Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemen…Politicians or Opportunists? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

What is most remarkable in the military confrontation being waged by the state of Yemen against the Huthi insurgents who are backed by Iran as well as by the Al Qaeda organization, against the backdrop of Arab and international aid to Sanaa, is the position of some of those in Yemen’s political classes. They have engaged themselves in challenging the Yemeni government and settling [political] scores which are unimportant when compared to the danger that threatens Yemen as a whole.

Of course it is not possible to name those who have exhibited opportunistic behavior which comes at the expense of Yemeni unity and security, however it is important that they face criticism and blame [for this], especially after the London Conference. This ended with the GCC being mandated to follow up [on the work of the conference], and a conference has been scheduled to take place in Riyadh. There was also the statement issued by the Huthis accepting the five conditions put forward by Sanaa for a ceasefire.

It is easy to monitor the position of some in the Yemeni political classes who took advantage of the current crisis in Yemen in order to settle hostilities with the Yemeni government or Yemeni leaders. This is a position that can only be described as opportunistic, especially since the majority of their positions and statements are documented; among them are those who said that the London Conference is nothing more than an international guardianship and mandate of Yemen. As mentioned above this [opportunism] is something that is not right. There are also those who said that the US intends to occupy Yemen in the same manner as Afghanistan and Iraq, and some have gone so far as to issue fatwas calling for so-called jihad against the West, and this is despite US denials and calls for a political solution in Yemen.

It is true that there are fundamental political mistakes in Yemen that require a firm stand, and a genuine political process is needed to address many of the problems in the south or in Sanaa itself, however now is not the right time for this as the danger that threatens Yemen today is greater than this. There is a huge project which aims to disrupt Yemen as a whole, and threaten its security and stability, thereby opening the gates of hell for Arab Gulf States, particularly Saudi Arabia, and therefore the most important thing today is to rescue the State, not [political] score settling.

As mentioned previously, the Huthi statement accepting the five conditions of the Yemeni government [for a ceasefire] represents new evidence that some in the Yemeni political classes are taking a gamble to extort the Sanaa government or to score [political] points and take advantage of what is happening in Yemen. This is wrong, and is prioritizing personal or political interests at the expense of the state.

Some people have the right to read the Huthi statement as a surrender or an Iranian defeat or a Taqqiya [dissimulation] or the Huthis bowing to pressure that it cannot stand up to, which is namely a military confrontation with Yemen on one hand, and Saudi Arabia’s harsh lesson on the other. This harsh lesson can be seen in the successful [Saudi] military campaign that demonstrates that it is unacceptable to play in Saudi territory or with its [national] security. Despite everything that has been said, this is also a lesson to those in Yemen; a lesson to the effect that the State must have the final word, and that this is the red line, and an individual should not rush to settle political scores to the point that he brings down the walls of the temple on all those inside it.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts