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Ali Abdullah Salih: Time will tell

September 30th, 2011


Photograph by Yahya Arhab, EPA

Yesterday Yemen’s “embattled” President Ali Abdullah Salih granted an interview to Time Magazine and The Washington Post. While not very enlightening, it does suggest a new sign of desperation. The interview transcript (in English translation of course) is online. He once again played the blame game, insisting that he has been willing all along to abide the GCC agreement and step down.

Then there is the last question. Dodging any direct answer to the official U.S. call for him to step down, he pulls what may be the most desperate part of the interview — talking directly to the American people. The message is one that should resonate with the Tea Partyers who still think President Obama is a Muslim(at least those too dumb to realize who Salih is]. Here is Ali Abdullah Salih, the good dictator who can rid his country of the evil al Qaeda terrorists. Here is the gist:

I want to ask you about Yemen and U.S. relations, which is important: On the day you returned to Yemen …
[Salih] This is the last question. (See a video on the uprisings in Yemen.)

On the day you returned to Yemen …
[Salih] The Yemeni-American relationship is good. In fact, it has not been affected during the past 33 years. And we have relationships with many political powers in Washington, whether they are from the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. There have been some differences during the last Gulf War because of the Yemeni stance, but then the Americans realized that we were right and that we were not just defending the Iraqi regime.

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