This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 15/04/2011
Many observers wonder what the opposition really wants after the presentation of a flexible solution that guarantees the unity of Yemen and the continuity of constitutional institutions which must not collapse, or else, everything will crumble. This will be the worst scenario due to the ripple effect on the entire region. Everyone is now aware of some people’s attempt to take advantage of the situation to serve their personal interests. This has been manifested in the innocent blood spilt in armed conflicts that were confronted and defeated by Saleh, who also maintained national unity.
However, it is obvious that the opposition does not want stability in Yemen. They do not want to overcome the challenges of conspiracies. They have been rejecting peaceful resolutions proposed by Saleh or those from outside, such as the GCC initiative, which the president has accepted even if he had certain reservations.
The demands of those who have invaded some areas in Sana’a continue to grow day after day. We can compare their political stand to a famous saying: “There is a medicine for every ailment, except foolishness which thwarts the efforts of the healer”. They have rejected the initiatives of the authority without presenting better alternatives. They have intensified their violent acts; thereby, prompting the majority that supports Saleh to stand up, spread all over the country and reach the outside world.
Meanwhile, the opposition remains defiant in its quest to change the regime through the collapse of constitutional institutions on the street, which is unacceptable to the neighboring countries and the outside world. The GCC had previously tried to support the demands of the opposition, more than the conditions given by the constitutional regime. In spite of the possibility that these demands might lead Yemen towards the unknown, the GCC still gave in a little for peace to reign in the region, hoping for logic to prevail sooner.
The opposition has failed to realize that some of its demands are beyond the capacity of the country - either economic or social. It has also forgotten that Yemen is unique but it is not isolated from its neighbors, so it needs help from others to overcome its economic difficulties. This is the first requirement for the successful implementation of reforms. Therefore, the dialogue initiated by the GCC is vital to save Yemen from civil war and separation. It is the only way to ensure the completion of the economic development projects that Saleh has been working on over the last three decades.
The entire world might turn against the opposition if the frivolous uprising continues. The only option is dialogue to protect the country and the people, who are now tired of the politics of protests and crippling of interests. If the opposition insists on ruling through coup and chaos, it will soon realize the statements of the late singer - Abdullah Al-Bardouni - are true: that it is easier to ride a lion than to rule Yemen where there are 60 million guns in the hands of 23.6 million people. In other words, every Yemeni owns three guns.
Is this enough to convince the opposition to stop pushing the country towards poverty and chaos?
We call on the hot-headed to be calm and sit at the dialogue table. People near and far will not allow Yemen to be transformed into a safe haven for terrorists or push it back to the era of separation of the North and South.