Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For Yemen: Suffering Is The Rule, Not The Exception


Hassan Al-Haifi (

This War on Sa’ada has clearly shown that a war by contract is the only offer of hope our leaders can deliver to their subjects, when everything else that the people have to contend with is already taken them to the bottom of the abyss. How much sufferings can one stand? Those were the words of an old man finding it difficult to cross the street, because the people who designed the “60 Meter Road” that almost circles the Capital City of Sana’a never thought that pedestrians should also be able to cross that road with ease and SAFETY. Safety has been a forgotten element in everything that the Government does, because a Government that contracts a war on its people could never find cause or profit in allowing the citizens of this country to enjoy any semblance of peace and quiet. This war in Sa’ada has been going on for five years now and the Government wants to turn it into a permanent element of life, even if it means that there will be thousands who will not sleep because those Mig-29s make so much noise as they are going to wherever they are to deliver their payload of all kinds of incendiary ordnances. Their intended or unintended target: a poor child barely of walking age left alone in some makeshift tent from all the rags and pieces of cloth his mother and sister were able to scrounge in the debris that their house has turned into some five miles away. Little did this mother know: why do these ugly looking metal birds love to kill children? In the Sa’ada War, the Government finds it more useful to kill children rather than build schools for them. Never mind that Yemen already has the highest illiteracy rate this side of the Red Sea, for the simple reason that all the resources of the land go to weapons manufacturers far away, who never give a damn where you drop the ordnances you buy from them land, as long as Yemen’s dwindling reserves of foreign currency lands in their pockets.. The countries where these arms manufacturers are located are seeking to come out of a severe economic crisis, as they are trying to shift from a Communist regime to a capitalist regime, so their people can live like the people in California. They do not know that now even capitalists can taste bankruptcy and see their forests burn helplessly, without a clue as to how to keep those scorching fires out of the plush residential areas of movies stars and wine distillers.

The observer felt sorry for the old man and took his right hand and inch by inch helped the old man cross the eight lane wide road.

At the end of the crossing, I asked the man where he came from. He said he came from Sa’ada to see his daughter. He married her to a son of a retired driver from the Army. The driver’s family is a good family, but simply could not find ways to make it in the dog eat dog world that Yemen has become as the weak and the discontent simply take a back seat while the scavengers and parasites of the society gobble up everything and marry their children off in big extravaganzas that would make Haroun Al-Rashid turn in his grave at all the waste and unnecessary flair that weddings have become in Yemen. The people of Sa’ada do not understand these sickening signs of modern times or what they call “progress and development”. The people of Sa’ada this man tells me marry their daughters of for just YR 9,000, whereas the dowries in Sana’a are for the luckiest going for YR 1,000,000. The people of Sa’ada find such exaggerations unhealthy and unforgivable with the Lord. The people of Sa’ada still believe that God’s ordinances should be the prevailing guide to social cohesion and governance. They see that the people of Sana’a have forgotten that God will take them to account for killing so many children for no apparent reason except to fulfill the agenda of some regional power players, who think their money, can buy off whole governments to do their dirty work for them. It is hard to believe that the people of Sa’ada should be a cause of worry for oil rich neighbors, who continuously try to tell the world that the Shiite menace is worse than the Zionist menace, while professing to be the Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques! What has the Moslem World coma to when killing fellow Moslems is actually seen as Jihad for the cause of Allah? Surely this would not be in keeping with the stipulations of the Quran, which taught Moslems that killing a human being – any human being – is like killing all of humanity! Any human being here means just that – any human beings: Christians, Moslems, Jews and even pagans, if they have not transgressed on your rights or brought war to your turf. Yet our Arab leaders find it more fulfilling to kill fellow Moslems by the scores, by tendering out ugly death contracts financed by petrodollars, which could have been used to eliminate poverty throughout the Moslem World. Yes, contractors of death are now to be found everywhere in the Moslem World. Even governments have turned into this disgustingly lucrative trade of bloodshed for bloodshed’s sake and nothing else. What morons find this kind of business sound economic thinking that the entire kind and innocent population of Sa’ada should be obliterated for the simple reason that they insist on praying with their hands on the sides rather than in self embracing hug that never seems to find a place in the chest to place their hands. What difference does it make anyway? If the people of Sa’ada find it more God pleasing to wed off their daughters to poor young men whose fortunes did not collide with the rich contractors of death that have taken over the higher echelons of society.

When the mother returned to the makeshift tent, all she could find was the right hand of her son still intact. The rest of the body has been fragmentized to little pieces that now could easily fit into a table spoon.

The mother just stared into the sky and cried: “this simply cannot be agreeable to You Al-Mighty. Please, Lord. End this mad carnage and do something for Your believers in Sa’ada. The hypocrites of the Earth have had enough of the world to themselves now and let your faith shine again as it shone once to be the only glimmer of hope for all Mankind". Where was she to go? She already lost her father. She has lost her son. She took her daughter’s hand and her face, already half-smeared with her young son’s blood, returned that stubborn tight jaw that reflects that natural instinct of real true believers in the Al-Mighty: "Life must go on and God will in the end have it His way, no matter what these murderers blindly think".

Happy Holidays (Posted on 19 - 9 - 2009)

Yemen Times Issue 1298 September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

hated war in Sa’ada:Outside the context of good governance!

Hassan Al-Haifi
It is really difficult for the observer to hear the sound of screaming Mig-29s and F-5s as they take off from their nearby base round the clock and not think of the very strong possibility that these screaming vehicles of death and destruction are about to kill some innocent child, somewhere in the hills and valleys of beautiful Sa’ada. Never mind that this child and his entire family have already been forced to flee their original home, where they once lived peacefully trying to make an eager living growing some of the best pomegranates anyone can find in the world and not just in Yemen. Never mind also that there is a possibility that the Government would have to bear full responsibility for taking the life of an innocent Yemeni child, who is already deprived of all the peace and quite that a child needs, in order to grow of sound body and mind. As it is the people of Sa’ada are already faced with the unadulterated deprivation of sound health facilities and fruitful educational facilities that will breed future generations of productive intellectually inspired Yemenis. It is this kind of breeding that normally produces loyal and God-fearing citizens, who would certainly be expected to be grateful if the Government would stop insisting that the population of one of the governorates of Yemen should be at the mercy of mercenaries of death, who the Government depends on to unleash the payload of its deadly fighter jets. A friend of this observer once opined, it would be more fruitful if the Yemeni Government channeled all the money used to buy these useless weapons he was seeing on parade in the TV to build schools and health clinics in the remote areas of the country, some of whom have never seen electricity. The observer reminded this friend that now even the not so remote are realizing that electricity can also be a luxury for only those who can afford to buy their own generators as the utility has failed to provide electricity for more than half of any given day. The public utility has been at a loss to be able to meet its mandate; the Government has forgotten that electricity is a very important essential service that has more priority than wasting the Government’s scarce resources for the elimination of an entire region of the country. He also noted that the arsenal at the disposal of the Government were originally purchased to safeguard the homeland and its citizens from any outsider who would dare violate the sanctity of life and freedom, which all Yemenis are guaranteed to enjoy by their Constitution. He further noted that not once have we seen these fancy weapons directed against any foreign enemy, or pirates who continuously violate our marine territorial rights. Even when a foreign enemy took possession of one of our islands in the Red Sea, we did not send any jet fighters on a “scorched earth” blitzkrieg that would have easily sent the Eritreans back to their barracks in Musawa’a or Diredawa. Yet the Government, now surely a candidate for a “failed state” status, insists that it is looking after the interest of all the people of Yemen. Even if it launches its deadly ordnances, cluster bombs and what have you against already fleeing war refugees, which is also for the interest of the Yemeni people. One truly wonders if the logic that it is better to look after a dead person than a living one has become prevalent within officialdom, especially in these days when austerity is considered sound official thinking. After all, dead people do not incur any expenses to be paid for out of the Government budget. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the Government has ceased to function as a viable institution, on whom the citizens can look to in order to rest assured that their interests AND THEIR LIVES are truly safeguarded. As it stands now, the Government is the biggest taker of human life in Yemen and there are quite a few of them loose in the street, not to mention the victims of traffic accidents. Whether Government troops, Houthis or the helpless innocent civilians of Sa’ada, the blame lies with the Government for their untimely death, unfortunately uncalled for broken limbs and of course their broken tongue, of which now all Yemenis seemed to be victims. The Government insists that if you know anything, presume anything or suggest anything about the Sixth attempt of the Government to eradicate the people of Sa’ada, then your name will be added to the 55 most wanted men by the Government. Incidentally if one is already announced “dead” by the Government, how could that person still be put on a “wanted list”? But then the media war is really proving that those who are “wanted” by the Government are showing more credibility in their communications with the public than the representatives of Reuters and Agence France Presse not to mention the fumbling Government media. The latter are at a loss for words trying to justify an unholy war against the population of one of the governorates of the Republic of Yemen. This war in Sa’ada is not at all popular with the Yemeni people. Even amidst cries for secession by some of the regions of Yemen, we find many of our brothers in the South, East and West of the country even understanding when it comes to explaining the revolt of the Houthis. Some are watching in amazement as they see their brethren in Sa’ada defiantly shouting, “Freedom is rightfully ours and we are ready to give our lives for it, for there is no more joy in life, if one is to live without freedom.” That is the crux of the struggle that is ensuing in Sa’ada, notwithstanding all the gibberish the official media blares out to the contrary.