Wow, a Yemen Times interview with the new British ambassador (Wilks) demonstrates the inane talking points of the US/UK position:
1- he urges the opposition not to engage in violence, fails to note all the violence has been perpetrated or initiated by the state forces
2- he says if the Saleh family refuses to engage in dialog, the UK will urge them some more (how’s that working for you?)
3- he urges youth to hold elections for representatives, when the state has been unable since 2006. Parliamentary elections slated for 2009 had to be postponed for two years and there wasn’t even a revolution then. Gee, maybe something like a council might work in this situation.
4- he urges elections but wont recognize the leaders if elected unless it is according to the UK’s plan
5- the UK’s plan is to support inclusive dialog, the magic potion, with no plan B, and here it is six months later and there’s still no plan B.
6- he says Yemen prone to chaos but no chaos by the protesters occurred since protests began; its Saleh’s regime that is prone to chaos.
7- he says the politicians have all the power to resolve the crisis, and over looks the support of the people who are to be governed by them-ie, the UK is urging Yemenis to replace one illegitimate govt with another.
8- he is annoyed by blame on the international community ??!! for not sorting out the problems. Wow, just wow, I think just shut up and stop supporting and legitimizing the failed regime is all anybody wants.
9- He is waiting for a basic agreement? theres been one since Feb but Saleh and Obama rejected it, its been written and presented time and time again. The protesters want a transitional council. Oh, does he mean Saleh should agree to be overthrown? Its a strawman position. (The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position.)
10- “The political process in Yemen should not just be about seats in government, it should be about dealing with the fundamental economic crisis in the country.” Is it an economic crisis or a glut of corruption that bankrupted the country? Q) Why is there an economic crisis? A) No reform, no diversification, subsidies, poor education, no spending on basic services and elite capture of all resources. The structures of patronage and corruption must be shattered for any hope of an economic recovery. There can be no economic reform without political reform and there’s no hope of political reform without regime change: the last decade has demonstrated the immutability of that truth.
11- The ambassador’s experience of getting kidnapped/besieged by an angry mob of regime thugs was no problem, he smoked and ate and went home. That’s just a great attitude. When Iran captures your ship again, we’ll know its not a problem. I guess the two “al-Qaeda” attacks on Amb. Torlott were no biggie either, when we all know who sent those brainwashed teenagers to bounce off the motorcade, twice.
12- he says freezing assets requires reviewing the UN report on human rights to see its conclusions; so the UK doesn’t know right now whether Saleh’s regime has engaged in human rights violations against the protesters? Uh, there’s over 500 dead, there’s video, eyewitness accounts and reports by HRW.
I had to stop when I got to “no evidence” of UK trained CT forces violating human rights, its both comical and infuriating. Now I know why my British friends are also sputtering. Its a load of propaganda. The entire population of Yemen knows it; they should include the UK in their impending boycott and demand Wilk’s expulsion when they demand Feierstein’s. Full text of the interview below for posterity’s sake:
Armed with his M.Phil in International Relations from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, and around 22 years of diplomatic experience since joining the British Diplomatic Service in 1989, Ambassador Jon Wilks presents as a capable person who can understand Yemen and all its complexities. He speaks fluent Arabic which he mastered in the early nineties in Cairo, a skill that has come very handy in Yemeni qat chewing sessions with officials, diplomats, activists and Yemeni leaders. (Read on …)