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Monday, September 02, 2013

Sunni Arab allies exasperated with Western inaction

'Our friends, the Saudis' and other Sunni Arab countries are exasperated by the West's inaction on Syria.
Representing Saudi opinion, Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg, writing in the Saudi Arab News on Sunday, urged the international community to act against Syrian President Bashar Assad: “But is it really true that there is nothing else that can be done? Are we really that paralyzed? Or could the international community act, legitimately and legally, to protect civilians in Syria…”
Aluwaisheg went on to say that the example of the West’s intervention in Kosovo in the late 1990s should be used as a model for an operation in Syria. The idea behind the intervention, which he says is relevant today is that “state sovereignty is not absolute, but conditioned by other norms and principles.”
International law forbids war crimes and the Syrian regime’s “Ghouta massacre” fits perfectly into what the law is meant to prevent. Hence, action should be taken immediately and consent from the UN Security Council is not required, he said.
The problem with that statement is that the last paragraph is way too broad. I can see that type of 'justification' being used to attack Israel for its imaginary 'war crimes' against the 'Palestinians.'

I'm also not sure when 'consent from the UN Security Council' became a requirement for countries to go to war. I'm not an expert on the UN charter, but before George H.W. Bush asked for Security Council consent to go to war against Iraq in 1990-91, I don't recall anyone else doing so. It seems to me that the West is hiding behind a smokescreen because it doesn't want to act in Syria - possibly because the rebels are largely Islamist, although in Obama's case, I don't think that's it.

If the rebels in Syria were Jefferson and Madison, Obama would not act to protect them.
Tariq Alhomayed, writing in the Saudi backed popular London based daily Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday, responded that Iran is the real issue, with its efforts to take advantage of international divisions and weakness: “Therefore, we can be certain that Iran has absorbed the British message – namely that the international community is divided, and is not serious about dealing with vital issues, including the use of chemical weapons in Syria, not to mention the suffering of the Syrian people at the hands of the Assad regime.”
He went on to say that Washington “is making these costly foreign policy fumbles” and Obama’s statements “are likely to lead to disasters today, and these could engulf the entire region tomorrow.”
This is true, and it shows that the Sunni Arab states (or at least the Saudis) recognize that to some extent, they are in the same position as Israel vis a vis Iran. Of course, they're hoping Israel will take Iran out because they don't believe Obama will.

The very first comment on the site right now is
If they are so "exasperated", they can strike Syria by themselves.
Well, yes, they ought to be able to do that. The Saudis have all that American military equipment... but they have no clue how to operate it. .

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At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about long overdue the arab nations take care of their own business. Or at least contribute in majority with armed forces if they're so concerned. Who made the West guardian of that bunch of religious fanatics


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