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Department of Cognitive Dissonance: Defining Arab Spring Down

The New York Times, May 27:

In a new effort to halt more than a year of bloodshed in SyriaPresident Obama will push for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad under a proposal modeled on the transition in another strife-torn Arab country, Yemen.

The Washington Post, May 29:

Across the vast, rugged terrain of southern Yemen, an escalating campaign of U.S. drone strikes is stirring increasing sympathy for al-Qaeda-linked militants and driving tribesmen to join a network linked to terrorist plots against the United States.

Associated Press, May 29:

[U.N. envoy to Yemen Jamal] Benomar said 10 million people—almost half the population—are not getting enough to eat and almost one million children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition. Five million Yemenis need immediate assistance but donors have only funded 43 percent of the $455 million needed to tackle the humanitarian crisis, he said.
On the security front ... Benomar said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and Ansar al-Sharia “have extended their reach into areas previously not associated with their activities.”

Here’s one measure for how bad things have gotten in Syria: our new definition of success is a country so poor it can’t feed its people, and so anarchic that we’ve been forced to ramp up a covert war against significant portions of its population. With success like this, who needs failure?