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Articles
Tuesday, 13-February-2007
Almotamar Net - Doctors use the word “crisis” to describe the point at which a patient either starts to recover or dies. President George W. Bush’s Iraqi patient now seems to have reached that point. Most commentators appear to think that Bush’s latest prescription – a surge of 20,000 additional troops to suppress the militias in Baghdad – will, at best, merely postpone the inevitable death of his dream of a democratic Iraq. Yet as “Battle of Baghdad” begins, factors beyond Bush’s control and not of his making (at least not intentionally) may just save Iraq from its doom. Almoitamar,net Project Syndicate - Doctors use the word “crisis” to describe the point at which a patient either starts to recover or dies. President George W. Bush’s Iraqi patient now seems to have reached that point. Most commentators appear to think that Bush’s latest prescription – a surge of 20,000 additional troops to suppress the militias in Baghdad – will, at best, merely postpone the inevitable death of his dream of a democratic Iraq. Yet as “Battle of Baghdad” begins, factors beyond Bush’s control and not of his making (at least not intentionally) may just save Iraq from its doom.

One key factor is that, for the first time since the United States and Britain invaded Iraq, Arab Sunni leaders are backing a US military plan for that country. These Sunni leaders live in abject fear of the geopolitical earthquake that any disintegration of political authority in Baghdad would bring, believing that all-out civil war would invariably follow – a war that would not respect international borders.

Of course, America has been encouraging Sunni leaders in this belief. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent tour of Middle East capitals helped spread the word to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states that any US failure and sudden withdrawal would be certain to destabilize them. Given the fragile grip that these leaders have over their societies, America’s warnings have been taken to heart.

But the truly curious factor that might bring success to Bush is that those who have opposed or resented America’s presence in Iraq, such as the Iranian-backed Shi’a parties now also appear to want Bush’s new strategy to succeed. They are for it because they believe it will defang Moqtada al-Sadr, the rogue Shi’a cleric whose power has mushroomed over the past three years – to the point that he now dominates much of Baghdad and holds the allegiance of countless angry young Shi’a men.

Of course, attacking Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in the name of fighting militia death squads has the potential to draw American military forces into a level of urban warfare unseen since the Falluja assaults of 2004 and 2005. Al-Sadr is seen as the protector of the Shi’a of Iraq and has an estimated 60,000 fighters in his militia. But he is deeply mistrusted by other Shi’a leaders, who fear that they may one day have to take him on by themselves. Better to let the Americans do it, though of course these Shi’a leaders prefer a slow strangulation of al-Sadr to a direct and bloody assault.

But make no mistake: how al-Sadr is handled is the big test of Bush’s new strategy. Should the US choose to face al-Sadr and his forces head on, they risk alienating Iraq’s largest sectarian community, the Shi’a, adding fuel to the anti-occupation resistance and thus probably dooming Bush to failure.

Iran and Syria, which have played a spoiler role in Iraq up to now, may also now be anxious to find a way to pull the country back from the brink. Bush still refuses to talk to either of them, and has lately been having US troops arrest Iranian agents in Iraq. Yet Iran may already see itself as victorious, with the current Iraqi government friendlier than any the Iranians have ever known. So maintaining that government in office has now become a strategic priority for Iran, particularly as it is now clear that any US hopes of using Iraq as a permanent military base are dead.

The “surge” also opens, perhaps for the first time, a serious possibility of pouring water on the insurgent fires in Anbar province, the heartland of the Sunni insurgency. The US has achieved relative successes in the province through alliances with Sunni tribes. The hope is that such realistic and pragmatic accommodations will be extended to Iraqis who are fighting under the banner of a nationalist and anti-occupation agenda.

So some of the stars have come into alignment for Bush. But to keep them there in the long term, the Iraqi government will need to amend the constitution in a way that appeases the Sunni community. Reassuring Iraq’s Sunnis that they have a place in the new Iraq will also reassure neighboring Sunni governments, which have mostly turned a blind eye to the support for the insurgency that has come from their lands.

Of course, should the US see failure ahead, it could seek to broaden the war beyond Iraq’s borders by attacking Iran, a policy reminiscent of “Operation Sideshow,” when US failure in Vietnam in the late 1960’s enticed President Nixon into attacking Cambodia and Laos.

But Iran has resources that Cambodia and Laos could never muster; indeed, its ability to retaliate could set the entire region ablaze. Whereas America’s war in Indochina was a tragic mistake, the cost of a wider war precipitated by the crisis in Iraq would be incomparably greater – for both the patient and the doctor.

Mai Yamani is an author and broadcaster. Her most recent book is Cradle of Islam.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2007.
www.project-syndicate.org


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Friday, 12-December-2014

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen Jamal Benomar said on Thursday that Yemen was still facing daunting political, economic and security challenges.

He made the remarks after briefing the UN Security Council on the developments in Yemen.

He said he briefed the council on "the enormous challenges Yemen is facing on the political, economic and security fields," Benomar told reporters after the meeting.

He also focused in his briefing on the "tardy implementation of National Peace and Partnership Agreement (NPPA)."
Thursday, 11-December-2014
Yemen and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) signed on Thursday a joint action plan for 2015.

The plan includes the pledges of the government and its development partners to make developmental programs at the central and governorate levels.
Wednesday, 10-December-2014

The Republic of Yemen has strongly denounced the Israeli aggression which led to the killing of the Palestinian Minister and Head of Popular Committee Against the Settlement and Apartheid Ziad Abu Ain.

"While the Republic of Yemen denounces this brutal assault, it shoulders Israel the responsibility of this atrocious act that contradicts humanitarian values," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a release issued on Wednesday.
Tuesday, 09-December-2014
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has held in Amman, Jordan, a four-day workshop on the implementation of Yemen's project portfolio.

The workshop, which started on Monday, also intends to review the general conditions and adopted procedures for all IFAD projects and financing agreements.

Representatives of at least 30 relevant bodies take part in the workshop, including Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF), and Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Finance, Agriculture and Fisheries.

At the opening session of the workshop, Yemen's project portfolio Director Mohammed Abdul-Qader talked about the importance of applying the IFAD-adopted procedures and regulations of the financing agreement and the general conditions to implement projects, stressing that IFAD's all projects aim to eradicate poverty in rural areas.
Monday, 08-December-2014
Army troops thwarted on Tuesday an al-Qaeda suicide attack by two bomb cars targeted the First Military Region in Sayoun city, Hadramout, a military official said.

Defense Ministry's website quoted the military official as saying "Two bomb cars were destroyed, after terrorists tried to enter the region by them."
Sunday, 07-December-2014
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Latif bin Rashid al-Zayani has warned that Yemen is on the prim of a looming catastrophe because of foreign influence and private interests of some parties in the crisis Yemen has witnessed.

This was mentioned in his speech at the 10th round of the Manama Dialogue which is taking place during 5 – 7 December in the Bahraini capital, Manama.

“I believe that the Gulf initiative to settle the Yemeni crisis has included most, if not all, the related aspects to improve a general and active approach to solve security and strategic issues which primarily requires participation of the most effective bodies,” GCC Secretary General al-Zayani said.

“Despite all the support given to Yemen by the regional and international community, this country is at the edge of an impending disaster due to foreign influence and private interests of some influential parties in the crisis,” he added.
Saturday, 06-December-2014
A US journalist and a South African citizen held by al-Qaeda in Yemen were killed during a rescue attempt by US and Yemeni forces, the Supreme Security Committee (SSC) said on Saturday.

A security crackdown was carried out by Yemeni Counter-terrorism forces in coordination with U.S. forces to free the two hostages who were held at the terrorist Saeed al-Daghari's house in Abadan village in Shabwa province, an official source at the SSC told Saba.

The security crackdown asked at first the terrorist elements to surrender themselves and release the hostages, but they refused to do so and immediately proceeded to shoot the hostages to kill them, the source explained.
Friday, 05-December-2014
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif al-Zayani has strongly condemned the bombing attack at the residence of the Iranian ambassador to Yemen.



In a press statement , al-Zayani said that the Yemeni political forces and all the Yemeni people components must stand against terrorists who want to destroy security and stability of Yemen.



He urged the political forces to support the political solution based on the GCC initiative which averted Yemen from entering into violence and instability.
Thursday, 04-December-2014
The U.S. denounced on Thursday the bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sana'a, calling for a "thorough" investigation.

"The United States condemns the bombing at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Sana’a earlier on Wednesday and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Attacks on diplomatic facilities and against diplomats contravene all international norms and can never be justified or excused," Harf said, urging the Yemeni authorities to open a " thorough" investigation and "bring the perpetrators to justice".

On the other hand, France condemned on Thursday, in a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, the bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sana'a, expressing its condolences to the families' victims.
Wednesday, 03-December-2014
General People's Congress (GPC) condemns bomb attack at the residence of the Iranian Ambassador, which caused a number of deaths and casualties.

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