Ba Sondwa and the tears of wise men [Archives:2008/1212/Opinion]

December 1 2008

Jamal Mohammed Al-Ja'abi
Like other wise men in this nation, Mohammed Salem BaSondwa, advisor to President Saleh, has realized that Yemen is exposed to an immense threat and that the situation has reached an impasse. The is no doubt that the situation has evolved from bad to worse due to catastrophic policies followed by the ruling party and its government, but I only felt a moment of real fear when I saw the wise man BaSondwa bursting in tears.

Regretting the dire situation of the country, his words and tears were daggers stabbing at my chest and my blood flowed on its blades. How is it possible for me to tolerate being sadly affected by his tears, the very reflection of a clear conscience, moral and historical responsibility in hard times?

“I am very sad at the state of my homeland, which is progressing backward. We now live in a homeland where patriotism cannot protect any of us while tribal and ethnical affiliation may do,” BaSondwa said. He couldn't control his feelings since he is a real reader of Yemen's history and an artist whose tears reflect his sadness.

BaSondwa is a great politician and one of the few leaders who liberated South Yemen from the British occupation. It is difficult for him to remain unconcerned about the dire situation and conditions in the country, which has turned out to be so difficult for the government and people to overcome.

His sadness was not exaggerated

Like any other man, BaSondwa has human feelings and he may feel sad, happy, tragic or angry in his domestic and social life. But as a politician who suffered a lot and resisted the strongest occupation forces in the 19th Century, and as a senior government servant who held key positions in the government and served his homeland and people for long years in various political and diplomatic positions, it is difficult for anybody to say BaSondwa was exaggerating in expressing his sadness.

It is the tears of great and wise men when they see that their homeland, which they love and adore, is progressing toward unprecedented collapse while the government pays no attention to what happens on the ground.

BaSondwa, who is advisor to President Saleh, is often said to have never been asked for advice or consultation in a press interview. Thanks to his wisdom and experience, he realizes that Yemen is undergoing the worst turmoil in its history while the country leader doesn't seem to listen to advice given by his advisors. This leader has only listened to the evil advisors surrounding him in government and the ruling General People's Congress (GPC).

In the lives of the people, there are moments captured on camera to reflect historical situations in their homeland. Following the June Calamity in 1967, cameras took photos of Jamal Abd Al-Nasser drying his tears after his resignation speech. The scene of pulling down the statue of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein stood for the occupation of Iraq for the second time. Immortalized scenes of this sort are numerous.

However, BaSondwa bursting into tears as he was speaking during a consultative meeting held by the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) was worth capturing by television cameras. Years on, we will admit that the tears shed by the wise man constituted an alarming sign, which the government failed to understand.