In a blog piece entitled “Why is the US at war with Yemen?” former Texas Congressman Ron Paul
posits that theU.S. is conducting illegal conflict with the Middle Eastern country, and that it won’t be long before people start demanding answers.
“It is the largest U.S. escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade. The U.S. claims that everyone killed was a ‘suspected militant,’ but Yemeni citizens have for a long time been outraged over the number of civilians killed in such strikes.” wrote Paul.
Paul says that the U.S. presence in Syria is likely larger than the public is led to believe, and that the outcomes (after more than 10 years of covert operations) have been less than favourable — maybe even counterproductive.
Indeed, the closing of several embassies, followed by the “foiling” of a suspected terrorist plot, drowned out all other reports of U.S. drone strikes in the region.
“The drones don’t differentiate between people,” a Yemeni man told Yalda Hakim, reporting for the BBC, adding, “they just kill.”
Even al Qaeda in Yemen expert and Princeton PhD student Gregory Johnson writes: “I wonder if the U.S. is certain of the identities of those killed.”
So far, the U.S. claims to have killed three dozen militants in these latest strikes, yet an official tells the New York Times that none of the three dozen killed were “household names.” Instead, they were “rising stars,” said the official.
Reports from Yemenis on the ground are understandably different, though no less disturbing.
“The ‘Al Qaeda’ who usually get killed are just poor kids — not people who pose some special threat,” a sheikh from Marib, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic, told Adam Baron of The Christian Science Monitor. “And, in addition to that, they’re very, very easy to replace.”
[J]ust how effective the strikes have been is unclear. In the past several years, the drone strikes have set off a major public backlash against the United States in Yemen, Pakistan and across the Muslim world …
The BBC even went so far as to title Hakim’s piece, “Do US drones create more enemies than they kill?”
“Some of these campaigns by the administration clearly constitute an act of war,” said Jonathan Turley, an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School told Fox News. “A drone is just another version of artillery, for the purposes of constitutional law.”
And there’s little reason to think it’s just the drones operating out of Djibouti that do missions in Yemen. There have been boots on the ground there for years, and there’s little indication their missions have ever stopped.
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