Friday, November 25, 2011

Musical Chairs

Yemen's president will step down:

Yemen's autocratic leader agreed Wednesday to step down after months of demonstrations against his 33-year rule, pleasing the U.S. and its Gulf allies who feared that collapsing security in the impoverished nation was allowing an active al-Qaida franchise to step up operations.

I haven't addressed this Arab Spring uprising very much because I figured it really wasn't related to the other unrest, and was basically just the ongoing unrest that has plagued Yemen. I thought that whoever ended up in the palace would eventually move against al Qaeda out in the boondocks because they'd be a threat to the government. And the new rulers would eventually want our support to do that. Saudi Arabia has high interest in keeping Yemen from being a threat, too, so we have that going for us as well.

Call it the Yemen Climate. Maybe continued efforts to gain control of the government by different factions won't involve open fighting. Who knows?

Yes, giving al Qaeda room to grow while the fighting went on was a problem. But not enough to overtly intervene.

So far, I haven't seen anything to make me change my mind about the basic situation and this announcement doesn't do it either. I have little hope that something really better will come out of this for Yemen's people, as I still have hope for other countries like Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya that have gotten rid of their pre-spring autocrats. It could end up being musical chairs there, too, but they at least have a shot at real change.