[ by Charles Cameron — with regard to Mothana: the voice of sanity is not easily heard in the asylum ]
Here’s most everything you need to know about the complexities of the Middle East, spelled out in two simple war games:
McCain plays poker during Syria war hearing Detail from Yemeni Politics — The Board Game
The Yemen politics game was the work of 24 year old Ibrahim Mothana, who died this week. His moving NYT op-ed about his beloved Yemen in June last year told us:
Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants; they are not driven by ideology but rather by a sense of revenge and despair. Robert Grenier, the former head of the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism center, has warned that the American drone program in Yemen risks turning the country into a safe haven for Al Qaeda like the tribal areas of Pakistan — “the Arabian equivalent of Waziristan.”
Anti-Americanism is far less prevalent in Yemen than in Pakistan. But rather than winning the hearts and minds of Yemeni civilians, America is alienating them by killing their relatives and friends. Indeed, the drone program is leading to the Talibanization of vast tribal areas and the radicalization of people who could otherwise be America’s allies in the fight against terrorism in Yemen.
His written testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights can be found in this Guardian post from Glenn Greenwald in May of this year.
Mothana had many admirers across the spectrum, as this tweet from Gregory Johnsen attests:
— GregorydJohnsen (@gregorydjohnsen) September 6, 2013
We mourn his loss, and ask for peace.