Walid Al-Saqqaf, Editor of YT to CNN: “Yemenis condemn the attacks, but oppose hasty retaliation” [Archives:2001/39/Front Page]

September 24 2001

In a comprehensive interview made by CNN, Editor-in-Chief of Yemen Times, Mr. Walid Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf gave a comprehensive reflection of the public and media’s opinions and responses regarding the late attacks against the USA. In the 1-hour interview, Walid stressed that there is common sorrow and grief among Yemenis for what happened in the USA of killing innocent people. “Yemenis are united in condemning those outrageous attacks. Those who committed this, if proven to be Muslims, are a disgrace to all the followers of this religion, which is a religion of peace,” he said.
“However, Yemenis seem to oppose hasty and swift retaliation against possibly innocent people who had nothing to do with the attack,” he added.
Responding to a question about whether he thinks the USS Cole incident and the recent attack are linked, he replied, “There surely is little to compare between the two. They are incomparable in dimensions, size, and outreaching affects. The first happened out of the USA, and caused little damage compared to the second that occurred in the heart of NYC and was quite sophisticated and large in scale. It is difficult to imagine that those two were carried out by the same group.”On the issue of Arab Afgans in Yemen, Walid disclosed that even though there was a stage in Yemen’s history in which Arab Afghans participated in the 1994 war, and had links to Afghanistan, today they resemble an extremely small portion of the community, and they are no more active.
At the end of the interview, the Editor focused on the importance of having the USA understand that it should be more sensible to other nations’ worries and aspirations. He also asked, “Why should the USA refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement on pollution? Why is the USA building a missile defense system that could reestablish an arms race instead of discussing with other countries of how to have mutual agreements on defense issues? Why should the USA object to joining the agreements that forbid the manufacturing of land mines? Why doesn’t the USA stand strong with all its might to aid the weaker countries and resemble an example of humbleness and might at the same time?”
He concluded the interview by saying, “The USA needs to understand that with its current strategies it is isolating itself further. It should rather integrate more with the world. We live in one planet, and it belongs to all of us. Only when the USA realizes this, will it not only be the world’s superpower, but also its idol.”