They have done everything by the textbook for over 7 months: Peaceful, persistent protests in a country where the dire necessity for, not just reform, but survival, would have excused a far more violent approach in a country as well armed as Yemen. I am not a politician, nor will I pretend to be one, and taking into account the sum total of political intervention in Yemen, I should be ashamed to be one. I should be ashamed to be an American, Saudi, or Yemeni politician today.
The American politician should be ashamed for putting the lives of 25 million human beings on one side of the scale and allowing them to be outweighed by every other consideration except the one that truly matters: The plight of the Yemeni people. It is inconceivable that it is beyond American imagination and capability to find a way of dealing with the AQAP issue while at the same time stand for the first time on the correct side of Yemeni history. It is impossible to believe that there is no other partner in the entire country of Yemen who will be not be willing or capable of replacing this war criminal in the highly prized and lucrative role of ‘staunch US ally against the War on Terrorism’. Is a partner even needed? Is it not enough to have the self-proclaimed right to drone bomb any part of Yemen with impunity?
It is obvious that Saudi Arabia has made it clear to the United States that it is taking over the Yemeni Arab Spring file. It is also clear that the United States obliged. and why wouldn’t they? The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has worked tirelessly for the last 40 years to deliver a stable, reasonably priced supply of oil to the United States and Europe: The blood that fuels the very existence of their economies. It re-invests a lot of this wealth back into many western economies and is also the biggest client in terms of arms sale. The price of the House of Saud’s loyalty is in actual fact very modest and one that Western governments find quite reasonable: There will be no interference of any kind with Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs as a kingdom or a regional power. So when Saudia Arabia tells the US and EU that your oil supply is under threat if Yemen goes unstable, the US and the EU will oblige. If Saudi Arabia tells the US and the EU: “Hands off Yemen because it is within our sphere of influence and we dont want an example of a successful revolution anywhere on the Arabian Peninsula because it might encourage something within our borders..” the US and the EU will oblige and they have done. For the last 7 months.
Saudi Arabia has laid seige to the Yemeni fight for the basic right to take back their country with the GCC innitiative. When I say the right to take back their country I don’t mean that in an idealistic or ideological way, this is a fight for existence. For bread. An attempt to put the country on a track away from the gathering troubles that the Saleh regime augmented by their callous neglect. Saudi Arabia is more than happy to provide the occassional donation to prevent the bottom from falling out completely in Yemen and has recently announced being more than happy to replace Indonesian female house servants with Yemeni ones if that helps. It doesn’t get any more disgusting than that from our fellow Muslim neighbors. It is probably completely true that Saudi has pressured the remaining Mobarak loyalists still in power and Egypt to block an international enquiry into the murder of innocents over the last 3 days in Yemen. What possible other reason is there for Egypt to veto this humanitarian request?
All this would not have been possible without the complicit support of Yemeni politicians on both sides of the pro and anti saleh spectrum. The GCC innitiative serves one purpose only. It is a mechanism put in place to keep the Revolution corralled within the confines of one or two squares and it worked up until 3 days ago. Every time there is an escalation, the regime responds with murder, Ali Muhsin steps in as a defender of the revolution, and Saudi sends an envoy to sign a truce. This is the formula. This formula is based on a simple calculation: The Yemeni people will, sooner or later, exhaust themselves and submit to the Saudi dictat.Already there are families in Yemen, who have withdrawn children from schools and sent them to beg on the streets for food. This is what is masquerading as behind-the-scenes-diplomacy imposed by Saudi Arabia. It is not too disimiliar to watching a person be bullied and/or raped by someone you know as a friend or boss while a crowd of people silently pretend its not happening. This is how I feel when I watch the endless shots of corpses and body parts of people who remind me of my dad or my brothers or uncles. Domestic abuse.
I have found it numbing to follow the events in Yemen after the recents murders. As a person who no longer resides in Yemen, I find that it is not for me to advocate escalation, but as I write this it seems that the Yemeni street has, out of desperation, has decided it is time to move out of the play-pen straight into the paths of the RPGs and bullets awaiting them. Thank you for your support.