Feb 06,2019 – JORDAN TIMES – Hasan Abu Nimah
Eight years ago, the Arab League suspended Syria’s membership as it did Libya’s.
Both decisions were wrong, not just because they violated the league’s charter, but because by doing so, the body circumvented any possibility of addressing two major Arab crises in a responsible and constructive manner, in accordance with its mandate.
But the Arab ministers who approved the decision to dismiss Syria and threaten sanctions must have believed they were right.
If so, why are they reversing the decision now if the very same regime the Arab League wanted to punish has managed to survive eight catastrophic years of war, foreign intervention, destruction and loss of life?
Despite the enormous misery caused by the war, nothing has changed in Syria. The regime that deserved to be shunned and targeted for removal is the one now being rehabilitated, as if nothing had happened.
It is as if hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost, the destruction of historic cities as the Syrian government fought to retake them, the displacement of half the population of the country and the most heinous atrocities by terrorists and militias armed and financed to the tune of billions by many foreign and regional powers do not matter.
How could such violations of international law, flagrant aggression, war crimes and open support for the most brutal terror organisations go without accountability? Does a war of this magnitude not deserve credible and objective international investigation to determine the responsibilities of the perpetrators, indeed of all the participants, including the Syrian government?
And there must be accountability for the external forces that seized on legitimate grievances of Syrians to pursue their own destructive agenda to topple yet another regime in the region.
The United States and its European and regional allies poured at least a billion dollars of weapons into Syria; though supposedly meant to fight terrorism, much of which reached the hands of terror groups affiliated with Al Qaeda, and even Daesh. Israel, which claimed to be playing a “humanitarian” role in the Golan Heights, has acknowledged from the mouths of senior generals persistent reports that it was arming Al Qaeda-linked groups.
Let us be clear: Had the regime been overthrown as a result of this meddling and intervention, Syria would have become another failed state, like Libya, and before it Iraq, and a nucleus for untold further regional chaos and devastation.
Should we not derive lessons from such a massive malfunction of our international system so that such disasters can be prevented in the future?