Amid rumors of a military coup and nascent signs of renewed military conflict, Ali Abdullah Saleh has landed in Riyadh at the “request of the Saudi government leaders and the UN secretary general.”
Foreign media has predictably descended upon his “unannounced” visit and the apparent signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) initiative, misreporting the beginning of a “power transfer” in Yemen. Designed by U.S. and Saudi officials in cooperation with Saleh’s regime and the oppositional Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), the GCC’s initiative would leave Saleh in power as “honorary president” until an election can be scheduled in January. Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Hadi, vice president of 17 years, would head a “unity” government and oversee a military council headed by Saleh’s family members.
Immunity was also granted in order to extract them and whitewash U.S. complicity in Yemen’s crackdown. Saleh will reportedly stay in Saudi Arabia whether or not the GCC’s initiative is signed, but Yemenis have seen this movie before. Controlling his regime from Riyadh is also the smarter play from Saleh’s point of view.
With UN officials flying into Riyadh, a packed house of foreign dignitaries is about to participate in a monumental international scam. U.S. officials will pose with the murderous Saleh and, if he actually signs the GCC’s initiative, restore him as a loyal ally in order to legitimize the continuation of his regime. The process is identical to the Obama administration's original scam in Egypt and ongoing support for the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) - only this scam is UN-approved.
Meanwhile in Sanaa's Change Square, local activists and journalists report a palpable sense of anger amongst the revolutionaries. They’ve watched Egypt unfold in a parallel world and understand the international plot obscuring their own future. Protesters reject any continuation of the regime and its military leadership, and especially a snap election conducted on Saleh’s watch. A gathering mass of protesters is chanting "no to immunity, no to Saudi, no to Ahmed Ali!" in reference to Saleh’s son and commander of his Republican Guard. A picture of Saleh and King Abdullah was torched.
No one is certain of Saleh's next actions, but Yemenis are positive of continuing their revolution.