Yemeni dictator Saleh must go

This 2012 video from the USA says about itself:

Via Jeremy Scahill of The Nation: “On February 2, 2011, President Obama called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The two discussed counterterrorism cooperation and the battle against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. At the end of the call, according to a White House read-out, Obama “expressed concern” over the release of a man named Abdulelah Haider Shaye, whom Obama said “had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.” It turned out that Shaye had not yet been released at the time of the call, but Saleh did have a pardon for him prepared and was ready to sign it. It would not have been unusual for the White House to express concern about Yemen’s allowing AQAP suspects to go free. Suspicious prison breaks of Islamist militants in Yemen had been a regular occurrence over the past decade, and Saleh has been known to exploit the threat of terrorism to leverage counterterrorism dollars from the United States. But this case was different. Abdulelah Haider Shaye is not an Islamist militant or an Al Qaeda operative. He is a journalist…”. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

Another video from the USA which used to be on YouTube is called Obama Hosts Yemeni Dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh in 5 Star Hotel.

This video is about protestors killed in Yemen.

Yemeni opposition groups and protest leaders formed a national council on Wednesday to intensify pressure on Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh to relinquish power: here.

A military tribunal has sentenced two young Egyptian activists to six-month prison terms after convicting them of insulting the army, a court official reported on Wednesday: here.

Government forces in Syria may have committed crimes against humanity by conducting summary executions, torturing prisoners and targeting children in their crackdown against opposition protesters and insurgents, a high-level UN human rights team said on Thursday.

9 thoughts on “Yemeni dictator Saleh must go

  1. Egypt’s doctors to renew strike over wages and corruption

    Egypt’s Doctors’ Coalition is preparing strike action on September 10 to demand the dismissal of “corrupt” state appointees and better wages and security at hospitals.

    The Daily News Egypt said the threat of a renewed strike came after two unsuccessful meetings between doctors and Health Minister Amr Helmy.

    Doctors are demanding the dismissal of 10 of the minister’s assistants, who they say were appointed by the former regime of Hosni Mubarak. They are also protesting the fact that the decision to increase wages has not yet reached hospitals, and they have not received incentives for August.

    Doctors organized two partial strikes on May 10 and 17, with more than 80 percent participation nationwide.


    Railway workers in Egypt protest for equal pay

    Over 600 workers at Tanta railway station in the Gharbiya Governorate in Egypt protested August 17 to demand that their bonuses be equalized to those of their colleagues who work on long-distance rail transit.

    Al Masry Al Youm reported that after a similar demonstration the day before, “the workers gathered at 10 am Wednesday, blocking railroad traffic and engaging in fights with angry passengers.

    “They said they made the move after futile negotiations with officials.”

    When workers refused to end their sit-in, police sought to move them by force before they were pacified by a delegation from the Gharbiya Governorate office. At the same time, train conductors at Mansoura station in Daqahlia Governorate staged a strike demanding bonuses equal to those of technicians and other workers.

    The strike brought Mansoura’s rail traffic to a standstill, as the conductors refused to leave the station until their demands were met.


    Renewed public health strike in Israel

    Doctors in Israel renewed industrial action on August 14 that has been conducted intermittently since April. The strike takes place under conditions in which the Israel Medical Association [IMA] has agreed to hold mediation talks with the Ministry of Finance.

    The points of conflict between the doctors and the Finance Ministry are the length, cost and distribution of the agreement, as well as the requirement that doctors clock in for shifts.

    The strike affects all government general, psychiatric and geriatric hospitals. Outpatient clinics and departments in these hospitals were closed to outpatients, and only urgent operations were performed. The strike also included all Clalit community physicians, family clinics and specialists’ clinics.

    General practitioners also demonstrated at Kikar Hamedina in Tel Aviv to demand a reduction in the patient-doctor ratio and increased resources for outlying medical services.


    Workers at Israeli tyre factory protest

    Around 500 people marched from the Pri Hagalil factory in Hatzor HaGlilit, Israel towards Highway 90 in protest against the factory management’s decision to lay off 58 workers, according to ynetnews.

    Some of the demonstrators burned tyres at the entrance to Hatzor HaGlilit.



    Out with Mubarak, in with Marx?
    Hosni Mubarak’s extreme capitalism demonstrably failed Egypt. Now social justice is on the mainstream agenda
    Austin Mackell, Friday 19 August 2011 10.00 BST

    – – – – – – – –
    ‘From the beginning, the class-based economic elements of this revolution have been undeniable to those paying attention. The “April 6” Facebook group which triggered the uprising in January had itself been inspired by the textile workers of Mahalla whose strike had been part of an ongoing rolling wave of industrial action across the country involving more than a million workers — a story the mainstream media has studiously ignored.’
    – – – – – – – –

    A defaced image of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak
    Egyptian protesters hold a defaced photo of former president Hosni Mubarak during his trial in Cairo, on 15 August 2011. Photograph: Andre Pain/EPA

    In a recent TV discussion, Hossam el-Hamalawy, the prominent Egyptian leftist blogger, was asked: “So you’re the president of Egypt. You wake up, what’s the first thing you’re going to do to reorient the economy?”

    Hamalawy’s answer was admirably concrete: raise the minimum wage to 1,200 Egyptian pounds ($198) per month, set a wage ceiling of 15,000 pounds ($2,480), renationalise the corruptly privatised factories, cut military spending and redirect those funds to health and education.

    That a Marxist should suggest such steps is not surprising, but in Egypt they have now entered the mainstream. Neoliberal economic policies were thoroughly tried under the Mubarak regime, and demonstrably failed.

    In 2008 the World Bank named Egypt as its “top reformer”. Mubarak’s adherence to the Washington Consensus strategies, however, delivered prosperity only for the already affluent elite. Meanwhile, the quality of life for the rest of the country deteriorated. This has not been lost on Egyptians.

    In a recent conversation, Ahmed Attiya, a journalist for the Egyptian daily al-Shorouk — who describes his own politics as centre-right — put it to me that “even the conservative liberals nowadays support income taxes and minimum wages”, adding that “social justice measures are on the agenda of every Egyptian party I have heard of”.

    Even the interim cabinet seems to get it. In March, as part his first TV address as interim prime minister, Essam Sharaf affirmed social justice, along with freedom and democracy, as one of the main principles of the revolution. These words have been accompanied by at least some action — one example being tentative moves to reform Egypt’s regressive income tax.

    The old system (typical of tax policy in the region) was basically flat, with a top rate of 20%. This put an unfair burden on society’s lower ranks and allowed those at the top to accumulate massive fortunes. These fortunes in turn drove rampant inflation which, combined with a 10% sales tax, put an ever-increasing strain on the spending power of the poor. Meanwhile, the public health and education systems fell apart.

    The changes made so far are small — the tax-free threshold has been lifted slightly and the top rate raised to 25% — but they are an indication that Egypt’s political class know which way they are supposed to be moving.

    Perhaps a more significant indicator than the small steps taken on tax is the interim cabinet’s decision to turn down a new round of unpopular and potentially devastating loans from the IMF. This decision will give the new government more freedom to chart its own economic course.

    Of course the fight is not won yet. Less high-profile deals with western financial institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are still on the cards and have similar strings attached.

    There are well-off enemies of social justice within Egypt, too, and they seem to have an ally in the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has banned strikes and sit-ins along with protests. Their objections, however, are generally based less on principle than issues of practicality: that businesses, for example, can’t agree to new wage structures now, amid such political uncertainty.

    Market fundamentalism has no traction here any more and no new government will be able to hide behind experts that advocate it. The government will have to be seen to be acting directly to ease the population’s suffering and re-levelling a very slanted playing field.

    From the beginning, the class-based economic elements of this revolution have been undeniable to those paying attention. The “April 6” Facebook group which triggered the uprising in January had itself been inspired by the textile workers of Mahalla whose strike had been part of an ongoing rolling wave of industrial action across the country involving more than a million workers — a story the mainstream media has studiously ignored.

    On the odd occasion that the unpopularity of Mubarak’s neoliberal programme is mentioned now, it is with a tone of tutting condescension. Back in February, for instance, a Reuters business commentary on Egypt and other North African countries noted the “bitter irony” that:

    “Citizens of the countries in question would be financially better off if their governments don’t stray too far from the economic policies they have pursued in the past. But the toppling of unpopular regimes will make it difficult for their successors to adopt the same policies.”

    What the article did not consider was that it might be the other way round — and that Mubarak’s extreme capitalist policies could have contributed to his unpopularity.

    Such an analysis implies that the Egyptian people are so blinded by their hatred of the dictator that they don’t know what’s good for them. It relies on the assumption that the answer to such questions has been settled in favour of the Friedmanite policies that have been ascendant in the halls of power through the last few decades. Events in Egypt — and indeed around the world — should give those still indulging in such hubris pause for thought.


  3. 30 ‘militants’ killed by air strikes

    Yemen: US air strikes and offensives by the Yemeni military have killed 30 suspected militants in recent days in attacks on Islamist-controlled cities in the south.

    A military official said that the US had been bombing al-Qaida positions while a medical official said that four Yemeni military officers were also killed in clashes on Wednesday and today.

    President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government has lost control of swathes of the south as mass protests demanding an end to his 33-year rule drag into their eighth month.


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