Monday, March 19, 2012

Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen

David sent out his latest update a couple weeks ago and I have been remiss in printing it. So without further ado, here it is:

Dear Friends of the Arabian Leopard, As everyone knows every organization needs money if it is going to stay active. We do our best to stay active, but anyone who is close to the center of this organization knows what a juggling act it can be to stay solvent and focused. It is therefore with delight that we announce the continuation of sponsorship by our longest serving and most committed patron, Sheikh Tawfik Saleh, Executive Chairman of the National Tobacco and Matches Company (NTMC). We are proud to bring you our 27th consecutive issue of the Foundation Update. Were it not for the contributions that we receive from the NTMC, it is likely that we wouldn't have survived our first year. Now we are confident that we shall make it through our third. February's bonus edition can be downloaded from:

Thanks to our friends at Total E&P Yemen, we now have all of the first 26 issues of the update in Arabic. The last one to be translated can now be downloaded from our newsletters section at:

It has always been the Foundation's editorial policy to stick with news, but this edition is slightly different. A news item about two people rescuing smuggled Cheetah cubs in Somaliland evolved into the embryo of an expose on Yemen's involvement in wildlife crime. You are forewarned, this is not a pleasant article to read, but I urge you to study it carefully and think about its ramifications. It may be cliché to say, "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem," but as with many clichés, this one contains much truth. We humans are doing an abysmal job of managing the Earth and this is having a devastating effect on biodiversity and the environment. If I was still teaching and humanity was my pupil, I would give us an "F" with a clear conscience. Being a Friend of the Arabian Leopard, is a statement that you believe there is a problem and that finding a solution is desirable. I hope that the disturbing images and text in this edition will inspire us all to work even harder towards that solution.

So, in spite of that sombre note on this special day that comes but once every four years, we at the Foundation wish you all a very pleasant spring.

With best wishes,


David B. Stanton Executive Director of the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen Adviser to the Yemen Minister of Water & Environment P.O. Box 7069 Sana'a, Republic of Yemen Mobile: +967733916928 Fax: +9671370193

No Saudi Spring

The Bahraini episode, in which the West stood idle as the Saudis overran protesters, demonstrated clearly that the United States, Britain, France, and other Western countries still prefer security to democracy in oil-rich regions. After Bahrain, there can be no doubt of the hypocrisy of these liberal democracies. Authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia’s thrive on it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Washington's War in Yemen Backfires

That, in a nutshell, is how many Yemenis see the US role in their country. The United States “should have never made counterterrorism a source of profit for the regime, because that increased terrorism,” asserts Iryani. “Their agenda was to keep terrorism alive, because it was their cash cow.” The US bombings, he said, were “a bad mistake. Military action often backfires by killing civilians, by the violation of sovereignty. That offends a lot of Yemenis.” For the United States, the most serious question that lingers over Yemen after Ali Abdullah Saleh is: Did US counterterrorism policy strengthen the very threat it sought to eliminate? “It was a major fiasco,” Iryani says of the past decade of US counterterrorism policy in Yemen. “I think if we had been left alone, we would have less terrorists in Yemen than we do now.”