Dear Mr. Presiden [Archives:2006/963/Letters to the Editor]

July 13 2006

By: Saeed Al-Hariri
[email protected]

While I was reading about the history of the Arab Nation and its multitude of governments over the centuries, I tried to look for one man who reached the pinnacle of authority in his country and then left it under his own will without a struggle or the killing of his people. I only found one instance of such an occurrence: the Sudanese Lt. General Abd Al-Rahman Sewar Al-Thahab. He reached the summit of leadership in his country and then handed authority over with flexibility, conviction, virility, and pride. Afterwards, he returned to where he was from: the military.

When I reviewed other Arab nations' rulers, I found that all of them left authority by natural causes)Jamal Abd Al-Nasser, King Hussein, King Hassan II, and the Saudi kings) or by assassination ) Anwar Al-Sadat and the martyr, President Ibrahim Al-Hamdi)or by force)Jaafar Al-Nomeiri, Saddam Hussein and Weld Al-Tayee. All these men ruled their countries with an iron fist for at least twenty years.

I mentioned the above because of what Yemen is currently experiencing. The president, Ali Saleh, is now in the seventh decade of his life and has ruled the country for more than 28 years by means of absolute power. During his period of rule, the country has lived in poverty, corruption, and mass unemployment that was previously uncommon.

The weak authority governing the country at present has duly plotted some electoral histrionics when the ruling party's conference was held in the brave city of Aden. Thereafter, the authorities started to spend millions from government coffers on the military and started to buy the consciences of many people. The republican guard, central security, and special units started flocking into Aden preparing for this day that was a lie.

Here, I would like to ask you, Mr. President, some questions that I have always wondered about: Would it not have better for you, and your government, to give those millions that you are spending from the public wealth to the public and to return the properties of people in Aden?

Mr. President, if there are any advisers who say that you are the indispensable leader, they are lying. The proof can be seen in the situation in Yemen that has gone from bad to worst under the shadow of your authority.

Mr. President, the people around you have created hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who have no purpose in life. If you do hand over power to your son, it will be the biggest disaster in the modern history of Yemen. Please reconsider detaching presidential authority from the military/security agencies.