Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I’d like to comment on the Carment piece first. While the article brings many of Yemen’s problem’s to light and may indeed be entirely factually correct, the author draws some interesting conclusions from assertions that are entirely undocumented within his paper. Carment claims that “Saleh’s government is heavily influenced by al-Qaeda Arabs: jihadists who fought for him in the 1994 civil war after their return from Afghanistan.” While it is true that “al-Qaeda Arabs” did support Saleh in crushing the southern secessionists in 1994 and General’s such as Ali Mohsen are widely known to be sympathetic to the salafist-Sunni trend, Carment in no way substantiates the contention that “Saleh’s government is heavily influenced by al-Qaeda Arabs.” Instead, he goes on to further assert that “today, Bin Laden supporters are thought to be in positions of influence in the military and the government.” Who thinks so?
The other assertion Carment makes is that “transitioning Yemen towards a more democratic system will only mean a hardening of tribal divisions and a deepening of the corruption, clientelism and cronyism that are rife throughout the country.” This claim is also undocumented and offers little in the way of potential solutions. What does Carment suggest with this statement? That Yemen should transition towards a more authoritarian government?
In sum, it is a piece that should have shown up in the op-ed pages of a newspaper, and not under the pretense of a scholarly report. To be a scholarly work – whatever its length – an author should always seek to substantiate his or her claims though documentation that directs the reader to where the author found the information that allowed him or her to draw their conclusions. This allows the readership to draw as objective an understanding as possible – especially if the claims made are as important as the un-sourced ones looked at above.
Objectivity draws my attention to the Glevum Report which, by the way, references the Yemeni peaceful protests that began on January 18, 2011 as “protests and riots.”
I would only like to address one question Glevum put to a polled group in Yemen. Question 14 asks “From what you know, or have heard from others, do the people in this area strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose: the establishment of an Islamic Emirate in Yemen?” 86% of those polled believed that other Yemenis either somewhat or strongly supported this statement. What was their motive for answering this way? Why wasn’t the question put directly to those polled? As a second order question (asking how one perceives the thinking of another), the data allows for too wide an interpretation. Do those polled believe the idea of an Islamic Emirate to be akin to what many Americans believe when they see the US as a “Christian Nation?” Are those polled more secular and making assumptions about their less secular brethren? Are Yemenis conditioned to this response regardless of their inner feelings and potential actions?
I could go on and on with similar questions. The truth is that the polled question is incredibly unclear and it is potentially dangerous to be disseminating (unqualified) information of this nature towards a western audience: information that (inadvertently?) plays upon the ongoing western public fear of the Muslim World and its efforts towards “Islamic Emirates.”
Whatever that means.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The person running The Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen is David Stanton. Please give if you can, and tell them you saw the documetary here!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Watch the "Inside Story" here:
The Gulf states are also in discussions about how the transitional government will take shape. As reported by Reuters,
"The talks in Saudi Arabia will discuss the modalities and mechanism for transition of power," another source close to the discussions told Reuters. "There are some names being circulated to head a transitional council."
These included Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, a leading figure among Yemen's powerful tribes, Abdulkarim al-Iryani, a U.S.-educated former prime minister and currently an adviser to Saleh, and another former premier Abdulaziz Abdul-Ghani.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Since 2009, the United States has showered Saleh’s government with military aid. But Washington is well aware that Al-Qaeda is an enemy of convenience for Saleh, and that the danger to the United States from post-Saleh chaos in Yemen is exaggerated.and...
The reality is that the United States has known for weeks that it cannot save Saleh’s regime. Its concern for Saleh’s political survival is closely linked to its guardianship of the Saudi regime