Everyone is getting in the game
Well, your buddy Brian here at Waq al-Waq never really expected to link to an article from Marxism.com, but it seems everyone wants to get into the Yemen game right now. So: here is a look at the southern secession movement through a lenses of Marxism.
Get past some of the outdated jargon. (“The old proletarian bonapartist (Stalinist) state of PDRY collapsed after the Soviet Union withdrew its support in 1989 and entered into a “union” with the reactionary, tribal state in the north.” Honestly, who talks like this anymore?) This is actually a somewhat decent look at the southern movement, and, more importantly, the role the old PDRY plays in shaping people’s perception of the north. I will admit that working past some of the over-heated prose is difficult, but it is possible.
One of the reasons I am linking to such an obscure and, frankly, weird article is because I am a jackbooted imperialist swine. No: wait. Sorry, I got caught up in the fervor. One of the reasons I am linking to this is to show just how far one has to dig to really get a glimpse of what is happening in the south. Even Greg and I have been largely neglecting it, myself far more than Greg. In terms of media coverage of the rebellions, it has been al-Qaeda, Huthi, and then maybe problems in the south, with far more close-up looks at corruption and poverty.
This is a mistake. These are all huge problems, to be sure, and it seems a fool’s errand to try to rank them. But the southern movement is the one that most clearly threatens Yemen’s territorial integrity. Not only does the “south” (which is really more the east) contain a lot of Yemen’s oil, it also houses the port of Aden. The port is not at its peak, but is still an incredibly crucial economic sector, and could be an avenue for recovery if Yemen could ever get back on its feet. But, as we’ve been saying, forcing Salih to focus his concentration on al-Qaeda, and ignore the other issues, will be a calamitous mistake.
As for me, I promise to start focusing more on the south here soon, but not necessarily just through the glorious class struggle.