Cole Incident, A Quiet Discussion [Archives:2000/50/Viewpoint]

December 11 2000

Nobody can deny that the incident of attacking the U.S. warship Cole while in port at Aden on October 12, 2000 was an hostile act of terrorism that Yemen had immediately condemned. Although we deplore such acts wherever they take place, the case of Cole was quite different because it happened in our territorial waters. We feel it is Yemens moral and material responsibility for providing all possible forms of security to the US destroyer or any other vessels mooring at our ports or navigating in our territorial waters.
As a nature and principled policy Yemen is opposed to terrorism whatever was its kind; individual or state. Yemen is a country friendly with all countries of the world and seeks always to have good and cooperative relations with world nations particularly with its neighbors. Cole attackers choice of Yemen, specifically its sea port of Aden was really a surprise decision unless it was it was premeditatingly planned for and for reasons and motives the ongoing investigations and trial of suspect attackers would reveal. The port of Aden has always been a safe commercial port for mercantile marine and everything in it goes smoothly and securely. Thus it could be concluded that such reputation has been an impetus for perpetrators of the attack to choose as a place rarely one expects hostilities to happen.
Out of its obligations and policy Yemen has immediately after the explosion incident in Cole recruited all its security potentials and capabilities to deal with the event. So far the Yemeni security apparatus has succeeded in traversing a long distance in the pursuit to disclose all complications of the incident. It is also expected that it will not take long time to begin trying those accused of carrying out the Cole attack.
Since the incident Yemen has come under an iniquitous media campaign in a bid to blemish its international and regional good reputation and to mar the developed friendly relations with the U.S. In fact Yemen is so keen to preserve good and friendly relations with the U.S. and it expects that the latter exchanges the same feeling.
Now after the immediate shock of the incident is over and investigations are going on very seriously there must not be any jumping to speedy conclusions and convictions upon which stands are to be based. Whatever news about the incident and investigations coming to the surface now are mostly speculations and groundless assumptions. Facts and complications would not be divulged but after the suspects are brought before court.
Domestically, the state and the people of Yemen are coming under a conspiracy trying to undermine their good reputation. Therefore the people with all their political forces and parties are required to be fully aware of this fact and should not be dragged behind prejudiced propaganda. The danger threatening the country would not exclude any sectors of the people or certain political forces, whether of the state or of the opposition. We have to be quite alert with eyes wide-open to confront any hostile propaganda against all of us.
Yemeni press, governmental and non-governmental has a very patriotic role to play at this very time when the country is facing this crisis. Yemeni press has to carefully study and scrutinize any information becomes available to it and should cleverly deal with it. This is our country and all of us are responsible for its safety, security and stability as well as its prosperity.