No longer a secret [Archives:2002/48/Viewpoint]

November 25 2002

Today, I have been reading a news report entitled “Ready for Yemen Mission” saying that the US is ready to mount a massive operation to capture Al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen.
Hence, the recent confession by the Yemeni government about its cooperation only supports the fact that Yemen has become a major player in the US-lead war against ‘terror’.
Yemenis were not surprised when the Ministry of Interior said that the assassination operation of al-Harethi and five others in Mareb on November third was coordinated between Yemen and the USA.
Yemenis already know that it was a US operation with the permission of Yemen, or as the minister said ‘cooperation of Yemeni authorities’. The statement came extremely late, but it changed nothing.
Yemenis know that regardless of whether their government says the operation happened with their cooperation or not, it still resembles a severe humiliation for all Yemenis alike.
No one can deny that the US is able to pressure and enforce many things on other nations, including Yemen. There is simply no other option.
However, the Yemeni government seems to have not learned the lesson once again when it continues to insist that no operation involving non-Yemenis will be conducted in the future. The US is already planning something huge. This is being reported to the press in the US and worldwide. Just as there could be no smoke without fire, those news reports can not be totally baseless.
The US has expressed its desire to add more countries to its alliance fighting terror worldwide, and it seems that Yemen has gained the satisfaction of the US in its cooperation.
But is this enough? Will the US be satisfied with the current level of cooperation of the Yemeni government in allowing it to assassinate Yemenis on Yemeni soil, or will it go beyond that by requesting the government to let US forces to handle jobs for themselves?
The public is slowly getting more frustrated with Yemen’s cooperation with the US in this regard and has expressed its outrage at Yemen’s approval of the US missile strike three weeks ago.
What if US troops came into the country to launch operations on the ground? How will the government justify its stance then?
I just feel sympathetic towards the government as it has put itself in an extremely tough situation. I am sure the future is even tougher.