On The Rachel Maddow Show last night, The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill explained the US’s shift in policy toward Yemen and what brought the change about. Protests have been raging in Yemen for weeks and have created a crisis of legitimacy for President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but, as Scahill says, the US "sent a message to Yemen" that it was siding with a "brutal dictator." 

Not only have Saleh’s snipers been killing his own people, Scahill says the strongman has been misusing US military aid that was supposed to go toward fighting Al Qaeda by funneling it into projects that quiet his own domestic opponents. Despite the regime’s violence, Scahill finds it notable "how incredibly nonviolent the protests have been." 

If Saleh is forced out, it is impossible to say what will happen and how it will impact the US. Scahill does, however, think the people who will be calling the shots will be the tribes, not Al Qaeda, the US or the military.

For more, read Scahill’s latest piece in The Nation, "The Dangerous US Game in Yemen." 

—Kevin Gosztola