Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another ally gone

During a face-to-face meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, a top Obama administration official told Yemen's president to step aside and allow the political transition he had once approved but never ratified to move forward, according to a statement by the White House.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, met President Ali Abdullah Saleh at a hospital in Riyadh, where he is recovering from wounds suffered in an attack in Sanaa, Yemen's capital, early last month.

Saleh has clung to power in the face of large-scale demonstrations in Yemen calling for his ouster and despite agreeing to sign a plan brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional grouping of countries, that would grant him immunity from prosecution in exchange for his resignation.

. . . Saleh was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment of burns and shrapnel wounds after the attack on his palace, which came during fierce street fighting in Sanaa.

We're great at deposing our allies.

We're not so good at deposing our enemies.

If you were a foreign authoritarian leader, what would that tell you to become?