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Has the death certificate for the Brotherhood in Yemen been issued?

September 22, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that the Sanaa agreement signed between the state and the Houthis is considered one of the most important political documents in the modern history of Yemen. The agreement restructures the Yemeni political arrangement as a whole, moving the Houthis from the margin to the centre, not only by moving its mechanisms and soldiers to the heart of the capital city of Sanaa, but also by moving its political position from being a strong marginal faction fighting to establish itself, to being a main pole without which the state equation in Yemen would collapse.

In addition to this, the agreement has gone beyond the tribal system in Yemen and its role in the political decision after the Yemeni revolution and the consequent events slightly loosened the grip of tribalism in the favour of a political game under the supervision of the UN and the interventions of the two Gulf wings (Qatar/Riyadh alliance). These Houthi gains may be a real start to the end of the several pending issues as well as integrating the South.

The more accurate description of what happened is that the margin became the centre, while the centre became marginalised. The Houthis, National Rally for Reform and Development, and the fragile structure of the state were the weaker party, although the state was winning because it accepted the new power structure. However, the former central parties, i.e. the Brotherhood and the political tribes in Yemen, have now become politically marginalised due to their lack of real ability to manoeuvre and their adoption of “less costly” strategies.

In war, the side that looks for the less costly option always ends up with less expensive gains. This political laziness may sparkle in the beginning in terms of the concepts of unity and avoiding bloodshed, but later, its results will be reflected when the gains are distributed and the side with the “least costly” theory discovers that it also has the least weight in the end.

Wars occur in history in order to reflect the desire of one party to change the balances of power and status. In the conflict of nations and civilisations, war is the most honest and accurate expression of changes and transformation, and when one party reaches a level of power and strength that gives it a role amongst the superpowers, it provokes a major war or riot to give itself a foothold amongst them.

Time does not recognise the monopolisation of positions, as the factors of time quickly summon the strongest. The positions and thrones amongst the superpowers do not like to be occupied by the weak and vulnerable. This is what the Houthis did, as their latest attack was nothing more than the last stage of years of preparations to move from the margins to the centre, and from geographical marginalisation to centrality. Thus, with the possession of true equations of strength, everything becomes possible and things that were impossible yesterday become the reality today.

Perhaps this is the issuance of a new death certificate, this time in Yemen, to the Muslim Brotherhood’s political behaviour, which has become lax and weak in the region due to its traditional management of new conflicts. After the Brotherhood became the centre of the conflict with the regimes in the region, their positions would have been occupied by marginal powers that have now become central powers in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Amongst the emergence of the marginalised parties, the Brotherhood are in a state of major denial in terms of the level of such emergence, without trying to read the lessons and real reasons behind their emergence. The Brotherhood prefers to continue to blame the invisible hands rather than being interested in studying the reasons of the marginal forces’ emergence and the fall of the central forces.

Perhaps I must note that these death certificates have been issued for the political behaviour of the Muslim Brotherhood, but that the human structure of the Brotherhood, its historical situation, and social reality are all still alive. Psychology and behavioural studies show that continued failures may lead to many revisions and reconsiderations that later result in major transformations and future success. However, the Brotherhood’s reaction to its failures is still childish and impulsive, while the marginal forces race to divide the Brotherhood’s legacy in the conflicts. If the Brotherhood does not rethink and address the path it is following, then the death certificates may continue to be issued until the Brotherhood’s existence is truly dead and it is not only marginalised from the centre, but completely eliminated.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.