The Arab League

January 24th, 2012 at 8:30 am by David Farrar

Reuters reports at Stuff:

has rebuffed an call for President Bashar al-Assad step down in favour of a unity government as interference in its affairs, underlining its determination to defeat a 10-month-old uprising seeking Assad’s overthrow.

It was not immediately clear whether Syria would accept the League’s decision to keep Arab observers in the country for another month despite their failure to stem bloodshed in which hundreds of people have died since they deployed on December 26.

But any credibility the mission might retain was undermined when Saudi Arabia, a foe of Syria’s closest ally Iran, announced it would withdraw its own monitors because of the Syrian authorities’ failure to cooperate with its mandate. It was unclear if other Gulf states would follow suit. …

Rami Khouri, a Beirut-based commentator, said the unusually bold Arab plan announced at the Arab League’s Cairo headquarters on Sunday was clearly “bad news” for Assad.

“The fact that Arab countries would propose such a clear intervention and essentially order him to step aside and give him a mechanism to do so is quite a dramatic sign of how much credibility and legitimacy he has lost in the region,” he said.

It’s good to see the Arab League putting the pressure on Syria to stop killing its people, and to have elections. It makes it much harder for the regime to say the opposition is a tool of the United States etc.

However it is ironic that you have a league made up of so many countries that themselves do not have democratic elections, pushing for elections in Syria. I guess the difference is their monarchies are  relatively benign, and are not killing their citizens. However even the House of Saud may feel the winds of change one day.

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5 Responses to “The Arab League”

  1. RRM (8,996 comments) says:

    I guess the difference is their monarchies are relatively benign, and are not killing their citizens.

    Not killing them for the same reasons, anyway. ;-)

    Anybody fancy stoning another adulteress?

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  2. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “However even the House of Saud may feel the winds of change one day.”

    The Saudi’s approach to democracy Syria is markedly different to their approach when the opposition in Bahrain demanded democratic accountability. They marched their troops across the border to help remove the protesters from pearl square with tanks.

    I suspect it has more to do with ethnic politics. If the Bahraini government had been overthown it would have placed a Shia dominated state on the border of Saudi (where they have a restless Shia minority who are opposed to the monarchy). By comparison Syria is a majority Sunni state run by a Shia Alawite minority according to a kind of socialist autocratic Baathism. Whoever replaces the Syrian government would probably be more closely aligned with Saudi.

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  3. unaha-closp (1,033 comments) says:

    “However even the House of Saud may feel the winds of change one day.”

    When the oil runs out in 2070.

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  4. kowtow (6,723 comments) says:

    The so called Arab spring. That term is an insult to everyone who struggled for democracy against the Soviets in central Europe.Another lame stream media invention.
    See this link for another perspective on this .Many minorities are threatened by these non democratic uprisings. At the end of it we will witness an even more dangerous Middle East. Already Egypt has become yet again a major threat to the only democracy there, Israel.
    Democracy Islamic style…….One man, one vote…….one time.
    http://www.barnabasfund.org/Christians-in-Syria-targeted-in-series-of-kidnappings-and-killings-100-dead.html

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  5. Daigotsu (446 comments) says:

    A lot of them have technically become constitutional monarchies lately, although it remains to be seen just how strong that constitutionality will be when the legislatures piss the monarchs off… still better than Syria, though

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