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April 10, 2015

Ineffective President Abandons Endangered Americans Abroad

One of the things that Americans expect of their government is some sort of assistance if they are in difficulty abroad. “I’m an American – please contact the embassy/consulate” are the first words that ought to come to the lips of any US citizen who has been arrested in a foreign land. And if the situation in a foreign country goes to hell, it is expected that US diplomats – or the US military – will aid in the evacuation of our nation’s citizens.

But in Yemen, that isn’t happening.

Our diplomats bugged out weeks ago. And despite a US military presence just across the 20-mile wide Bab-el-Mandeb in Djibouti, the United States military is not doing anything to assist Americans in leaving Yemen during the current crisis.

No – other countries are taking care of our citizens.

The State Department is telling U.S. citizens fleeing the fighting in Yemen to contact the government of India or an international NGO dedicated to migrant rights for help, according to the website for the abandoned U.S. embassy in Sanaa and statements by Indian government officials.

The Chinese Navy last week evacuated hundreds of people from the war-torn country. Russia, Canada, and France are also reported to have recently conducted evacuations of their own.

The website of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Yemen posted two messages on Monday laying out options for American citizens looking to flee the country. The first noted that, “The Indian government has offered to assist U.S. citizens who want to depart Yemen for Djibouti. This potentially includes flights out of Sana’a and ships from Aden. U.S. citizens wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should contact First Secretary Raj Kopal at the Indian Embassy in Sana’a at 00967 734 000 657.”

A second message stated that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was working to arrange a flight out of the country to Djibouti at some point this week, and directed American citizens needing assistance to contact the IOM.


Incredible. Just incredible. In my lifetime we have gone from having the capability to safeguard our own citizens abroad to having to rely on India and NGOs to do the job for us. Yea, how the mighty have fallen.

By the way, a group of stranded US citizens has sued in federal court over this.

Claiming the Obama administration turned its back on them, 41 Americans stranded in war-torn Yemen filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the State Department and Defense Department for not evacuating them -- as fighting intensifies and U.S. allies launch airstrikes.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks to compel the government to use “all resources” possible to rescue the stranded Americans. The plaintiffs range in age from just a few weeks old to senior citizens.

“Despite the clear danger to Americans in Yemen – and the death of at least one American – the Obama administration has not yet taken any substantive steps to help citizens or permanent residents reach safety,” the lawsuit claims.

Interestingly enough, the suit was filed by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. If so, I actually applaud them. After all, these folks should get at least as good treatment as as treasonous deserter Bo Bergdahl.





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