Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Yemen: A State Of Denial
By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid
This comment was published in Asharq al-Awsat on 3/11/2010
There is nothing easier and more comfortable than to throw the blame on the shoulders of others in avoiding our responsibilities and confronting the difficult truth. This normally is what the defeated and the incapable do. This is what has happened to some Yemeni intellectuals who embrace the concept of denial, and who have become convinced that what is being said about the actions of Al-Qaeda in their country is merely fabricated or exaggerated stories whose aim is to occupy or spread hegemony over Yemen!
Perhaps there is no one in the world who has not heard of the recent events; however, in the opinion of these Yemeni intellectuals these events are mere lies or machinations, despite the fact that their witnesses are Saudi, Qatari, and UAE Arabs, and also the Yemeni authorities that admitted the truth of the bombs in the airplanes. You can imagine what would have happened had the two bombs exploded aboard the two airplanes, and what the impact and consequences of such an incident would have been on Yemen and on the region!
It is no secret to the observers, especially in Yemen, that Al-Qaeda is working openly to strike at the Yemeni state and installations; that latest of the Al-Qaeda crimes was killing one of the senior Yemeni security officials a few days ago. Before that one of Al-Qaeda cells was arrested in Saudi Arabia after it succeeded in infiltrating Saudi territories from Yemen. Before that Al-Qaeda nearly succeeded in assassinating Saudi Assistant Interior Minister Prince Muhammad Bin-Naif. If all this does not convince the doubting intellectual brethren, Al-Qaeda itself has issued enough recordings filmed in Yemen, which are available on the Internet, speaking in precise details about its work, and which accompany Al-Qaeda's warning statements in Yemen.
Al-Qaeda has a history swarming with events. Before it took residence in Yemen, it resided in a number of countries along the past ten years. The intellectuals of those countries, before the intellectuals of Yemen, had cast doubt on its presence, but then they discovered the appalling truth that it was a real and dangerous organization, and everything that was said about it ought to be looked at seriously and not with suspicion. Al-Qaeda was in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, and Algeria, and now it is in Morocco and Mauritania.
I have heard one of the Yemeni major intellectuals denounce the "exaggeration" in talking about Al-Qaeda in Yemen, and say that there are those who want to exaggerate the danger in order to control the destiny of his country. However, we cannot compare the destiny of Yemen to the destinies of other rich countries in which Al-Qaeda previously wreaked havoc, and this did not have anything to do with any foreign or regional interests.
The truth is shocking. The countries that were burned by the fire of terrorism had tried in the beginning to promote the same talk, namely that there was no terrorism or terrorists; however, ultimately they recognized the reality, and changed their policy from denial to recognition, and searched for numerous solutions.
Denial includes some ignorance and some arrogance. Today, Yemen is a hostage to terrorism. Yemen has to choose one of two options; either it confronts terrorism the same as countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt did, or it sticks to stubbornness, blames others, and hence it drowns in more blood, or it can recognize the problem and deal with it.
Yemen's problems are too complicated to be put on the shoulders of others. Yemen has problems of bad administration; silence about the widespread of weapons; weakness of the central authority, and above all this the problem of not believing in the aforementioned problems, and hence not trying to solve them. Definitely when Al-Qaeda succeeds in breaking the Yemeni regime and threatening the world, the international community will hasten to intervene. Therefore, Yemen should not reach that dangerous stage.