Obama to Americans in Yemen: You're on Your Own

As we all should know by now, the official government of Yemen fell earlier this year. Among those caught in the chaos that has ensued are a number of American citizens living in the country. The United States has evacuated its troops stationed at an air base in the country, but the fate of those not working for our government are locked in limbo. Writing for McClatchy, John Zarocostas observes:


American citizens escaping Yemen, including small children and some frail elderly, are arriving exhausted in Djibouti after harrowing journeys from the besieged country, where a U.S.-supported Saudi Arabian bombing campaign is entering its fourth week, the U.S. ambassador to the small Horn of Africa country told McClatchy on Thursday.

Calling the flight from Yemen “a tough experience” for many of the evacuees, the U.S. envoy, Tom Kelly, said hundreds of Americans have arrived in Djibouti in recent days aboard foreign ships and aircraft after journeys that for some included hundreds of miles of dangerous land travel from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, to the ports of Hodeidah and Aden.

In one case, Kelly said, some would-be evacuees were left behind at the port of Aden because they had been unable to climb up rope ladders to board an Indian navy frigate from smaller boats that had ferried them to the larger ship, which had been unable to dock because of fighting in the city.

These aren’t Yemeni political dissidents or members of an oppressed minority group in the country. These are American citizens, and for whatever reason, the Obama administration has turned its back on them. From the article:

The Obama administration so far has declined to organize a rescue mission for the estimated 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. citizens in Yemen. U.S. officials have said they believe it is too dangerous for U.S. military assets to enter Yemeni waters and air space. They’ve also suggested that organizing Americans to meet at a single departure point would put them at risk of attack from al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula or other terrorist groups seeking American hostages.

That, however, has left Americans largely on their own to find a way out of the country. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa has been closed for months, and the last American troops in the country were evacuated last month, a few days before the Saudi bombing campaign began.

In a message posted on its website, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa advises that an Indian naval vessel will be leaving Hodeidah for Djibouti and that it had been informed that Americans would be welcomed. But the embassy also noted that “unfortunately, we don’t have information on who to contact to board this ship.”


Got that? The Obama administration’s plan to get American citizens out of Yemen–in the sense it can even be called a plan–is to depend on the good will of other countries. India is explicitly mentioned here, but Russia has also evacuated a few Americans. In other words, one of our biggest current geopolitical foes is doing more to help Americans trapped in Yemen than our own government. Has our President forgotten about the Navy SEALs?

Even Jimmy Carter, for all his many faults, at least tried to rescue the Americans held hostage in Tehran. President Obama, however, has declined to do even that much. All of this is bringing back the unpleasant memories of how our government abandoned Saigon and the Americans there who weren’t able to cram themselves into helicopters, and like it was then, the blame for this can be placed principally, if not entirely, at the feet of Democrats. However, even with Saigon, we again at least made an effort to rescue our own, even if it was a horribly insufficient attempt at doing so.

Barack Obama is disgracing both himself and the office of the Presidency by refusing to rescue our own people. I can assure you, our allies and enemies across the world are taking note of this.


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