"Many ordinary Yemenis — schooled in the cynicism of Yemeni politics — believe that their government could have killed or even captured Mr. Awlaki at any time, and chose to do so only now for political reasons.
"But in fact, the Yemeni security services, many trained by American
Special Forces soldiers, appear to have pursued Mr. Awlaki for almost
two years in a hunt that was often hindered by the shifting allegiances
of Yemen’s tribes and the deep unpopularity of Mr. Saleh’s government.
"In 2009 and 2010, Mr. Awlaki seems to have been mostly in the southern
heartland of his own powerful tribe, the Awaliq, where killing him would
have been politically costly for the government, and capturing him
nearly impossible. The area where Mr. Awlaki was finally killed, in the
remote north, did not afford him the same tribal protection. There are
also many tribal leaders in the far north who receive stipends from
Saudi Arabia — the terrorist group’s chief target — and who would
therefore have had more motive to assist in killing him" NY Times, October 1, 2011
Notice how the NY Times tries its best to devalue those who question the importance of this murder of Awlaki: "ordinary Yemenis" so like what could they know? And then not only are they ordinary but they are also "schooled in the cynicism of Yemeni politics." OMG, cynicism about politics, Yemeni politics! Who'd thunk it? I wonder if those "tribal leaders in the far north" who are on the payroll of Saudi Arabia - read USA - are also cynical. Probably not as they are the "right side." And, of course, in this way the Times does not have to even wonder if "ordinary Yemenis" are correct, while we go on supporting the dictator [experiencing "deep unpopularity"!] who is the head of Yemen's "government"[!] and the enlightened rulers of Saudi Arabia. If these ordinary Yemenis are correct, then our policy is really little more than a house of cards, destined to fail someday. But then why be surprised? Our policies failed in Vietnam, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan and are failing in Pakistan. This is what happens when you follow "deadly paradigms" built on dreams, i.e., the delusions of the possibilities of military power.