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The Arabs and the war on Syria

Instead of rushing to judgement, the Arab League states meeting in Cairo this week should have waited for the report of the UN weapons inspectors before handing the reins over to international forces to strike Syria. Sadly, too many of them would like to see the “limited strike” turn into all-out war, and their rush to back an attack provides Washington and other Western capitals with the political cover and financial support they need for military action against the Assad regime.


“Arabism” and “the united identity” are not only the most prominent victims of the sectarian and doctrinal wars sweeping the region, dividing it into fronts, axes and camps, but are also being subjected to the ugliest attempts to distort and redefine their meanings. Nowadays, Arabism is any action against Iran, even if it is instigated by Washington, NATO or Israel. Moreover, Arab identity has become its backbone affiliated with the Sunnis, and following the Salafist and Jihadist doctrine.

Once again, the Arab League, under the “leadership” of Nabil Elaraby, looks as if it has become a low-life extension of the intelligence, finance and diplomatic circles of a handful of Arab states. The Secretary-General continues to prove that he does not live up to his position and has instead chosen to be a false witness to the most dangerous decisions and “cover-ups” put forth by his organisation before signing off on such matters.

By early next week, following Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, the state of Syria is likely to be the sixth Arab country whose airspace will be violated by Tomahawk cruise missiles, stealth aircraft and all the other US tools of murder and destruction. Many more than those who died in the horrendous gas attack in Syria will die as a result of the latest violation of an Arab country’s sovereignty, rights, wealth and future. Such assaults are always covered up by Arab summits and meetings chaired by Elaraby and attended by foreign ministers who were once his peers. If the Arabs continue in this shabby vein then those pressing the missile launch buttons will achieve their nefarious goals.

Moreover, because the leaders of the Ummah ordered to “read” do not read, or do not want to read, few have paid attention to the harvest of their policies in the countries suffering from attacks and violence as a result of the “permanent” threats to their security and stability. Those who rushed to back the US-led invasion of Iraq, applauded Colin Powell and believed, with admiration and remarkable certainty, the evidence he presented to the UN Security Council about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and links with al-Qaeda, are the same people who now shed crocodile tears and see Iraq as a major source of threats to their own national security. The same goes for Libya, Yemen and Somalia, as well as Syria, if the US military strike does not make a substantial difference.

In any case, we are in a situation where we still can’t see the bottom of the abyss into which we are being led. Those who believe that the fireball will stay within the geographical boundaries of Syria are delusional. It will engulf other Arab countries leading to more “negotiations” in the Security Council. The “domino effect” of the Arab Spring will be repeated in the disintegration and collapse of one state after another. Soon they will come to know; indeed, soon they will come to know.

Translated from the Arabic text which appeared on Ad Dustour Newspaper in 29 August 2013

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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