The recent terrorist failed attempt by the Nigerian Umar Abdulmutallab to blow up a Detroit-bound plane has brought Yemen in the heart of the US politics. Jus a week before the incident, if you ask an average American what is Yemen, he probably will say : is it a kind of food or sport ?
Why Afghanistan and Why Yemen ? Why these 2 countries became home-like for al-Qaeda terror organization ? Bin Laden, when he was kicked out of Saudi Arabia and stripped out of his Saudi nationality ( originally he is from South Yemen ) in the early 90s, he escaped to Sudan, but could not survive there . Why he survived in Afghanistan and Yemen ?
Both Afghanistan and Yemen are poor Muslim countries. Both are mountainous. Both populations are extremely tribal. Both populations addicted to narcotics, Afghan to heroin and Yemeni to a semi-narcotic plant called Gat. Both population heavily armed ( it is said in Yemen there are 3 pieces of arms per person ). Both with very low education. Both central governments are weak and corrupt.
The most fertile recruitment ground for terror orgnizationsis land where young people have no future and have nothing to lose if they join a terrorist organization. The battle with al-Qaeda will never be won militarily. This is a battle of hearts and ideas. If the ideology of al-Qaeda is defeated, then it will dissolve like salt in water.
I believe the solution is 2-fold. One in the the Muslim leaders and scholars hands. The other in the US government hand. I do mean it. This is not to spread the responsibility or make it a shared one.
The US should have a neutral position regarding conflicts and consider more carefully the plight of the Palestinian people who have been homeless for 60 years, while the US congress continue it's blind political and financial support to Israel. Every time an Israeli airplane raids a village in Palestinian territories or Lebanon or Gaza and innocent people killed, people say it is America.
Like it or not, Israel in the region is equated with the US. Ending this conflict in a just way that keep the dignity of the Palestinians to live in their state like any other state, will defeat al-Qaeda halfway.
The remaining half is for Muslim scholars and leaders to speak up against resorting to killing civilians regardless of race, religion or ethnic background. This is against Islam teachings which says he who kill a sole like he killed all people and he who help maintain a lifeof a sole like if he maintained the life of all people. Islam is a religion of tolerance and the prophet Mohammed befriended Christian and Jewish people living with him in the same city.
There is a lot to do in this regard, but this requires the US to help these leaders and scholars by taking a neutral position in the Middle East conflict and stops it's total adoption of Israel
Hamad S Alomar