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Democracy Or Formula One? – OpEd

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By Seyyed Mohyeddin Sajedi

It is not yet clear whether or not Yemen’s president will return to his country. Many guess Ali Abdullah Saleh has left Yemen forever.

In an audio recording, he has stated that he is in good health condition since the mortar attack on his compound left him wounded last Friday.

This is despite the fact that US sources say Saleh’s wounds are more severe than initially anticipated; 40 percent of his body has burned, he has brain hemorrhage and shrapnel from the mortar has hit him in the chest just below the heart.

According to US sources, the Yemeni president will not be able to return to his country in the near future despite claims by his officials that he will be back in the country within a few days.

A website close to Yemeni Vice President Abed-Rabbu Mansour Hadi says Saleh has opposed a US-Qatari plot to transfer power in Yemen via a coup. But other sources claim the US ambassador to Sana’a is in constant contact with Hadi.

Making predictions about Yemen is not very difficult. The president of the country has fled to Saudi Arabia, possibly for two reasons. It doesn’t matter if he has gone there for medical purposes or if he has escaped to Saudi Arabia. The important point is that his vice president, who has held the position and has experienced power for nearly 16 years, has gained power for the transition period with the planning of the US and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council.

Algerian newspaper al-Fajr recently wrote that “Saudi Arabia has become the Mecca for corruption!! Corrupt Arab leaders have gone to live in Saudi Arabia. This was the case for former Tunisian President Ben Ali and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Hosni Mubarak would have been there too had it not been for his pride and self-esteem… Ali Abdullah Saleh has joined the group.”

Among different news stories, we witness endless media speculation regarding the future of Arab leaders and almost everyone believes that all Arab leaders will leave and that change is imminent. But the scope of the change remained a subject for speculation. Will the change be limited within the borders of these countries or will it affect international relations?

Egyptian newspaper al-Mesryoon has printed a prediction by former Israeli Mossad chief Danny Yatom. He has warned that Israel will enter a war with Egypt, Turkey and Jordan in September, when Palestinians are expected to ask the United Nations to officially recognize a sovereign Palestinian state.

Of course, recognition by the UN differs from membership in the world body. The US may oppose Palestine’s membership in the UN and use its veto power against it, but the Palestinians do not have serious problems in recognizing their independent state at the UN General Assembly.

A state of hostility between Israel on one side and Egypt, Turkey or Jordan on the other may seem far-fetched, but almost no one doubts that [Libyan ruler Muammar] Gaddafi is spending his last weeks in Tripoli.

Aside from advancement by Gaddafi’s opponents towards the Libyan capital and NATO’s reinforcement of its operations, the Russian president’s remarks that Gaddafi should leave office and Moscow and Beijing’s dispatch of delegations for talks with Libya’s opposition Transitional National Council leaves no doubt regarding the fact that no one has left on his side throughout the world.

The situation is also headed towards complication in Syria despite Bashar al-Assad’s efforts to implement change and reform in the country.

Turkey, the US and Europe are also trying to mass the Syrian opposition in a united front with Saudi Arabia and Qatar assisting them. Two related gatherings in the cities of Antalya in Turkey and Brussels in Belgium bode ill for Damascus.

Some predict that Syria would undergo some serious development until September, which would overshadow the Middle East.

Another prediction pictures continued presence of tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq. All US troops should leave the country by the end of December, but Maliki’s government is under pressure to agree longer deployment. In the light of the likelihood that the situation aggravates in Syria, Washington prefers to keep part of its army in Iraq.

The situation in Bahrain is different. The Bahraini’s freedom-seeking movement has been crushed before the eyes of Western governments. The governments have, however, found that survival of the current state suits their interests best.

The Bahraini king only extended an invitation for the resumption of the national dialogue after the US president underlined the necessity for talks in his recent speech about the Middle East.

The Bahraini crown prince is welcomed at the White House and received the praise of US officials. Is taking place of the Formula One auto race in Bahrain more important than forming a constitutional government and real parliament in the country?

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Press TV

Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

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