Tag Archives: Yemen

Pop quiz


This is an open book test. Please answer the following essay questions as completely as possible.

The UN humanitarian intervention in Libya was initiated to prevent Muammar Qaddafi from committing acts of aggression and brutality against “his own people”.

  1. If attacking and killing “one’s own people” is the test for intervention, what will happen when armed rebels fire on supporters of Muammar Qaddafi? Should the UN intervene to prevent them from attacking “their own people”? Why or why not?

  3. The leaders of Bahrain and Yemen have also ordered brutal attacks against “their own people”. Should the UN intervene to protect the civilians of these countries? Why or why not?

  5. In Ivory Coast, the refusal by Laurent Gbagbo, the loser of the presidential elections, to step down has led to the deaths of hundreds, and soon possibly thousands, of “his own people”. Should the UN carry out a humanitarian intervention to protect the civilians of this country, which is of low strategic value to the West? Why or why not?

  7. Democratic aspirations have manifested in Saudi Arabia, currently the most repressive regime in the Middle East. Containing the world’s largest oil reserves and of supreme strategic importance, Saudi Arabia is America’s oldest ally in the region. If, in the event of a democratic uprising, the Saudi government attacks “its own people” to suppress the democratic movement, should the UN intervene to protect the civilians of this country? Why or why not?

Extra Credit:

  1. If the capability existed in 1861, should the international community have intervened to prevent Abraham Lincoln from using violence to prevent secession by “his own people”? Why or why not?

All pencils down.

Good morning

I’ve been fretting about our involvement in Yemen (home of the Christmas bomber) since hearing Michael Isikoff of Newsweek on C-SPAN yesterday. He said that we have drones in the air there. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know if this is the right thing or the wrong thing to be doing. But I do know that our history tells us these things can escalate into much more than the American people are willing to support. And these things end up being counter productive – making our own position in that country far worse than if we’d kept our distance.

Whadda ya say pal? Shall we get us another war?

Today, Marc Lynch, on the Middle East Blog in Foreign Affairs, says Don’t Lose Perspective on Yemen.

“I’ve always thought that the global Counterinsurgency strategy [COIN] conception is a recipe for overstretch and exhaustion, as the frontier endlessly recedes and American resources are squandered in a futile attempt to bring order to the un-orderly parts of the world.”


“ . . . the administration shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking it must “do something” to fend off political harping from the right and end up over-committing… or taking steps which ultimately make the situation worse.”

He gives kudos to the Obama administration for their current position and their quiet work in Yemen for the past year. But the usual voices are beginning to howl for ‘action’ (Joe Lieberman anyone?). They must not be a podium at this debate. Not again.

Especially not when today is the 132nd day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

Iraq? Um, where’s that?

There’s Afghanistan. There was Iran. Pakistan was headline worthy. And now Yemen – at least every American third grader can finally find Yemen on a map. We do move on, don’t we?

I was wondering this morning if electricity in Baghdad has returned to pre-war levels yet.