Each time a new report comes out of Syria, it seems that the situation is more dismal than the day before. And each time I hear people pushing for action on the part of the US or UN, I ask where the Arab League is and why they aren’t the ones acting first. Then it seems, if they try and fail, the next step would be the UN, but only AFTER the Arab League tries something. So why haven’t I heard? Is it that the media ignores them? Is it that they don’t say anything overtly but they are working behind the scene? Surely they have a public statement to make either way. I’m waiting but I’m not seeing it. So this week president Obama spoke at the UN and the Arab League sprang into action with a decisive message: Blasphemy should be criminalized.
But on Syria, they are not so decisive:
Arab ministers met with UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki said later his country could support an Arab peacekeeping force in Syria. Others have doubts though. “A peacekeeping operation by Arab nations is something we could well imagine,” Marzouki told AFP, … “We have really pushed for a peaceful solution, but if it is necessary, it must be an Arab peacekeeping force, yes.” On Tuesday, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, called at the UN General Assembly for an Arab intervention in Syria. Arab League secretary general Nabil al-Arabi told reporters he did not believe the emir intended a “fighting force.” But he told a Security Council meeting on the Middle East that the council must support Brahimi by making its resolutions on Syria “binding on all parties.”
“Binding on all parties” but not a fighting force, sounds to me like an effort to stop the bloodshed, but perhaps allow Assad to stay in power – not a viable proposition and not one that will pass muster. This is all a bit remniscent of the teaparty in the US. Faced with huge economic and security problems for the country, their focus has been on banning abortion, getting women to dress more modestly and not use birth control. Meanwhile they put forth useless legislation that will never be signed.