By: Mohammed Al-Absi
It’s weird to see Yemeni politicians actually do the opposite to what they claim to represent. It’s yet weirder to see them not worry about having their realities exposed to public opinion.
They truly understand that memory in Yemeni society is short-lived. The media, on the other hand, serves the interests of politicians by praising them and presenting them as good people with good qualities. It truly feels bad to see that that they aren’t willing to acquire any of the qualities they’re presented as possessing.
We’re used to seeing politicians in our country regularly speak about people’s dreams of building a civil state and of equal citizenship while at the same time they seek nothing but increased political gains.
Just such a lack of integrity is what allowed Ghaleb Al-Qamesh, an Intelligence Chief for 34 years, to speak as though he was one of the revolutionary youth. Similarly, we heard Hamoud Al-Hitar, former Minister of Endowments, say after the revolution that Yemen’s Al-Qaeda branch was fake – this, after he spent years of participation in dialogues with so-called Al-Qaeda militants. A third example was personified by Riadh Al-Qurashi, who spoke to media outlets about 50 thousand “imaginary soldiers” in Republican Guard divisions, even after he served for years as the Undersecretary of Financial Affairs for the Interior Ministry. In this position, he was directly in charge of signing and approving payments for all Yemeni military units on a monthly basis.
This, in all cases, is the state of Yemeni officials and politicians. They shift their positions and attitudes to support whoever they want, and with no concerns for their own pasts.
Even the Houthis who for years were victims of unjust wars, today speak out about representing Jews in the National Dialogue. They’ve also begun speaking about their reasons for displacing Jews from Sa’ada years ago. Sadiq Al-Ahmar has stated that he, along with his brothers, is ready to leave Yemen with the provision that Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ali Mohsen also leave the country. Interestingly enough, none of them have left the country and none of them ever will.
Former president Saleh said during what he used to call a state of crisis that he was ready to leave Yemen for Yemen’s sake. Similarly, Ali Mohsen also announced that he was ready to do whatever it took for the sake of change. Yet even after Saleh was ousted and his son was removed from his military leadership position, Ali Mohsen has retained his military position – as the revolution’s ‘protector’. People will continue to defend him and say that he denied such words in official speeches.
Furthermore, Fares Mana’a will hold a meeting for the sake of ‘peace’ even though he is an arms dealer who has been accused by the United Nations of helping to launch armed conflicts on the African continent. Nevertheless, journalists will rush to Sa’ada to cover his press conference. And Southern Movement leaders are no better than their peers in the north.
It’s really interesting to see Saleh criticize Basindowa for not being able to protect power cables for just one year even after he was unable to provide Yemen with at least 1000 megawatts of power for 33 years. Even President Hadi has accused the former regime of corruption – as though he wasn’t Saleh’s obedient vice president of 17 years.
Last but not least, members of the media can never be excluded from such a speech as this. It became routine to witness them shift their attitudes and principles in step with current events. They forget – or simply ignore – that they’re supposed to be messengers of reality and truth and simply shift from one position to another, instead settling for whatever benefit they can find.