Is the White House prepared for the collapse of Yemen?

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

U.S. reiterates refusal to negotiate with Islamic State over hostages.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Sunday sought to shore up the Obama administration’s message on recent events in the Middle East, stressing that the collapse of Yemen’s central government will not derail strategic counter-terrorism operations in the region. “I think it’s very important to recognize that governance in Yemen has always been difficult. We will continue to press on the ground, including today, to make decisions transparently, pursuant to a political agreement, so that we can work with them to keep on the offensive against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” said McDonough on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” McDonough’s comments came during a post-State of the Union blitz that included appearances on all five major Sunday talk shows, a morning swing known as “a full Ginsburg.” Predictably given recent events — although nonetheless striking — the domestic policy agenda outlined by the president in last week’s annual address took a back seat to questions about the administration’s foreign policy. The president continues to push for Congress to pass legislation for private sector workers that would give pregnant women seven days of paid sick leave. “It’s been decades now that the wages have stagnated for hard-working, middle-class families,” he added. “(The president) is saying, ‘Enough is enough.’”

We are sparing no expense, and sparing no effort, both in trying to make sure that we know where they are and make sure that we’re prepared to do anything we must to try to get them home.” He added that the woman’s family knows “how strongly the president feels about this. When McDonough was asked if the government had collapsed he replied, “we weren’t surprised that this government collapsed we knew that this is ongoing challenge over the course of the last several months.” McDonough’s comment is puzzling considering the administration made no public mention of their worry that our allies could be thrown from power or what could be done to prevent it. To spare him the same fate, Islamic State fighters are demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman who faces the death penalty in Jordan for her role in 2005 bombings that killed dozens. We ought to press their political leaders to come up with political resolutions on the ground,” McDonough said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” McDonough also fielded questions on a controversial Congressional invitation extended to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was made without prior consultation with the White House. “Is the president, is the White House, are you angry with Speaker Boehner for doing this on his own and for Netanyahu accepting it on his own without any consultation with the White House?” asked Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Look, I don’t spend a lot of time on my emotions or getting angry…” McDonough said. “And here’s the way the president has always seen the U.S.

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