Cheap Blood [Archives:2007/1048/Opinion]

May 7 2007

“Boy, is Moslem blood cheap!” said Monassar, as he sifted through the newspaper. “What makes you say that, Ali?” Monassar's wife asked as she brought him some cake and coffee.

“Oh, I see lunch is going to be late today! Why the cake so close to lunchtime?” Returning back to the topic at hand, Monaassar continued: “Look at all the wars that are occurring in the world today. You will find that most of them are in the Moslem world. Isn't Islam supposed to be the religion of peace?” asked Monassar, in wonderment after letting his wife know that he would rather have his lunch than a piece of cake.

“Sorry about the late lunch, but you only brought the groceries just half an hour ago, remember? The sad part about these wars you mention is that many of them are carried out by Moslems against Moslems. Surely this is not in keeping with Islamic principles.” Farida said, as she sat on the sofa, near her husband, trying to see what her husband was reading, adding: “Wouldn't it be better if you tried to help our son find a job, before he gets any idea of joining the Army to make an 'honest living'?”.

Monassar was quick with his response: “Oh no, my dear, my son is not going into the Army to help out in this madness in Sa'ada, where Yemenis are killing each other needlessly, just so some cutthroat war merchants can continue bleeding the Yemeni Government treasury. With his degree, he should be able to get a job easily, since there are very few in Yemen with his technical expertise. But I will veto any idea of joining our armed forces. Besides, they got enough mercenaries around to do the Government's dirty job, with all the unemployed people around the country.”

“Look, Monassar, shouldn't the Government make sure that people do not take the law into their own hands and decide to take up arms against the Government, whenever they feel like it?' his wife was trying to uphold the Government's case in the War in Sa'ada.

Monassar was not finding cause to be sympathetic to the Government: “Sorry, Farida, but this is one war that simply does not make sense. Why should thousands of people die, just to make sure that nobody hurts the feelings of Uncle Sam or Uncle Olmert? If those people want to shout 'Death to America, death to Israel', they might have a case there. Look at all the havoc that these two countries have caused throughout the world. How many Moslems have these tow countries killed or are directly or indirectly responsible for their killing? Look at the madness in Iraq! Who is all that monstrous shedding of blood for? Surely Islam is innocent of it. But for Israel and their American sponsors, it does not matter if the whole Moslem World is wiped out of the map. Why is Mr. Bush so adamant on seeking a military confrontation with Iran? Why is America keeping quite about the many hundreds of civilians that are dying in Sa'ada, when they can see that this has nothing to do with the so called 'War on Terror'? Yes, then these people in Sa'ada are only expressing their disgust at all this maniacal behavior by two supposedly morally inspired nations: the United States and Israel. How can the Salafis, who are fighting on the side of the Government now be considered as bona fide citizens of good standing, when the entire world knows that the so called terror that is rampant throughout the world emanates from the likes of these religious ignoramuses? Is it not time to really start calling a spade a spade?”

Farida tried to assure him that the Government has not lost its marbles in Sa'ada: “My dear Monassar, you know that there is a lot of political arithmetic involved in the Sa'ada War, some inspired by the local political scene, while some other emanates from regional or international considerations.

Monassar was not convinced: “Political considerations or not, the blood of those proud Sa'ada Yemeni citizens is just as valuable as the blood of the people from Sanhan, Hashid, Barat or any of the tribes that the Government can count on for the rolls of mercenaries it needs to impose its will on the people of Yemen? Isn't it tragic that there has to be now some 5,000 deaths and some 5,000 families or so without homes for the expression of a slogan that could never have reached the US Embassy in Sana'a, let alone the State Department in Washington. As afar as I know, there is not one decent true believing Moslem anywhere in the world, who would not demand for justice to be done in Iraq and Palestine. That is really the crux of the matter isn't it?”

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.