Monday, January 23, 2012

The Arab League Ushers In A New Arab Order

For the skeptics about a possible rebirth of the Arab League, the latest call for Bashar al-Assad to step down must have been a (pleasant or unpleasant) surprise.

I have said this before and it’s worth repeating: We are witnessing a repurposing and rebranding of this old institution that had become useless over the years, a reflection of its inefficient leadership and mostly tyrant members. Now a new Middle East is emerging as a result of the unprecedented Arab Awakening that continues to sweep the region without any signs of ending any time soon. With it, the Arab League is also emerging as a new body that is willing to truly debate and stand on the right side of history. At least this seems to be the case in Syria.

While Egypt has always served as the headquarters of the Arab League, the brand new league seems to have a different brain, heart and leadership. Qatar has been taking a leading role in mediating conflicts and finding resolutions even before the Arab Spring. In 2008, the capital Doha hosted Lebanon’s feuding politicians and helped them find a solution out of what they thought was an irreconcilable impasse. The boldness and firmness of the Qatar’s foreign minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani led to a resolution and more talks in 2010.

In September 2011, when the Palestinian leadership presented its full membership request to the United Nations, it was the Qatari foreign minister who was most vocal on behalf of all Arab nations members of the Arab League in full support of the request.

Qatar, along with the United Arab Emirates, successfully played a key role in the military intervention in Libya, training, arming and financing the Libyan rebels against their dictator. Lately, the idea of Arab league observers was staunchly promoted by Qatar’s foreign minister and implemented with the full blessing of the Gulf Emirate and support of other Arab nations. For many, Hamad bin Jassim has become the symbol of the new Arab League, the trusted source and the true spearhead.

At the rate things are going and judging by Qatar’s track record and international standing, you can expect Arabs to truly start tending to their own gardens or deserts instead of waiting for international solutions to their problems. Don’t expect the Arab League of the future to look anything like its predecessor. The old one is “dead and gone” while the new one will reflect more and more the reality on the ground; one can hope it will be fair to all.

In the middle of uprisings, nation-building, political tactics, and survival maneuvers, a new Arab Order is taking shape; its details are fascinating to anyone able and willing to look farther than their immediate crisis.


Keep the conversation going...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a bit disconcerted by the false sense of freedom accompanying what is being called the Arab Spring. I think certain feelings of discontent with corrupt, cronyistic, and dictatorial leaderships throughout the Arab world, and the emerging world as a whole are being manipulated and encouraged to rebel, sow states of anarchy, and promote social instability in countries selectively and to the benefit of external powers and their political designs.

Yes, as middle classes are wiped out en masse, an intolerance for the status quo of regimes that came into power post-WWII is emerging, people as a whole are searching for a new cadre of leaders that will champion the cause of their people instead of muzzling and incapacitating their peoples' call for freedom. But in fact if you look at the Middle East, large parts of Asia, and Africa, one can see a pattern of regime instability that champions the West (permanent members of the UN Security Council is specific enough!) and its policies through the use of international organizations such as the Arab League (WHO???) and UN on a political level, and the World Bank and IMF on an economic level.

But the disturbing pattern is the encouragement of wholesale regime collapse in countries that reject the influence of Western powers instead of seeking the installation of true freedom-seeking replacements that empower the people. Even more worrying is the propogation of the New World Order vs. "the Axis of Evil" as spelled out in the notorius Bush Doctrine. Is this true empowering of the people? Or is it another Trojan horse geared towards causing instability in regimes that reject the power of the neo-colonial West and its MNC backers?? Before we start with statements of "Arab Spring" and "new dawn in the arab world", etc.. it's important to gain an appreciation of what is truly happening across the bulk of these regions--YES, there is a crying out by "the masses" for fairness and equality, but the sum effort is being manipulated by the few for very specific and targeted long-term goals that came up as opportunities! THIS is what's happening. Meanwhile, cultures and social fabrics globally are getting washed down the drain for the sake of mass market consumerism. Ok, I admit, this is a bigger story for another discussion, but this is the endgame. Case in point: when the young man who was credited with bringing fuel to the Egyptian anti-Moubarak uprising was interviewed immediately post-regime collapse in Egypt, what was his ambition?? To meet Mark Zuckerberg (who I'm sure has his own brilliance), but enough said!!

February 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM  

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