Sunday, November 13, 2011

Eating qat; plotting secession in South Yemen

The Guardian reported yesterday that the secessionists in South Yemen are finally growing assertive, willing to fight.  That's good.

A year ago this was the state of things in  Lahj governorate, a center of Southern agitation:

Deaths of protesters have sparked clashes, easily ignited in a heavily armed society where many civilians carry arms and state control is weak. The unrest often targets northerners, and northern-owned businesses have been set aflame.
* * *
"If things carry on as they are there will be a massacre," said Aref Said Awadh. "A lot of the young are ready to die."
An image of the good folks of Lahj governorate:

The Southern Movement, perhaps calledAl Hirak Al Jounoubi, is now preparing to move.  It has been linked with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,  but Salah Al Shanfara, leader of  Al Hirak Al Jounoubi, rebuffed the charge and told the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat: "We have no ties to Al Qaeda and totally reject such talk."

There are in fact young Jihadist activists in the South who form at least temporary alliances with al Qaeda.  The Guardian, in a magnificent bit of journalism, portrays them in moving, sobering, and chilling detail.

Kinda amazing where Che shows up.  He musta been quiet a a guy.

After reading the articles in the Guardian, I felt kinda like "there but for the Grace of God . . . ."

But the South also has a long history of British rule, and many yearn for the the stability and freedom that the British the Rule of Law gave.  Not so long ago the South also has a Marxist government, and whatever one may think of communism's economic policies, there is a strong pull toward gender equality, which Muslim countries desperately need.

We could be linking up with those Southern Liberals.

"In the 80s women and men here reached greater equality than many parts of Europe," said Raqiya Homeidan, 66, an outspoken defender of women's rights and the first woman in the Arabian Peninsula to become a practising lawyer

Instead, we are bombing them with our drones, propping up the dictator Saleh,  and making new enemies along the way.

Here are South Yemen men, sitting under a graffiti flag of the Democratic Republic of South Yemen, willing to fight, as soon as the qat runs out:

Looks god to me.

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