A massive suicide bombing in Yemen Monday morning is another blow to President Barack Obama’s attempt to show the Arab world that democracy works for it.
The suicide bomber, wearing a military uniform and presumably linked to Al Qaeda, killed at least 97 people, mostly soldiers, and wounded 300 others practicing for a military parade in the Yemeni capital of San’a.
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by the Obama administration, was scheduled to attend the parade on Yemen's national day on Tuesday.
The suicide bombing came 10 days after the government launched a military campaign against Al Qaeda-linked terrorists who have nearly overwhelmed southern Yemen.
Obama has pointed to Yemen's change in government as a model for Arab countries seeking to adopt democracy, but the results there, as in all of the rebellions, have raised the nearly-century old question, “Is democracy safe for the world?”
Obama told G8 leaders meeting at Camp David that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power, and pointed to Yemen as a model “to enable a Syrian-led, inclusive political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system.”
Despite a growing resistance by U.S. voters to more American military intervention in failed campaigns to make Arab countries safe for democracy, President Obama last week announced he is returning military trainers to Yemen for “routine” cooperation with Yemeni security officers, one year after then-president Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded in a terrorist attack.
On Sunday, terrorists wounded a U.S. Coast Guard trainer as he and two other American trainers were driving near their hotel. His condition is not known.
The Obama administration encouraged Saleh to step down and make way for Hadi, whose power is threatened by a divided military.
President Obama even sent Hadi a cable last week to express his continuing support for the new government. If Al Qaeda terrorists succeed in disabling the government, it will be a double whammy affecting the entire Middle East revolution movement as well as President Obama’s tarnished image in foreign policy.