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Guest Thinkers

Lost in Translation, Again

Well it turns out DC didn’t have that much snow after all, but on the plus side I was able to renew my love affair with Amtrak, which even a one-hour delay couldn’t damage, and I got home just in time to receive my new Mac Book. It is so pretty I might not even use it.

I did have the chance over the past couple of days to speak with a number of people (some different and some the same individuals a number of times) about the election delays in Yemen. For my money, this is yet another in a long line of lost in translation debacles between the US and Yemen. For those who have been following Yemeni affairs for at least a couple of years think back to US Ambassador Thomas Krajeski’s remarks on democracy in Yemen.

I don’t have any inside information on the discussions between the US and Yemen, but I imagine it went something like this:

What the US said: We would really, really like the JMP to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

What Yemen heard: Don’t bother having elections if the JMP doesn’t participate.

Then of course Yemen delayed the elections – I still think this is a win for the JMP – and was surprised and angered when the US responded with what I read as a largely pro-forma statement, but which is being seen in San’a as a slap.

In other news, the Ministry of Information is promising to release pictures and names of 155 terrorist suspects, I’m waiting to see if they shuffle the deck again, and mix al-Huthi supporters in with al-Qaeda suspects. Still it should be good to see who they think is at large, especially following the release of a number of prisoners in recent weeks.

Everyone in Yemen is catching it.  Early last week, seven ministers and two deputies resigned their posts so that they could compete in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for April.  […]
I have been traveling to DC the last couple of days – and on the train most of the morning – which means I’m playing a bit of catch-up with […]
As noted below, the Yemeni Parliament has overwhelming agreed to postpone elections for two years, pushing them to the futuristic 2011. The Yemen Observer, taking an angle I hadn’t thought […]

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