Illustrating its limited options, the US, again, urges the president of Yemen to step down. A call for Americans to leave the country is further evidence of official pessimism.
Obama wants Libya's Qaddafi out, and he pushed hard for Egypt's Mubarak to exit. Not so Yemen's Saleh, president for 33 years. The difference: US concern about Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula.
Recent arrests in New York, Texas, and Yemen could support the trend of Americans heading abroad for terrorism training. But do the US and Yemen have conflicting security interests?
Critics say the US has put too much emphasis on large-scale military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yemen shows that Al Qaeda is too agile to be defeated by such a 'whack a mole' strategy, they say.
The Obama administration's announcement Sunday that 12 Guantánamo detainees would be sent to other countries followed news that some detainees would be transferred to an Illinois facility. The president set a Jan. 22, 2010 deadline for closing the Guantánamo Bay prison, but seems unlikely to meet it.
Instead of trying to explain America, it promotes alternatives to extremism.