After enraging women protesters across Yemen for ordering them not to mix with men - essentially ordering them out of the revolution - President Ali Abdullah Saleh has lost himself in some deep backtracking. Tawakkol Karman, Yemen’s leading female activist, pounced on Saleh for showing “his real face and his hatred against women.” With women spearheading rallies in Sana'a, Taiz and Aden, opposition figure Ali Obaid added, "Yemeni women lead the Yemeni revolution and men follow."
Manifesting Saleh’s counter-productivity in the streets, protester Raiofa Nasser explained, "Many women were avoiding the protests, but since Saleh's verbal attack on women, we will not go home.”
Amid reports that security forces fired point-blank on protesters, government officials have blamed protesters for illegally marching and for injuring policemen with stones. The reality is that provoking disproportionate force through low-intensity violence serves as a pillar of fourth-generation warfare, and Saleh fell right into the trap. Now his officials are spinning his latest address as “advice” to protect women from harm, while ironically accusing the opposition of twisting his words. Although Saleh was foolish enough to trigger Yemen’s estrogen, he’s not so stupid as to realize the consequences for shooting women, especially from his American benefactor.
"Saleh is the first to support women's rights and has always shown interest in involving women in Yemeni politics," said Zaid Thari, a senior member of the ruling General People's Congress (GPC). "Saleh was advising protesters and not acting against women in specific."A typical example of the duplicity Yemenis have become habituated to after 32 years, and an explanation for why the streets don’t trust the political opposition to negotiate on their behalf:
SANA'A, April 17 (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh has affirmed his keenness to strengthen women's participation in political action and in all institutions of the State.Spoken like the calculating but disconnected dictator that U.S. cables knew him to be.
This came during his meeting on Sunday with a number of women's leaderships, who expressed their appreciation for encouragement, care and support provided by the president to women in the country.
President Saleh said that Yemeni women have proven that they have sufficient awareness and care about the national issues more than some people.
"We do not suspect our mothers, daughters or sisters. Women are the best and more honorable than to say anything about," he said.
He wondered how those, who sit-in in front of Sana'a University, permitted to themselves to leave women in the streets, while they claim to not mix.
"When we talked and said why mixing, that is because of our worry about our daughters, sisters and mothers from mob and anarchists," the president explained.
President Saleh noted that women have demonstrated a rare courage in this crisis in all parts of the country, highly valuing their role in the current crisis.
He renewed emphasis to women's leaderships, saying, "We will not let you down whatever the circumstances.”