The Western powers' inaction on Yemen risks appearing hypocritical after they took such direct action in Libya
Yemeni anti-government protester injured during clashes with security forces in Sanaa / Reuters
Marc Lynch, responding to today's violent crackdown on protesters in Yemen, writes:
It has been difficult to get anyone to pay attention to Yemen ... ever since President Ali Abdullah Saleh had been rushed to Saudi Arabia for treatment of wounds from an apparent assassination attempt. Distracted by hot wars in Libya and Syria, the struggling transition in Egypt, and the diplomatic train wreck between Israel and the Palestinians, the U.S. and most of the region put Yemen on the back burner. Even though thousands of incredibly determined and resilient Yemenis continued to protest regularly, and analysts warned with increasing desperation that missing the opportunity to bring about a transition would be a disastrous mistake, the urgency faded away. Indeed, Saleh's regime counted on that fading external urgency as part of its strategy of delay and distraction, hoping to outlast, confuse, divide, and where possible crush the protest movement. Now, Yemenis are paying for that neglect in blood.
His solution? The U.S., the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the UN, and Yemen's own opposition (I'm assuming he means the latest iteration of the Joint Meeting Parties) need to push for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's immediate resignation.
The thing is, the GCC and Yemen's opposition movement have been pushing for this since April. President Obama has been calling for Saleh's resignation since May. And the UN has publicly condemned Saleh's regime's crackdown on protestors since March. So what could any of these group do now that is different from what they've been doing?