Yemeni Islamists Suspect US and Yemen Accord [Archives:2001/35/Law & Diplomacy]

August 27 2001

Mohammed Ali Al-Dailami
The Islamists in Yemen have adopted more strict political addresses concerning the Yemeni- American relations as based on visions aiming at breaking the previous ties connecting them with Washington. During the 70s and 80s of the 20th century the Arab Islamic Movements worked together with Washington to fight the communism of the Soviet Union.
The Islamists in Yemen stressed on the importance of reviewing the Yemeni American new relations adopted by ruling party in Yemen, the People’s General Congress and USA administration which might only cooperate to efface the Islamic activities in Yemen. The two democratic regimes are working together to fight the Islamists in Yemen while claiming to fight the extremists’ activities and organized terrorism. Al-Sahwah newspaper the mouth piece of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform indicated that USA has vital interests in Yemen not the very cheap oil but the strategic location extended over long coast that is more than 2500 Km. which embrace islands scattered on the Red and the Arab seas and Bab Al-Mandab Strait, which is one of the most important sea passages through which huge Western oil tankers are passing as coming from the Arab Gulf Region.
One of the activists from the Islah party believes that Yemen is sandwiched between interests of the American’s and its friends.
The matter of fact is that the Islamists in Yemen have not but one choice that is limiting the American increased influence in the region. Such policies promoted by Osamah Bin Laden and his followers who made from Afghanistan their military and political basement to execute anti-American activities in the Arab Peninsula including Yemen.
After the attack on the USS Cole destroyer in October 2000, the Yemeni government arrested tens of the Yemeni Islamists to provoke them and force them to accuse the government by offering facilities to the American Military Navy against Iraq and the national interests of the Arab Ummah as well as its security.
The Islamists confirmed that Washington does not care at all about Yemen’s democracy and the ruling party’s respect to the human rights.
It only deals with the current Yemeni government just to achieve some strategic goals beginning with securing the oil wells, protecting the Zionist regime as their shadow In the region as well as hindering the transfer of authorities to be gained by Islamic movement or whatever power that is opposing Israel and the USA.
Thus the Islamists in Yemen describe USA as a friend and enemy at the same time. Their only aim is to fight the Islamic movements not only in Yemen but also throughout the region. The US views the Sudan, Iran, Hezb Allah in Lebanon, the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad movements and other Arab Islamic organizations as enemies endangering the American interests in the region.
With such an American hostility along with their hatred for Muslims, the Yemeni Islamists intensified their media campaigns and mobilization against the latest Yemeni-American rapprochement.
The Yemeni political analyst, Mohammed Al-Ghabri, believes that the American administration took advantage of the USS Cole attack to spotlight on the local Islamic organizations so as to arrest as much as possible of the Islamic activists. The US also has a desire to extend its military and intelligence influence throughout Yemen by imposing more monitoring activities on the Yemeni Islands and territorial waterways besides involving itself in the political affairs of Yemen.
The Islamists accuse the Bajammal’s Cabinet in Yemen as cooperating with the American administration by shutting down the religious institutes and to replace them with the public schools run by the Ministry of Education.
They believe that the American administration is producing efforts to worsen the conflict between the ruling party, the PGC and its main opponent the YCR (Islah) by the thorough closure of the religious institutes, which enhance the old Islamic affiliation and strengthens the hostility towards the Zionism. The YCR also accuse some parity in the government of upholding the US policies and interests by mixing the political papers to undermine the activities of the opposition block, which can then be replaced with puppets controlled by America.
What is obvious is that the Islamists in Yemen suggest doubt on the future of the Yemeni-American rapprochement by insisting that Washington does not concern itself about Yemen but rather with its current interests in the region at the expense of Yemeni national interests, no matter what. These worrying doubts are increasing day-by-day due to the latest accord between the USA and Yemen, which might be conducted at the expense of the Islamists, in their claim to champion the fight against terrorism.