Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yemeni President To Resign: Another Near Victory For ‘Kids With Stones And Facebook’

Another MENA dictator bites the dust: Yemeni President agrees to step down

From the Wall Street Journal

Yemen's president and the country's top general are hashing out a settlement in which both men would resign within days, people familiar with the situation said, raising crucial questions of who will end up leading a key, though embattled, U.S. counterterrorism ally.

The outlines of a peaceful transition, to a civilian-led transitional government, emerged amid rising tension over the standoff between Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and pro-democracy protesters backed by Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. The general this week broke ranks and declared his support for protesters demanding that the president resign immediately.

Opposing tanks from units loyal to Mr. Saleh and to Gen. Ahmar have faced off in the streets of San'a all week and tens of thousands of antigovernment demonstrators vowed to continue their protest Friday in the capital's Change Square.

It’s almost a validation of what I earlier wrote about—rebutting critiques of MENA revolts spearheaded by “Kids with stones and Facebook”

Today’s defection of Yemen’s key army commanders partially rebuts the idea that incumbents “do not easily yield that power to kids with stones and Facebook”. Maybe not easily, but this only shows that “facebook and kids with stones” have the power to turn the army on their sides.

Don’t forget armies are composite of people---who can be swayed by influences (like networks-families, friends or culture-religion).

As a saying goes... It’s not over till the fat lady sings.

Like it or not, “Kids with stones and Facebook” will play a far crucial role in shaping the geopolitical context than most experts would expect.

As I would like to reiterate, politics is an ongoing process.

People participating in these social (MENA) revolutions may not understand liberty (private property, rule of law and voluntary exchange) enough, in as much as they would like their dictators out. As the 18th President of the US, Ulysses S. Grant, once said,
The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression, if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.
But slowly and surely social media is helping them get there.

1 comment:

Atlanta Roofing said...

President Abdullah has hardly managed to keep al Queda under control during his rule of Yemen- so I don't think his resignation will change much. Yemen is plagued with divisions of tribe and religion, and al Queda thrives in such an environment- it will take years of socio-economic reform to quash them, not President Abdullah.