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In the News Again...the Threat From Yemen

October 28, 2010

VIEW: Not long after 9/11, FRONTLINE took a 10,000 mile journey searching for what became of Al Qaeda in the months after U.S.-led forces routed the jihadists from mountain hideouts in Afghanistan.

One of the places many of them escaped to was Yemen, their homeland. This clip from producer Martin Smith's 2002 film -- In Search of Al Qaeda -- vividly captures the landscape and psyche in which militancy flourishes in this, the poorest country in the Arab world.

Yemen's now a key testing ground for the U.S. in how to counter Al Qaeda's threat and, as The New York Times recently reported, "Aid to Fight Qaeda in Yemen Divides U.S. Officials."



As an African American who daily experiences the systemic injustice of the United States I understand her point. The historical injustice which keeps us here in the United States at one of the highest standards of living has had disastrous consequences around the world in areas such as Yemen, Afghanistan and other places so while it is unfortunate we're reaping what we have spent years and years sowing. Don't confuse the historical critique of my beloved country with support of a frustrated and disenfranchised people. It would be good if our leaders such as President Obama could talk to them to ascertain the issues and somehow maybe resolve conflicts. Quite frankly the United States should forgo its empire thinking and show some compassion. Of course pride and empire would prevent this from ever happening. Finally its complicated.

Monica Joy / January 4, 2010 10:54 PM

It is complicated. History always is. We as America have a unique position in the world and although we have erred in the past the vetriolic hatred towards us is misguided. Too often the oppressed and under served people of the world look to us as the evil behind their condition but it is their corrupt and violent governments who are truly at fault. Blame the elites who profit from their positions and power at the expense of the people and not the USA. We do sit and sleep with unsavory leaders but it is not us to dictate the leaders of a single country (forgetting Iraq). The oppressed people of Yemen have only their own societies to blame for their lot. We neither can save nor destroy the world. Our power is at once over amplified and misunderstood in the same breath. The truth is we are mostly powerless to affect sudden change and often choose to support the known status quo.

Joseph Rogers / January 6, 2010 9:21 PM

I concur with the observations made by Ms. Joy. We live in a country that has too long basked in the glory of its political capital, and as a consequence we have squandered that which is good, left only with the detritus generated by a country that leaned too far to the negative aspects of humanity. For years I have tried to have my voice heard as a "democratic" thinker, only to be drowned out by xenophobic notions of what makes us great. We are a land of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural peoples, and yet we continue to maintain the dictates of a minority led by white men, even our emblematic president. A pity.

Sara D / January 7, 2010 3:45 AM

I am a young adult american. I am very interested in the programs that PBS and others show about the middle east. But in general I admit that young adults my age dont really care about what happends in other parts of the world, because it is boring. School is boring, working is mostly boring, and all we really care is about having fun. Going out to the movies and playing video games. It is not our fault that people in other contries have problems, you just cant get along. All governments in the world are an embarrasment and are all lame. The solution is to get along, but the problem is you cant.

Joe E / January 7, 2010 1:35 PM

I categorically disagree with Ms. Joy's comments. Poverty, corruption, hatred....these have been around forever. To blame the United States for the misguided sense of rage these people feel against us is equal to a drug addict blaming the drugs for their addiction. Yemen has suffered from internal problems that its government has either been incapable or unwilling to confront for generations and now it is coming home to roost. With estimates of 90% of their fresh water reserve gone and only 7 years of oil production remaining, Yemen has proven itself to be a country incapable of having its own best interests at heart. It is the height of arrogance to suggest they