The USA and UK are closing down their embassies in Yemen. This is an extreme step to take, and usually is an indication that the host government is about to fall or the host nation is close to disintegration. I’m old enough to remember the “last helicopter out of Saigon” event when the USA embassy closed in South Vietnam just before that nation collapsed.
It hardly seems possible that the USA and UK would close their Yemeni embassies simply because a radical Moslem Nigerian passed through Yemen on his way to becoming the “underwear bomber” on an airliner. There has to be a much greater threat than that to warrant closing national embassies in Yemen. The first link, from CBS News, details this story, but it focuses only on the Al Queda presence in Yemen. As readers of this blog know, there is a full-scale war raging on the Yemen-Saudi border between Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels and the Saudi military. It already involves warplanes and tanks. Jordanian special forces are helping the Saudi military and the Iranians are resupplying the Yemeni rebels with weaponry. Strangely, the American media seems to be censoring news of this war between the Saudi and Iranian proxy forces based in Yemen. This is a far greater threat in Yemen than Al Queda underwear bombers. Even FOX News (see second link) mentions only the Al Queda presence in Yemen and declines to comment on the greater threat posed by the Iranian-backed insurgency that is spilling over into Saudi Arabia as well.
Does the State Department fear the Yemeni capital will be overrun by the Iranian-backed rebels much like Saigon was overrun by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese armies in the 1970s? The State Department recalls that the Iranian mullahs showed no respect for diplomatic status and kidnapped all the diplomatic staff in the U.S. embassy in Tehran during the Carter presidency. Carter’s weak response cost him the presidency. Iran’s Yemeni rebels might also kidnap U.S. and British diplomats if they can seize the capital from the weak government of Yemen. Maybe the State Department wants its diplomats out of Yemen so Obama doesn’t have a similar crisis to face that Carter did.
Yemen is in a very strategic location by the southern approaches to the Suez Canal. Iran would love to have its proxy force take over Yemen and place Iranian and Chinese missiles in Yemen to control the approaches to Egypt’s Suez Canal. If such a thing occurs, Iran would be in a position to shut down both the Straits of Hormuz and the southern approach to the Suez Canal in any future war. Iran is pursuing a very strategic agenda! If you wish to read more about the Iranian-backed rebels that are seeking to control Yemen, they are called the “Believing Youth” and you can do a websearch about them and read much foreign media information about them. For some reason, the American elites don’t want to let Americans know about the Iranian-backed proxies in Yemen. All the American media talks about are the Al Queda remnants in Yemen.
In a related story, the Mayor of Boston apparently realizes that the growing danger in Yemen could come to American shores. He is seeking to block the entry of liquid-natural gas (LNG) tankers from Yemen entering Boston harbor. He at least takes the dangers from Yemen seriously. If terrorists blow up a LNG tanker in Boston harbor, the damage would be immense. Iran may even see an opportunity here. Iran could attack the USA (“the Great Satan”) by arranging a terrorist strike traceable to Yemen and Al Queda would get all the blame even if it had nothing to do with it.
This largely-hidden war in Yemen between Iranian-backed forces on one side and the Saudis, Jordanians, the weak Yemeni central government and at least some U.S. forces on the other side could still spin out of control. The fact that the USA and UK went into a panic and shut their embassies down indicates a much higher level of fear on the part of the USA and UK than they are willing to admit publicly.