The chaos in Yemen encapsulates a lot of the complicated civil war wracking Islam. As difficult as it is to explain the situation to a Western audience, I think this NY Times story, especially down towards the bottom, does a reasonable job.

To a very large extent, the West and the U.S. are just bystanders in the larger conflicts shaking the Islamic world. At the heart of the conflict is a question of what century and what values the Middle East will live in and by in the future.

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