According to The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill, the United States is worried that if President Ali Abdullah Saleh falls, “the vacuum that would exist” in Yemen could be terrible for US counterterrorism operations. Scahill joined Martin Bashir on MSNBC to discuss why the US is intervening in Libya but refusing to take action in Yemen.

Saleh is a “thug,” says Scahill, someone whose snipers shoot protesters in the head. Yet, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants a “political solution” to the growing instability in Yemen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates claims it is not the US’s business to meddle in the internal affairs of Yemen.

Scahill says that “the Bush administration created this theory that the world is a battlefield” and it therefore follows that the US can strike anywhere it sees a threat. The Obama Administration has not challenged this “theory,” and has authorized a fair amount of covert violent actions.

For more, read Scahill’s latest piece, in this week’s issue, “The Dangerous US Game in Yemen.”

—Kevin Gosztola