Growing menace: Al Qaeda in Yemen

Obama vows to hunt down terrorists with Yemen coming into sharp focus

After the failed attack against Northwest Airlines last week, hawks at the White house have already started looking abroad for those responsible.

And it's Yemen that's emerged as a strong suspect after it confirmed there may be as many as 300 Al Qaeda operatives on its territory.

But could Obama justify yet another conflict?

“Any nation’s military is supposed to preserve the security of the country," says Ivan Eland, a Senior Fellow with the Washington-based Independent institute. “But our military, because we use it offensively overseas where we aid other people with intelligence and equipment, as we are doing for the government of Yemen, what happens is it it’s coming back to haunt the US with this sort of attempted attack on the homeland.”

Journalist and author, Alexander Cockburn, is also vehemently opposed to US involvement in Yemen. He says that it would only lead to greater hostility against the US.

“The main thing the Obama government wants to do is look as if it is doing something,” Cockburn noted. “Now, they are looking fierce and saying ‘Yemen is the new front in the great war on terror,’ meaning that they will send some B-1 bombers and some Predators. They will bomb a few villages; some wedding parties on the weekend. Then they will unify a lot of people of Yemen in loathing and detesting the United States – even more than they did before, because it is a fairly radical place.”

Instead, Cockburn suggests that the US should broker a “just settlement in the Middle East,” stop supporting Israel’s policies in Gaza and should stop acting as a “militant, vindictive, murderous entity.”

Watch Cockburn's video

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