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Raghida Dergham Guest on Al Jazeera's Min Washington
02/11/2014

فيلتمان لـ«الحياة»: عدم انعقاد المؤتمر يعني ترشح الأسد للرئاسة السنة المقبلة

10/24/2013

Interview: Raghida with Jeffrey Feltman
10/24/2013


وزير خارجية البحرين لـ«الحياة»: كيري أبلغنا ان التركيز مع إيران سيكون على الملف النووي

2013/10/01

القربي لـ«الحياة»: «حزب الله» وإيران يقدمان الدعم المادي والمعنوي للبيض
2013/10/01

سليمان لـ«الحياة»: لا تسرب لأسلحة كيماوية إلى لبنان ونيات انفتاح بين السعودية وإيران تبشر بانفراج عام

2013/09/27

المرزوقي لـ«الحياة»: 4500 تونسي منعناهم من السفر إلى سورية للقتال

2013/09/26

العطية لـ «الحياة»: مجلس التعاون يدرس آليات للتحرك في الأمم المتحدة في شأن سورية

2013/09/25

زيباري لـ «الحياة»: الأسد باق ولا حل بلا تدخل دولي مسؤول

2013/09/25

وزير الخارجية المصري لـ«الحياة»: قرارنا لن يتأثر بالمساعدات الأميركية

2013/09/24

العربي لـ«الحياة»: الحل في سورية يجب أن يكون سياسياً ومؤتمر السلام للبحث في هيئة حكومية انتقالية بصلاحيات كاملة
10/03/2013


الزياني لـ «الحياة»: اقتراحات سترفع إلى القمة في شأن اقتراحات التحول إلى كيان موحد
10/03/2013

أوغلو لـ«الحياة»: التفاهمات الدولية محصورة بالملف الكيماوي ومن السابق لأوانه التكهن بنتائج الحوار الأميركي - الإيراني
10/03/2013

ناس و ناس مع كبيرة المراسلين راغدة درغام

FutureTV Society & Lifestyle
2013/06/02


Ethics and Politics: Response to the Plight of Refugees
Raghida Dergham - Beirut Institute - April 13, 2013

Beirut Al Yawm - Raghida Dergham
MTV - Lebanon - 05/17/2013

Faith in the Future
Article - Bespoke Magazine

Writer: Raya Jalabi - Photo: Thierry van Biesen
October 2012

Beirut’s New Think Tank
Talking to Raghida Dergham
Hanin Ghaddar, July 3, 2012


Web-Exclusive Video:

بانوراما: هل يسقط المشروع بالفيتو الروسي
02/01/2012


Raghida Dergham @ Murex D'or 2012
2012 Journalism Award for the Arab Region

Raghida's Acceptance Speech (@27mins:30sec)


Interview: Raghida Dergham  with Mahmoud Abbas
09/23/2011

Raghida Dergham Speaks at The Worldwide Alumni
Association of the American University of Beirut
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel - Montreal - 10/09/2009


راغدة درغام: حاربت من أجل حياتي
2009/09/02



Photo: david abdalla

Weekly Column - 02/27/2015
Translation  - Karim Traboulsi
(Updated every Friday)

US and Gulf Confusion in
Yemen and Iraq


The return of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bloodily shaping the country’s history has not come overnight, on the eve of the house arrest imposed by the Houthis on current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi before they allowed him to flee to Aden -- the capital of South Yemen before reunification. Ali Abdullah Saleh, since he agreed to step down three years ago, has been planning to return to power either on the Houthi bandwagon or through elements in the military establishment, not to mention deploying his huge influence and financial assets to buy loyalty and empower his party, family, and son to retake power at any cost. Another man in the Arab region preparing behind the scenes and plotting in secret to return to his devastating role in Iraq’s history is former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. 

The common denominator between Yemen’s strongman and Iraq’s strongman is that they both left power as a result of regional and international pressures and bargains in which the United States and the GCC countries, as well as Iran, played important roles. The difference is that the Iraqi event attested that Tehran had to sacrifice Nouri al-Maliki in what appeared as signs of strategic accords between Iran and key Gulf powers, especially Saudi Arabia, as well as the United States. By contrast, the event in Yemen is a clear indication of the absence of accords and reconciliatory strategies. The Iranian role backing the Houthis in Yemen emerged in parallel with the Iraqi event, in tandem with the determination of Ali Abdullah Saleh to enter into an alliance with the Houthis and Iran to settle scores with Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, which had helped remove him from power. The two men have an ugly agenda for Iraq and Yemen. If the Gulf leaders are serious and vigilant, they must develop a comprehensive strategy for both Iraq and Yemen, two majorly important countries for the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf. Otherwise, the GCC countries will pay a heavy price, and not just Iraq and Yemen. 

This week, a UN Security council expert team said in a report that Ali Abdullah Saleh had amassed close to $60 billion in 30 years as Yemen’s president, through corruption, embezzlement, and commissions imposed on oil companies. According to the experts, he has stashed away these funds across 20 countries using other figures and companies as fronts. 

The experts who report to the UN Yemen sanctions panel told the Security Council that Saleh facilitated it for the Houthis and Al-Qaeda to expand their control in northern and southern Yemen, and that he continues to run a broad network of financial, security, military, and political interests in Yemen that allowed him effectively to avoid the effects of the sanctions imposed on him under UN Security Council resolution 2140. The panel’s report said, “It is also alleged that Ali Abdullah Saleh, his friends, his family and his associates stole money from the fuel subsidy program, which uses up to 10 per cent of Yemen’s gross domestic product, as well as other ventures involving abuse of power, extortion and embezzlement.” “The result of these illegal activities for private gain is estimated to have amounted to nearly $2 billion a year over the last three decades,” it adds. 

These funds were instrumental in changing the partisan loyalties to the extent of forming “unexpected alliances between former enemies, such as the Houthis and former President Saleh; the weakening of dominant political parties like the Islah party; the departure of leading political and influential figures like Hamid al-Ahmar and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar from Yemen; an increase in Al-Qaeda activities in the south and Hadramaut; and an increased call for separation by the south,” the report argues.

So how did a panel of experts with a specific mission manage to understand the equations and developments in Yemen, while Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia were not able to ascertain and prepare for what was obvious in Yemen?

The question is important to identify whether the flaw is fundamental, or whether it was an exception, and as it is being said related to the health of the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and the transition in the kingdom.

Either way, what happened is extremely dangerous, not only for Yemen, but also for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. However, if the events in Yemen are the result of a deliberate policy based on mutual attrition, then this is an unwise policy similar to the unwise policy on Syria. Its risks would be twofold for Yemen and the Gulf region, led by Saudi Arabia.

Indeed, mutual attrition or destruction has failed in Syria, and has helped destroy the present, future, and even past of Syria -- if we consider the archaeological and cultural heritage of the country now in ruins -- at the hands of the regime and the terrorists like ISIS and al-Nusra, with local, regional, and international enablement that no one is innocent of. Attrition is a foolish policy because it helped terrorism grow, and created an opportunity for ISIS to proliferate until it drew attention away from what is happening in Syria. 

If an international team was able to obtain detailed information and produce a logical and realistic analysis of the Yemeni situation, while the Gulf countries -- as it is claimed -- were taken by surprise by the events in Yemen and are still unable to develop a strategy to deal with them, then this is a frightening testimony of the utter lack of intelligence and analysis capabilities in the Gulf region. 

The international report to the UN Security Council stated that according to a confidential source, Al-Qaeda is taking advantage of such sensitivities and is recruiting Sunni tribesmen to fight on its side against the Houthis. The report also states, “The geographical proximity of Eritrea to Yemen lends itself to licit and illicit activities, and several trusted interlocutors mentioned confidentially the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) training of Houthi forces on a small island off the Eritrean coast.” 

According to the same report as well, there is a close relationship between Ali Abdullah Saleh, his family and Al-Qaeda. The report quotes sources as saying that Mohammad Nasser Ahmed, the former Minister of Defence, saw Al-Qaeda leader .... 
 

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