An Islamist mob stormed the U.S. embassy in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a on September 13, torching a building after tearing down the American flag and setting it on fire. The latest incident, like the September 11 attacks on American diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, was widely reported to have been sparked by outrage over a crude YouTube video depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammed as a barbarian pedophile.
Multiple analysts, however, suggested the violence may actually be a manifestation of “blowback” against the U.S. government’s lawless foreign policy. The video itself has also raised questions, with some analysts speculating that there may be more to the story than has been publicly acknowledged. A few commentators even suggested the anti-Islam film could be some sort of hoax, a cover, or even an intelligence operation.
Numerous injuries have already been reported on both sides of the conflict in Yemen: the protesters and the security forces. According to early news reports, hundreds of protesters had breached the U.S. embassy compound but had not yet entered the main office building housing American government personnel. Later reports said the rampaging hordes had torched a building and looted some computer equipment.
In addition to burning the embassy’s flag and one of the buildings, the mob ripped down the sign on the outer wall and started fires all around the premises. Some demonstrators also managed to raise a black Islamist flag, used by extremists worldwide, over the U.S. embassy.
Thousands of outraged Islamist protesters were reportedly involved in the chaos. According to news reports, the unrest erupted after a well-known radical Islamic cleric urged his followers to emulate mobs in Libya and Egypt.
"We can see a fire inside the compound and security forces are firing in the air,” one witness in Sana’a was quoted as saying by Reuters. “The demonstrators are fleeing and then charging back."
Other witnesses reported injuries among both protesters and security forces attempting to keep the mob at bay. The rioters were said to have torched multiple cars and set tires ablaze all around the area as security forces fired bullets into the air to disperse the frenzied crowd.
According to the U.S. government-backed regime in Yemen, however, the situation was quickly brought under control without any reported loss of life. "Given recent regional developments, earlier this morning, angry protesters unfortunately flooded the security perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen and breached the embassy's wall," the Yemeni regime said in a statement released by its embassy in Washington. "Security services have quickly restored order to the embassy's complex,” the statement added. “Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic incident."
Earlier this week, a car bomb apparently targeting the Yemeni regime’s “defense minister” killed more than a dozen people, though the official escaped unharmed. The attack came in the wake of a barrage of U.S. government drone murders approved by the local regime and aimed at killing supposed “militants” in Yemen.
The U.S. embassy in Sana’a had warned of potential confrontations on Wednesday, saying that “in the wake of recent events in Libya and Egypt, there is the possibility of protests in Yemen, and specifically in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy, in the coming days.” Officials urged American citizens in Yemen to avoid large gatherings or even demonstrations meant to be peaceful due to the possibility of violence.
The new autocratic regime ruling over Yemen — like the previous dictatorship that was supposedly brought down recently — is a staunch U.S. government ally in the never-ending terror war. Obama administration officials have been murdering supposed “militants,” including a 16-year-old U.S. citizen, using drones and missiles for years.
President Obama recently escalated the secret war and continues to shower the ruling dictatorship with American tax dollars. According to official U.S. embassy cables released by WikiLeaks, top American officials even conspired with the previous dictator to help kill “militants” while Yemeni officials took credit for the slaughter.
More recently, President Obama signed an “executive order” purporting to criminalize opposition to the new U.S. government-backed dictator, the former tyrant’s “vice president” and the only candidate in the race. Critics called the move an assault on the First Amendment and another example of the Obama administration coddling Islamic tyrants.
Multiple analysts have already suggested that the escalating violence aimed at U.S. government missions in the Middle East is actually “blowback” — a term used by the CIA and foreign policy experts to describe the inevitable consequences of foreign interventionism. Variously backing tyrants and terrorist groups in the region over the last several decades, for example, has resulted in unprecedented levels of anti-American hatred.
In fact, a new study published in the Middle East Policy Journal just warned that the barrage of U.S. drone murders in Yemen would “produce distinct forms of blowback,” including more terror, increased destabilization, and the continued weakening of the U.S.-backed Yemeni regime. The paper, entitled “Drone Warfare in Yemen,” was authored by three scholars at the University of Arizona.
“The promiscuous use of drones is not only unnecessary and brutal, it is dangerous to America,” observed Jordan Michael Smith in a piece for Salon, commenting on the new study about drone blowback in Yemen. “And it hampers the political reform that has showed so much promise in the Middle East.”
Following the killings of U.S. government personnel in Libya, other analysts also saw the tragedy as a consequence of American interventionism in the region. “Blowback — as in Afghanistan — might have taken years. This time Mr Blowback reared its ugly head in only a few months. And that's just the beginning,” wrote analyst Pepe Escobar in a piece for the Asia Times, pointing out that the Obama administration was arming and funding known terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda. “Well, Mr Blowback would say, beware of what you get when you are in bed with the [terrorists].”
The latest incident in Yemen came just two days after attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya that killed American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and several other State Department personnel. But the unrest is still growing and is now spreading across the Middle East.
Hundreds of protesters reportedly converged outside the Swiss embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran, which handles U.S. diplomatic affairs in Iran, to shout “Death to America.” Islamists were also reportedly gathering near the U.S. embassy in Tunisia on Thursday. Protests were said to be growing in Gaza, too.
Outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, a furious mob was still throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails two days after protesters first breached the walls. The newly elected Muslim Brotherhood regime ruling Egypt, which is receiving billions in aid from American taxpayers, has reportedly been largely ineffective at containing the violence.
Despite the explosive unrest being widely blamed on the anti-Islam film, witnesses noted on Tuesday that rioters in Egypt were also protesting U.S. foreign policy, support for the Israeli government, efforts to impose American values in the Islamic world by force, various invasions of Muslim countries, and more. "The American system will fall," protester Ahmed Hamza in Cairo was quoted as saying.
Authorities are reportedly attempting to find those responsible for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi — the heart of the Obama administration-backed “revolution” that brought down strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Several reports have indicated that the attackers may have been linked to al-Qaeda, which ironically received overwhelming U.S. government support during the recent Western-orchestrated uprising. The NATO-backed regime ruling parts of Libya blamed Gadhafi loyalists.
Critics of interventionism had long warned that U.S. policies would lead to exactly what happened. "We may be delivering al Qaeda another prize — they'll be in Libya, they weren't there before," Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) explained after Gadhafi was lynched and executed by rebels with help from the Obama administration, adding that the same phenomenon had occurred in Iraq.
"These unintended consequences of our foreign policy are so overwhelming, logic tells us that we shouldn't be dealing with our foreign policy in this manner,” added Rep. Paul, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination and noted during the interview that he received more support from U.S. troops than all other candidates combined. “We should be dealing for national security in defense of our country, not pretending that we can pick the dictators around the world."
Other critics slammed the Obama administration’s response, which condemned the video in question instead of vigorously defending free speech. “What's so hard about saying, ‘in the United States, we are not in the business of approving these messages’?” wondered Matt Welch for the libertarian magazine Reason. “We know that this issue will keep coming up; maybe it's about time the American government, and the rest of us, develop a more American response.”
Numerous pundits on both sides of the political aisle echoed those sentiments, calling on the U.S. government to explain that in America, the government has no control over what people say. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney attacked the president for allegedly sympathizing with the Islamist attackers.
The exploding anti-U.S. government violence has largely been framed as a response to the obscure video produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer. However, it appears increasingly likely that it has much more to do with U.S. government foreign policy than anything else.
The Obama administration, meanwhile, is continuing to shower billions of tax dollars on Islamic extremists throughout the region including known terror groups and brutal tyrants. Christians in the Middle East are already paying the price. But until the U.S. government adopts a more sensible foreign policy, analysts say the recent violence aimed at Americans is probably just the beginning.
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Photo of Islamists assaulting the U.S. embassy in Yemen: AP Images