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July 28, 2005




I really am left scratching my head.

I have visited Yemen twice and on one occasion saw what looked like a whole battilion (soldiers, tanks, the whole show) being moved from one place to the other.

Curiousity could have killed me, because I strolled over to the soldiers and asked them in Arabic what was going on.

They told me in not as many words to mind my own business and get the hell out of the area asap.

I explained we were tourists and wanted to know if we were safe to cross to marib or return back to sanaa.

I skimmed all the papers and asked everyone I knew for a few days whether they knew why so troops were being mobilised, and no one said anything. There was a total media blackout.

A few days later I had lunch with an MP and ventured with my question. Is there a war?

He laughed and said it's probably two tribes fighting over a water well.

I left it at that.. thanks for putting things in perspective.

Scary Arab world indeed!

The Lounsbury

Bou Aradvrak:
An item to retain supra in the reporting on diesel is the role not only of corruption but also in re water. Subsidised diesel has encourage utterly unsustainable water extraction for current production from non-renewing (in human scale) water sources. A lot of that production goes into Qat.

The story here is a grim one, and in re the economics, it is not a story of the evils of 'neo-liberalism' but feckles and corrupt, as it is put above, short term rent seeking that on an enviro-economic basis may be pushing Yemen towards a real Malthusian style crisis in the future.

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