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Protests Continue In Yemen And Bahrain

From an approving the Associated Press:

Thousands of Yemeni police confront protesters

By Ahmed Al-haj, Associated Press
February 16, 2011

SANAA, Yemen – Yemen sent 2,000 policemen into the streets of the capital on Wednesday to try to put down days of protests against the president of 32 years, a key U.S. ally in battling al-Qaida…

Taking inspiration from the toppling of autocratic leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, Yemen’s protesters are demanding political reforms and the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh…

Yemen is a conflict-ridden and impoverished nation. Its president has become a crucial U.S. partner in battling al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network’s offshoot in Yemen. The group’s several hundred fighters have battled Saleh’s U.S.-backed forces and have been linked to attacks beyond Yemen’s borders, including the failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner in December 2009.

The U.S. military plans a $75 million training program with Yemen’s counterterrorism unit to expand its size and capabilities in the nation’s difficult mountain terrain. It’s a difficult balancing act for Saleh, who has been criticized as being too close to the U.S.

Interestingly enough, what the demonstrators and our news media are calling ‘political repression’ across the Middle East could often be considered ‘counterterrorism.’ (Cf. Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.) But we won’t hear anything about that until it is too late.

Now facing unprecedented street demonstrations, Saleh has tried to defuse protesters’ anger by saying he will not run for another term in elections in 2013 and that he will not seek to set up his son to succeed him

Saleh’s weak government — whose control barely extends beyond the capital and is dependent on fragile alliances with powerful tribes — faces other serious challenges.

For more than six years, government forces have been battling an on-and-off armed rebellion in the north. A secessionist movement by the once-independent south of Yemen is also heating up. The country is also rapidly running out of water and its main source of income — oil.

Worst of all, the current Yemeni government has been allied with the United States. So it is probably doomed.

Meanwhile, also from the Associated Press:

Bahrain protesters urge more pressure on rulers

February 16, 2011

MANAMA, Bahrain – Protesters demanding sweeping political reforms from Bahrain’s rulers held their ground Wednesday in an Egypt-style occupation of the capital’s landmark square, staging a third day of demonstrations that have brought unprecedented pressure in one of Washington’s most strategic allies in the Gulf

The protests began Monday as a cry for the country’s Sunni monarchy to loosen its grip, including hand-picking most top government posts, and open more opportunities for the country’s majority Shiites, who have long complained of being blocked from decision-making roles.

But the uprising’s demands have steadily reached further. Many protesters are calling for the government to provide more jobs and better housing and free all political detainees. Increasingly, protesters are also chanting slogans to wipe away the entire ruling dynasty that has led Bahrain for more than 200 years

Bahrain is a linchpin to the U.S. military framework in the Gulf. The 5th Fleet base is considered one of the Pentagon’s major counterweights against Iran’s growing military reach in the region

Gee, yet another important US ally is in danger of toppling. What a coincidence.

Meanwhile, how are the protesters progressing in Syria, Libya and Iran?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Protests Continue In Yemen And Bahrain”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Obama doctrine working that foreign policy into the dirt.
    “I’m sooooooo proud” (sarc)

    Our kids’ kids will fight for their lives because of this rube.

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