Between prosperous beginning and tragic end [Archives:2008/1171/Opinion]

July 10 2008

By: Dr. Abdulqawi Al-Shamiri
Mr. President: you began your rule while the National Front was leading rebellion in several central and southern areas. And, as your rule is coming to an end, rebellion has expanded from Yemen's north region to the angry northern areas in the south. You began your rule by announcing compulsory recruitment in the army as a result of unrest and your fragile authority, and today as your rule is nearer and nearer to an end, you once again announced compulsory recruitment in the army as a result of political deadlock and fragility of your authority too.

You assumed power while Yemen was having two states with two different regimes and geographical areas. However, as your reign approaches an end, bad indicators imply that you will quit and leave Yemen without law and order. The nation is on the way to being fragmented into smaller entities, tribes, emirates, sultanates and gangs.

You started your rule receiving support from different nationalist and Islamist currents, but today as your rule is about to expire, all these currents are opposing your failed policies and the way you are managing the country.

You began your rule on the basis of tribal backing from Hashid tribes and its dignitaries, but as your rule is on its way to collapse, the Hashid Tribe is no longer the tribe known to Yemenis in the past. You have started to lose confidence even in your home district of Sanhan and among other family members including the sons of your brother the late Mohammed Abdullah Saleh.

Mr. President:

You began your rule welcoming the majority of Yemeni people regardless of their viewpoints, ideas and political affiliations. But now, your regime doesn't consider any Yemeni criticizing you or saying you are progressing on the wrong path. Your regime only welcomes influential individuals who loot public and private property and never cease illegal practices.

You began your rule while any qualified Yemeni citizen is granted the job of a general manager or a ministerial undersecretary as long as he/she holds the required qualification. But, toward the end of your rule, no qualified and honest Yemeni citizen may not get even a modest job in one of your government's institutions.

Only those who ignored their national and human values, and are hypocrites or oppressors may join your ruling General People Congress (GPC). In fact, GPC is nothing more than a face or shadow for an invisible reality. Many GPC General Committee officials declared that GPC is merely a picture for a reality that serves irrelevant purposes.

You began your rule while Yemeni citizens used to see expatriation or immigration as hardship and stigma. But, as your rule is coming to an end, Yemenis see expatriation as a kind of honor or the only remedy to help them escape miserable living standards.

You began your rule while the Yemeni citizen was paid between USD 500 – 1000 in average per month and this amount had been covering the monthly expenses needed by a person to lead a good life. Workers used to save some of their monthly income to buy houses or cars. But with the end of your reign is drawing nearer and nearer, the monthly salary paid to a teacher, doctor or engineer may not cover the cost of bread.

You began your rule while a primary school leaver is able to assume the responsibility of a governmental department, but toward the end of your rule, a university graduate is not eligible to be a clerk because he/she may not be able to read and write. Your authority teaches public service servants how to get promotions not how to learn by doing.

In addition, public sector servants learned how to extort and blackmail citizens until the extent of introducing a slogan in Yemen, which is “Be a skilled scholar in the art of hypocrisy and extortion in order to get promoted”.

You began your rule like Ziyad Bari did when he unified Somalia and drove Italian and British occupiers off his territory, and Mopoto Sieskco, the Uniter of Zaire, which is currently known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both African leaders unified their countries, but the disease of power and retaining it for decades has grown into malignant cancer that destroyed unities of both African states.

The same case even applies to Toto who unified Yugoslavia. When the Yugoslavian leader was infected with the chronic disease as a result of lengthy stay in power, the artilleries of his brain blew up. Consequently, the man suffered from internal bleeding in his brain, which led to his expiry. The country, which he unified, couldn't outlive him.

Mr. President:

Regretfully, no one of those around you has dared advise you that the situation is risky and continues worsening. No one has dared tell you that 'Yemen must be given precedence over Ali Abdullah Saleh.' Mr. President! You have turned to be like President George W Bush whose policy faces harsh criticism in and outside the United States of America, as he was deceived by the new conservatives around him.