The ‘New Yemen’ An insight into post-revolutionary social changes in Yemen
Ever since Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia set himself on fire in front of the headquarter of the state of Sidi Bouzid in a rampage of anger expressing his deep frustration from the confiscation of his wares and the humiliation he received on the hands of a municipality officer; Revolutions inspired by the Tunisian events massively erupted and heavily stormed several countries and slightly affected some in the MENA region , resulting in a domino effect that was subsequently known as the ‘Arab Spring” inflicting threats of removal on oppressive authoritarian regimes in countries such as Libya , Egypt , Syria and Yemen.
Unlike its stable rich neighboring countries ; Yemen has always been fraught with contention and instability either before or after the unification of its two parts ( Northern and southern) in 1990 to form a unitary state that was subsequently known as the ‘Republic of Yemen’ , A unity that did not go as planned , resulting in a massive civil war that took place in the summer of 1994, which had left thousands of victims behind and further more compounded causing a great social congestion between residents of the two former states.
The Gulf and Iran: New realities, new strategies
The Gulf and Iran: New realities, new strategies Arab Gulf countries should have a common regional strategy to deal with Iran’s rising power.
Recent tensions between the GCC countries have loosened the cohesiveness of the Council [EPA] An Iranian nuclear deal is likely to put an end to the status quo between the Gulf and Iran. While the US withdrawal from Iraq shook the balances, a nuclear deal would mean an unprecedented rise in Iran’s power in the region. This development has put a political distance between the countries in the Gulf region.
But not all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are on the same wavelength. Oman has adopted a neutral approach, while playing the role of facilitator in US-Iran relations when it hosted preparatory diplomacy for the nuclear deal. Qatar is vying to position itself as a key regional and international player. The UAE is confused and has sided with Saudi Arabia, while also attempting to ease its own tensions with Iran. Saudi Arabia has intensified its proxy wars against Iran, feeling both threatened and betrayed by the recent US-Iran rapprochement.
The Holy Alliance of GCC
In his book “Diplomacy”, Henry Kissinger claims that the European balance of power (1815-1848) has emerged in order to contain France and its revolutionary and nationalist ideas. He defines balance of power “as arranging of affairs so that no state shall be in position to have absolute mastery and dominance over the others”. As a result a Holy alliance was formed between the three conservative monarchies; Russia, Prussia and Austria, later Britain joined. The alliance turned to be a symbol of repression of liberal, nationalist, and revolutionary movements in all over Europe. These empires were composed of multinational ethnic groups, thus these movements were seen as threat and dangerous. The Holy alliance used religion to boost its legitimacy. Hence the alliance was based on the principles and values of Christianity and used this idea to counter the principles of “Equality, Liberty and Fraternity”.
In 1981 the Gulf Cooperation Council was formed in response of regional revolutions and events. Saudi Arabia Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and UAE declared that the GCC is established in view of the special relations between them, their similar political systems based on Islamic beliefs, joint destiny and common objectives. To deter the Iranian exported Shi’a revolutionary ideas, the Sunni monarchs of Gulf formed their holly alliance as a counterrevolutionary step. Thus it was the fear, that the Shias in the Gulf could rebel against their monarchies, drove them to form an alliance. These monarchies were conservative and like the European Holy alliance, they too used religion, Sunni Islam, to boost their domestic legitimacy. But the GCC faces many difficulties and obstacles. My paper will analyze these problems and divide it into three consecutive parts by using a comparative theory to compare the phases between GCC and European Holy alliance, Concert of Europe.
First, the formation of GCC was reaction rather than a calculated rational initiative. The inability of the GCC Peninsula Shield to deter the Iranian revolution, consequences of Iraqi-Iranian war and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and the reliance of GCC over Western military support raised many questions on the effectiveness of the organization. Second, the spread of “Arab Spring” movements within the borders of GCC concerned the conservative monarchs. They used the strategy of double standard. Supporting such movements outside their borders to change and shape the balance of power in the Arab world and oppressed these movements within their borders. Finally the internal rivalries between its members and the non-unified strategy challenged the progress of GCC. Based on this analysis, I will raise the question whether the GCC will be effective organization in the near future or not?