Halting the senseless madness in Sa’adaThe sensible and right thing to do [Archives:2008/1189/Opinion]

September 11 2008

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
For close to two months now, since President Ali Abdullah pulled one of the most surprising moves in his tenure as President, there has been much analytical and contemplative effort to try to figure out what it was that made the President hurriedly order an end to the fighting in Sa'ada. Yet, amidst all this analytical flare, observers seemed to have forgotten to point out that, for all the ramifications and suggested scenarios that could have been the driving circumstances that may have been behind the turnaround in the civil conflict that has been ensuing now for four years, thanks to God it really seems like this time it is going to endure. This optimism is underscored by the realities on the ground this time and in the other relevant areas that are part and parcel to the conflict (including the release of many prisoners, suspected rightly or wrongly of being Houthis or Houthi sympathizers. Moreover few analysts had the sense to realize that ordering the end of hostilities was indeed the only right thing to do, which is indeed what this and many prominent journalists, dignitaries and political leaders from within and from outside the People's General Congress, the ruling party of the President, have often pointed out. Again, notwithstanding the political considerations that may have been the energizer of this desire to bring a long standing conflict that had no rational beginning to start with and certainly was not in service to the national interests of Yemen to an end, one is bound to regard the decision as one of the most stupendous political decisions that President Saleh made, which certainly must have thrown a lot of people off balance, inside and outside of Yemen. For sure the inside elements of the latter had wished the war drums to continue beating away as they sought to continue instill their place along the with the narrow minded interests that always see in war a profitable enterprise or the regional players that have their own motives for encouraging the wanton killing of Yemenis by Yemenis.

History has always shown that when Yemen's leadership looks more inward, it is bound to find quick and decisive solutions to any of the problems faced in the country that have gone out of control, especially when foreign elements seem to enjoy fomenting conflict among Yemenis to foster their own interest, or to keep Yemen in check, lest it becomes able to get its house in order and turn into what these regional elements perceive as a potential threat to their artificial prosperity. On a more social context, the Yemeni civil conflict in Sa'ada could not be ignored in terms of the religious ideological context. With the Saudis continuously portraying themselves as the “guardians of puritan 'orthodox' Islam””