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White House Forced To Turn Against Another One of America's Dictator Friends
The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office, according to American and Yemeni officials.
The Obama administration had maintained its support of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in private and refrained from directly criticizing him in public, even as his supporters fired on peaceful demonstrators, because he was considered a critical ally in fighting the Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda. This position has fueled criticism of the United States in some quarters for hypocrisy for rushing to oust a repressive autocrat in Libya but not in strategic allies like Yemen and Bahrain.
It's funny how these reforms can be "required" for so many decades and yet we stand by a dictator that whole time as if he is capable of carrying them out.
"If the U.S. is friends with them, we can just cajole these autocrats to give up the security of their power." — the easiest thing to say in the world. (The only solution, of course, is constant war, because we need to force all the other countries in the world to behave very democratically.) [ NYT ]