A Minor League Game in Algiers


The really impressive Arab League convened this week in Algiers, with an unprecedented array of pressing issues to address. Look what's going on: Lebanon is in an uproar; the Palestinians and Israelis may have some momentum going; an Iraqi-controlled Iraqi state is taking shape; pressure for democratization is spreading, etc.

What did the Arab League contribute to any of these issues? Nothing. Nor did anybody expect this august group to do anything. The Lebanese situation is just not the sort of issue that even gets on the League's main agenda. (It wasn't.) The Palestinian situation is the sort of thing on which the League chooses to repeat itself. (Jordan's king had offered a proposal that was rejected out of hand; he didn't show up.) "Democratization" is what you welcome in the keynote speech and then never bring up again.

Even so, it's not that the League's delegates didn't achieve something. Members are expected to create a pan-Arab parliament. What the region most needs, it seems, are more empty speeches and more procedural sclerosis. Best of all, the proposed body would reportedly be unelected.

NEXT: And the Sanity of Crowds

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  1. As if we didn’t need another meeting to show us that Pan-Arabism is not moribund; it is dead. Yet the carcass continues to flail about, albeit in a feeble fashion. Fortunately for me, I?ve always loved Zombie movies.

  2. It looks like the man formerly (and still) known as the Libyan leader did make an appearance, and brought the house down.

    “Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi grabbed the spotlight at an Arab summit today, calling Israelis and Palestinians idiots for seeking separate states and saying the U.N. Security Council was a terrorist organization.

    The Algerian hosts of the two-day meeting gave the maverick leader a star role on the closing day, allowing him to vent at length on Arab grievances about international relations.

    He said the world should thank Syria for maintaining peace in Lebanon and argued that what he called “Islamic terrorism” was mainly the result of the West’s cultural arrogance.”

    Probably a good thing he gave up some of his dangerous toys a while back.

  3. What, you mean the Arab League is a buncha autocratic towelheads not good for shit?

    What a shock!!!

  4. Can we ask the World Court to remove the feeding tube on the Arab League?

  5. If Bureacrash was worth it’s salt, they’d be selling “Ayatolla Assaholla” t-shirts at Arab League meetings. 🙂

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