the hothi war in english.......

الكاتب : الليث الغالب   المشاهدات : 1,990   الردود : 4    ‏2007-05-16
      مشاركة رقم : 1    ‏2007-05-16
  1. الليث الغالب

    الليث الغالب عضو فعّال

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    The situation in Yemen


    The situation in Yemen is very complicated,
    To understand what is really going on one must look at the surface and also behind the scenes.

    On the surface:

    On the surface there is a confrontation between Yemeni government and the Hoothy supporters.
    And on this surface we find two contradicting discourses each with its supporters in Yemen and abroad.
    The government from its side has pictured the "Hoothys" as a backdoor to Iran, sympathizers with Shiia militant ideology, terrorists, reactionaries wishing to restore the imamate in Yemen, enemies of the United States, and as persecutors of Jews in Yemen.
    The Hoothys on the other hand insist that while they sympathise with Iran they are not a back door to it, nor do they sympathise with its ideology. They deny any dreams of an imamate system. They acknowledge regarding the United States as their enemy yet they state that they haven’t ever targeted United States’ interests in spite of their capability to do so. They deny persecution of Jews and consider such events as isolated individually motivated incidents to which they have limited relation, and no control.

    The Zaydis and the Hashemies of the North are caught in the cross fire.
    All but a very few denounce Hoothys ideas, claims and actions. They consider them alien to Zaydi thought and practise, provocative, foolish, harmful, and completely needless. They believe that he took them 17 years back and squandered all the small successes they had gradually accumulated in their effort to re-locate themselves in Yemen. They considered the Anglo/American presence in the region as balancing to the Salafis, and as pressure towards democratisation of the country; and preferred to pay lip service to those mobilising against that presence.
    A minority of the Zaydis and the Hashemies choose to be blatantly supportive of the government. Another minority choose to be outspoken but neutral in its demands requesting each party to be wise. But most, and particularly in light of the extreme violence and bloodshed, decided to delay denunciation of al-Hoothy till later. Fearsome of the aftermath, they are silent and watching things as they develop. They don’t know what to do, so they prefer to do nothing.

    Behind the scenes:

    1. Extremist Salafis are gaining high ground in the country as they participate in the fighting and subsequently get funded, armed and gain experience.
    2. Zaidis and Hashemies are in such pressure that many of their moderates are seriously considering that a future alliance with Iran is a strategic imperative even at the expense of losing autonomy, and creating animosity.
    3. Government’s authority has been undermined, its legitimacy jeopardised and its influence declined due to its failure to defeat the Hoothys.

    Outcome:
    1. Yemen will be a breeding ground and safe haven for Qaeda and pro-Iranian militants.
    2. A Somalisation of the Northern Yemen could ensue where central control is lost.

    Way out:
    Violence breeds militants, thus the only way out is to come up with a solution that stops the current violence and sets up a situation that impedes future violence.
    This can only be done if:
    1. an internal balance of power between sects and political parties is promoted. No group should have hegemony over another.
    2. the government makes a series of commitments which guarantee that no such thing will reoccur.
    Both have to be done with backing, pressure and support of a western power.
    And this could start simply with increasing media attention and official statements about the fighting and its security and human consequences.



    Background:

    In June 2004 the government attempted to arrest Hussein al-Hoothy for repeating anti-American/anti-Israeli slogans and also for mobilising some teenagers to do the same. The attempt evolved into a full scale confrontation which subsequently lead to the death of Hussein. Yet the stand-off continued with his younger brother AbdulMalik in control. Later in September 2004 another confrontation started. And then again in November 2005, and the fourth and current confrontation in January 2007. The long peace between the third and fourth war was due to the election period.

    One should start by noting that the size of the governments onslaught is not at all proportionate to the magnitude of Hussein al-Hoothy’s threat. This is but one of the indicators that this battle is not being fought against a group of civil disobeyers. The stakes here are much higher.

    Hussein Al-Hoothy comes from a Zaidi, Hashemy and scholarly family. He played some minor roles in the 1990s, but didn’t have enough popular support to give him the status he desired. He wasn’t known to be a man of knowledge either. But as one who grew in the house of a scholar he had an above average knowledge foundation.
    His movement started after a three year withdrawal from public life. Close friends believe he was seeking a role to play.
    His idea was simple: ((America is in the region, it wants to control Yemen, we need to inoculate Yeminis from loyalty to America, thus we will have a slogan which we will repeat on religious occasions and gatherings. We will not perform any kind of violence. If we are arrested we should not resist.)) The slogan was: death to America, death to Israel, victory to Islam.
    He first attracted teenagers who were excited by the concept of the slogan and the act of defiance.
    His importance multiplied and he attracted followers as the government put pressure on him and made some arrests. He convinced his followers that those arrests are proof of the viability and effectiveness of such an approach in keeping the United States at bay. He would say that America feared him, and thus instructed the Yemeni government to stop him. And he found himself a number of disillusioned, disenfranchised, and frustrated idealists who believed that and gradually a sense of crusade was created; and the objective of this crusade is to repeat the slogan peacefully at all costs. And the more the government pushed, the more intense and holy became the crusade.

    Most Zaydi leaders had no sympathy at all with this, and they even ridiculed him. But respect for his father stopped them from loudly criticising him. Most were not concerned with what he did and said as long as he didn’t provoke the government. And for a time he paradoxically thought that he was serving the interests of the government by his actions.

    Calls for his arrest were issued, and eventually an attempt to arrest him was designed and lead by Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, the second man in power in Yemen, a colonel in the army, and a staunch supporter of Salafis in Yemen.
    Resisting arrest in the tribal areas is the norm in Yemen, and this is what happened, except that things spiralled into a full scale confrontation.

    The confrontations created a new kind of sympathy. People couldn’t accept the way the government was handling the matter as too many lives were being lost, and hundreds of young youths being arrested for no justifiable reason. This sympathy attracted many to fight at his side. Some had never known him before. Some Hashimys and Zaydis saw this as a battle against their existence, and joined him for that purpose only. By the fourth confrontation we can clearly see how the motives of support evolved. Those who fought with the Hoothys and actually knew Hussein and were attracted to his thought were a minority. Very few are genuinely supportive of the claims about the importance and impact of the slogan. Participants in the fighting are not anymore a homogenous group. They don’t carry one ideology, they don’t have the same motives, and they don’t adhere to a central leadership in the meaning of the word. Today the battle has extended to other members of the tribal community. People who had never heard of Hussein al-Hoothy are participating in the fighting today.

    One of the dangers of the current situation is that the Hoothys are without an agenda. They are merely resisting being arrested. Their only demand is that they repeat the slogan. Sometimes they mention the Salafis and the Saudi intervention, but their focus is on the right to say the slogan. This is extremely dangerous, as it leaves them very vulnerable to those who want to recruit them. And since the Zaydis are too weak and too fragmented to reap any political benefit from this, the expectation is the an outer power will.

    The main actors or benefactors of the events are:

    First: the Islamic Salafi movement in Yemen

    The primary benefactor of all this has been the Islamic Salafi movement in Yemen; be it under the umbrella of the Islah Party, or other factions.
    In the early years after Yemen entered Islam, its main participation in the expansion of the Islamic state was by providing men. Most of the armies who went to Iraq and Persia in the east; and Morocco and Spain in the west were of Yemeni origin. This stopped with the creation of the Immamate around the 10th century.
    This vision of Yemen being a resource for external Islamic activity was re-incarnated by the Islamic brotherhood in the 1940s when they decided that Yemen was a perfect platform towards the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate.
    When Imam Yahya refused to allow them the influence they wanted in the country, they considered him a stumbling block in the road to Islamic renaissance, and thus deemed it morally justifiable to assassinate him. They masterminded and spearheaded the assassination of the Imam in 1948, which included a failed coup.
    After their failure in Yemen, and their subsequent persecution by the Nasserite regime in Egypt, they tried again during the civil war between 1962-1970; and Mohammad al-Zubairi established “The party of God” (Hizbollah) before he was assassinated in the late 1960s.
    From the late 1960s and through the 1970s a complex process lead to the creation of a “paradoxical” alliance between four seemingly contradicting spheres of power:
    1. Brotherhood organisational and political thinking,
    2. Salafi ideology (AbdulMajeed al-Zindani)
    3. Tribal authority (Shiekh Abdullah al-Ahmar of Hashid)
    4. Military power (Colonel Ali al-Ahmar of Sanhan)
    This was an unstable composite, but was made to stick with Saudi funds, common interests and threats, personal endorsement and support of Ali Saleh. As a result Yemen had the strongest, most branched, and locally influential Islamic party in the Arab World.
    This was a threat to President Ali Saleh, and threatened the transition of power from him to his son Ahmed; but there was little he could do. Until of course the September 11 tragedy and the attack on the USS Cole, which gave the President the opportunity he much needed to dismantle the alliance, or re-structure it to his favour.
    But the Hoothy events erupted, and they lead to the opposite of his wishes. Now that alliance is being cemented through the fighting, and they are gaining leverage over him.


    Second: The Saudis
    The Saudis are very difficult to understand. They send conflicting messages about Yemen. This is could be a tactic, but it could also speak of confusion or a division amongst the decision makers on how to best deal with Yemen.
    Yet there have three constant principles with regard to Yemen:
    1. Yemen must never be stable enough lest it grows and becomes a power that may undermine its influence in the region.
    2. The Zaydis and Hashemys must be politically eliminated.
    3. Yemen is their backyard.
    To that purpose many tactics were utilised of which some were more successful than others, but all in all they did well relative to their objectives.
    In the current situation their position has been supportive of the government’s violent approach which can be explained quite well in light of the above three principles. The war de-stabilises the country. The current onslaught is against Zaydis and Hashemys. And since they believe that Hussein al-Hoothy is affiliated with Iran, they see this as cutting short this threat.
    The paradox is that they also know that this is causing a rise of power for the extremist Salafis. This paradox fades away when we remember that for the Saudis Extreme Salafis are an important asset. Yet they are an asset which they prefer to have outside their borders. Yemen serves as the perfect place to which they can re-locate them. This is perfect because:
    1. They control the main players (Zindani & al-Ahmar).
    2. it also strengthens their control of Yemen
    3. keeps their legitimising ideology nourished
    4. keeps them as a valuable usable available resource
    5. keeps Iranian sentiments and affiliations at bay
    6. guarantees limits on future Hashemy efforts to grow
    7. limits the presence of a contending political ideology with its ideals of accountable and just government. (Zaydiah)


    Third: The Iranians:
    They have tried to gain foot since the early 1990s seem to have moved in three parallel yet not very coordinated paths:
    1. they tried to build an alliance or a cooperation with the Islah party. This failed eventually. Their efforts in Palestine to ally sunni miltants couldn’t be replicated in Yemen.
    2. they also tried to build networks with some Zadi leaders especially those in Hizb al-Ahaq. That also failed in the end.
    3. they tried to preach Shiism and this also failed.

    The current events created a window of opportunity for them. The despair which the Zaydis and Hashemis have, and their absolute lack of trust in the government leaves them only one way: east.

    Fourth: The Libyans
    They are minor players. In the past couple of years Ghathafi has been trying to gain foot through financial support. He managed to invite a number of Shiekhs to Tripoli, dispersed a lot of money, and is now supporting Hussein Abdullah al-Ahmar create a party in Yemen. He also has a project of bringing all the Hashemites together and had also invited some of them from Yemen, and gave them some money. A few of those who went there understood clearly that his objective is to threaten Saudia. The President is aware of most if not all of the contacts with Libya and he doesn’t oppose it as long as nothing will be done to undermine his influence in the country. He is usually pleased when tribal leaders find a source of income other than himself.

    Fifth: The government:
    They are mentioned last because many observers and those in the close circle feel that this confrontation has gained a momentum of its own. They can find no clear interest for the President in pursuing this. And their only explanation is that Ali Al-Ahmar is working hard to keep the conflict alive. Some have assumed that the President, after seeing the strength of resistance, saw the confrontation as an opportunity to rid himself of many of Ali al-Ahmar’s loyal officers and tribesmen.


    Conclusion:
    The interaction of those actors is expected to make Yemen a new breeding place and safe haven for each of: Qaida and Shii Militants. The rugged mountains of Yemen, the weakness of central control, the availability of heavy and light arms in the local market, a population that is poor frustrated religious and with high illiteracy all make the country a safe and relatively impregnable haven for extremists, militants and terrorists.

    Though highly improbable the Northern region may fall into long term chaos, and this may eventually lead to an explosion of the country. Popular frustration is reaching a threshold due to the compounding effects of severe poverty, extreme corruption, general mistrust in public institutions, loss of hope in the future, human rights violations, and brute abuse of power by the different branches of security forces. This compounded with an internal power struggle, may lead to dramatic and unexpected events. One of which is a violent reaction against Saudi Arabia. Popular resentment against the Kingdom is at a peak as the general perception is that the Saudis are funding this battle in which Yemeni kills another. Though highly improbable, the nature of the region's volatility should be enough reason to assume the possibility of this second scenario.


    All this is apart of the human catastrophe whose magnitude will only be clear once the arms are laid to rest. Yet, when villages are being pounded from the air, when innocent women and children are being arrested, and when mines are being laid by a government against its own people; one can only expect the worse
     
  2.   مشاركة رقم : 2    ‏2007-05-16
  3. الليث الغالب

    الليث الغالب عضو فعّال

    التسجيل :
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    try to improve ur english by reading this
     
  4.   مشاركة رقم : 3    ‏2007-05-16
  5. عــاهد

    عــاهد مشرف سابق

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    Thx for the meaningful info bro, please do provide us with everything new thats taking place back home.
     
  6.   مشاركة رقم : 4    ‏2007-05-18
  7. Asgarnia Lord

    Asgarnia Lord عضو

    التسجيل :
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    i am tired of reading this

    I reached half of the way and I lost track

    thnx anyway
     
  8.   مشاركة رقم : 5    ‏2007-05-18
  9. Asgarnia Lord

    Asgarnia Lord عضو

    التسجيل :
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    i am tired of reading this

    I reached half of the way and I lost track

    thnx anyway
     

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