Do we really need the Sa’ada war? [Archives:2007/1044/Opinion]

April 23 2007

For four months now the War in Sa'ada has developed into a nightmare for the Government and the people of Yemen. No one really can come out with a deadline for a definitive end to this unusual state of war that has no real reason to start with and has absolutely no more reason to continue! It is an ugly war with Yemenis killing Yemenis and leaving long trails of blood feuds amongst tribesmen and different factions of religious persuasions. This would mean a lingering social problem to be added to the already unbearable state of social decay we are now in resulting from other versions of mismanagement by a Government that seems to have forgotten that it really needs to produce something positive for once, if it can ever hope to gain public support for the causes it wants to promote. This is the more so, especially when considering that the Government's cause, as far as Sa'ada is concerned, is a very weak one, not the least enhanced by its behavior in other governorates (arrest of hundreds of people on the pretext of being Houthi supporters, but without due process of law), supposedly in connection with the Sa'ada mess.

Yes, the war in Sa'ada is really turning out to be a mess, where apparently there is no sign of any winner and surely the Yemeni people stand to be the biggest looser of all, even if the Government does succeed in its still distant objective of overcoming the Houthis in Sa'ada. One might surmise also that the latter seem to be putting up a determined fight to make sure that they do not become the vanquished. This would be expected from people who have become convinced that their dogma gives them a solid foundation to outdo those who seek to eliminate them, when the latter themselves lack any creditable dogmatic appeal to counter the zeal of the Houthis. Moreover, one is also inclined to believe that the Government has forgotten the history of Yemen, especially that of the far northern part of the country. That part of the country has never been successfully subdued by military force, local or foreign. Even with the Egyptians troops, who were backing the Republic in the post September 1962 Revolution “Civil War””