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Who will Save Yemen? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Who will save Yemen from an unknown future and a dark tunnel being dug at the hands of its own sons? Who will take notice of the impending danger coming from the south of the Arabian Peninsula and threatening not only the security of the region but also the security of the world? Yemen is a frail and loose region that is easy to penetrate. Its tribal structure and the political struggle for state booty is the primary activator of the controlling and influential elites on the social and political arena. These elites are predominantly tribal and are always ready to sell their conscience to the devil to serve their interests.

Iran found in Yemen what it has been looking for to exhaust pan-Arab security. It is now in control of a powerful and effective organizational machine that is capable of mobilizing and spreading. Despite five successive wars, the Yemeni state with its army, military materiel, and tribal alliances has not been able to destroy this machine that is expanding and whose power has been increasing with every battle. In the most recent war, this machine reached the outskirts of Sanaa. In view of his growing fear of the ambitions of the tribal elites and fundamentalist Islamic forces and in view of his inability to end the battle decisively, President [Ali Abdullah] Saleh had no choice but to proclaim an end to the war. This encouraged the Al-Huthi movement to proclaim victory and enabled it to impose its control over Sa’dah and spread its tentacles to Al-Jawf and parts of the tribal regions of the Bakil and Hashid tribes after they had been under siege in the region of Miran. Iran’s strategy in Yemen will not be complete and it will not achieve its designs to impose its control over the region unless it establishes a subservient political regime or one that is under its control. Since this seems to be impossible in a strong and stable state, spreading chaos and fragmenting Yemen is the principal way for it to build a state that takes its orders from the mullah. Tehran thinks that Yemen is the easiest Arab country to swallow in the next stage and turn it into a violent force to destabilize the Gulf and the security of the waterways. This is not an exaggeration. Preoccupying the kingdom on its southern border and dividing and splintering Yemen into mini-states is an essential way to form a state the follows the Al-Huthi organization. In fact, Al-Huthist movement has begun to wage its battle against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia even before it forms it own state. The Al-Huthist movement claims that the kingdom finances the illegitimate regime in Sanaa to strike at it. This movement also hinted that the border agreements in which the regime relinquished some of its territories are null and void. The Al-Huthist movement went so far as to say that some Saudi territory belongs to Imam Al-Zaydi and thus it cannot give up the land of the forefathers.

The southern issue, secession, the southerners dealing with the political regime in Yemen as an occupier of the south, and the planting of the seeds of hatred among the sons of the one nation are just a preamble. The political wing of the Al-Huthist movement is preparing the ground for a protracted battle. Its encouragement of the opposition forces to resort to coupist thoughts that deny the legitimacy of the regime and its president, and encouragement of pseudo-Islamist fundamentalism to strike at the modern forces of the regime are harbingers to detonating Yemen from within and squandering the resources of both the regime and the opposition in nihilist conflicts that would lead everyone to war. It can safely be said that the sons of Yemen harbor a great deal of respect and appreciation to Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Gulf. After realizing where the true interests of Yemen lie, the national elite succeeded in overcoming the extremism that Arab conflicts planted in the1960s and early 1990s. The sons of Yemen began to link their security and stability to strong and deep relations with the countries of the Gulf. This aroused the indignation of those that are obsessed with Iran and its radical religious ideology. These believe that the fragmentation of Yemen is important for theme to establish their own state and also important to distort the image of the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. They want to hold others responsible for the secession and the wars between the Yemenis in order to mobilize again the Yemeni street, especially in the north. Their purpose is to annex the north to Iran if secession does take place. What is most important for them is to justify the coming conflict that Iran is preparing to preoccupy the kingdom and the Gulf not only in Yemen but also in their own hinterland. The internal struggle in Yemen is being manipulated by the political wing that is under the control of Iran. This wing is spreading in the state institutions and society and it is backed by forces in the region. Let us say frankly that some of these regional forces are Gulf countries and others that do not seem to be aware that their support of this wing is leading Yemen to the lap of Iran. In fact, a certain country is meddling in order to assert its weak presence by spending money in the arena. The logic of the events shows that this country does not realize the dangers inherent in its game in Yemen in cooperation with Iran. If the situation implodes, it will affect everyone. The logic of security and interests may lead to the loss of security of the small players that are meddling in the games of the big.

In order not to blame others for all our problems, we have to admit that the inability of the selfish elites to build a civic state and their exaggeration of the role of the tribe have led Yemen to many conflicts. At present, everyone – due to their diverging and conflicting actions, interests, and ideas – are threatening the existence of the state as a whole. They are steering Yemen toward bloody conflicts and an endless civil war. The outcome of such a war will be as follows: The state of Aden and its environs as well as the state of bigger Hadramawt would be established. The Al-Huthi movement would impose its hegemony on the Al-Zaydiyah regions, especially the regions of the tribes that are the center of the fighting force in all Yemen. These include Sadah, Marib, the Province of Sanaa, and Hajjah and extend to Al-Hudaydah and perhaps to Dhammar and Jabal Samarah. The Muslim Brothers would form an alliance with other currents in the regions of Ibb, Taiz, Al-Dali, and perhaps Abyan and Al-Bayda. Yemen would be transformed into an arena for regional and international conflicts. Yemen will be transformed into a world center for Al-Qaeda. There is another point that should be mentioned because Iran is manipulating it in the Yemeni conflict; namely, entrenching the idea that northern Yemen is occupied by southern Yemen, that it is being treated as colonized territory, and that a liberation war should be waged to liberate the land from the brother colonizer. If it secedes, this is the dangerous idea that it will try to sell to many Arab countries. Iran will not hesitate from supporting its followers to form their own state, resist against the Arab governments, and preoccupy the Arabs with one another so that it would have the last decisive word in the affairs of the region. This strategy is not different from the Israeli strategy but because Israel does not have the tools in the Arab societies, Iran is implementing the strategy of Tel Aviv but to impose the hegemony of the mullahs in Tehran.

The only solution that the Yemenis have to overcome the dangers of the current stage – that may turn Yemen into a jungle of violence and rivers of blood – and safeguard their future that may be lost amid the bloody conflicts is to come to a reconciliation on the following points: All the Yemenis should confront the political movements opposed to the state and firmly strike at Iran’s meddling and sever relations with it. The Yemenis should confront the extremists within the political forces in the regime as well as in the opposition. They should focus on reconciliation among the political forces in order to build the future. The Yemenis should engage in a serious and sincere dialogue based on the national interests as founded by the national movement. This dialogue should be in harmony with the age among the influential political forces to serve the interests of the people, safeguard the values and principles of the national project, and bring about security and stability to a united Yemen. The Yemenis should tackle the various problems caused by the political struggles and there is no objection to seeking help from the brother Arabs and accepting their mediation. The members of the opposition abroad should return in order to contribute to building a political system that serves the interests of everyone. As for the fraternal Arabs – in order to protect their pan-Arab security and besiege the terrorist states and movements that are hostile to them – what they are required to do is to assist Yemen in emerging from its current crisis using their political and economic influence. The fraternal Arabs should also help Yemen become a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] because leaving Yemen alone and poor within a rich environment will transform it into a humiliated hotbed for pan-Arab security. This is the current state of affairs in Yemen as explained to those that do not wish to seethe real situation.