Policy or arrogance?In either case, the fumbling continues [Archives:2007/1029/Opinion]

March 1 2007

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
It is really hard to understand through which type of lenses the Administration of George W. Bush is looking at the world. A very dear American friend recently confided to this observer: ” it is really difficult to understand how American policy is being shaped for Yemen and elsewhere in the region.” The observer could not help but respond by noting: “The US policy was never construed to be wise, prudent or even fruitful, in this region, especially since the Administration of George W Bush took the helms.” Even American citizens are, for the most part (as the polls clearly show) flabbergasted by the consistency of the insistence by the Bush Administration that, no matter how things look on the ground, they are right and the whole world's vision is blurred to the maximum. Nothing is further than the truth. Even with Dick Cheney, the Supervising Engineer, it seems for all the Neo-Con Agenda in the past, present and future, 'til death do them part, being a close-call victim of his own fumbling, the Bush Administration still continues to assure the not so gullible world anymore, that they are doing the right thing for the United States and the rest of the world.

Even with the unflinching and resolute allies of the United States, the United Kingdom, hinting its obvious desire to break the course and get out of the Iraqi quagmire, the United States continues to believe to the point of arrogance that there is only one course to stay and that is the course of death and destruction and senseless bloodshed we have been seeing since the hurried, albeit internationally approved (then) invasion of Afghanistan.

No observer in his right mind is finding any logic, or good sense of any kind in the ongoing mayhem that is now filling the world. We now have Somalia joining the bloody fray. Across the Red Sea from there we have Yemen enmeshed in a senseless bloody feud in Sa'ada that has firmly taken root for the last three years. In an apparent sectarian battle, with no side coming up with any clear signs of victory, it is clear that continued firming of blood revenge is taking roots as each side claims its relentless hold on righteousness and “faith is on our side”. In the end, it is the people of Sa'ada, who are the unlucky victims, with no respite seen for them in the foreseeable future. Again, it is the President of Yemen, who can and will eventually have to bring the bloody mess to a halt, knowing full that all those who are loosing their lives, limbs or homes are Yemeni citizens (on both sides of the bloody mess) and deserve his sympathy on an equal footing, regardless of their positions (political, sectarian, geographical or otherwise). It should be noted that the civilian population of Sa'ada are indeed the ones paying the heaviest price in this indecisive feud that will only bring further pains to all concerned, unless the President takes note of the tragic consequences of the bloody mess, which only benefits those who thrive on wars, without regard to the national interests of Yemen and to the cardinal rule of Islam that, division and “sectarian” conflict is indeed anathema to Islam. After all the religion of Islam was meant to unify all believers in God under one common umbrella, with the brotherhood of Islam as the prevailing feeling of all those who adhere to the faith, whether they are Sunnis, Shiites, Zeidi or Salafi. In fact, any one who breaks from this cardinal rule is neither serving Islam or even the national interests of Yemen, no matter what arguments they have.

One is still hopeful that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will again restore peace and calm to the Governorate of Sa'ada and will continue to deliver on his promise of implanting state authority in Sa'ada by carrying the badly needed projects that have been promised to the people of Sa'ada time and again. The people of Sa'ada can be made more loyal by these projects than by all the ordnance that the war lords can unleash in the governorate. The people of Sa'ada are hedging heavily on this hope and the people of Yemen, in general are looking forward to the merciful omen of the President, in great anticipation for the cessation of all violence, even if such senseless bloodshed is condoned by Washington D.C.

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.