"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A few links

This is pretty cool- Foreign Policy has a new Middle East Channel, headed up by Mark Lynch.   There is also a nice little article about how everyone is pretty much trying to distance themselves from Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol and their comically reprehensible attacks.   Every time I think the Republicans have lost any shred of decency, they rediscover it when the wind blows against them.  So that is good, I suppose.

Haley Sweetland Edwards has a disturbing story on the miserable plight of women in Yemen.  This paragraph captures the head-smacking nature of how bad it is.

A 2009 World Economic Forum report on gender equality listed Yemen for the fourth year in a row as the worst country in the world to be a woman. The worst. We’re talking worse than Saudi Arabia. Worse than Pakistan. A March 2010 Freedom House report backed up the World Economic Forum’s findings, reporting that while many Middle Eastern country’s women’s rights records have improved in the last five years, Yemen’s has not.

Being worse than Pakistan in just about anything is not something to be proud of.  By the way, along with her story on Somali refugees and the ones on tension in the south, Haley continues her string of "massively depressing stories about Yemen."  Come on, Haley, why not report on positive trends, like...well...

Not to be outdone in the grim category, (and I don't know how I missed this earlier) Paul Stephens of the Sana'a Bureau has an excellent written/video piece on Yemen's water woes.  It is a few weeks old, but I have a feeling the situation has not improved.

Finally, the Morning Star has a strange and mostly-outdated editorial on how US meddling in Yemen might be counterproductive, a conclusion I think everyone drew a few months ago.  There is also a weird bit here:

Air strikes on alleged al-Qaida fighters and a doubling of US military aid to hard-line Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been given the green light by US military commanders despite mounting civilian casualties in a civil war between northern rebels and the government.
One US-assisted air attack on supposed rebels in Abyan last December killed more than 42 civilians, but Yemen's Deputy Defence Minister Rashad al-Alimi took three months before admitting last week that the killings had been a "mistake."

Abyan is, as far as I know, in the south (though I admit it is a fluid situation).  And the US hasn't given a "green light" to attack in the north and the south.  The article strangely conflates all three rebellions.  I don't mean to pick on this, but in case there are any Morning Star/Always Judged Guilty readers I wanted to make things clear.

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