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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Sunday's Arab cartoon « Previous | |Next »
August 10, 2003

Just for the record folks. The Carnegie Foundation has compiled the major statements by senior Bush Administration officials on Iraq's capabilities to manufacture and hide chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Whatever Iraq had in the way of WMD weapons programs and WMD weapons stockpiles, these did not represent an imminent threat to the United States, the UK or Australia. Nor did these powers prevently attack Iraq because Iraq was on the verge of going to war against any of the Coalition powers. There is no evidence of that. It was a unilateral war primarily waged by the US (with the UK and Australia tagging along) on the basis of hyped up "intelligence."

So the Senate needs to challenge the power of the Howard Government to make war at will. Parliament needs to reassert its authority over the executive.

This is more interesting:

cartoon2.jpg
Arab rulers can't see even the largest dots. (Hamed, Alittihad, 8/8/03).

Transforming the current Arab regimes in the Middle East to liberal democracies is a big ask, even of a super power such as the US. The US is still very much concentrating on the military side of the equation. The Anglo-American Coalition is slow in getting basic services going. However, it does appear that the deep divisions amongst the major religious currents in Iraqi Shiism and the differences between Iraq’s religious, secular and tribal groups have proved a boon to US administrators in Iraq. As Juan Cole observes:

"... it is giving them [ US admisntrators]breathing room. A united Shiite community could likely force the Americans out of the country by holding huge, urban demonstrations, as happened in Iran in 1978 as a prelude to the Iranian revolution."

On the other side of the equation the Arab League has been likened to a luxury car without an engine. So nothing much happens.

And it gets worse. As this article asks:

"Why do the Arabs [governments] refuse to participate in helping Iraq achieve stability and prosperity, even though some of them effectively contributed in the war that overthrew Saddam's regime?"

I have few answers to that question. I'm not a Middle East expert. However, the article does provide something by way of an answer:

".... it is not strange that the Arab governments did not convict the former regime for its crimes and its mass graves. It is not also a coincidence that these "highly democratic" governments refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the transitional ruling council in Iraq. By keeping silent on what was going on, they in fact recognized the legitimacy of the crimes perpetrated by the toppled regime against the members of the [transitional ruling] council and their families, under the pretext of the need to "avoid interfering in the internal affairs of neighboring countries."

It would seem that the Arab Governments cannot see the large dots of needing to help the Iraqi people. Some, such as Syria and Iran, are intervening to influence the situation in Iraq to suit their own interests. It appears that Arab people in Iraq are cast aside as being of secondary consideration, since there is little in the way of Arab aid and practical help to enable Iraq to achieve stability and prosperity.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:44 PM | | Comments (0)
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