As John wrote earlier this evening, the government of Yemen, a significant U.S. ally in the war against Islamic extremism, is teetering on the brink of collapse. The situation is so dire that two U.S. Navy warships have moved into the area, ready to evacuate Americans from the U.S. embassy if necessary.
Ships may be required for an evacuation because, in the wake of an embassy car being attacked today, the safety of the roads leading to the airport is in doubt. If embassy workers were to drive to the airport, it is likely that air cover would be provided, according to CNN.
Will President Obama mention Yemen tonight in his State of the Union speech? I don’t know. He did mention it in a speech last September. Indeed, he cited Yemen as a success story in the war on terorrism:
Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. . .We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. . . .
This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us [without deploying U.S. troops], while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
Less than half a year later, the U.S. embassy in Yemen may have to be evacuated.
But this is not merely a case of future events proving Obama wrong. Obama’s portrayal of Yemen as a success story was highly misleading in September, when the president gave his speech, as I noted that evening.
By September, the U.N. had already expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in northern Yemen. Shiite rebels were on the march and the beleaguered government was less and less in a position to “take the fight” to al Qaeda in Yemen.
No one should feel guilty about passing on Obama’s SOTU speech tonight. This president’s track record provides ample justification for not listening to anything he says.