Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who to root for in Yemen?

Dictator Saleh was seriously injured a couple of days ago and fled to Saudi Arabia for hospitalization and surgery.  On the one hand it is good to see a tyrant wounded and probably not able to return.  However, from what little I have read about Yemen, the government power structure will probably stay intact and continue their attacks on the rebels.

My inclination was to hope that the rebellions in Yemen are part of the broader Arab Spring rising up throughout the Middle East - a striving for freedom and self determination of the peoples.  However, Fareed Zakaria was interviewed by Elliott Spitzer on his In the Arena show last week, and he said that in Yemen the countryside is controlled by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the most powerful branch of Al Qaeda today.  So, I can't root for them, even though I can't root for the tyrannical government either.  

So, all that's left is to hope that the true spirit of the Arab Spring overtakes the protests in Yemen and frees itself from both the tyrannies of the government and of Al Qaeda.