John Brennan: Sinister or cretinous (or both?)

Today, tomorrow, or possibly a little later – the Yemeni government has said that the votes might take some time to tabulate, as if we didn’t all already know the result! – for the first time in 33 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh will not be President of Yemen. American politicians and diplomats are already crowing about “democracy by the ballot box”, all the while ignoring that there is only a single candidate on the ballot paper and his rise to power is not really in doubt.  In fact, given that there is no minimum turnout specified for the results to … Continue reading John Brennan: Sinister or cretinous (or both?)

Dear Western Powers: Please Shut Up

This has certainly been one of the great weeks in the Middle East: so much is going on that it would be foolish to try to deal with all of it.  But foolish I am, and that is exactly what I am about to try to do.  I have spent all week reading countless articles and opinions about the current wave of goings-on, nearly all of them factually short-sighted, and I have quite frankly had enough.  Here, therefore, are some truths, most of them unpleasant, all of them uncomfortable for the West.  But that is, after all, what the West … Continue reading Dear Western Powers: Please Shut Up

Saleh’s Return?

After weeks of speculation about his political future, all of it negative (most notably the Guardian’s pronouncement that he was politically moribund) Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has given a speech on Yemeni State television, swaddled in cloth with his hands bound and his arms rigid at his sides. Despite his fragile state, both medically and politically, this speech was, to put it bluntly, more of the same. He persisted in calling his opponents “terrorists”, apparently not realising that the United States – the ally generally most receptive to such claims – has ditched him. The pleas for calm and … Continue reading Saleh’s Return?