Well hell, I could have told you that. I will dispute his claim later in this article, but clearly we need to have Defense Secretary Robert Gates make the headline that a fall in Yemen is a big f’n deal:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed worry in an interview on “This Week” about Yemen, after that middle eastern country’s long-time President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, said he was willing to step down. Saleh was in talks Saturday to leave office after 32 years, according to The Associated Press. Widespread protests in Yemen have sapped Saleh’s political support in recent days.
“Secretary Gates, you said this week we have not done any post-Saleh planning,” Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper said. “How dangerous is a post-Saleh world — a post-Saleh Yemen to the United States?” he asked.
“Well,” Secretary Gates replied, “I think it is a real concern because the most active and, at this point, perhaps the most aggressive branch of al Qaeda — al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula — operates out of Yemen.
“And we have had a lot of counterterrorism cooperation from President Saleh and Yemeni Security Services,” he said.
“So if that government collapses or is replaced by one that is dramatically more weak, then I think we’ll face some additional challenges out of Yemen. There’s no question about it. It’s a real problem,” Gates told Tapper.
According to Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen might be heading to a four-way civil war. And, while I hate to say this because Saleh has been such a good ally on the War On Terror, I think we should completely stay out of this altogether. The only nations in the Middle East that we should be supporting in any way, is Israel and Saudi Arabia. Yes, for all Saudi Arabia’s faults, if they fall, then there will be no check on Iran or Syria. I, for one, do not want to see that happen.
But no, Secretary Gates, the fall of Yemen is not the big f’n deal.
Libya: A Mistake Saleh Will Dearly Pay For
Now that we have intervine in Libya, we can’t help Yemen.
I mean, I don’t support going into Yemen, but if we were going to intervine somewhere, it should have been Yemen. Saleh was a key ally in the War On Terror and we were doing good fighting off al-Qaeda there. Not great, but good.
Now, all that work is lost. Right down the tubes. Up in flames!-
*drops thesaurus into his lunch*
Umm, well, you get the idea. Now all political will be lost on going into Yemen, whether to support Saleh or not, in shaping that conflict in our favor. Any gains in Yemen is gone and there are no plans for a post-Saleh Yemen.
Confusion, Indecision, And Delay
I think Obama’s forgien policy can be sum up in three words: Confusion, Indecision, and Delay
No where did this more crystallized like it did in Libya and now Yemen. The Obama Administration was confused about what was going on, they didn’t know what they wanted to do, and they delayed in taking any action until it seemed too late. They were, and still are, all over the place and they are picking a side we know nothing about.
The fact that the Obama Administration was been taken completely by surprise by the Middle East uphevel is proof positive that we should never have elected Obama.
Now a very bad and incoherent policy has now come into sharp focus because of Libya, and it sets a very bad precedent. The bad guys might win, but we can’t get involved in every conflict in the world. Hell, we shouldn’t involved ourselves with bad guys who represses their people in the first place. Above all else, we should not be getting involved in internal conflicts unless we can determine if outside forces are involved or if it is in our national interest to hold in check those who would do us, or our allies, harm.
Which brings me to my final point…
Yemen, Big Deal?
The short answer? In the big scheme of things, no. Sure Yemen is an ally. Sure al-Qaeda might fill the void if there is a collapse. However we can’t prop up a county that can’t stand on it’s own. A four-way civil war just underlines that fact it was never stable to begin with. We need to take a step back, let the Yemens bloody their own nose for a while, and let things sort themselves out. We can figure out our next step if al-Qaeda tries to set-up a government there. And who knows, al-Qaeda may lose big time and a better government may emerge in Yemen. Only time will tell.
The real big f’n deal, is the fact we haven’t plan for a post-Saleh Yemen. The Obama Administration is running around like Mike The Headless Chicken; not knowing what the hell is going on. That scares me more than al-Qaeda taking over Yemen. We can deal with al-Qaeda held Yemen. What we can’t deal with is an incompetent tool in the White House, who can’t pull his head out of his butt for five minutes to look what is going on in this world.
Jewish And Sunni Allies
At the same time, there must be a line drawn (and yes, the irony is not lost on me) in the sand. I call this line Israel and Saudi Arabia. They need to be the check against Syria and Iran. Their survival is in our national interest in more ways than just oil. Nothing good can come out of either of their fall. They should be our buffer between us and Iran. And to a larger scale, Putin. If we can stick with these two allies, then everything else will fall into place.
However knowing Obama and how he completely destoryed our relationship with Afghanistan and Israel, I don’t know if any of our allies could stand on their own in this turmoil.
Secretary Gates’ creditability is completely shot with me. If he had any principles, he would have resigned over Libya. Now he freely admits he has no idea what is going on over there and no plans on dealing with the aftermath. It is a complete joke over at the Obama Administration. For once, I feel ashame to be completely powerless to do anything about this administration.
UPDATED: Gates: Libya Isn’t In Our National Interest, Clinton: Yes it Is
[Cross-Posted On Practical State.com]