The month of May has witnessed an attempted US crackdown on Al Qaeda in the south of Yemen. They heavy drone attacks may have killed one or two names on the USA list such as: Fahd al Quso; but are creating a new breed of America haters. And we all know the US does not need any more haters.
As if the drones are targeting civilians, occasionally hitting AQAP members. These attacks are wiping out complete villages; home to noncombatants, women, children, shopkeepers, and shepherds who just want to live a normal life.
The damages done by AQAP are severe, destroying and doing more harm to Yemen than the US or anywhere else in the world. The last brutal incident in Yemen was the suicide bomb that killed 100 soldiers on the 21st May, and AQAP took the responsibility for this attack. Yes, they are hated by most Yemenis, and are considered cold-blooded murderers, but the random shootings by the US authorities will only escalate the problem.
This blinded approach of hitting anywhere that might have Al Qaeda men discards a very important factor. The US authorities are failing to understand the essence of tribal culture, which is based on “Family Loyalty”; when a family member is harmed then Revenge is a must. If a person is killed from a tribe, the family have to take revenge by killing someone from the other tribe or “country”, It doesn’t matter if he was involved in the murder or not.
Al Qaeda should be punished for killing innocent civilians and using the religion card to carry out operations against religion and humanity. Unfortunately, these attacks have led many family members to join AQAP forces in order to take revenge, or save their family names from disgrace. AQAP numbers are increasing, in the end of 2009 officials said that there were 300 fighters in Yemen, but the US authorities now believe that there are more than 1000 fighters in Yemen alone.
The question is why the US is not reporting objectively on the drones attacks. The number and possibly the names of innocent civilians who paid the price and were killed in process should be reported on for two main reasons:
- There is always two sides of the story, and people in the US have the right to know the whole picture of the war their country is undergoing
- The country needs to know the new breed of future enemies drones have created to look out for the future.
Every time US goes into war, it leaves the place worse than it was before. Yemen doesn’t want to become Iraq or Afghanistan, and the world doesn’t want another 9/11.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, ” This country has to continue to remain vigilant against those that would seek to attack this country. And we will do everything necessary to keep America safe.” To keep America safe in the future, changing tactics is a must; random attacks that miss real targets and kills civilians should be stopped.