The games people play in Yemen
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Yemen is beset by a million and one problems, the worst of which is the poor leadership that we have to rely on to get the country out of all the predicaments – predicaments most of which emanate from the folly of our leaders more than anything else. Oh sure, a lot of the Government reports often try to suggest that Yemen is facing several challenges that stand in the way of the country’s development, but these challenges, according to these reports, arose from «external factors», as if to say those holding the reins of authority in Yemen are infallible and could never do anything wrong! Nothing is further than the truth. What Yemen is suffering from for the most part stems from a lack of a serious leadership dedicated to guiding the country to prosperity and to the enhancement of the lives of the Yemeni people.
The reports cited above often tell us how much Yemen suffers from a lack of resources and other elements that are required to drive the country towards sustainable economic growth and continuous cultural progress that will eventually catapult the Yemeni people from the vicious cycle of despair for sure brought on by bad governance and a leadership that has busied itself with merely holding on to the reins of power, no matter how much it costs and how little good this does for the country.
For a third of a century, all that is left for Yemenis are faint memories of a once happy nation – albeit with deprivation prevalent from a lot of the amenities of life, but nevertheless a great feeling of pride and resourcefulness, hovering in the air, and a willingness to go for the limits, if they could only find leadership that cares and neighbors that are not bogged down in their own selfishness and unfounded fears or prejudice about the plight of their neighbors to the south or both. Perhaps, Yemen’s leadership has yet to realize where the country is really at, as most of the icons of the regime find themselves surrounded by exaggerated undeserved affluence and hardly have a feel of what awesome helplessness and discontent the majority of their fellow Yemenis are going through.
While Yemen’s leadership is living high on the hog inside their electrocuted walls and armed guard details, the overwhelming majority of their fellow citizens are hardly able to make ends meet, as they cannot even fulfill the minimum nutritional requirements to keep the health of their families manageable to say the least. The leadership of the country has no idea how many people have been driven to the abyss of poverty and are desperate for a way out of the million and one calamities that are no more than symptoms of the bad leadership the country has endured and now must continue to endure for God knows how long!
Suffice it to say that a change of the Constitution and the election game that has turned into an insult and contempt for the dignity of the Yemeni people, will not relieve the leadership of the fact that the Yemeni people realize that there is really no democratic government at all in Yemen and all these political games the Yemenis must go through or watch their leaders pursue, are just additional opportunities for the elements upon which the regime continues to really count on to drain the Government treasury in return for insuring that the democratic process will only yield their continued right to plunder all the country’s resources.
Never mind that the majority of the citizens of Yemen find access to such resources almost impossible, thanks to all the constraints, repressive tools, and horrendous and corrupt bureaucratic machine that stands in the way of the Yemeni people enjoying the minimum rights and liberties that are accorded by the social contract between the citizenry and their government in these modern times. Never mind also that there is no let up in sight from this aura of a decaying society – a failed state for sure – as the leadership of Yemen, as is the case in all the Arab World, insists that all that their people can look forward to is the perpetuity of the demise they have brought upon their people.
Many will ask: How can this be? Our leaders are giving us all that is enjoyed by modern democracies, aren’t they? Little do they forget that most people of Yemen are not taught to understand what democratic practice is really all about and what are the results expected from genuine democratic processes, rather than the counterfeit democracy that has now become an irrevocable way of life, in order for the regime that brought us to the pit of abysmal existence continues to possess the helms of authority in the land and drag their people further down to hell.
In democratic societies, leaders who are unable to deliver the minimum needs of their people for sustenance and energy to facilitate economic and social progress, have outlived their usefulness, not to mention their inability to guarantee the sovereignty, peace, security and cohesiveness of the intricate parts of what was once a potentially viable state.
Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.