September 16, 2011

U.S. Media Lost in Yemen's Propaganda

The U.S. media bit predictably hard on the State Department’s statement, now quoted throughout Western and Arab media as the Obama administration's official policy. Coupled with an Associated Press report quoting an anonymous Yemeni official, and the revolution remains wholly distorted in America:
"While that could be an indication that he will agree to leave office, the official said that in his conversations with Saleh, the president expressed discontent with the Gulf Cooperation Council's proposed deal. Saleh, according to the official, felt that Saudi Arabia cheated him by backing the accord following pressure from the United States.

The official said he met Saleh at the palace where he is residing in Riyadh and that the president was with a number of his children. He said the luxurious palace offered to Saleh by Saudi leaders is meant to show the extent to which they want him to remain in the kingdom.”
Few U.S. reports are challenging Washington’s assertion that the GCC’s initiative “supports the aspirations of the Yemeni people.” Meanwhile the State Department’s brief comment on Friday speaks for itself:

MR. TONER: Yemen.

QUESTION: Anything new on Yemen? We understand that the president of Yemen may be close to acquiescing to the GCC proposal.

MR. TONER: Well, again, I think we’ve seen some encouraging signs in recent days from the government and the opposition in Yemen. We’ve said all along that this shouldn’t be about whether Saleh decides to stay or to come back to Yemen. What we want to see right now - in fact, it should have started days and weeks ago - is the signing of the GCC agreement and putting the country on a path towards a transition.

QUESTION: But is there anything new? Any new development -

MR. TONER: Again, we put out a statement the other day.

QUESTION: I saw that.

MR. TONER: We continue to believe that a GCC-brokered agreement is the way to move forward, and we’re encouraged that we’ve seen within the government a willingness to move forward on that and not be consumed with whether Saleh stays or comes back.

QUESTION: Okay. But through your direct talks or negotiations with the Yemeni Government, do you feel that this is imminent that he would -

MR. TONER: I’ve said “encouraged.” I think that we’ll stay there.
Toner would "stay there" because he has nowhere else to run. These "encouraging signs" only exist in Vice President Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Hadi's attempt to sign the GCC's proposal, and this development is linked to Saleh's son, Ahmed, almost driving him out of Sana'a. Ahmed's Republican Guard remains in de facto control of the capital, placed under siege following Tripoli's fall to the National Transitional Council (NTC).

The State Department’s rhetoric is a basic case of falsifying news - dropping “one week” as a vague deadline. The Obama administration remains “encouraged” that Saleh again balked at the GCC’s proposal - never has Yemen’s strongman genuinely agreed to sign - and that he continues to deploy his security forces against peaceful protesters. The State Department merely condoned Saleh’s human rights abuses and enabled his bad behavior. Anything to continue U.S. military operations, avoid inquiries into Saleh’s regime and preserve hegemony in the region.

After so much “encouragement” and “cooperation,” the administration might be so foolish as to praise him on the way out. But if Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are deferring until Saleh’s signature, they (and Yemenis) should prepare for a long wait.


  1. It is obvious to me that Yemen and Bahrain are not on their radar at all.
    At least not yet.
    My gut feeling is that Riyadh is calling the shots.

  2. Still split between Washington and Riyadh, but their objectives aren't dissimilar.

    That Yemen and Bahrain are off the U.S. radar is also obvious to myself, yet there is a surprising amount of people who believe the opposite. Many Americans actually believe the Obama administration has forced Saleh - "an ally" - out of office.

  3. Riyadh wants to be the power house of the whole region.
    Possibly the whole Arab world.
    Well it will have to show how powerful and compassionate they are when the U.S. casts the veto.
    IMO All of the streets in the Arab world are ripe to blow.
    The last thing Riyadh wants is problems on their own streets.
    Egypt will not take it lightly, and either will Jordan.
    The house of Saud and the Muslim world will have to decide if they are Sunni, Shia, or Muslim.
    The West's game of divide and conquer might have run its course.