This chapter juxtaposes these seemingly two quite different storylines - one about Yemeni aspirations for social justice and better governance and the other about American and Saudi operations undertaken in the name of combating terrorism. The so-called GCC Initiative, and in particular the National Dialogue Conference process playing out as this book goes to press, provides the link between them. From the perspective of domestic politics, the Dialogue can be read as the outcome of agitation by the new generation of 'peaceful youth', as well as an outgrowth of Yemen's tradition of dialogue - an historic effort to resolve crisis through broad negotiation between representatives of various political constituencies. In the context of the 'war on terror', however, the GCC Initiative and even the donor-sponsored Dialogue among political elites can be seen as security-driven or even hegemonic projects on the part of the us and its ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Copyright © 2014 Saqi Books. This chapter first appeared in Why Yemen Matters: A Society in Transition.

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