Playing A New Game! [Archives:2001/25/Focus]

June 18 2001

Jalal Al-Sharaabi
Yemen Times
The USA has been practicing political and economic pressures on Yemen as a means to coerce the latter. Such pressures are not new. They are a continuation of a long trend that began in 1996 when America expressed readiness to train the Yemeni army and help in the demining programs. Recently, the American embassy in Sana’a has shut down the consul office under the pretext of having received terrorist threats. But is this the truth?
In fact, America wanted to deal with Yemen in the English way when the command of Captain Hense based on its economic strength and international weight as the first power in the world. It tends to take diplomatic measures that tarnish Yemen’s image in order to impose drastic conditions, specially after it failed to protect the USS Cole.
The latest American measures are, in my opinion, a new manoeuvre to play a more sensitive game which came to light during the few last weeks when 50 American inspectors arrived in Sana’a to continue the investigation process.
The Yemeni government’s handling of the USS Cole has obviously been guided by protecting Yemen’s sovereignty. But America wanted to subvert our national interests. It should be clear that if the US policies can cause damage to Yemen, America would, in return, lose the privileges it enjoys here, especially using the Yemeni strategic location which, if lost, the American presence in the Mideast would become shaky.
Many American officials have been visiting Yemen since the explosion in the USS Cole. They have been fancying that Yemen is easy to be led by the nose to accept the policy of the American Congress.
The young government of President Bush, now trying to persuade other countries like France and Britain to punish Yemen, has been taught a lesson. The plight of the Americans is that they fancy that they can sue anyone in the world whenever they want, relying on their military, political and economic cards. But they seem to forget that the world is rapidly changing and that Yemen is capable of defending itself as well as making its own decisions without the guardianship of the cowboys. And their success in blackmailing some of the Arab and Islamic governments does not guarantee the same here. It will rather damage their foreign policy.
To conclude, Yemen will not be a new Lockerbie whatever the American role has been there. And it is ready to be, once again, “The Cemetery of the Aggressors.”