Justice only for Arabs?

By AIJAZ ZAKA SYED | ARAB NEWS

Justice for the Libyans is welcome. What about the victims of war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan though?

Serves him right. That was my instant reaction to the International Criminal Court’s warrant for Muammar Qaddafi. The whole country has been on fire and on its feet demanding the demented colonel’s departure for nearly six months now. And all the Libyans have got in return for their demand for freedom is death and destruction from the man who has all these years claimed to be the savior of the Arabs and Muslims.

The ICC move against the Libyan dictator is therefore as justified as can be. Indeed, it should have come sooner; maybe it could have saved hundreds of precious lives. More important, it could have thrown fear of God — and retribution — into Qaddafi’s fellow travelers.

Look at the endless carnage in Syria. It’s the same story there. In fact, it’s even worse. At least in Libya’s case, the international outrage and condemnation of the regime has been led by the rest of the Arab and Muslim world. On Syria though there’s been a deafening silence across the region. The only exception has been Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has not just opened Turkey’s borders for the deluge of Syrian refugees but repeatedly confronted Damascus.

The Arabs clearly fear that any weakening of Syria, the largest country of the Levant, could end up helping Israel and its friends in high places. Their fear isn’t entirely without basis given the long history of Israeli machinations against Arab neighbors including Damascus. But should the fear of Israeli and Western plots blind us to the suffering of Syrian people and the interminable slaughter of innocents by their own troops?

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