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  •  Anti-Drone, Pro-America (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    side pocket, maggiejean, jlms qkw, JML9999

    The Atlantic: This Yemeni Man Loves America, Hates al-Qaeda, and Says Drone Strikes Make Them Stronger

    A drone strike killed five people last week in the remote Yemeni village of Wessab. Locals are still scared. Many knew at least one of the men who was killed. But they didn't know that he was suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda. If they'd known, they would've helped to arrest him, or forced him to leave their village, or at least kept their distance lest they be killed or maimed. It terrifies them that they didn't even know he was a target. What if they'd been standing next to him?

    What if their children had been standing next to him?

    Americans wouldn't normally hear about how poor Yemeni villagers reacted to a drone strike. But Wessab is the home village of Farea al-Muslimi, a 22-year-old democracy activist who is among the most pro-American voices in Yemen. "I don't know if there is anyone on earth that feels more thankful to America than me," he said Tuesday in testimony before a Senate committee. "In my heart, I know I can only repay the opportunities, friendship, warmth, and exposure your country provided me by being their ambassadors to Yemenis for the rest of my life."

    He is just the sort of cultural ambassador the U.S. is eager to recruit. "I strongly believe that I have helped improve America's image, perhaps in ways that an official ambassador or other diplomats cannot," he explained. "I have access to ordinary Yemenis. For me, helping the people of my country understand and know the America that I have experienced is a passion, not a career."

    But his efforts are being undermined -- and we're the culprits. In emotional testimony, he stated that the Obama Administration's drone strikes in Yemen "have made my passion and mission in support of America almost impossible" and done more to empower al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula than to weaken it.

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