Yemen’s new government now includes, for the first time, members of the South Yemeni secessionist movement al-Hirak. The Yemeni government, which included members of the Shi’a Houthi guerrillas from the north of Yemen until they withdrew in protest, may lead the way for the restoration of the independence of the former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) or, as it was commonly known, «South Yemen».
Also known as «Democratic Yemen», the PDRY saw its independence abrogated after a bloody 1994 war with North Yemen. A 1990 unification deal between North and South Yemen turned sour for the south after northern leaders began treating South Yemen as a conquered vassal state. After the South’s attempt to restore its independence failed, North Yemeni troops marched into Aden on July 7, 1994 as a virtual conquering army.
During the civil war, the Bill Clinton administration provided National Security Agency satellite and radio direction finding intelligence to the North’s forces. Facing defeat, the South’s leaders fled into exile in neighboring Oman and Saudi Arabia. However, with the collapse of the corrupt former government in the northern capital of Sana’a, the South Yemeni political leaders are back and are flexing their political muscles in the southern capital of Aden.
The new President of Yemen, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, himself a south Yemeni, was under pressure from all sides to appoint the unity government under Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, a former Yemeni ambassador to the United Nations who is also from the south. Bahah was asked to form his government after Houthi rebels, believed to be backed by ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, stormed the capital city of Sana’a from their northern strongholds and paralyzed the central government until it gave into their demands. Hirak forces have warned the Houthis not to enter Aden or other South Yemeni cities.
The long-exiled former vice president of the PDRY, Abdul Rahman al-Jifiri, recently returned from Saudi Arabia to a thunderous welcome in Aden. Jifiri had a warning for the Sana’a government, the Houthis, and the interfering Americans: «We have one clear demand, establishing a federal, sovereign and democratic state on the soil of the south». Jifiri also had a warning for the Houthis: «The south is not a small piece of land that can be swallowed easily. We will exercise our right for self-defense if the Houthis attack us».
The unity government and the political power achieved by the Houthi rebels and the al-Hirak separatists, the latter assuming control over the important Yemeni oil ministry in the unity government, spells the end for a plan drawn up by former U.S. ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein. The so-called «Feierstein Plan» would have divided Yemen into six centrally-controlled provinces with the desires of the Shia Houthis and secular southern separatists being ignored. The Feierstein Plan was nothing more than a Zionist and neo-conservative contrivance to keep Yemen under the Western yoke. The plan was drawn up by Feierstein and his pro-Israeli and anti-Shi’a co-conspiracists in the State Department and Israeli-funded Washington think tanks like the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).
The United States and the status quo enthusiasts at the State Department have chosen to morph the South Yemeni independence front, composed of socialists of the old independent Democratic Yemen and supporters of the former royal nations of Qu’aiti state, Kathiri state, and Mahra state in the Hadhramaut, into «Al Qaeda». The State Department is banking on the fact that the history of South Arabia is unknown to most Americans and therefore, it can be altered by crafty disinformation specialists. Once enemies during South Yemen’s war of independence from Britain, the South Arabian socialists and royalists have become allies against common foes: the former central government in Sana’a, its American benefactors, and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The South Arabian royalists were vanquished in 1967 when the British double-crossed the reigning sultans, who were members of the British-contrived Federation of South Arabia, a conglomeration of emirates, sultanates, and sheikdoms in the Western Protectorate of South Arabia, briefly known as the United Arab Sultanates (UAS) and not unlike the former British-controlled Trucial States after they formed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Persian Gulf. But instead of the UIAS becoming independent like the UAE, the British, eager to evacuate their bases and colonies east of the Suez Canal, handed over South Arabia to the Marxist National Liberation Front (NLF) of South Yemen. By 2012, the old NLF leaders of South Yemen and the royalists came together to fight for the restoration of South Yemen’s independence, with some independence leaders not even using the name «Yemen», but referring to the nation as it was known prior to 1967: «South Arabia». Pro-independence demonstrators in Aden have unfurled on the streets of Aden, Mukalla, and other South Yemeni cities the old black, white, red, and light blue flag of the former South Yemen.
For Washington, independence restoration for the South is not an option. CIA propagandists have falsely labeled drone attacks against targets in the South as operations against «Al Qaeda», The CIA disinformation machine has also tried to falsely link the South Yemeni independence fighters to Al Qaeda. Moreover, Israeli Lobby propaganda apparatchiks, working in tandem with George Soros-financed «civil society» interlocutors, have entered into the fray with charges that the Southern Separatist Movement or «Hirak», receives support from Iran. The charges of Iranian involvement with Hirak are pure Israeli-initiated neo-con propaganda.
Saudi Arabia appears to be playing a double game in South Yemen or South Arabia. The last Qu’aiti state Sultan, Ghalib II, has joined forces with Hirak to demand South Arabia’s return to full sovereign status. Ghalib is headquartered in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. The Kathiri Sultanate of the Hadhramaut is also staking its claim in a restored independent South Arabia.
The Abdali royal family of the former Sultanate of Lahej, which once ruled Aden, has quietly joined forces with Hirak and the Qu'aiti sultan. Tribes in Lahej near Aden still maintain allegiance to the last sultan, who was known for his anti-colonialist views and was a constant irritant to the British governors of Aden who were suspicious of his links to Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. British colonialism has now been replaced with American neo-colonialism, enforced by armed drones with the agreement of a government in Sana'a that has operated under political orders from Washington.
After the British handover of South Arabia to the NLF, many South Arabian rulers fled to Saudi Arabia but their appeals, like the one the Qu’aiti State made to the United Nations, were unheard. Saudi Arabia secretly backed the South in the 1994 civil war and has quietly backed the southerners, especially the royalists who always looked upon the Saudis as their protectors, in their recent battles with the North.
The problem for Hirak, Ghalib, and the South is that before Great Britain handed over South Arabia to the NLF, the Mahra Sultanate of Qishn in Hadhramaut, part of the Protectorate of South Arabia, controlled the strategic island of Socotra. The United States has long coveted the island for use as a major U.S. intelligence base. Washington has long believed that a deal to obtain basing rights was better obtained through the North Yemenis in Sana’a than with an independent government in Aden or a restored regional government under a sultan in Qishn. Bedouins in the once was the Mahra Sultanate have proclaimed Abdullah Ben Isa Ben Afran, the son of the former Sultan of Mahra and Socotra, as the sultan of a restored independent Mahra and Socotra. The government in Sana’a and the neocons in Washington want nothing to do with restored sultanates that could impede U.S. military designs on Yemen.
The U.S. Navy has also coveted logistical basing rights in Aden, notwithstanding the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 in Aden harbor. The American game in South Arabia can be summed up in four words: bases, oil, Israel, and logistics (BOIL). As with other regions of the Middle East and North Africa, from Syria to Libya and Mali to northern Iraq, America’s «BOILs» are becoming a cancer.
However, the re-emergence of an independent, neo-socialist, and secular republic in South Yemen with its capital city of Aden may begin to reverse the steady Islamist radicalization of the Middle East brought about by Israeli, Turkish, Qatari, American, and other outside subterfuge.