The Yemen protests are working. Ali Abdullah Saleh is likely on the way out. But a democracy in Yemen will be up against the terrorist group's vision of violence.
Is democracy the best repellent against Al Qaeda in Muslim countries?
Yemen’s longtime ruler, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is losing power quickly. Thousands of young people have kept peaceful street vigils for democracy since Feb. 21, inspired by Egypt’s ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Last Friday, Mr. Saleh’s legitimacy fell dramatically after security forces killed nearly 50 protesters near Sanaa University and Taghyir (Change) Square.
That slaughter of civilians has now triggered high-level defections of top generals and tribal leaders, who finally recognize the ideals of the disaffected youth and the hollow promises of reform by Saleh.
Unlike Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya, Yemen is home to a branch of Al Qaeda that American officials say is “probably the most significant risk to the US homeland” – even more dangerous than Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.