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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Arab League Pro-Western Despots
15 Nov 2011
Arab League Pro-Western Despots - by Stephen Lendman

On November 12, New York Times writer Neil MacFarquhaqar headlined, "Arab League Votes to Suspend Syria Over Crackdown," saying:

"Syria's formal suspension is to start in four days, offering what senior Arab League officials described as a last chance for Mr. Assad to carry out a peace agreement his government had halt violence directed toward civilians (and) withdraw all security forces from civilian areas...."

On October 10, a Times editorial headlined, "Enabling Mr. Assad," saying:

"There is a lot of shame to go around after the United Nations Security Council failed last week to pass a resolution condemning Syria's brutal crackdown."

Fact check

Since March, anti-goverment protests began and intensified. Replicating Libya's model, Western backed insurgents stoked violence. Insurrection spread from one city to another.

Trapped between waring sides, civilian casualties keep rising. Hundreds of security forces have been killed. Imported weapons are used against them. Syria's wrongfully blamed for confronting an armed insurgency. Unresolved conflict rages.

At issue is destabilizing and toppling a Baath party controlled secular, anti-imperial regime, supporting Palestine, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iran.

Washington and Israel want it replaced with a pro-Western Islamic republic puppet state similar to other subservient Arab ones.

Russia and China blocked America's (Western supported) Security Council resolution. If passed, it would have been a first against Syria, perhaps opening the way for greater conflict or war like against Libya.

Despite watered down language, both countries opposed options, including the UN Charter's Article 41 provisions, stating:

"The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decision, and it may call upon (UN members) to apply such measures."

"These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."

In other words, stiff sanctions further harming Syria's weakened economy might topple it. If not, war might follow.

"Despite the disgraceful outcome, the United States and Europe were right to push for a vote. It left no doubt which countries stand with Syria's courageous opposition and which stand with the ruthless autocrat."

Its bloodstained pages still wet over Libya, Times editors want another country ravaged, colonized and plundered. They've fallen far from revealing Pentagon Papers secrets, exposing Johnson administration lies about America's Vietnam war.

The League of Arab States

Calling itself "a voluntary association of independent countries whose people are mainly Arabic speaking, (its) purposes are to strengthen ties among the member states, coordinate their policies, and promote their common interests."

In fact, pro-Western despots head most of its 22 member states. In 1942, Britain hoped to unite Arabs against Nazi Germany. In 1944, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, North Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan (Jordan and Palestine) agreed to form the League of Arab States.

In 1945, a formalized Arab League Pact inaugurated it. Years later, its charter members expanded to 22. In 1976, the Palestine Liberation Organization was admitted. In 1979, suspension followed Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. The league's headquarters relocated from Cairo to Tunis.

In 1987, diplomatic ties with Egypt were restored. In 1989, Egypt was readmitted and League headquarters returned to Cairo where it remains. Four observer states include Brazil, Eritrea, India and Venezuela. Effective November 16, Syria will be suspended.

In most Arab League states, constitutional and statute laws affirm Pan-Arabism. In practice, most ignore it. PLO de-Arabization was a US/Israeli Oslo prerequisite. Most Arab states went along.

In 1998, 12 PLO National Charter articles were deleted and 16 amended without Arab League objection. Most dealt with Palestinian Pan-Arabism.

Palestinians get rhetorical support only. Member states didn't condemn Israel's (2008-09) Gaza or (2006) Lebanon wars. Nor have formal measures rebuked its lawlessness, let alone isolated the Jewish state.

For over two decades through June 2001, former League Secretary-General Amr Mousa held top Mubarak regime posts, including foreign minister and other diplomatic positions.

Supporting its military junta, he'll seek Egypt's presidency next year. On July 1, 2011, Nabil Elaraby replaced him, another former Mubarak functionary.

Notably, Arab League states didn't stop:

• Israel's 1947-48 Nakba;

• its 1967 West Bank/Gaza/East Jerusalem occupation, as well as parts of Egypt and Syria at the time; Syria's Golan remains illegally occupied; so does Palestine for over 44 years;

• its 1982 Lebanon war and occupation of Southern Lebanon until 2000;

• its continued Lebanon Shebaa Farms occupation;

• Washington's 1991 Operation Desert Storm; and

• its 2003 Iraq war and occupation.

Recent Arab League Duplicity

In March 2011, League members backed UN Resolution 1973, Libya's no-fly zone prelude to war. Once it began, they supported NATO's campaign.

Backing Western imperialism, they condoned Libya's ravaging, including massacres too great to ignore. In March, they recognized puppet Transitional National Council (TNC) leadership. In August, they formally restored Libya's League membership after ousting Gaddafi at NATO's behest.

They're silent on NATO's plan to colonize, occupy and plunder another Arab State, as well as ongoing atrocities in Bahrain, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, and elsewhere in the region.

Since March, they supported Western-backed anti-Syrian insurgents, heading perhaps for more war, occupation, and regional instability.

On and off for months, half or more of League members attacked, killed, arrested, imprisoned, and/or brutalized their own people for protesting against political, economic and social injustice.

Effective November 16, Syria's membership will be suspended. Political and economic sanctions target it for battling Western-backed insurgents. Short of NATO bombing, doing so replicates Libya's regime change model.

A Syrian National Council (SNC) was established, similar to Libya's puppet Transitional National Council (TNC).

Originally formed in 2005, it was revived on August 23, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. It represents Western-backed internal opposition elements against the rights and interests of most Syrians.

It called for a Libyan-style "no-fly zone" and foreign intervention. It supplies intelligence to Washington, other Western nations, and Israel. If unconventional tactics fail, stepped up violence and war remain options.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, Arab League officials said if Syria ignores Western demands, the League will formally recognize its SNC opposition. Informally, it's done. Bashar al-Assad's government is increasingly isolated.

SNC secretary-general Wael Merza said the decision marked "a historic day for Syria as a country, the Syrian revolution and the Arab League."

In fact, once again it showed League subservience to Western demands. Syria's Arab League representative said suspension breached the organization's charter, "serving a Western and American agenda." He added that it's "not worth the ink it was written with."

Obama called on international bodies to do more, saying:

"After the Assad regime flagrantly failed to keep its commitments, the Arab League has demonstrated leadership in its efforts to end the crisis and hold the Syrian government accountable."

"These significant steps expose the increasing diplomatic isolation of a regime that has systematically violated human rights and repressed peaceful protests."

In fact, America's by far the world's leading human and civil rights abuser, waging global wars on humanity. Syria and Iran know they're targets. So do other nonbelligerent states, whether run by despots, democrats or others in between.

Obama stopped short of calling for Assad's ouster. Some observers expect he'll do it. Joint Chiefs head Admiral Mike Mullen ruled out military intervention. Saying it means little if nonmilitary measures don't work.

Whether diplomatic, economic, or military, Arab League support is assured. Despots throughout the region back America's worst crimes.

Why not when they commit so many of their own against people who revile them.

Why else would Arab Spring uprisings have occurred and continue across the region without major media coverage.

Perhaps they'll notice if one, in fact, succeeds. Expect it, followed by others, inspiring people across Europe and America to press harder for real change.

Sustained struggle, pain and sacrifice is the only way to get it.     

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.                                  
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This work is in the public domain
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