The port side damage to theguided missile destroyer USSCole is pictured after a bombattack during a refueling operationin the port of Aden on October 12,2000 (Reuters / Aladin AbdelNaby / Files)(27.9Mb)embedvideoThe US is moving to placesanctions on anyone who opposeswhat Washington calls ademocratic process in Yemen.Anti-war activist Susan Lindauersays this brings the US right intoAl-Qaeda’s trap.Yemen is fighting an alleged Al-Qaeda insurgency with militarysupport from the United States.On top of this, the Arab statecontinues to suffer from monthsof political unrest, with anti-government protesters demandingmore reforms.RT: Do members of the peacefulopposition in Yemen fall underthese new US sanctions?Susan Lindauer: Bad news forBarack Obama – the United Stateshas played right into the hands of Al-Qaeda. It’s been a long-termambition of Al-Qaeda tomanipulate the United States intoputting sanctions on Yemen, sothat they can alienate the veryimpoverished Yemeni peoplefrom the central government.Yemen is a scrabble poor country,desperately poor. They arerunning out of water, they have nofood, they have limited hospitals,limited educational opportunities.Yemen sits right next towardSaudi Arabia. Ever since thebombing of the USS Cole, Al-Qaeda has made it clear that itwants to establish a base insideYemen to attack the Saudi oilfields right next door. Andanything that they can do toalienate the Yemeni people fromthe central authority and the West,the United States’ cause [wouldbe] a great victory for them. It’s avery bad decision by the UnitedStates.RT: The United States hassignificantly stepped up itsinvolvement in Yemen’s fightagainst Al-Qaeda. Is it a part of Washington’s “war on terror” or,perhaps, there may be someulterior geopolitical motivesbehind it?SL: The US only sees the worldin black and white. They seeterrorism and the outcome of violence, but not the root causesof poverty and hopelessness, or jealousy of the gross economicinequities between Yemen and itsextravagantly wealthy neighborsin the Gulf Region and SaudiArabia. Those Gulf countriesshould immediately pumpeconomic aid for education,hospitals, water facilities, andfood. Washington would not haveto spend a dollar. Arab countriesshould be capable of doing this ontheir own.RT: Yemen is in a key position inthe region, but the US does nothave a military base there. Will itbe having one?SL: I would say they have secretmilitary bases all over the place,don’t they? They have dronecapacity, and they first tested thedrones in Yemen. Over the pastfew years Yemen was the firsttarget of the drones. The US has avery strong secret militarycapacity in this country.RT: Drone attacks, inflatedmilitary presence – the US claimsthis would help make Yemenmore stable and secure. And yet,could that be more aboutbeginning another covert war inthe region, rather than promotinga democracy?SL: Drones never builddemocracy anywhere. Droneattacks feed chaos and destabilizethe civilian population. Yemenhas never been more insecure.Economic aid must start flowinginto the country, or it will be lostfor good.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.[unable to retrieve full-textcontent][unable to retrieve full-textcontent][unable to retrieve full-textcontent]
Mexican presidential candidatespose before the first electoraldebate on May 6. From left,Enrique Pena Nieto, JosefinaVasquez Mota,Gabriel Cuadri andAndres Manuel Lopez Obrador.IFE via AFP/Getty ImagesMEXICO CITY – The discoveryof 49 decapitated bodies on ahighway leading to theU.S.border would seem like the timefor Mexico's presidentialcandidates to denounce the drugcartels and say how they will stopthem.• By Christian Palma, AP Afederal policeman guards the areawhere dozens of bodies werefound on a highway connectingMonterrey, Mexico, to the U.S.border Sunday.By Christian Palma, APA federal policeman guards thearea where dozens of bodies werefound on a highway connectingMonterrey, Mexico, to the U.S.border Sunday.But none of the four candidatesissued statements on the tragedyor posted comments on theirTwitter accounts.Not long after the news madeheadlines the world over,candidate Gabriel Quadri of theteacher-union-controlled NewAlliance Party said via Twitterthat the song Hot for Teacher wasamong his favoriteVan Halentunes.The reason for the silence, saypolitical observers here, is no onehas an answer for the violence."It's an uncomfortable topic forwhich (the candidates) don't haveresponses … or something clearto offer," says Jorge Buendía,director of the polling firmBuendía & Laredo.The massacre in Nuevo Leónstate, 95 miles from the U.S.border at McAllen, Texas, andtwo other mass murders over theprior 10 days, were reminders thatdrug cartels and organized crimeremain serious threats to the ruleof law in Mexico.The presidential candidates whoseek to take over for outgoingPresident Felipe Calderón afterJuly 1 elections act as if it is anissue like any other. They talk incessantly of jobs, energy, taxesand labor, but not of the criminalsyndicates that are murderingthousands of people yearly,corrupting police and politicians,and making parts of Mexicoungovernable.Calderón put crime at the top of his agenda after taking office inDecember 2006. He has gone hardafter the cartels in the past 5½years, during which time morethan 50,000 people have died incriminal-related killings. Calderónis barred by law from a secondterm, and his successor will takeover in December.When politicians shy away froma serious issue, it often falls to themedia to bring it up. But thekillings are so numerous theyhave become routine news.On the day after the Sundaymassacre,Mexico CitynewspaperEl Universalled its front pagewith: "Job creation, the aspirants'priority." The massacre was lessprominent.Political and security analysts saythe candidates' proposals differlittle from Calderón's methods:improving the professionalism of the police, bolstering intelligence-gathering and keeping soldiers inthe streets for now the time being."There aren't many goodalternatives to what's being donealready," independent politicalanalyst Fernando Dworak says."It's not politically profitable tosay, 'We're going to withdraw thearmy and marines from violentareas.' "Calderón has an overall approvalrating of 50%, according to thelatest Consulta Mitofsky poll, buthis rating drops when it comes tothe security situation. A surveypublished by Mexicans UnitedAgainst Crime in Novemberfound that only 14% of Mexicansbelieve the government will "winthe war against organized crime."Profiting politically from thedissatisfaction is difficult becausesecurity isn't the strong suit of anyof the parties or candidates, saysanalyst Alejandro Hope of theMexican Institute forCompetitiveness.Front-runner Enrique Peña Nietoof the Institutional RevolutionaryParty (PRI) may want to avoid thesubject given that PRIadministrations govern Mexico'smost violent regions along thenorthern border, Hope says.Josefina Vázquez Mota, who isrunning under Calderón's NationalAction Party, has little incentiveto trumpet his party's handling of security given the high death toll,says Hope. Left-wing candidateAndrés Manuel López Obradorsees poverty reduction as hiswedge into office and solution forinsecurity.When asked at a news conferencewhat he would do differently,Peña Nieto said, "The firstdifference will be results." Hemostly talks of jobs and economicgrowth, instead.The PRI says it is reasonable toprioritize the economy. "Thesurveys we've done show themain problems people have are jobs and poverty," PRI spokesmanEduardo Sánchez says.Even a monthly increase in gasprices of less than a pennysometimes generates largerheadlines than mass killings."A one-peso-a-month increaseadds up to a lot of money," saysAlejandra Domínguez, alaundromat employee unhappywith the economic situation."Prices always go up and wagesdon't keep pace."As Hope says, most Mexicans areplain tired of the crime story."There continues being the sameworry among the people, butthere's a certain fatigue with it,"he says.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
By Alan Gomez, USA TODAYUpdatedWASHINGTON – TheHouse of Representativesapproved itsversion of theViolence AgainstWomen Acton Wednesday, andsomeGOPstrategists worry that itcould further hurt the party'sstanding with Hispanics even asthey try to court the ever-growingvoting bloc.• By J. Scott Applewhite, APHouse Minority Leader NancyPelosi gestures during a newsconference on Capitol Hill onWednesday to discuss theDemocrats' fight withRepublicans over the ViolenceAgainst Women Act.By J. Scott Applewhite, APHouse Minority Leader NancyPelosi gestures during a newsconference on Capitol Hill onWednesday to discuss theDemocrats' fight withRepublicans over the ViolenceAgainst Women Act.The House bill adds newrequirements to illegal immigrantswho claim to be victims of domestic violence. In an electionseason that has seen Florida Sen.Marco Rubioand former FloridaGov.Jeb Bushcall on the GOP tosoften its tone against immigrants,GOP strategist Lionel Sosaworries that the Republican-authored House bill will lead toattack ads and further damagetheir standing among Hispanicvoters."It certainly could become awedge issue, and something thatcould be used against (Republicannominee Mitt) Romney," saidSosa, who served as a Hispanicmedia consultant to RepublicanpresidentsRonald Reagan,George H.W. Bush andGeorgeW. Bushand advised the failedpresidential campaigns of JohnMcCainandNewt Gingrich.Sosa cautioned that voters areable to make the distinctionbetween actions taken bymembers of the party and those of Romney himself. But Democratsview the House version of theViolence Against Women Act asthe latest example of a party thatcontinues to doom itself withHispanic voters."There's been some trulyalarming, unacceptable rhetoricabout immigrants andimmigration status in the last yearor two," Sen.Chris Coons, D-Del., said of Republicans. "Someof the wiser members of the(GOP) are beginning to realizethat that will hurt them electorallybroadly."The Violence Against WomenAct — first passed in 1994 andnow up for a reauthorization thisyear — allows illegal immigrantswho are victims of domesticviolence at the hands of legalpermanent residents orU.S.citizens to apply for an emergencyvisa if they assist in prosecutionsagainst their abusers.The Senate version of the billpassed in April and increased thenumber of those emergency visas,known as U visas, from 10,000 to15,000. The bill passed with 16Republicans voting for it.The House version of the billdoes not include the added visas,and Republicans worried aboutpotential fraud in the process andthe ability of visa recipients tobring relatives into the countryhave added more requirements forillegal immigrants seeking thevisa.For example, the House versionallows immigration officials tointerview the accused abuser,instead of solely relying onstatements from law enforcementand the victim. Rep.Zoe Lofgren,D-Calif., said that wouldautomatically "tip off" the abuser,who could then proceed tocontinue harming the victim."Currently, there are nosafeguards in place to preventfraud or to prevent an immigrantfrom fabricating tales of spousalabuse," said Rep.Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the chairman of theHouseJudiciary Committee, during ahearing last week. "Increasing thecap will simply lead to furtherexpansion of a program that isrunning out of control."Republicans and Democratsdebating the bill on the Housefloor Wednesday both accused theother side of politicizing what haslong been a bipartisan proposal.Rep.Jared Polis, D-Colo. calledit "horrifying to see the politicalposturing" of House Republicanswho didn't follow the Senate'slead and include protections forNative American women and thelesbian, gay and transgendercommunity.Rep.Sandy Adams, R-Fla., whohas suffered from domestic abuseand sponsored the bill, said theHouse bill doubles funds toprocess rape kits and cuts downon fraud, and told opponents "wecannot allow domestic violence inthis country to become acampaign issue."President Obamaweighed inbefore the House even voted,threatening a veto if the Houseversion of the bill reached hisdesk. For more information aboutreprints & permissions, visit ourFAQ's. To report corrections andclarifications, contact StandardsEditor Brent Jones. Forpublication consideration in thenewspaper, send comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Includename, phone number, city andstate for verification. To view ourcorrections, go tocorrections.usatoday.com. USATODAY is now using Facebook Comments on our stories and blogposts to provide an enhanced userexperience. To post a comment,log into Facebook and then "Add"your comment. To report spam orabuse, click the "X" in the upperright corner of the comment box.To find out more, read theFAQandConversation Guidelines.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
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Liberty Newspost May-16-2012
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