Monday, August 24, 2009

From Sa'ada with Tears: "Weren't Our Leaders' Children Once?"

By: Hassan Al-Haifi

"The Month of Ramadhan, what a great opportunity to make amends with the Lord Al-Mighty and look back to see where we went wrong" said Farid as he started to work on the family budget again.

"What makes you think that we went wrong?" asked Aisha, as she began to prepare the Ramadan break-fast, speeding up her pace, as the alarm rang to alert her that it is one hour before sunset.

Farid was really upset about something: "Not WE, my dear Aisha, but rather our Government. How can our Government decide just before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadhan to contract for the annihilation of the people of Sa'ada? Aren't the people of Sa'ada Yemeni citizens, who have the right to worship Allah as they see fit, like all other Yemenis? Must they carry on life with the threat of screeching Mig-29s constantly looming in their minds? Aren't the children of Sa'ada like our children? Look at these horrible pictures of the poor children of Sa'ada not knowing that this month is not simply another month of the year, but rather the month in which they will see Armageddon?"
"How come the international community has not been stirred by these horrible crimes? Just imagine if the children of the War Lords inside our Government and outside were living under the threat of TNT packed ordnances randomly ramming at them from 50 km away." Aisha was definitely moved by the horrible pictures of children's feet and hands lying out in the fields after being severed from their owners by the horrible payloads of those Sukhoi and Mig fighters.

"I would think that they should sever the heads of all these generals, sheikhs and whatever they pretend to be for being so careless about the children of Yemen, who have yet to develop their loins yet!" said Farid.
"There is really no excuse for this madness in Sa'ada, is there? How many children must lose their limbs indiscriminately before they had a chance to even speak their minds, let alone call for the destruction of Israel or the United States?" Aisha was very disturbed by the pictures she saw.

Farid continued on: "Even when international organizations like Amnesty International cry out for the sake of the children of Sa'ada (see this:, the international press and local press do not even cover the public statements of AI when it comes to the people of Sa'ada. Three days ago Amnesty International issued the statement deploring the attacks on civilians and the violations of human rights that are inflicted on the good people of Sa'ada Governorate. It seems that our Government has obtained immunity from international outrage at the violations of human rights it inflicts on its people."

Aisha also had her own views: "They were more interested in the weak offers of peace issued by the President, which simply stated that the Houthis should surrender themselves to the nearest Police precinct, just like the peace overtures we heard during the 1994 Civil War. We are seeing now that the fruits of that war are still being harvested to this day. Never mind that the situation now is slightly different, where the initiative is apparently on the Houthis' side."

"Nobody really knows who is winning or loosing in Sa'ada. The Government is preventing anyone from the press or the outside world to visit the region. After all they will be kidnapped by the mysterious night crawlers, who find in kidnapping an art that can be perfected to drive the relatives of the kidnapped into madness, because the Government is not really looking hard enough for them or even cares about finding them. The officials are too busy collecting for the rewards of the Houthis they kill or capture, at least as the Government press is announcing. But then, what does it matter? Who is able to really verify that the reward is justified anyway?", said Farid.
Then Mahmoud walked in, just coming from one of the Ramadhan games he and his friends have gathered to play; he was looking at the photos his mother was talking about a while ago. He looked stunned: "Mom, whose children are those who lost their limbs in the photos? Could this happen to us in Yemen?"

"Now son, put that down", she said, while continuing in response to her son's statement: "Of course not. We have a civilized Government and civilized leaders who never would like to see our people "corpsed", as a recent dignitary announced. We even have a civil society that should be praised for supporting any war against the people of Yemen and are ready to give their lives in support of such madness. Didn't you hear that unbelievable declaration by our leaders who enjoy seeing corpses sprawled everywhere, for they only live to see people 'corpsed', as Sadiq Al-Ahmar said a few days back, as he announced his pledge to aid the Government forces against tribesmen who were once under his father's custody. The Governor of Amran also announced his support and forgot that his father had sought to bring a peaceful end to the strife in Sa'ada."
The son wondered in amazement: "Weren't these hired guns children at one time in their lives?"

Yemen Times Issue 1288 August 24, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amnesty International Urges President Saleh of Yemen Not to Repeat the "Gross" Human Rights Abuses in Sa'ada

Amnesty International issued the following statement in the wake of the obvious large scale suffering by the civilian population in Yemen's Northerrn Governorate of Sa'ada. The province is the theater of a Sixth Round of fighting between Yemeni armed and security forces which resumed almost a month ago with a marked increase in intensity that rekindled some 10 days ago. More on this later.


AI Index: MDE 31.001.2009
20 August 2009
Yemen: Renewed violence in Sa’da threatens human rights

Amnesty International has written to President ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Saleh urging him to take all possible steps to ensure that the recent upsurge in clashes between government forces and supporters of the late Zaidi Shi’a cleric Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi do not result in a repeat of the gross human rights abuses which occurred during earlier unrest in Sa’da governorate.

Since armed clashes resumed some four weeks ago, thousands of inhabitants of Sa’da and surrounding areas, are reported to have been displaced from their homes and now to face difficulties in accessing humanitarian assistance as the area has been largely closed to journalists and humanitarian organizations by government forces. Reports suggest that dozens of civilians have been killed, some as a result of aerial bombardment by government forces. Meanwhile, security forces are reported to have rounded up suspected supporters of al-Huthi in Sa’da and to be detaining them incommunicado, raising fears of torture or other ill-treatment. Dozens of people are said to have been killed in armed clashes, including government soldiers, but the circumstances in all cases are currently unclear.

In its letter to President Saleh, Amnesty International said it fully recognized the government’s responsibility to protect public safety and to punish crimes, but when doing so must abide at all times by the requirements of international law, including the prohibition of torture and respect for the right to life. In particular, it urged the President to ensure that all members of Yemen’s security forces are instructed to abide by key international standards such as the UN Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms and the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, and that those who commit unlawful killings or other breaches will be held to account.

Amnesty international also requested information about the number of people being detained in Sa’da and where they are being held, urging that they be safeguarded against possible torture or other ill-treatment and either brought to trial promptly and fairly or released.

Earlier clashes between government forces and al-Huthi supporters, which began in 2004 and have continued since then interspersed with periods of relative peace, caused significant loss of life and were accompanied by serious human rights violations, with government forces accused of using excessive lethal force and carrying out deliberate killings.

Since 2007, protests in Aden and other towns such as al-Dali’ and al-Mukalla against alleged government discrimination against people living in southern Yemen have resulted in a government clampdown in which dozens of protesters have been killed by the security forces in highly questionable circumstances and the arrests of many others.

Long-standing tensions between followers of the al-Huthi family from the Zaidi Shi’a community and the Yemeni government were heightened by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. During and after the US-led invasion, followers of al-Huthi carried on the protests after Friday prayers every week outside mosques, particularly the Grand Mosque in Sana’a, during which they shouted anti-US and anti-Israel slogans. The protests were invariably followed by arrests and detentions. In June 2004 the government called on Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi, one of those leading the criticism of the US-led invasion, to hand himself over to the authorities. When he refused, tension between the two sides escalated into armed clashes. In September 2004, Hussain Badr al-Din al-Huthi was killed and there was then a truce until March 2005, when the clashes again erupted. In September 2005 the government issued a presidential amnesty for al-Huthi followers which was followed by the release in March 2006 of dozens of those detained during the clashes. Most of them had been held without charge or trial. The exact number of those who remained in detention was never disclosed by the government, but local human rights workers suggested that they could number several hundred. They included at least 37 who were convicted by the Specialised Criminal Court after an unfair trial and sentenced to prison terms or death. In January 2007, the clashes again resumed, continuing until August 2008 when the government announced an agreement to end the fighting had been achieved through mediation by the Qatar government. Hundreds of prisoners were then released by the two sides.

Peaceful protests in the southern part of the country began in 2007 with demonstrations by mainly retired soldiers from the army of former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). Following the unification of the country in 1990, both armies of the PDRY (South Yemen) and the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) (North Yemen), were merged into a single army force for the new Republic of Yemen. However, following the civil war of 1994, many of the soldiers of the former PDRY were dismissed from the army. These, as well as those who remained in the current army, complained of being subjected to discrimination when compared to soldiers originally from the North. The protests have since grown into a movement campaigning on issues of discriminations beyond employment and retirement in the army for southerners to other aspects of political, economic and social life.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Al-Houthi's Death Disputed!

There are commentators who suggest that the news leaked out about Abdul Malik Al-Houthi is a mere ploy by the Government and that the website that issued the news is a disguised Houthi website, as it states that the news came from "one of the Houthi leaders" and that the Government has vowed to "eradicate the remaining leaders" since it has discovered "all of thier hiding places". With the news blackout as tight as it is, it si difficult to tell right from wrong. No one really knows if Al-Houthi is in Jabal Marran or not and there are cases where the Government has claimed the death of Houthi leaders only to find their names later on newly issued Wanted List. This War in Sa'ada is really getting to the nerves of alot of people, as there is so much misinformation being thrown about. At present the planes are still carrying out bombing raids while the news was put at the website around 9:00 AM.

Abdul Malik Al-Houthi is Said to Be Dead!

One of the websites used by the Houthis announced that Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi is saidd to have been killed on a raid on Jabal Marran in Sa'ada Government after the Government forces discovered his hiding place. More to follow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Tragic War in Sa’ada: If at First, You Do Not Succeed, Try Again and Again and… (6X)

Hassan Al-Haifi (


Since 2004, this poor and God forsaken country (known before as Arabia Felix) has been the stage of a very reckless war launched apparently for the sake of others, with the Yemeni people, of Sa’ada in particular, and throughout the country in general being the last and the most unfortunate of stakeholders. The most tragic consequence of this most unfortunate design of bloodshed, destruction and ugly signs of sectarian and tribal confrontation has been the misallocation of scarce and scanty economic and material resources. This is especially significant at a time when Yemen has to contend with decreasing revenues from petroleum exports (The Yemeni people really have no transparent picture of the petroleum situation as we are not confident of the official reports that have very scantily been presented on this important economic front). This war in Sa’ada defies logical nationalistic considerations and will perhaps be the biggest scar that will go on record in the long years of tenure that President Ali Abdullah Saleh has held the reigns of authority in Yemen (in both its fragmented state and unified status).

Historically, the dispute started out as a simple effort to impose a controlled venue of freedom of expression. The late leader of the Houthis, Hussein Badr Al-Din tried to remind his constituents of the need to peacefully reinstill an Anti-Zionist platform among his followers and the rest of his fellow countrymen, if they are rightfully to consider themselves as Moslems. It is standard political rhetoric, which most Moslems in general and Arabs in particular would be strongly willing to accept, in view of the humiliation and intolerance one sees on a daily basis being displayed by the Zionist ethnic cleansing machine in the Holy Land. This is not a rhetoric espoused by Shiites or Zeidis alone, but indeed is recognized no matter where one goes in the Arab World and the Moslem World, and even among a sizable chunk of the Christians of the Arab World, who sympathize with the plight of their Christian brethren in the Holy Land. Never mind that the Gentiles of the West have been mesmerized by the need to rectify their guilt for the crimes of their brethren against the “Semites” in their midst, which the Arabs or Moslems have nothing to do with in the first place. This mesmerization does not allow for feeling sympathetic to the tragic plight of fellow Gentiles who suffer from Zionist persecution as well. But it is really understandable that Zionism has no place in a progressive world where religious arrogance (in its Zionist or other irrational genders) is simply intolerable.

To get back to the Sa’ada conflict, the observer is inclined to suggest to the misguided authorities in the Republic of Yemen that their attempts to placate the West with their misdirected anti-terrorism efforts are really counterproductive to the interests of Yemen and to their longevity. The West generally has a fair understanding of the situation in Yemen to realize that the regime in Sana’a has an awesome credibility problem in many respects. Thus any claims the latter might blare out, especially against the good people of Sa’ada (and really they are good, notwithstanding their ferocity when it comes to upholding their honor and freedom) will be scrutinized with strong depth to insure that they are not misled by the “official” taint of these claims. For example, it just seems illogical that the good Governor of Sa’ada, whose past is well known in the Arms Trade and in being one of the icons of the Saleh regime (as well as 26b September, the media mouthpiece of the military), would accuuse the good people of Sa’ada of such heinous crimes as rape, adultery and even sodomy, not to mention kidnapping of foreigners. One is bound to recall how the regime has used such heinous tactics in promoting its war against its former partners of unification, the former leadership of the Yemeni Socialist Party.

Yet, even when allowing for such political nonsense, it is still deplorable to think that the Government in Sana’a would feel guiltless in the killing of many innocents by the use of Mig-29s and other sophisticated killing machinery against a comparatively lightly armed insurrection. The many pictures that have been openly portrayed in the local press of children torn apart by heavy ordnances unleashed by this sophisticated machinery and other eyewitness reports point to a serious disregard for the lives and safety of people the Government purportedly wants to convince of its “justified” fight against a “rebellion”, the latter of which to this day never claimed to be so.

Then comes the issue of how Yemen’s neighbors are behaving in this sad case of civil strife. One is not ready yet to believe that Saudi Arabia is fully behind this unnecessary war ( by being ready to bear all the expenses of the Government for this madness. It is safe to say that this only helps to encourage the ugly war lords that have already torn this country to so many pieces to carry on filling their bloodstained pockets at the expense of the good people of Sa’ada (and believe this observer, they are really a good and God fearing people beyond belief) in particular and the people of Yemen in general. We do pray that there is no truth to that at all. This would be unhealthy, not only for Yemen but, in the long run, for our good neighbors North of the border.

It is once again time to appeal to the good senses of the President of the Republic to once and for all put an end to this mockery of governance and to have sympathy for the very good and decent people and children of Sa’ada.
Yemen Times Issue 1286 August 17, 2009

The PLO: A State or an Outdated Organization

By Hassan Al-Haifi

The death of the former brave Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was really a symbolic sign that indeed the Palestine Liberation Organization had breathed its last breath as a purposeful organization with effective realism. It is also apparent that the PLO is finding it difficult to prove that it can actually convincingly claim to be a refection of the feelings and aspirations of the Palestinian people. For sure, the dynamic and sincere character of Yasser Arafat proved to be an awesome unforgettable influence in maintaining the recognition of the PLO as a viable representation of Palestinian political inclinations both locally in the Palestinian arena and internationally.
One obviously feels the charismatic void left by the absence of the boisterous and gutsy voice of the late Yasser Arafat, whose death remains a mystery to this day (, when listening to the current PLO leader of the PLO and the Secretary General of Al-Fath (Al-Fatah), Mahmud Abbas, making the closing statement of the Sixth Conference of Al-Fath, the leading body politic in the now fragile PLO. It is now almost useless to think that Fath can carry on as the leading voice of the Palestinians and the claimant to represent the effective wing of Palestine resistance, not to mention the body politic of the Palestinian people When taking into consideration what Farouk Kaddoumi revealed about a month ago (see previous link), the observer becomes more inclined to think that the current PLO leadership has lost purpose altogether for their existence as a force to be reckoned with in determining the fate of the Palestinian people. Surely, the death of Yasser Arafat should have been a clear symbol of the lack of faith in its own platform, if it worked for the removal of its founder and last holder of the flag of resistance in its nationalistic manifestation.
At the same time, it is clear that the Palestinians have indeed found the alternative to the void left by the passing of Yasser Arafat and the ineffectiveness of the national resistance movement without a dogmatic appeal to fulfill the spiritual vacuum that the PLO is facing. Hamas has proven itself to be a dynamic force in the body politic of the Palestinian people. More importantly, this dynamic political organization has proven to the world that indeed the Palestinians alone are actually able to stand steadfast against the might of the Israeli Offense Forces (the IDF has always been a misnomer for this terror machine, which outranks all terrorist organizations). For the second time in a decade, an Arab force was able to keep the Israeli forces from any effective incursions into Arab territory. Relying on the same perseverance and adherence to faith previously shown by Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas with even less of the wherewithal possessed by the former withstood the Israeli forces for more than three weeks late last year/ earlier this year. To this day, Fatah or the PLO has never shown any strength in holding back Israeli forces, since the brave stance shown by Arafat in his besieged enclave in Ramallah, in which Yasser Arafat bravely withstood every effort by the Israelis to drive him out of the West Bank altogether, let alone out of Ramallah for more than half a decade.

The US Congress and Palestine
One is not sure whether US Congressmen and Congresswomen (in both the House of Representatives and Congress) have caught up with the times, when evaluating the true nature of Israeli intransigence and obstinacy. This is made the more apparent by the inability of US politicians to learn to override the pestering lobby of organizations like the American Israeli Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC). For what reason does the US Congress find itself compelled to determine where the still illegitimate occupier of Jerusalem should have its capital?
For sure, most of the US Congressmen and Congresswomen are still insisting on viewing the Israeli lobby as the foundation stone for American national political prominence, a myth that was proven wrong by the lack of reliance (at least on the surface) of the prominence of Barack Obama in his quick rise to the American national political theater. Surely, the recent decision by the US Congress to tell the world that the Israeli capital should be in Jerusalem, etc does not lend credence to the US national policy of remaining "impartial" in promoting peace in the region, or at least help the US Government in projecting such an image. This only helps to reinforce the general contention amongst the Arab and Moslem populations of the world that the US is not going to succeed in its efforts to bring a "just and lasting peace" in the region. In fact it seems that the US Congress sis more swayed by the Israeli right wing than the desire to fulfill what is more appropriate for the national interests of the United States.

Yemen Times Issue 1284 August 10, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

Palestine and World Peace: Where Terror Has Reigned for A Century

It is no mystery to the observer that the stability of the world and the hopes for international peace hinge on the achievement of a JUST AND LASTING PEACE in the Holy Land. This would mean dispelling the notion that Israel is a bastion of peace, harmony and regional cohesion. On the contrary, keen observers of events in the region, since the unholy creation of this Spartan chauvinistic enclave amidst a region blessed by the Lord Al-Mighty as the birthplace of the most important and advanced spiritual missions, tend to underscore the fact that Israel is indeed a dangerous and backward human experience that relies on maintaining an international disorder as a clear rationale for its unholy existence. Observers know that Israeli Zionist dogma would not have a chance to thrive in a peaceful world, as for example, American taxpayers would then question the rationale of continuing to provide Israel with US $ 10,000,000 per day (as suggested by former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with Larry King Live on CNN). Not only that, but it would be clear that the whole essence of an arrogant policy of embezzlement and arm-twisting tactics does not provide for a peaceful coexistence amongst the nations of the region, in particular and for world peace in general. It is no secret that the people of Germany are still paying for the crimes of their former Fuhrer many times over, although they and their parents did not even have any part in the crimes that this madman that were perpetrated against many sizable ethnic communities throughout the world, for which no group enjoys a monopoly thereof.

The recent situation in the Holy Land bespeaks a nation vent on seeking the complete annihilation of what remains of the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Galilee and surely is further proof that Israelis, whether as politicians or Kibbutz settlers are in no mood for the establishment of a permanent peace for the Middle East. The continuous intimidations against the Lebanese, through ongoing violations of Lebanese airspace, and other forays inside Lebanese territory underscore the Israeli penchant for ongoing conflict as raison d’être for their continuous Spartan inclinations for a highly militarized society, in which all are taught that “to survive, you must kill, kill, kill … or be killed!” Surely this is not fitting for a people, who seek self incrimination from the rest of the international community, for their “long history of oppression”, as manifested by, for example, by the Dreyfus Affair, amongst other exaggerated portrayals of human repression. Yet, this is how settlers of the Holy Land are instructed and grilled to view their existence and the only way to give such existence any chance of sustainability.

Israeli extremists of the likes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his even more “militant” Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Avigdor (alias Evet) Lieberman are in no mood for any idea that President Barack Obama and his Secretary in the State Department might have of trying to establish a lasting removal of a major chronic headache for the budget that the American taxpayers are already overtaxed to continue resourcing. They are also not inclined to believe that there should be any compromise of any of the wishy-washy claims to total hegemony over the Holy Land from the Euphrates to the Nile, as shown by the projected Zionist State pictured high in the walls of the Israeli Knesset. People like Lieberman and Netanyahu (and even the likes of Israeli “doves”, Ehud Barak and Shimon Perez) know that Israel has gotten to where it is now by the sheer power of the gun and not any other means of peaceful coexistence. Their own political rise in the ladder of Israeli officialdom is mainly the product of how they have been able to represent Israeli Zionist dogma behind the barrel of a gun.

The funny irony that one is now unable to ignore is how Israel is crying wolf to an imaginary nuclear Iran, whereas to this day Israel is a persistent rejecter of any efforts to make it become a party to any international convention on nuclear armaments or even nuclear power and has been a strong backer of Indian nuclear attainment. Iran to this day has not been proven to have any means of nuclear armament stockpiling or even testing, whereas Israel possesses at least 200 nukes at its disposal. Surely there is ample room for questioning the legitimacy of Israel’s gripes against Iranian nuclear attainment or even threat. Dogmatically speaking, it would be against the Fatwa of the former Ayatollah Khomeini, the creator of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for Iran to possess any nuclear armaments, as also suggested by Mahmoud Ahmednejad in an interview also in CNN’s Larry King Live. It is indeed a fact that Islamic dogma prohibits the killing of innocent civilian populations “en masse”, a rule which any Islamic regime of any standing must uphold if it wishes to have a claim to upholding Islamic jurisdictional doctrinaire.

As a further testimony to the fallacy of the “civilized” goodness of the Israeli cancer, which has disrupted the peace of the region for nearly a century now, one cannot remain oblivious to the ongoing desecration of any religious landmarks of non-Jewish persuasions, such as the ongoing violations of the Holy Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem, not to mention the recurrent violations of the sanctity of Christian Churches that have been present for some two millennia in some cases. One can only ask the many thousands of Christian Palestinians as to what happened to the churches in the Palestinian villages from which they were uprooted.

The Yemen Times Issue 1282 August 3, 2009

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Mr. Al-Beidh was much better with tighter lips

I must say that I really had an extremely high respect for the former President of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY – Former South Yemen) and Vice President of the unified (now and forever) Republic of Yemen. I was almost convinced that he had a genuine patriotic rhetoric that truly had a sense of how the Yemenis in the street felt about affairs of state in Yemen used to wait vehemently for his speeches, especially during the tense days of the political squabbling that led to the unfortunate Civil War of 1994. I am still convinced that he surely would have favored that the war did not occur and that he may have been railroaded into the war, by both the wily Northern ruling establishment led by the current President of the Republic, Ali Abdullah Saleh (may he recover soon to tend to the urgent security collapse of the country with a better realization that the current situation calls for drastic sincere and serious steps that would start with better accountability and transparency in the management of affairs in the Republic), not to mention the selfish opportunists that surrounded Ali Salem, who actually advised Al-Beidh that he could actually confront the more militarily experienced Saleh in a military showdown, in which he was outclassed and outgunned. When you add to that the sucker the Saudis made out of Al-Beidh with the belief that the Gulf States were right behind him, one can see that Al-Beidh was not oriented towards making wise and rational critical political decisions. Actually he should have known better that the Saudis (and the Americans) wanted nothing more than to see a former puppet state of the former collapsed Soviet Union fall down like its counterparts everywhere else in the world.

Mr. Al-Beidh is indeed commended for introducing democracy into the Republic, something that the Northern elite in the tight net regime of President Saleh (and their Salafi allies) were intellectually and politically not willing to fall into with much flare. Nevertheless, Mr. Al-Beidh erroneously thought he could still salvage his crumbling state machinery, even though many of his colleagues and friends have advised him strongly not to go the path of secession. That may have been his suicide as a Yemeni leader, notwithstanding his somewhat convincing rhetoric against the corruption and the gross mismanagement that has characterized the Saleh regime almost from the start. However, his first declaration of secession completely took me by surprise. I really thought that he would not forget that he really had a lot of support among the population in the Northern governorates and thus would carry on the fight (in 1994) for all Yemenis, many of whom (North and South) had gripes about the Saleh regime. From the very beginning of that regrettable and somewhat naïve call for a secession, this observer knew full well that the futile declaration for the reinstatement of South Yemen as an independent state was - simply put - foolish and far from ever being desirable in the hearts and minds of most Yemenis. Oh sure, one could not help but wonder how such a call may have actually been the reason for the doom of the remaining elements of the fledgling South Yemeni regime. What one hoped for was that THE formerly popular Al-Beidh would try to maintain what ever elements of power he had then to keep an erstwhile fragile balance of power within the political configuration that made up the newly established Republic. That would have been more challenging for the Saleh regime to live with than what turned out to be a failed secession, which thank God never got a chance to get anywhere beyond the microphone by which the declaration of independence was made.

Having said all that, one would think that Mr. Al-Beidh was intellectually more mature than to be railroaded into a lost cause politically, militarily and historically. Perhaps this ( would help make it clear that, historically and politically, there is simply no such thing as a Northern Yemeni identity or a Southern Yemeni identity (as the callers for secession are claiming) . Moreover, nothing would been more helpful to the regime in Sana'a than the same foolish recent statement by the former Vice President of the Republic. One really feels astonished at the logic that such foolishness emanates from. How can Al-Beidh actually expect to achieve now at a distance, what he could not achieve when (in 1994) he had all the machinery of a state at his disposal and at close range?

It is very difficult now to see how Al-Beidh can salvage any political hopes he might have had, either in the Republic of Yemen or in his hallucination that the PDRY could ever see a revival again, even given the almost failed state situation that the Republic of Yemen is now sadly enduring. It is also very difficult to see how President Saleh and his colleagues in the regime in Sana'a can hope to proceed with business as usual unless he carries out a serious and sincere program of REAL reforms, including the axing of several of the icons in his regime that have turned his regime into a pathetic state of failure in all facets of statecraft, considering

Yemen Times Issue 1282 27 July 2009