President Saleh of Yemen has repudiated the UEA resolution for him to step down in thirty days and turn over power to his vice president.
Now as before, Saleh is playing off his usefulness to the United States in stalling his much-wanted departure. A stable Yemen prevents Al-Qaeda operatives from swarming the country and setting up terrorist operations against Saudi Arabia and the United States. Like other strongmen in the region, Saleh intuitively senses the long-term fears of the United States, that a power vacuum in the Southern Arabian Peninsula will lead to more political unrest.
At this point, however, there is so much political fervor demanding Saleh's ouster, it is nothing short of a miracle that Al-Qaeda has not struck out any more than it already has. Still, United States' foreign policy must construct a new calculus which factors in the removal of former rogue heads of state, no matter how much more this nation's national security may benefit more from a stable dictator than an unknown or unstable democratic ally.
If the United States Diplomatic core presented a United Front, one which expressly endorsed Democratic regimes, with the conditions respecting the integrity of indigenous peoples, their cultures, and their religions, we would be well-positioned to call for the immediate--if necessary, forceful--removal of President Saleh and an interim government to settle long-standing differences.
What if another civil war breaks out like in Libya? Despite the loss of life and civil order, Al-Qaeda still will not be able to launch more permanent bases against targeted states. Tribes fighting tribes, cities against countryside, any military disorder would severely inhibit contrived terrorist operations.
Beyond that, the United States must accept that we must be resigned to watching on the sidelines as the Arab Spring unfolds in directions we may or may not favor.