JMP animosity toward military and security institutions [Archives:2008/1117/Opinion]

December 3 2008

By: Abdulmalik Al-Foheidy
Joint Meeting Parties' attitude toward the military and security establishments arouse fears related with the political vision those parties and their leaderships bear in away triggering animosity toward the most vital national establishments.

Fears increase alongside with the escalation of a hostile campaign the JMP launches against the two establishments. It is a campaign which began even before the presidential and local elections held in Yemen last year and has been highly escalated in the recent months.

The JMP hostile stances toward the military and security establishments culminated with its leadership's refusal to attend military and security activities as happened a few weeks ago when they did not attend a ceremony for batches recently graduated from the military academy. They have taken that stance despite the fact that the law prohibits party action inside the military and security establishments as well as statements and stands of the political leadership that repeatedly affirm that the military and security establishments are the homeland party.

President Saleh's confirmations do not stop at considering the military and security establishments as the assets and possessions of the homeland and people. Those confirmations were repeated during meetings organized by the General PeopleCongress (GPC). In the second session of the GPC main permanent committee held on 25-26 last August and in response to a remark submitted by some members of the committee on non-cooperation of military and security commands with the GPC organizations' leaderships, the president replied ” the army and the security are the homeland's establishments, and not partisan affiliate of the GPC.” Moreover, President Ali Abdullah Saleh who was priding the meeting refused to be engaged in discussing that subject.

Although the JMP leadership tried to show their stand by the army and the security authorities and repeated demands for raising their salaries by 100%, those demands were in fact part of electoral biddings. Statements and stands of the JMP appear to be contradicting such demands due to their repeated hostile statements and stands concerning the army and the security institutions to an extent they visualized army and security members as enemies of their member parties.

At a symposium held by Political Development Forum last April, leaderships of the JMP attacked the military and security establishment considering it as an establishment used for consolidating the authority of despotism.

The Islah party leader Mohammed Qahtan mentioned that these national institutions that offered the best of their sons for defending the Yemeni people, human rights, public freedoms and democracy and independence turned out to be a tool at the hand of a tyrant using it for achieving his personal whims and desires. Similarly, the Socialist leading member Ali al-Sarari attacked the army and the security at the same symposium, claiming that the military forces were used for attacking contestants of the ruling party. He also claimed that such vital institutions are used to control the public property in favor of a certain person or a particular party and to change the media into “a parrot” in favor of the ruler, and force it to act in a way misleading the society.

Member of the Islah Shoura Council lawyer Mohammed Naji Allaw has also assailed the military and security establishment, accusing its members of plundering plots of land. In his interruption, he mentioned that military coupe is not expected and assured the Yemeni authority giving a reason that the military are extremely engaged in land grab.

In the meantime, the JMP media launched a provocative hostile campaign against the military and security forces on websites belonging to the JMP member parties containing several charges against the army and security forces. The opposition media accused the army of oppressing people, violating human rights and attacking protestors who claim their legal rights.

Reasons behind Islah and YPS animosity toward the army and the security institutions are attributed to the historic grounds for the opposition bloc's inception.

The Islah, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen, does not differ in its foundation and ideology from the rest of Islamist parties in the Arab and Islamic world which derived the concepts of jihad and building militias as ways in their endeavors to grasp power. The party possesses armed militias trained on the fomentation of armed violence while Islah militias' involvement in the secessionist war is considered an evidence of the approach followed by the Islah in its political practice. Most of its higher leaderships, if not all, have military and security history.

The Islah Party's position refusing the decision of banning weapons perhaps reflexes the truth that it is not different from the rest of the Islamic movement members that value armed militias as a means for reaching power.

The Yemeni Socialist Party is no different in its reliance on armed militias for taking power and therefore the socialist groups in the world, including the YSP, depended on incorporating the army and the security into the party structure to an extent that the party, the army and the state formed one structure for controlling people of their countries.

All here remember the repeated tragedies the southern part of the country had seen before the unity as a result of armed conflicts that governed YSP business. The vents of 13 January 1986 still represent the strongest evidence of the ideology that the YSP adopted in settling the disputes inside the party organizations.

On the other hand, Al-Thawra State-run Daily assailed in one of its editorials the wrong partisan mobilization against the armed forces and the security as well as the JMP boycotting of any activities concerning the military and security establishments, the most recent of which was the ceremony held last Monday for the graduation of new military batches.

The editorial said it was not the first time such narrow-minded persons disappear on such occasions despite their full knowledge that the military and security establishment is that of the people and the homeland and its loyalty is to Yemen and it is not a party establishment.

The newspaper added that what arouses astonishment and surprise is that those party leaderships trigger animosity toward the armed forces and security authorities while these national establishments have been providing them good climates to exercise their political rights and engage in electoral contests.