The Campaign Spot

Islamists Fire Rocket at U.S. Embassy in Yemen

Er . . . how is this not huge news?

How many Americans know Ansar al-Sharia fired a rocket at our embassy and injured some guards?

How many Americans know that last week the State Department urged all Americans to leave Yemen? How many people know that we’re pulling some of our embassy staff out of there?

On September 24, 2014, the Department of State ordered a reduction of U.S. government personnel from Yemen out of an abundance of caution due to the continued civil unrest and the potential for military escalation. The Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services may be limited. Embassy officers are restricted in their movements and cannot travel outside of Sana’a. In addition, movements within Sana’a are severely constrained and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.

The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high. The Embassy is subject to frequent unannounced closures. In May 2014, the Embassy was closed for almost five weeks because of heightened security threats.

Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration.

Doesn’t that sound like the situation in Libya?

President Obama, September 10:

This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.

This is not the first time the U.S. media has largely ignored violent protests at American embassies. In 2012, incidents in Thailand, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines, as well as Greece, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Uganda, and Australiaafter the attacks on U.S. facilities in Cairo, Egypt, and Benghazi, Libya — didn’t generate much coverage in the U.S. media.

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