Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Rarity: Middle East Dictator Leaves Post...Free And Alive

That would be Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, who leaves power with both his freedom and his life:
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has signed a U.S.-backed power transfer deal and will travel to New York for medical treatment, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Saleh's signature on the accord, brokered by Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab allies, means his 33-year rule and start a new chapter in the nine-month popular uprising that has shaken the Arab world's poorest country.

Saleh was shown on Arabic satellite television stations on Wednesday signing the deal, which gives him immunity from prosecution.
Ed Morrissey writes that the signing in Saudi Arabia illustrates the Sausi influence in the region:
Riyadh seems to be pulling strings all over the region, stepping up where it sees a vacuum of leadership from the US. Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime was living on borrowed time anyway, and this gives the Saudis a chance to play kingmaker in a neighbor with whom they have had numerous issues over the last several decades
Saudi Arabia is picking up the pieces.
This is not Obama's leading from behind.
This is Saudi Arabia distancing itself from the US.

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