"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paranoia, cont.

Will at the Yemen Peace Project has AQAP's latest statement on the bombing, which he calls "absolutely gleeful."    In it, AQAP indicates that the CIA and the Mossad are helping the Huthis- which is interesting, for those keeping score, because it means the CIA is using both AQAP and the Huthis in order to fight a proxy war against itself.   I don't want to get all domestic, but this seems to be a waste of my tax dollars.   Or someone's tax dollars, anyway.

It is hard to say if this is paranoia or posturing.  Posturing would make more sense- AQAP is still positioning itself as the defender of the faithful and of all Yemenis against foreign interference, when, really, they were just waging reinvented battles.  This is smart posturing by them, but in this case I doubt it will work.  After all, Yemenis have heard that it is Iran helping the Huthis- now suddenly America is there?

Of course, America did work with Shi'ites against the Sunnis in Iraq (until it worked with some Sunnis against others).  It isn't beyond the pale that America would team up with Iran to fight AQAP while also teaming up with the apostate Salih, who is opposed to Iran except when he isn't.   Also, the Jews are probably doing something.

It is fun to think like this, and it is important to know that many people, especially those with messianic complexes, are deeply paranoid, but again: it isn't necessary to need grand conspiracies to explain things in Yemen.  AQAP is believing in its own hype, and, after years of patience, might be willing to open it up and take their battle to the next level.  That isn't paranoid- it is exactly what we need to be looking for.


  1. Not really about your latest post but - 'Aden Felix' - hardly a bean from anyone about how brilliant the 20th Gulf Cup has been for Aden/ Abyan - and Yemen's reputation in general! The atmosphere's been brilliant, the security immense (I've never been helped across the road with a buggy by a Kalashnikov-wielding soldier before), the participation by families and women particularly noteworthy. Football crowds and no alcohol - would be a dream for British police! They were just so enthusiastic and I get the impression people from the other (much richer) Gulf states that they were really impressed, have made new friends, experienced Yemeni hospitality and have gone away with a different view of Yemen (which was, let's face it, frankly despised by wealthier Arab states). I just got home from Aden tonight. The final fireworks were something else! Buildings have been painted, railings and lamp-posts ditto, there are illuminated artificial trees on all the roundabouts, all the fountains are working and all the people I've met with have been really positive. Which doesn't mean they are ardent Saleh supporters - just that they've really appreciated this opportunity to be the focus of an important Arab nation football competition.

  2. Doz- thanks for the post on this. I kind of wanted to write something, but haven't gotten to it. With your permission, I want to post this on the main page. If you have anything else you'd like to add to this, please drop me a line. It would be good to have your perspective. Thanks- Brian

  3. If one hears & read the Arab leaders/press the conclusion is that Iranians r using both AQAP and the Huthis in order to fight a proxy war against itself.

  4. I didn't mention this in my own analysis of the attacks, but does anyone else see a tactical similarity between these attacks and the two attacks on South Koreans last year? In both cases there was a primary target, and then a second attack days later on people whose location and movements were predictable because they were responding to the first attack. It's like the tactic of planting secondary explosives to take out fire and EMS personal responding to a bombing, except with a days-long delay.

  5. Mansoor- OK, this makes sense. It is a proxy war between the CIA and Iran, but they are using both sides against themselves. This just keeps getting deeper. I love it. Thanks for this.

  6. Will, great catch. At first I thought you meant the recent attacks by North Korea, but that is just because I've been drinking. I think these attacks were a stretch, but your connection could show that even if their strategy might be overreaching, the tactics are still fundamentally AQAP. This is slightly easier than the SK attacks, given the predictability of funerals, but it is no less patient. Good call on this.