Yemen’s real enemy [Archives:2008/1145/Opinion]

April 10 2008

By: Moneer Al-Mawri
One of President Saleh's supporters asked me, “Why do you hate Mr. President and bear malice against him?” He expected me to answer his question by saying “I don't hate Mr. President, nor do I feel malice against him.” I reversed his expectation by telling him, “Yes, I do hate Mr. President and bear malice against him because he prevents us – the Yemeni people – to confront our real enemy. The people don't see the President as Yemen's enemy but Mr. President has appointed himself as a friend and a defender of Yemen's real enemy.”

“Do you mean America?” commented my interviewer. I said no as the President doesn't propagate himself as a friend of America and America is not Yemen's enemy.He then said, “I think you mean Saudi Arabia.” I answered, “Neither this because Mr. President has been rebelling against the bordering Arab country since 1984, and Saudi Arabia discovered the he is serving its strategy in Yemen without knowing what he is doing, and as a result, the Saudi government let him do what he wants. This is another subject.”

My interviewer continued to guess until he said, “So, you mean terrorism, which is Yemen's real enemy. I replied that terrorism is less dangerous than Yemen's real enemy. Poverty is the real enemy. We don't want Mr. President to fight this phenomenon, but to remove it from our way and we will fight it ourselves.

Mr. President gives us advice and directions that have nothing to do with the dire situation. He told us to eat fish instead of meat, and this behavior is like that of a husband whom his wife tells “There is no milk.” But he replies, “Add species to it.”

No need for redundancy but I would like to indicate that I wrote an article entitled “President's Real Enemy” in 2005 ahead of Yemen's most recent presidential elections that gave Saleh another seven-year mandate. My article reads, “Poverty, which Yemeni people suffer, has become very dangerous until the extent that a great portion of them may welcome the Taliban Regime to rule in Yemen while others may welcome the foreign occupiers and hope their arrival to rescue them from dire situations and poor living standards, which are symptomatic of the government's wrong policies.

No one understands why Mr. President refuses to encounter his dangerous enemy. Instead, he gets engaged in other issues posing no risk to his rule. Yemeni people will never benefit from fake democracy, the American praise, the European satisfaction or the Japanese aides. What Yemeni people want is get rid of poverty and this phenomenon may not be eliminated by constructing mosques that cost millions of dollars with the purpose of producing a fake historical heritage.

No need for more mosques:

We no longer need mosques or new charitable societies. We have enough mosques, but we can pray in any public yard or anywhere else. However, we need factories and productive projects to create more job opportunities for millions of idle citizens.

The only Yemeni successful five-year plan was initiated by Mr. Abdulaziz Abdulghani in 1975, but the relevant strategic planning halted as that plan ended. Hefty funds were spent on purchasing weapons and winning allegiance without planning, but the most important allegiance of poor Yemeni people was lost. Worsening poverty and want may lead to comprehensive collapse, and then it will be futile and useless to confront poverty with Ali Mohsen's armored vehicles and tanks, the rockets of Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh, the republican guards commended by Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh or the intelligence organization, chaired by Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, who are all Mr. President's relatives.

It is impossible for hungry soldiers to defend palaces of senior government officials. Does Mr. President understand this? Does he understand that America will not distribute 'sandwiches of democracy' in Yemeni bakeries? Democracy is unparalleled extravagance amid worsening starvation, famine and need. This takes us to the famous poetical proverb saying, “I wonder how a hungry guy can show his sword on the face of others.”

In conclusion, we don't claim that Mr. President should fight or eradicate poverty for our sake. What we are currently concerned about is that Mr. President must quit power because the costs of his personal protection is so hefty, and is therefore paid by the poor people from their modest livelihoods. Yemen's poor people want to take some of their precious time for encountering the worsening phenomenon of poverty in lieu of paying for the heavy cost of protecting the regime.

Yemeni people have become aware that continuity of the standing regime will only help poverty worsen. They admit that our current ruler is impossible to eradicate or even alleviate worsening poverty, particularly as they gave him a long time period to resolve the phenomenon. The current ruler was not given one year, two years or three years as a chance to fight poverty. He was given thirty years during which time he helped the phenomenon worsen and killed any possible solutions to it.