The security-policymaking community in the U.S. works in very predictable ways. Any time a country no one in the U.S. is really familiar with comes up in the news due to some plausible connection to organized terrorism, the following things happen:
1. There is indignation and disgust directed at the government du jour. Government du jour, you see, has been concentrating on Country X With Lots Of Brown People for the longest time, but what it has missed is that Country Y — which, incidentally, also has Lots Of Brown People — is also crucial to the war on terrorism.
2. People who have no idea about Country Y With Lots Of Brown People suddenly feel the need to opine on it. This, by the way, is the most entertaining step — as long as you’re not from Country Y With Lots Of Brown People. Nothing is funnier than watching an entire industry of pundits, writers, op-edders, think tankers, cable news invitees, foreign policy “experts” and bloggers pretend to know what the fuck they’re talking about.
Of course, if you happen to be from Country Y With Lots Of Brown People, you begin to get worried, because any time the American punditocracy starts talking about you, only bad things happen. This is why I cried myself hoarse during the Pakistan hysteria in the middle of last year, and why I am thoroughly enjoying the Yemen hysteria now.