The day I (might have) met Harvard and Bin John

A Crikey reader talks about his time in Yemen -- and when he might have met Christopher Harvard and Muslim Bin John.

Drones a constant threat in Yemen

UN adviser Robert Johnson, formerly based in Yemen, writes: Re. “An Australian killed, to the studied indifference of his government” (yesterday). The presence of drones in Yemen has been a difficult issue for the Yemeni government precisely at a time when it has been trying to unite its people behind constitutional and military/security reforms to take it beyond the turmoil of the so-called Arab Spring of 2011. For now, the United States’ “war on terror” in faraway places has trumped Yemeni efforts to achieve durable national reform.

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3 thoughts on “The day I (might have) met Harvard and Bin John

  1. Rourke

    Crikey, please get Robert Johnson to write for you. That is one of the most sane things I’ve ever read about US Middle East policy, from someone who actually knows something about Yemen.

    “to construct a self-serving narrative from who knows what “intelligence” and filling in the remaining gaps to suit that starting point” – perfectly put

  2. Patrick Gower

    I heard there is a Islamic University in Sanaa. Alot of Revert Muslims go there to study. Maybe you encounter 2 “Western Students” wondering the area?

  3. Robert Johnson

    Patrick: Two other white Australian young males on the streets of Sana’a in late 2013 is, I think, possible but improbable. The point is the politically-driven approaches to both gathering intelligence and intervening on behalf of Australians abroad, when US Administration sensitivities come into play. To suggest that Harvard and Bin John were ‘collateral damage’ as well as to require their families to foot the bill for the return of their bodies (at least for Christopher Harvard; I haven’t read what the NZ government is saying) seems to be either inconsistent or a new level of government abandonment of its nationals.
    Rourke: thank you.

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