SILVER LININGLiberation Objectives Betrayal [Archives:2007/1108/Opinion]

December 3 2007

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
What is the difference between November 30, 1967 and November 30, 2007? What was the ambition of the people like in 1967 and how is it now? Did the liberators feel satisfied and happy about what they did? Or that they let down the ambition of the masses? My mind is troubled with several questions of this type.

Of course, any people never like to live under occupation. They always look forward to be free and independent. This is the case of the people across the Arab region that wholeheartedly backed up liberation and independence movements during the 1950s and 1960s. Their sublime dream was to attain independence as the key instrument for development and prosperity. However, the situation after revolutions and gaining independence in most of the Arab countries has been disappointing. The freedom fighters who assumed power after the departure of the colonials put their countries in bottlenecks and situations of bloodshed and showdown. History of the region is pregnant with such tragic incidents of bloody coups. Let us take the former south of Yemen as an example. After the British left Aden and the National Liberation Front (NLF) leaders assumed power, the era of bloodsheds and killings started. The first president Qahtan al-Shabee was jailed until he passed away, Salem Ruba'e Ali known as Salimeen was bombarded. Others leaders like Abdulfatah Ismail, Ali Antar Abdullateef al-Shabee, Saif al-Dhal'e and several others were killed in the same way during various rounds of conflicts over power. People do not even know their graves now. In the north, the situation is not different. The same kind of bloodless and bloody coups took place after the revolution of 26 September 1962. The unification of the two parts was peacefully achieved in 1990. However, the conflict between the two unification partners ended in the disgusting 1994 civil war whose consequences are now putting the country in hot waters. Unfortunately, all these crimes have passed without holding their perpetrators accountable.

These Arab regimes assuming power through conflicts have become haunted with how to prolong their stay in power as long as they can. Some are now obsessed and busy with inventing tricks of how to transfer power to their sons. They have not been able to generate any real development in their countries just like what has happened in India, for instance. The Arab region is plagued with horrible economic problems and its people are living in miserable conditions to the extent they sometimes regret the pre-revolutions eras. This is always the case with the Arab people, longing for the past prosperous days. The paradox is that the past is always glorious. The present is frustrating and the future is dismal too.

Of course, I do not intend to say the colonials were better for these countries. I mean these liberation movements have not come to the highest expectations of the public and in fact, let them down. I do not also intend to put on trial all the leaders who fought for independence. Some were honest and not infatuated with the power allurements. Some died silently while others continue to fight painfully, this time not for independence, but for a decent life. Mercenaries and usurpers are gaining the fruits of independence and revolutions, however.

The ongoing protests in the southern governorates are an interesting reflection of the situation and the depression overwhelming the hearts of the people. I am sure that the Yemeni people no longer feel the joyful triumph they had felt in November 30, 1967 and in September 26, 1962. The difference is that wide for the ideal objectives of the liberation movements have been greatly betrayed and abused. Do not you think so?

Mohammed Al-Qadhi ([email protected]) is a Yemeni journalist and columnist.