common in Pakistan. According to Begley's analysis, there have been three likely instances in which U.S. drones struck Yemen three times in one day. In Pakistan, that has occurred 13 times." Click here to read more about today's strike and here to see the map.

    Did you hear the one about military officers needing to learn a second language? It's called English. Joke credit goes to longtime CBS Pentagon producer Mary Walsh, speaking recently to students at the Defense Information School. But Navy Chief of Information Rear Adm. John Kirby used the joke in a long, thoughtful memo to his charges this week as a way to get their attention on an important issue: writing clearly.

    Kirby, who did much of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen's speechwriting: "If I had a nickel for every time I've heard [Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert] urge Navy leaders to 'say it in plain English,' well, let's just say I'd have a pot full of nickels. And yet I'm amazed at how often we continue to ignore him. I don't think it's intentional, this butchering of our own language. It's more a crime of neglect. I think many of us have simply forgotten what it is to write well and speak well. We know good writing when we see it. We know a good speech when we hear it. But for some reason, or maybe lots of reasons, we can't measure up to the task ourselves."


    The best hits of the military communicator's worst linguistic ticks: There are no problems in the military - only challenges. An attack was once referred to by a general as a "kinetic provocation." Defending America at sea becomes "delivering offshore options." Coming home becomes "redeploy," withdrawing becomes "retrograde," and overseas becomes "OCONUS."

    Kirby: "Let's be honest. It's just a lot easier to complicate things -- to rely on fancy words and acronyms -- than it is to be clear and concise. Being clear and concise might get you quoted. Fancy words might convince people you are smarter than they are. And then, maybe, they'll leave you alone... But here's the thing. We can no longer afford to say nothing. Each word must count. Each word must work as hard as we do. With resources declining and the gap growing between the military and the American people, we must at least try to communicate better and more clearly." Read Kirby's full memo, including an example of his own "butchery" one time last year and his tips for better writing. Click here.

    US invasion of Greece may be imminent.

    Joe Biden says United States has a keen interest in Greece ...Kathimerini-




    Obama calls on Greece to balance growth, austerity
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Yemen - Iraq all over again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Fishing for info? I have no reason to do that. I asked you a direct question, and, explained my reason for asking. It was your ambiguously worded statement. You said you had personal experience of protecting the interests of US foreign policy, "9 years of it", and at the scene of a major incident.
    This is what I actually stated:

    I have personal, first hand experience with US foreign policy when it comes to "protecting their interests". 9 years of it (1981-1988), capped by the downing of flight IR655 by USS Vincennes in July 1988.
    the quote marks make all the difference. I really wish you would stop twisting words and meanings. This is the second time you pull my words totally out of context. So, for the record:

    I have not, will not and would not ever engage in protecting any so called "national interests", no matter who makes the claim. PLEASE NOTE THE QUOTE MARKS. The downing of flight IR655 was not a scene of a major accident, it was the scene of a major war crime, perpetrated by the crew of USS Vincennes, on behalf of its government, and left unpunished. Plain and simple.

    For the rest, let me make it very clear what is wrong.
    In one of your worth while stories you mention the "investment" of
    nearly $600 million to Yemen for everything from spy drones to opinion polls to pickup trucks as part of a shadow war to fight terrorism
    . Meanwhile, 600 million later, somebody is wondering why it hasn't paid off. Here's why.
    600 million dollars would have build an awful lot of schools, trained a lot of badly needed teachers, health care professionals, and other very much needed skills which are always sadly lacking in impoverished communities. Instead of threatening the people of Yemen with 600 million worth of military hardware in the hands of a psychotic leader(at what profit to the death merchants back home???), the US could have given the people of Yemen 600 milliion worth of hope and a possible future to look forward to. But then, such an action would of course deny the US military a testing ground for their new toys, and deny the US politicians back home good looking headlines. After all, who wants to know how many hundreds of adults and children in Yemen were taught to read and write if we can tell them that we again killed 6 "terrorists" today, and publish the gorey pictures to go with it?
    The problem, Count, is that the US government consistently invests in governments instead of in people. Governments change as soon as the next psychopath sees his/her chance, or the current psychopath steps out of US dictated line (ie. Saleh in Yemen, or Saddam Hussein in Iraq for that matter). People however evolve. How they evolve depends very much so on how they are treated. And that is where the whole thing miserably fails, time and time again, because they get threated like disposables, in the furtherance of short-term power instead of vital components of a long term, sustainable future for all, including the US...
    Last edited by Ephilant; 09-08-2013 at 07:30 PM.

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