The Obama administration once pointed to Yemen as the proof that the application of what it calls “smart power” works. Today, from John Zarocostas, writing for McClatchy, we learn that:
American citizens escaping Yemen, including small children and some frail elderly, are arriving exhausted in Djibouti after harrowing journeys from the besieged country …
The U.S. ambassador:
… Tom Kelly, said hundreds of Americans have arrived in Djibouti in recent days aboard foreign ships and aircraft after journeys that for some included hundreds of miles of dangerous land travel from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, to the ports of Hodeidah and Aden.
... some would-be evacuees ... left behind at the port of Aden because they had been unable to climb up rope ladders to board an Indian navy frigate from smaller boats that had ferried them to the larger ship, which had been unable to dock because of fighting in the city.
The Americans who fled Yemen were on their own after the Obama administration decided it wouldn’t be smart “to organize a rescue mission for the estimated 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. citizens in Yemen.”
Believing “it is too dangerous for U.S. military assets to enter Yemeni waters and air space.”
… that organizing Americans to meet at a single departure point would put them at risk of attack from al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula or other terrorist groups seeking American hostages.
Hard to see how we can survive many more successes like that.
That was Henry Kissinger’s famous sally about the war between Iran and Iraq, back in the 80s. Now, the big rivals in that part of the world are not actually nations, in the conventional sense. They are, rather, movements with aspirations to more than just physical territory. They are out to conquer the the Muslim world.
Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn report in the Wall Street Journal on the latest developments in uncovering how the Obama administration actively played down the threat of al Qaeda during President Obama's reelection campaign.
This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.
Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson basically warned against going to the Mall of America today, after threats of a terror attack by al Shabaab. " I would say that, if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful," said Johnson.
In remarks at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, President Obama warned that one can't profile a terrorist, or predict who will become one. It's not determined by people or any particular faith, the president said.
In response to the Islamic State’s horrific burning of a pilot, the Jordanian government has released from prison one of the most influential al Qaeda-allied ideologues in the world. Sound strange? It is.
CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that the U.S. military and intelligence community thinks that one member of the so-called Taliban Five “has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar.” Officials aren’t saying which one of the five Taliban leaders, who were held at Guantanamo before being transferred to Qatar last year, has fallen under suspicion. But the U.S. has been monitoring their communications and one of the five has “reached out” to other jihadists.
Lt. General Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, blasted the Obama administration’s approach to the War on Terror in a hard-hitting speech to a meeting of intelligence professionals. “The dangers to the U.S. do not arise from the arrogance of American power, but from unpreparedness or an excessive unwillingness to fight when fighting is necessary,” Flynn said, in an unsparing critique first reported by the Daily Beast.