Walking last month into the Shabaab al-Sumud tent in Yemen's Maydan Taghayr --- Change Square --- I was greeted by eager faces and talkative qat chewers. "We love Americans," a Houthi supporter nodded his head vigorously, and, in doing so, revealed an enormous poster on the tent flap behind him on which the group's infamous slogan was inscribed: "God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews." Seeing my eyes widen, he offered, "We hate American policies, notpeople. The roots of the slogan lie in America's war on the Iraqi people and support for Israeli policies against the Palestinians. Let me tell you what it is that the Houthis want...."
Even the dedicated observer of Yemeni affairs can be forgiven for not fully grasping the complexity of the country's political milieu during this shaky revolutionary period.