Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where did the Yemen revolution go?

There is an alarming shift in news reports from Yemen dramatically portrayed in these contrasting photos. In the upper photo from last September, democracy protestors hold up images of activists murdered by the regime during a funeral procession for one of the victims. A wall of their photos remained posted throughout the over one-year occupation of “Change Square” in Sana’a which the new US-backed dictator ordered bulldozers to clear last month. Instead of protestors, media now posts photos of military marches & muscle flexing in Yemen. One such march was interrupted in rehearsal last month when a soldier blew himself up along with 90 other soldiers. Media proclaimed al-Qaeda responsibility & said al-Qaeda had taken advantage of the Yemen uprising to grab territory in the southern provinces by invading cities, “getting close to their dream of their own Caliphate” & threatening shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden & the Red Sea. Reports said the new dictator, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, had stepped up the fight against al-Qaeda, particularly with the use of US drone strikes & even more US military advisors. After the fishy suicide bombing, an official of Hadi’s regime proclaimed: "Yemenis must stand together in the face of this deadly terrorist threat. We will celebrate our unity tomorrow with the blood of our martyrs on our hands and faces." So now the martyrs are 90 soldiers used to enforce military rule & not the thousands of democracy activists murdered & incarcerated under the Saleh & Hadi regimes!? This all signals a military crackdown on the uprising & explains why the reporting now is typified by the bottom photo of a soldier guarding images of the 90 soldiers killed. (Photo on top by unidentified photographer; on bottom by Hani Mohammed/AP)

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