The Arab League Quits Just When It Is Most Needed in Syria


The New York Times reported over the weekend that the Arab League was temporarily suspending its one-month-old monitoring mission in Syria pending a final decision this week. The League, apparently, is scared that its observers might get caught in the crackdown that the Assad regime is unleashing against its citizens. Notes the Times:

The head of the Arab League, Nabil al-Araby, said in a statement Saturday that after discussions with Arab foreign ministers, the 22-member body had come to its decision because of "a severe deterioration of the situation and the continued use of violence." And he blamed the Syrian government for the bloodshed, saying that it had decided "to escalate the military option…

Their [the League's] hesitation outside Rankous on Saturday, a town emptied of people after five days of clashes and government shelling, seemed to encapsulate the shortcomings of a mission accused by government opponents of providing cover to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown. Warned by army officers that insurgents could use explosives against them, a driver working with the observers refused to drive their heavily armored Mercedes into town.

Opposition activists in Rankous said they would have welcomed the visit. Despite the criticisms, the observers, with offices in several cities, were often the only outside witnesses to fighting that the United Nations said has killed more than 5,400.

But my question is: what exactly did the League expect? Rose garlands and olive tapenade? It's entering a war zone for allah's sake! Of course, its observers are going to be endangered.

The whole point of sending the mission was to force the regime to restraint its brutal tactics. Calling it off now when Assad is escalating his crackdown means that the League is turning tail just when it is most needed. This will do more damage than if the League had desisted from sticking its nose in Assad's business in the first place. It has showcased its utter impotence to the world, signaling to all aspiring Mideast tyrants that they have absolutely nothing to fear from it, not even the prospect of being held to account later for crimes against humanity.


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  1. Have we won in Syria yet?

    1. First we win in Iran, then Syria. These things have to be taken in proper order.

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  2. Like all international groups they follow procedure, leave when the shit hits the fan, and then file their reports. Boxes are checked.

  3. This is just a wee bit naive. The whole point of the mission was to get thrown out. Any realistic viewer would question why they thought Assad would ever allow the observers to gather any useful information in the first place. The actual intent was to generate bad PR and provide a stick with which the Saudis can whack Syria in the UN and other global organizations, as well as fueling anti-Assad feeling in the US and EU. It’s much like the “Dance of the Observers” Dubya played in Iraq before Gulf War II.

    The Saudis and other Gulf Council members (the real impetus behind all this) don’t care about Assad murdering his people, of course. Their main goal is to deprive Iran of an ally.

    1. The sauds are such pieces of shit. In a just world, America would have been allied with a democratic and modern Iran against the glorified goat herders sitting on oil in Saudi Arabia.

      Instead, we’re with the goat herders and destroyed a potential of a modern Iran back in the fifties when we sided with the British.

      1. Excellent LIT.

      2. The Shah tried to make a secular, modern Iran in the Sixties and Seventies, and we backed him to the hilt. All that did was make Iranians associate modernism and secularism with being dragged off to dungeons by secret place and being tortured.

        Which also happens to them now. And the analogy is not lost on the Iranian opposition. But my point is that a “modern Iran” was imposed on the people by the government from above. And like most things done by governments from above, it didn’t work.

        1. The Shah tried to make a secular, modern Iran in the Sixties and Seventies, and we backed him to the hilt. All that did was make Iranians associate modernism and secularism with being dragged off to dungeons by secret place and being tortured.

          I wouldn’t call “hauled off and tortured” “modern and democratic”, though there is the modern United States as a current counterexample…

      3. We could have had that if America had done the right thing and invaded Iran decades ago. The Shah’s predecessor was NOT building a modern, democratic state he was a dictator too. You’re completely right about the Sauds. The main reason I want a modern Iran aside from not sponsoring terror would be too end our “alliance” with them.

        1. I have never been able to figure out how followers of Rand, who opposed most wars in American history, became such bloodthirsty toolboxes.

          1. Rand had nothing against war per se, she just felt that a war which did not benefit a country’s interests was irrational. She believed most wars in America’s history were not in the best interests of the country.

            1. Which wars exactly?

              The Mexican-American War moved the Mexican border from only 200 miles from New Orleans, the most important city in the country because of the mississippi basen, to over a thousand miles. You can argue whether it was right or wrong but in a purely utilitarian aspect I can see how a nation would view keeping other nations as far away from your nations back bone as possible. I for one never undertood the adoration Rand has recieved, I found her book Atlas Shrugged, while philosophically on par, very boring and every interview of Rand I have seen she came off as insufferable.

              1. I’d agree with Rand that since WWII we have fought a lot of wars that were not in our best interest, but prior to that point the US had been brutally utilitarian, they fought wars for either a) resources and trade (boxer rebellion and the indian wars), b) strategic positioning (Mexican American War, Civil War: right or wrong no way a burgenoning power would ever tolerate a rival nation controlling the missisipi river delta, Spanish-American War.)

  4. The Arab League is out- next up: the Arab Mob.

  5. Isn’t “Allah” a proper noun?

  6. The League of Extraordinary Arabians
    The Sharia Society of Pan-Arabia
    The ArabFire Club
    Brotherhood of Arabian Mutants

  7. Wait, the Arab League doesn’t organize baseball in the Middle East? Why not? Plenty of sandlots for kids to get their start.

  8. What Syria needs right now is some “freedom rain” falling in 30mm raindrops. It washed away Qaddaffi and his African mercs, and it could wash away Assad and his Hamas and Revolutionary-Guard auxillaries, too.

    All that’s required is for the Turks to swallow their rage against the Kurds for a few months and prioritize taking Assad down with NATO support. Nobody has to get their boots dirty except the native insurgents inside Syria.

    The aftermath won’t be pretty right away. It ain’t in Libya right now, either. But the big problem would be solved; Iran would have another of its tentacles lopped off, and time would gradually smooth things out.

    1. But the big problem would be solved

      If by “big problem” you mean the eventual slaughter of Syrian Alawites and Christians by the Islamists who will co-opt this revolution, as they have done every other one…then yes, the “problem” would be solved.

      1. The “big problem” is the nexus of Syria between a nuclear-equipping Iranian regime and the Iranian-backed terrorist organizations now provoking Israel.

        A shift in the polarity of the endless sectarian conflicts in Syria and its environs is not what I would consider to be the “big problem” needing to be solved.

    2. If the freedom rain consisted of airdropping RPGs, AK47s, and ammo to the beleagured areas, then I could get behind that.

      Every crate should have the 2A stencilled on its side, in Arabic.

      1. You come to the fight then you’d better be ready to play by the rules of the street: don’t walk away from a living enemy. Finish it. Always.

        You can’t leave your fate in the hands of rebels who could lose. You gotta drop airstrike on Assad until every organ in his torso sees sunlight. Then it’s over, and not before.

        It doesn’t matter how strong you are objectively. You let the world see anybody showing you disrespect and getting away with it, and you’re finished.

  9. …proving once again that the UN is useless at everything except lining the pockets of the corrupt.

    1. except that is the arab league.

      *keep ur hands und feet away from its mouth*

  10. Not to focus on the wrong thing here, but olive tapenade is a redundant statement.

    1. Or maybe not. Try this recipe:…..-tapenade/

  11. I’ll just bet Jimmy Carter’s on the next plane to Damascus.

  12. As significant as 1989 when the Berlin wall came down, overwhelmingly the story of 2012 is centered in the Middle East

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