Nowadays, not just for Iraqis and Syrians, but for Yemeni people, it is what is happening in the dark that counts.
While many critics of the Yemen War are still not willing to cut the Obama administration some slack, something more unsettling appears to be going on – just as the case has been for so long in other parts of the Middle East:
The United States has reportedly invaded and occupied Yemen’s strategic Island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean and is now building its biggest naval base there. This is while the colonial scheme has no UN blessing and certainly no consent from the Yemeni government.
Hundreds of workers from Asian countries have already been deployed by the US Navy to construct the illegal base between the continents of Asia and Africa. Socotra is a small archipelago of four islands; the largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95 percent of the landmass of the archipelago.
All of this doesn’t fit with a script promisingly laid out by Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign, when he promised the US would keep no bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would withdraw its occupying forces before 2014.
Far from it, tens of thousands of American troops are still stationed there as “advisors” indefinitely, and thousands more will soon be dispatched from the Socotra Naval Base to complete the destruction, destabilization and radicalization of Yemen. It’s a picture that couldn’t be uglier.
There can be no question that Washington’s new dark of night policy is not to reduce what the Pentagon might call the US military ‘footprint’ in the Middle East. Obama’s key officials seem to be opting not for blunt-edged, Bush-style militarism, but for what might be thought of as a new colonial scheme: A much more aggressive military program as regards the resistance group of Ansarullah to force them into surrender.
Then, of course, the crucial thing that could be said about the Obama administration’s new game of regional domination is this: Ignore the headlines, the fireworks, and the briefly cheering crowds of pro-Saudi Yemenis on TV screens, who might or might not have the faintest idea. Just like in the Arabian Peninsula, the Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and more recently Turkey (Incirlik), they just don’t know the “Empire of Bases” and its murderous drones are to stay in Yemen for a very long time!
Even a glance at a Mideast world map tells you that, if the US is to carry out ever more drone strikes across the developing world, it will need more bases for its future UAVs.
In the grand scheme of things, then, the illegal naval base is designed to transform Yemen into a main base for America’s current and future undeclared wars and drone assassination campaigns in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a reward for the military support the Obama administration provide on Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, and for their continued support of the tyrannical regime in Riyadh.
What is vaguely visible from this new strategy is the outline of an American posture to project power and influence in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. What it doesn’t look like is the posture of a bloodthirsty occupying power preparing to end the Saudi-led war on Yemen, close up all military bases and black sites in the Middle East, and head for home.
If Iraq and Afghanistan is any indication, the new colonial scheme won’t go down well with the brave people of Yemen.