Ah, the good old days. Remember when the Obama administration was calling Yemen a “success story”? You should, it was just a few months ago. Then after the government in Yemen collapsed and Iranian backed Houthi rebels seemed on the verge of taking control, even as ISIS and Al Qaeda were growing more and more brazen in their attacks, the White House was STILL pointing to Yemen as a “success story.” They even went so far as to send White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest around to make sure people understood what they were calling a success… namely, the anti-terror efforts in Yemen that had kept groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS form getting stronger.
Watch the magic:
Josh Earnest: Mmm. Hmm. You need to separate out two things here. The measure of U.S. policy should not be graded against the success or the stability of the Yemeni government, that’s a separate enterprise. The goal of U.S. policy towards Yemen has never been to try to build a Jeffersonian democracy there. (Straw man argument alert. — Ed.) The goal of U.S. policy in Yemen is to make sure that Yemen cannot be a safe haven that extremists can use to attack the West and to attack the United States.
And that involves trying to build up the capacity of the government to help us in this fight. And there is no doubt we would prefer a situation where there is a stable government, where there is a place where U.S. personnel could operate inside of Yemen, could coordinate directly with Yemeni security forces to take the fight to these extremists. But the fact is, even though U.S. personnel is no longer in Yemen, the United States continues to have the capacity and resources and reach to be able to take strikes when necessary against extremists that are operating —
Sadly, it seems that by that specific measurement, Yemen can no longer be considered a success. On ABC News’ This Week from this past Sunday Rep. Adam Schiff (D- CA) was forced to announce to America that Yemen could no longer be considered a “success,” if it ever really could have in the first place.
“In Yemen the news is really all bad,” Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told ABC’s “This Week.” “Just as we feared in the chaos … Al Qaeda has had a resurgence.”
Whelp. There goes that “success story.”
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