We do not want to underestimate or diminish the danger of Islamic State (IS) and extremism, but for the Arab League not to issue a statement to confront Israel, even if it was only a lie and hypocritical, and instead, to only call for measures to confront "terrorism" is another indication that it has become nothing more than an Arab entity playing a functional role in service of America.
All of this was expected, but the degree of unashamed compliancy is evidence that the Arab system and counter-revolution forces are very keen on renewing their loyalty and subordination to the American master, the protector of all thrones and those sitting on them. This also suggests that a representative of the Syrian opposition coalition wouldn't be present at the Arab League meeting if this had challenged Washington, even slightly, as everything is dependent on America's approval.
If it weren't for America's call for an international alliance against "terrorism", we wouldn't have seen an Arab endeavour towards joint Arab work and an insistence on putting the term "terrorism" in brackets, because the American definition of terrorism is based on its policies and moods, as the terrorism committed by regimes is either permitted or prohibited based on American's temporary or permanent interests. Meanwhile, the terrorism exercised by America and Israel is legitimate and sometimes encouraged and desired.
The Arab League meeting gave an Arab cover to America's strategy of managing the current conflict, that is of a sectarian nature, in a manner that preserves its influence and in order to distract from the consequences of Israel's crimes committed during the war on Gaza and the Palestinians in general, and to undermine the campaigns to boycott Israel and calls for prosecuting Israel in the ICC.
America has found the Islamic State to be a mutual enemy between Israel and the Arabs, putting them into a deep security alliance. This alliance is more effective than America's previous attempts to form an Arab-Israeli alliance against Iran, as the IS danger has a greater impact, not only on the Arab governments, but the resistance movements as well, especially the non-Islamist movements, because Israel continues to easily attack the movements and Palestinian people on the ground.
Yes, there is a need to confront religious and sectarian extremism, but these security alliances only serve America and Israel and may not even help the Arab regimes themselves, as America's wars on terrorism always excels in strengthening extremism and expanding terrorism in all of its forms and sources, including American and Israeli terrorism, as well as religious and sectarian terrorism.
Confronting sectarian extremism, IS and its counterparts should not be linked to an American agenda, but to a reformative agenda of the educational system in the Arab world as well as economic and social development projects in order to redistribute the income in a fairer manner instead of in accordance with the neoliberal policies and corruption adopted by the states before and after the revolutions. Such policies only contribute to impoverishing the already poor section of society without providing job opportunities and hope for a better future for the angry and desperate youth.
However, none of this is actually on the official Arab agenda that only understands repressive security solutions and hitting the independent judiciary authority in order to continue to torture the people and allow the hatching of new IS factions coming in all shapes and political backgrounds. They allow this because most of the active IS systems are cowardly in the face of strategic dangers, especially Israel, and their silence in the face of Israel's massacres guarantee American support for their continuity.
I do not rule out the possibility that the next step, which has been implicitly approved by most regimes, is to figure out how to pressure the Palestinians to disarm the resistance and prevent them from going to the International Criminal Court or the Security Council, because all forms of armed and peaceful resistance is "terrorism" in the eyes of Mr America, and the Arab system has declared its war "on terror", hasn't it?
Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, 9 September, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.