Arab League’s ‘roar’ at Syria shows how tiny Qatar is starting to flex its muscle

Share:

By Robert Fisk

So did the “Arab Spring” infect the Arab League this weekend – or was it leaned on by the British Empire-style ambitions of tiny, rich Qatar?

The League – one of the silliest, most impotent, preposterous organisations in the history of the Arab world – has suddenly turned from mouse to lion and roared that Syria will be suspended from membership on Wednesday if it does not end violence against protesters, withdraw armour from cities, free political prisoners and start talking to the opposition.

Back roared Damascus: that Syria had already implemented the League’s peace plan – a dodgy statement – that the decision was “illegal and a violation of the League’s charter” (possibly true) and that Syria’s potential suspension was an attempt to “provoke foreign intervention in Syria, as it did in Libya”.

But the vote was pretty grim for the Assad regime. Of 22 states, only one abstained – Shia Iraq, for which thank you very much George W Bush – and two voted against: Yemen (of course) and Lebanon, which still lies in the sisterly embrace of Syria.

Qatar, which is Syria’s current nemesis – along with the Al-Jazeera satellite channel – was behind the vote, cajoling, pleading and, so they say, paying out large amounts of gas profits to those who might have second thoughts.

Qatar’s power in the Arab world is beginning to look distinctly imperial. With its money and its own air raids, it helped to bring down the Gaddafi regime. Now it is the League’s vanguard against Syria.

There won’t be a Nato no-fly zone over Syria. The Israelis would quite like to keep the Assad regime, on the grounds no-one knows who would come next. Iran would doubtless ask the Lebanese Hezbollah to bombard northern Israel if Nato attacked Syria. The Iranians themselves might get up to mischief with the US fleet in the Gulf. And not a single Arab wants a Libyan-type civil war to burn up Syria. Besides, Leon Panetta, the CIA chief, has already ruled out US firepower.

Nonetheless,it is a serious challenge to President Bashar al-Assad. He and his father Hafez promoted Syria as the “Mother of the Arab Nation” – now the “Arab Nation” wants to humiliate it.

The threat of economic and political measures is a real worry to a nation whose economy is already wearing at the edges after US and EU sanctions.

Independent

Share:

Comments

22 responses to “Arab League’s ‘roar’ at Syria shows how tiny Qatar is starting to flex its muscle”

  1. I say the UN should tell Bashar he and his boys have 48 hours, to stop, or the bombs start falling on his head…..once the first few hit the ground, he will get the message….

  2. I say the UN should tell Bashar he and his boys have 48 hours, to stop, or the bombs start falling on his head…..once the first few hit the ground, he will get the message….

  3. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Go, go Qatar … first embassy to dive out and mouthing the right words. Even if not totally democratic, it attempts to take care of it’s citizens first. And yes, it has Al Jazzera … a very open reporting platform, for an Arabian country. It even allows women.

  4.  Avatar

    Go, go Qatar … first embassy to dive out and mouthing the right words. Even if not totally democratic, it attempts to take care of it’s citizens first. And yes, it has Al Jazzera … a very open reporting platform, for an Arabian country. It even allows women.

  5. LEBANON101 Avatar

    shia Iraq, for which thank you very much George W Bush……? what is tha suppose to mean? . thats like saying syria will soon be ruled by the sunni and calling it sunni syria . the shi3a in iraq are a majority of the population so whats wrong if they run a majority of the country? and the fact that they did not vote at all is better than what our worthless government did.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      I’d guess Fisk just wanted to take a shot at poor old George. 🙂

    2. I don’t care for Robert Fisk however the notion of Shia Iraq I think is more a reference to the Sectarian Nature of the Government and the fact that the government Institutions are frequently used to consolidate Khomeinist(radical shite) control over the country or target Sunnis or anti Iran shites’. 

      i.e. Iraq Ministry of Interior Crimes under Baqir Jabr Al-Zubeidi (AKA Bayan Jabr Solagh),(BTW He is memeberr of SCIRI) fact that those killed by security forces are overwhelmingly Sunni or anti Iran Shites and that those being found almost monthly in secret prisons are usually exclusively Sunni.
      This is well documented and usually sources (Amnesty Internation, HRW etc ) acknowledge this disturbing sectarian fact.Also note the inclusion of officials from the below militias in governement: (BTW these groups make the SSNP and HEZ look like sand box bullies)Badr Brigades: (1982)Armed wing of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), (now called Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI or SIIC)) This group was created in Iran armed and trained in Iran by their own admission. Heavily represented in the Ministry of interior and Defense and have been linked to most of the cases the Americans refer to as “Iraqi on Iraq torture”Mehdi Army: (post-2003)Too much too mention here. I suggest you ask A Baghdad local, Sunni or Shia makes no difference in view.  this is an excerpt from the long war journal : (BTW awakening movement in Rusafa is Shite)Above all, Hassan and his neighborhood watchmen do not like the Mahdi Army.
      “Originally, the Jaish al Mahdi [Mahdi Army] in our area used to deceive people by using the name of the religion to do their purposes,” said Dhia, Hassan’s executive officer. “They were all corrupted. They have history in crime, robberies, murders, rapes, and all kinds of bad things. They even reached the level of kidnapping people and demanding ransoms just because they have money. It didn’t matter if he is Shia or Sunni; just because he has money. They gave a bad reputation for Islam.”

      Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/05/iraqis_despise_the_m.php#ixzz1df46fdOw”Right now because of the fighting Sadr City, people have started to despise [the Mahdi Army] because of the situation they created,” said “Rammie,” an Army interpreter raised and living in Rusafa. “People have started to know the truth of [the Mahdi Army] as kidnappers, killers, carjackers, and agents of the Iranian government. But the recent fighting against the [Iraqi security forces] means they are also against the government. They are not trying to just fight the invasion forces as they claim, but they fight whoever interferes with their mafia activity.”

      Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/05/iraqis_despise_the_m.php#ixzz1df3LuoRNSo much more to be said about Dawa Party and  special groups but enough for now. All in all, Iraqis historically have had a very strong sense of Nationalism, they traditionally identify themselves as Iraqi first and foremost.It is a matter of time especially given the American exit, that more attention will be focused on Iranian proxies in Iraq, proxies which much like Hez are neck deep in organised crime and Defined Exclusively along Sectarian lines.

  6. LEBANON101 Avatar

    shia Iraq, for which thank you very much George W Bush……? what is tha suppose to mean? . thats like saying syria will soon be ruled by the sunni and calling it sunni syria . the shi3a in iraq are a majority of the population so whats wrong if they run a majority of the country? and the fact that they did not vote at all is better than what our worthless government did.

  7.  Avatar

    shia Iraq, for which thank you very much George W Bush……? what is tha suppose to mean? . thats like saying syria will soon be ruled by the sunni and calling it sunni syria . the shi3a in iraq are a majority of the population so whats wrong if they run a majority of the country? and the fact that they did not vote at all is better than what our worthless government did.

    1.  Avatar

      I’d guess Fisk just wanted to take a shot at poor old George. 🙂

    2.  Avatar

      I’d guess Fisk just wanted to take a shot at poor old George. 🙂

    3.  Avatar

      I’d guess Fisk just wanted to take a shot at poor old George. 🙂

    4.  Avatar

      I’d guess Fisk just wanted to take a shot at poor old George. 🙂

    5.  Avatar

      I’d guess Fisk just wanted to take a shot at poor old George. 🙂

  8.  Avatar

    shia Iraq, for which thank you very much George W Bush……? what is tha suppose to mean? . thats like saying syria will soon be ruled by the sunni and calling it sunni syria . the shi3a in iraq are a majority of the population so whats wrong if they run a majority of the country? and the fact that they did not vote at all is better than what our worthless government did.

  9. strongman1176 Avatar
    strongman1176

    Assad Baath Regime days are numbered. He can only blame himself and his shitty wrong policies and iron fist rule towards the syrian people . Like Ghaddafi before , this guy Bashar live in his won dream world that people love him and worship him and his family and the baath regime. Its time Mr. Bashar to wake up and listen to the majority of Syrian people , do real polirical change and reform and end the rule of police state before its too late.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      It IS too late.

  10.  Avatar

    Assad Baath Regime days are numbered. He can only blame himself and his shitty wrong policies and iron fist rule towards the syrian people . Like Ghaddafi before , this guy Bashar live in his won dream world that people love him and worship him and his family and the baath regime. Its time Mr. Bashar to wake up and listen to the majority of Syrian people , do real polirical change and reform and end the rule of police state before its too late.

    1.  Avatar

      It IS too late.

  11. jahn jahn Avatar

    yalla fight on aron arab von arbeit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *