Peripheral Revision

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Archive for the ‘Yemen’ Category

Yemen opposition rejects Gulf plan that gives Saleh immunity

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Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Ghobari, Reuters, April 11, 2011

Yemen’s opposition rejected on Monday a Gulf Arab initiative for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, because it appears to offer him immunity from prosecution, while Saleh himself welcomed the plan.

Gulf Arab foreign ministers meeting in Riyadh late on Sunday said publicly for the first time that the framework of their mediation effort involved Saleh standing down, though it did not say when that would occur.

The ministers called for a meeting of parties to the Yemeni conflict in Saudi Arabia but set no date.

“Who would be a fool to offer guarantees to a regime that kills peaceful protesters? Our principal demand is that Saleh leaves first,” opposition spokesman Mohammed al-Sabry said, referring to assurances that Saleh and his sons would not face the fate of rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.

Tens of thousands filled the streets of Sanaa, Taiz, Hudaida, Ibb and the southeastern province of Hadramaut on Monday to protest against the GCC plan, witnesses said.

Diplomatic sources say Saleh has dragged his heels for weeks over U.S. attempts to get him to agree to step down and end protests crippling the country since early February, maneuvering to win guarantees that he and his sons do not face prosecution.
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Written by peripheralrevision

04/11/2011 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

WikiLeaks: Yemen tricked Saudis into nearly bombing president’s rival

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Ali Mohsen was inside military headquarters that Saleh regime claimed was a rebel base, WikiLeaks cable reveals

Peter Walker, The Guardian, April 8, 2011

The Yemeni government apparently targeted a leading army general and rival of President Ali Abdullah Saleh by telling Saudi military commanders that his headquarters was a rebel base to be bombed.

The extraordinary plot – foiled when suspicious Saudi pilots aborted the air strike – has emerged in one of the classified US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.

Dated February 2010, the cable illustrates the extent to which relations between Saleh and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar had deteriorated more than a year before the general declared his support for anti-regime protesters.

The US cable recounts a meeting between James B Smith, the American ambassador in Riyadh, and Prince Khaled bin Sultan, the junior Saudi defence minister. The talks were arranged for Smith to pass on US concerns about Saudi air strikes on the Houthis, a Shia insurgent group in the north of Yemen.

Khaled told the ambassador that targets were selected by a joint committee of senior Saudi and Yemeni officers.

Smith’s note continues: “Prince Khaled also reported that the Saudis had problems with some of the targeting recommendations received from the Yemeni side. For instance, there was one occasion when Saudi pilots aborted a strike, when they sensed something was wrong about the information they received from the Yemenis. It turned out that the site recommended to be hit was the headquarters of General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the Yemeni northern area military commander, who is regarded as a political opponent to President Saleh. This incident prompted the Saudis to be more cautious about targeting recommendations from the Yemeni government.”

Ali Mohsen was inside the headquarters at the time of the aborted attack, one of his senior aides told the Washington Post. “This was not the first attempt by the president and regime to kill him,” the aide said.

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04/09/2011 at 5:08 pm

Posted in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Honduras: The Forgotten Coup

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Gustavo J. Fuchs, Peace & Conflict Monitor, April 4, 2011

Contributing columnist Gustavo Fuchs details the lack of media coverage of violent repression against the popular resistance movement in post-coup Honduras, contrasting the underreported Honduran realities with the media’s recent obsession with popular demonstrations in the Middle East. Fuchs highlights the Honduran government’s repressive response to teachers’ strikes and impunity towards campesino murders – virtually absent in the headlines. Selective media bias in support of hypocritical Western agendas has left the Honduras resistance to fend for itself while the Middle East gets all the attention.

While the world watches with amazement the repression in the Middle East, the Honduran post-coup de facto government continues its systematic brutality against any popular dissent. While aggrandizing democratic ideals across the Middle East, Obama and his administration have to be held accountable for their failure to support democracy in their own backyard.

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04/05/2011 at 11:45 pm

The Changing US Tune on Yemen – Scahill

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Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, April 4, 2011

Note: Read Jeremy Scahill’s in-depth cover story on “The Dangerous US Game in Yemen [1].”

Over the weekend of April 2–3 in Yemen, the death toll of anti-government protesters continued to rise as security forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly shot dead twelve people and injured hundreds of others in the southern city of Taiz. Amid the violence, news broke late Sunday night that the Obama administration has quietly begun to withdraw its support for Saleh’s regime. Over the past two months of violence in Yemen, the United States has continued to back Saleh despite his violent response to widespread nonviolent protests against his regime.

Citing US and Yemeni officials, the New York Times reports [2]: “The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office.” The report adds, “For Washington, the key to his departure would be arranging a transfer of power that would enable the counterterrorism operation in Yemen to continue.”

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04/04/2011 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Yemen

U.S. quietly seeking to remove Saleh from power in Yemen: report

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International Business Times, April 4, 2011

After weeks on unyielding unrest in Yemen, one of the most powerful allies of that country’s president, the United States, is now engineering a policy shift in which [it] seeks to remove the Yemeni leader from power.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has benefitted from the support of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia due to his perceived value as a bulwark against terrorists, may now be persuaded to quietly exit the stage, according to a report in the New York Times.

Up to now, U.S. officials have largely avoided commenting on the bloodshed in Yemen. However, now the Obama Administration has reportedly informed its allies that Saleh’s hold on power is untenable and that he needs to resign. (Saleh has become increasingly isolated in Yemen after many of his top deputies have defected following a brutal crackdown on protesters).

According to the Times, a Yemeni government said that Saleh has been privately negotiating with the U.S. about his stepping down from office and the retention of anti-terrorism operations in Yemen in the absence of Saleh.

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Written by peripheralrevision

04/04/2011 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen

Scahill: US wages covert war in Yemen – RT News

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“[It’s] actually a consistent US policy of supporting ruthless and brutal dictators as long as they’re doing the bidding of the United States” – Jeremy Scahill

From RT News

Violence in the Arab world continued to escalate, as thousands of protesters in Yemen took to the streets demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Jeremy Scahill, an investigative journalist & author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” explained there is a solid contradiction between how the US is addressing Libya and how it is looking at Yemen.
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04/03/2011 at 3:21 pm

The Saudi Counter-Revolution

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Alastair Crooke, Huffington Post, March 31, 2011

The first wave of the Arab awakening, which led to the euphoric overthrow of autocracy in Tunisia and Egypt and then the uprising in Libya, is giving way to the next turn of events: the emergence of the counter-revolution led by Saudi Arabia.

The brutal military suppression of protest in Bahrain as well as Yemeni President Saleh’s massacre of 50 protestors by sniper fire reflect the urgings of the al-Saud family and the line taken by King Abdullah that he will “never accept a Shia government in Bahrain — never.” Bahrain is 70 percent Shia, and most have family and tribal links with the Shia of Eastern Saudi Arabia (who are linked more closely to Ayatollah Sistani and the “quietists” in Najaf than to emulation of the theocratic mullahs in Qom. Unlike the theocrats of Qom in Iran, the quietists of Najaf in Iraq eschew political power).

The disconnect between the West’s implicit endorsement of the Yemeni and Bahraini leaderships, on the one hand, and military intervention in Libya, on the other, could not be more obvious.
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Written by peripheralrevision

04/01/2011 at 5:01 pm