Yemen's Foreign Minister stated that his government will not release Jamal al-Badwai who helped to murder 17 American Sailors, and Jaber Elbaneh who has a five million dollar reward on his head for providing support and or resources to foreign terrorists organizations. President Saleh's government has been sympathetic to Al-Qaeda for years now. And has sheltered know murders wanted for various terror attacks including the attack on the USS Cole. It was revealed in one of the show trials of one of the terrorists that Saleh's government had helped to facilitate the attack on the USS Cole in more ways than one.
President Saleh continues to release these killers while the Bush administration does nothing but whine and complain.
Just recently a Yemeni journalist was given six long years of hard labour for speaking out against Saleh and his regime. His name is Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani. He was the editor-in-chief of of the website al-Shura.net. Before he was arrested this time he had been harassed, abducted and imprisoned, his web site blocked, and his family threatened. I wish the man luck in getting out of his predicament. I also applaud his courage to stand up to Saleh at the risk of his own life, and freedom. I just wish Bush and our own politicians had the courage that this man has to stand up to Saleh's regime.
Lets not forget this is the regime that both President Clinton and President Bush have supported for years now. Bush continues to demonstrate his support for the brutal dictator even as Saleh's beleaguered regimes problems continue to mount.
And those problems are serious. Saleh has been dealing with an insurgency in the North of Yemen, riots in the South, and his fair weather friends Al-Qaeda have increased thier attacks across the country. But Saleh is a master at using all these threats to his advantage in dealing with other nations, especially America. Bush continues to let Saleh get away with the murder of 17 American sailors, and the oppression of democracy for fears that Al-Qeada will take over the country if he stops providing aid to Salehs dictatorship. Saleh has used his worthless promises to rid the country of Al-Qeada for years now in exchange for assistance from Bush. While just the opposite is taking place now. Al-Qeada's new chief in Yemen has ordered more attacks in Yemen, and more in the future. And it appears that Bin laden may be setting Yemen up for a new battleground, and a future stronghold for Al-Qaeda as well. Granted, all these problems are nothing new to Saleh. He has dealt with them for years now. And has made a fortune from them in aid from various countries. But what is new is Al-Qaeda's change of direction in Yemen. And the reports that indicate that Yemen may just be the country that they are looking for as a major base of operations. Its strategically located, its population is divided, it has the perfect terrain for guerrilla warfare, tribes sympathetic to Al-Qaeda, and a corrupt government just to name a few enticements for Bin-Laden.
And even though Bush must realize that Saleh outwitted him, just as he did Clinton. He is really powerless to do anything now. Saleh and Al-Qaeda know it too. Now it just remains to be seen if Saleh can make a deal like he did before with Al-Qaeda to save his own neck, and his regime.