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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, 21-November-2014

The US Department of Defense has announced the transfer of four Yemeni detainees, and a Tunisian national, from Guantanamo Bay to Georgia and Slovakia.

Two separate statements by the US Department of Defense on Thursday said that Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi, Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Georgia, and Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti and Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia.
Wednesday, 19-November-2014
The HEYA Yemen team in Participation for Community Foundation (PCF), along with their five local partners; (Awaam Foundation for Development, My Vision NGO, Shaher Foundation for Consultancy and Marketing, The Third Eye Foundation, Tanwaa Foundation) and the regional umbrella organization , Academy for International Development – Middle East and North Africa (AID-MENA), launched their first press conference at the Saba Hotel in Sanaa, Yemen.
Despite the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the event was attended by community public figures, civil society organizations (CSOs) and more than 20 media bodies that included radio and television news channels, newspaper journalists and various online platforms to highlight the role of Yemini women during the democratic transition.
Guest speaker of the press conference, Mr. Amin Goman, the Capital Secretary Assistant reiterated HEYA’S intentions, claiming that “in order to achieve the outputs of the national dialogue, we have to work closely with all women alliances to increase the role of women in monitoring and formulating public policies and to take part of the decision making process in Yemen”
Tuesday, 18-November-2014
Islah Party's Secretary General Assistant Sadeq Mansour al-Haidari was assassinated on Tuesday by an explosive device planted in his car.

A number of suspected people have been arrested and are being interrogated, said Taiz Police Director Mutahar al-Shuaibi.

"A committee has been formed to probe the criminal incident targeted the Assistant Secretary General of Yemen Congregation for Reform {Islah} Mansour al-Haidari," said al-Shuaibi.

Taiz Local Council denounced the "crime" that took life of the leading member of Islah party Sadeq al-Haidari.
Monday, 10-November-2014

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday valued highly the Japanese donation of US$5.3 million to support on-site school feeding up to the end of the current school year.

The donation was confirmed at a signing ceremony in Rome on 7 November.

"This is a new activity for WFP Yemen, which we have been able to launch entirely as a result of Japan's support," said WFP Yemen Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge Rukia Yacoub. "With this latest donation, we can continue to provide snacks to children attending school right through the year."

"I believe this food aid will contribute directly to the alleviation of the impacts of food shortages as well as the improvement of people's nutritional status in this country," said Japanese ambassador to Yemen Katsuyoshi Hayashi.

Under this operation, WFP will provide a daily snack, consisting of a nutritious date bar, to some 295,000 primary and secondary schoolchildren regularly attending school, to encourage attendance and help them to concentrate during lessons.
Saturday, 08-November-2014
The Standing Committee of the General People's Congress (GPC) held its special session chaired by Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the GPC.
During the meeting they discussed the current developments on the national scene in Yemen and regulatory conditions of the GPC.
The Commission adopted its regulatory decisions of new appointments at senior organizational configurations of the Presidency GPC.
After discussions and proposals the members of the Committee approved the following names:
Friday, 07-November-2014

A Republican decree No. (140) for the year 2014 was issued on Friday naming the new government members as follows:

President of the Republic,
After perusal of the constitution of the Republic of Yemen,
Law No. (3) for the year 2004 on the Cabinet,
Decree of the President of the Republic No. (62) for the year 2014 to authorize Mr. Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah to form the government,
The Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its implementation mechanism signed on 23/11/2011,
Peace and National Partnership Agreement signed on 21/9/2014, and
A proposal by Prime Minister, and for the supreme interest of the country.
It has been decided,
Article No. (1): The government is to be formed as to follow
Tuesday, 04-November-2014
Chinese Embassy in Sana'a condemned Tuesday the assassination of the academic professor Dr. Mohammed al-Mutwakel by gunmen in Sana'a on Sunday.

In a statement, the embassy called the authorized sides to reveal all the crime's circumstances and bring the perpetrators to justice, expressing deep condolences to all the victim's family.
Monday, 03-November-2014
Sessions of the Brussels Conference on Reconciliatory Justice in Yemen were concluded on Monday in the capital Brussels of Belgium.


The conference was participated by representatives of the Yemeni political parties and components, international organizations, and international experts specialized in solving disputes.


At the end of the conference, a statement was declared affirming the importance of working to immediately stop violent armed acts and to denounce the use of force to achieve political goals and interests.


The statement called for the condemnation of all forms of violence and continuation of dialogue to discover in depth details and determinants of the comprehensive national reconciliation in Yemen.
Sunday, 02-November-2014

General People's Congress (GPC) have strongly condemned the assassination of the academic professor Dr. Mohammed al-Mutwakel by gunmen in Sana'a on Sunday.
Saturday, 01-November-2014
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi reviewed on Saturday with UK ambassador to Yemen Jane Marriott the latest developments in the local arena.

During the meeting, Hadi highly praised the support of the UK for Yemen's security, stability and unity, stressing the importance of helping Yemen economically by the UK and Saudi Arabia to address the current challenges.

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