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Annan…the new star of the Arab League's charade - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It seems the Arab League has not learned its lesson from the harm it inflicted upon the Syrian people with its scandalous observer mission headed by Mohammed Ahmed al-Dabi, a Lieutenant General affiliated to the Sudanese regime. That observer charade helped to rescue the Syrian regime by presenting false reports to cover up for its crimes, claiming that the protesters were just as violent as the government. Those reports also helped Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) to justify his country’s use of the veto, and gave al-Assad’s troops the green light to use heavy artillery and murder more Syrian civilians.

Now, the Arab League has returned with an even greater farce. It has given Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the UN, possibly the only call to action he has received since leaving his office in New York. He was invited to serve as a UN envoy to Syria on a high-profile international mediatory mission. It is common knowledge that Annan’s reputation, just like al-Dabi’s, has been strongly questioned due to suspicions about the Oil-for-Food Program established in Iraq during his tenure as UN Secretary-General, an issue that ultimately prevented his re-election to the post. Former Palestinian diplomat Nasser al-Kidwa also came out of retirement to join Annan in his mission.

Unfortunately, the Arab League under Nabil el-Araby has become a Trojan horse carrying out the wishes of Iran and Russia. These so-called missions or charades, dreamt up by the Arab League, have only succeeded in covering up the crimes of the Syrian regime and granting it more time. The whole world now has the impression that the biggest pan-Arab organization is not sure who is killing who in Syria. The solution endorsed by Secretary-General el-Araby is the same as Iran’s. It is based upon creating a degree of cooperation between the regime and the opposition that grants Bashar al-Assad the right to remain as President, running all security and military apparatuses, in return for the opposition being provided with a quota of senior government posts. Of course those who know the Syrian regime are aware that even the post of Prime Minister bears no significance under al-Assad’s rule.

Practically speaking, the negotiation project and its wider framework which el-Araby is trying hard to push through are, in the best of cases, something that the Syrian people would never agree to, because such provisions would keep the regime’s pillars in place. El-Araby’s initiatives have only succeeded in waking Annan from his slumber and contributing to the further bloodshed of innocent Syrians. The regime in Damascus must consider the recent steps to be a second license from el-Araby to continue with its killings, because even if the mission succeeds in outlining terms six months or more from now, the regime would only be obliged to relinquish a few ministerial posts such as commerce, agriculture and transportation.

The Arab League Secretary-General’s continual backstabbing, either of his own volition or as a result of coercion, is far worse than what the Syrian regime is perpetrating. This is the bitter and painful truth. By adopting their projects, el-Araby has enabled Russia and Iran to salvage the al-Assad regime from its gradual collapse. Furthermore, by doing so, el-Araby has not adopted any measures to punish the Syrian regime, thereby contradicting what was agreed upon four months ago by an overwhelming majority, namely that Syria should be expelled from the Arab League. After the inevitable fall of the regime, el-Araby and the Arab League will be exposed for performing their shameful roles. He and his League will have to face the mothers and families of thousands of victims who know the direct reason behind the prolonged conflict and the deaths of their endeared children.

What is happening in Syria has nothing to do with conspiracies, regardless of what is promoted by the regime’s circles or what is claimed by the intellectual Mohamed Hassanein Heikal. We cannot look at these horrific and cold-blooded massacres away from the fact that the Syrian regime is a criminal entity by nature, which is deliberately and ruthlessly committing acts of genocide against innocent civilians. It kills entire families along with their offspring just for the purpose of revenge or intimidation.

The real conspiracy does not lie in toppling a brutal regime, but in supporting it.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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