Saturday, January 02, 2010


Underwear Bombs and Yemen

What a topic! It must be a slow day for Rice Farmer, you say (well, the paddies are frozen solid at this time of year). Anyway, President Obama has declared that the Yemen branch of al-Qaeda is behind the attempted underwear bombing by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. How does he know that? Intelligence aside, I’m positive that the US government checked their official al-Qaeda membership cards. In order to appease Dick Cheney and show that the administration is not “soft on terror,” Obama made sure to say, “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. We will do whatever it takes to defeat them and defend our country.” So, the US is, lest there be any doubt, still officially “at war.” Start planning your spring victory garden.

US military assistance to Yemen will be substantially increased, the British have called for a top-level meeting on the crisis in Yemen, the US and UK are going to fund an anti-terror police force in Yemen, and the US and Yemen are planning air strikes.

Naturally, this is a great opportunity to gain another military foothold in the Middle East.

Just one thing: Some people think that the US is after Yemen’s oil, but that’s a serious misreading of the situation. Truth be told, Yemen produces very little oil, and what’s more is in steep decline. That fast-dwindling oil revenue is in fact the major reason that Yemen is disintegrating. There just isn’t enough energy to hold the country together any more.

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