Saleh tried repeatedly to depict the Yemeni revolution as a simple disagreement that degenerated into a conflict between the former ruling party and the opposition, and it is on this premise that his regime dealt with both, the revolution and its revolutionaries. In his view, the latter are no more than a base for the opposition parties and, in the best-case scenario, an independent force that the opposition uses to channel its objectives.
Some analysts see certain logic in the theory, since the opposition in Yemen has quite an extensive base through which it channels its influence whenever it chooses. They therefore see the Yemeni revolution as one of the links in the chain of rivalries and struggles, even if they believe that the opposition succeeded this time around in using the Arab and international situations to its advantage, and was thus able to go further than it ever did before.
On the other hand, others believe that such an analysis is unfair to the revolution and unjust towards the revolutionaries who, from the very beginning, have called for the downfall of Saleh and his regime and, in doing so, breached the boundaries set by opposition party leaders at the time. These same analysts go on to say that, given the fact that different strata of the Yemeni population have had enough reason to rebel for quite some time, how would it be with the winds of revolution and change are sweeping the Arab world? In light of this, any analysis of the Yemeni revolution in isolation of the above factors would be misleading.
The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.