And now, a report from Uncertain Principles’s Senior Middle East Correspondent, checking in from Yemen in the wake of the attack on the US Embassy there:
For years, the Yemeni government has let some al-Qaida figures and other Islamic extremists go free in political deals hoping to keep them quiet. Now it finds itself having to confront a new generation of militants — younger, more radical and fresh from fighting in Iraq.
Wednesday’s assault on the gate of the U.S. Embassy by a half dozen gunmen and two vehicles packed with explosives killed 17 people, including six militants, and was the closest extremists have come to penetrating the grounds of the low-slung building in several attempts.
After the bloodshed, police rounded up 25 suspected militants with ties to al-Qaida, and an FBI team headed here to join the investigation. There was no claim of responsibility and authorities had not pinpointed any suspects Thursday, but suspicion focused on Osama bin Laden’s terror network.
Many Yemenis saw the operation as more than just an assault on the American presence, but part of a new al-Qaida war on Yemen’s government.
Undoubtedly, this is proof that “the Surge is working,” and the militants have been driven out of Iraq for easier pickings, and thus we need to stay in Iraq for another century or two. Or, possibly, bump Yemen up on the list of countries to be invaded. Something like that.