By Nir Boms and Erick Stackelbeck
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 4, 2004
Last month, as Yemen hosted the Sana’a Conference on Democracy, Human Rights and the Role of the International Criminal Court-the first such event in a country long wracked by internal strife and despotism-the Bush administration was undoubtedly keeping a watchful eye. With Afghanistan and Iraq inching slowly towards reform, Libya apparently coming clean about its WMD program, and Syria and Iran under increasing U.S. pressure, the Yemeni government’s talk of democracy appeared to be another step toward the fulfillment of President Bush’s vision of a free Middle East. But in Yemen, as in most Middle Eastern countries, there is a fine line between rhetoric and reality.