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Destroying YemenWhat Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World$
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Isa Blumi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520296138

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520296138.001.0001

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The Region That Pumps the Heart of the Cold War, 1941–1960

The Region That Pumps the Heart of the Cold War, 1941–1960

(p.57) Two The Region That Pumps the Heart of the Cold War, 1941–1960
Destroying Yemen

Isa Blumi

University of California Press

This chapter offers a modest historical scan of the contours of the early Cold War while introducing Yemenis whose roles as potential surrogates for global interests both ignited new political opportunities in the country and redefined what constitutes the modern state. Forming a generation of reformists known as the ‘asriyyun, “modernists,” urban intellectuals cultivated an alliance between the Free Yemeni Movement (FYM) or al-Ahrar al-Yamaniyyun (Free Yemenis) and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) based in Egypt. The resulting coalition of rivals against the Imamate reflected the currents of the larger world and eventually overpowered peoples still resisting global finance capitalism. This chapter tells the story how the Cold War constituted both a threat and opportunity. What happened in Yemen in this period was not solely the consequence of external forces imposing their demands on local societies. Indeed, because Yemenis’ repeated resistance frustrated the ambitions of global powers – British administrators, American oil conglomerates, Soviet strategists, French colonialists in Djibouti, and Egyptian would-be heroes of the Third World – these foreign interests had to adopt new policies towards first Yemen and then with the larger Middle East.

Keywords:   Cold War, Global Finance, United Nations, colonialism, Muslim Brotherhood

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