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Egyptians overwhemingly oppose strike on Syria; US only has support of Arab dictators — PBS

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on 49 Comments

Last night PBS aired a stellar report by Margaret Warner in Cairo, saying Egyptians overwhelmingly oppose a US military strike on Syria because they watched how the US destroyed Iraq on the basis of false claims, and a strike will only cause greater instability in the Middle East. Also note the Jordanian statesman’s assertion that the U.S. only has the support of Arab dictators, not the public, and that in the era of the Arab Spring, that model doesn’t work. Excerpts:

MARGARET WARNER: I have only been here 24 hours, and I have to say, I have been surprised at the unanimity with which people here are opposed to the idea of a U.S. military strike on Syria, despite the fact that some people here believe Assad probably did use chemical weapons.

People here say it will just cause more instability in the region. And they mention everything from more refugees to strengthening jihadi forces inside the rebel forces in Syria. And there’s really — at the root of it, there’s really great distrust of the United States, both its past actions in the Middle East and its motives for even considering this.

JEFFREY BROWN: So you’re saying they might well believe that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, but this really comes down to their feelings first and foremost about the U.S.?

MARGARET WARNER: It really does, Jeff.

Some people said to me, you got it wrong — the United States got it wrong about Iraq. You told the world there were weapons of mass destruction being made, and they were not. So, there are many people here who even doubt the intelligence that the Obama administration has presented with such kind of authority and confidence this time.

So I would say that’s a larger group. But I spoke to a young man last night who actually believes Bashar Assad did it. He said, we saw all those bodies on television. But, still, he does not — nobody here that I have spoken to — I don’t mean there isn’t anybody — trusts the United States and wants the United States to intervene once again in another Arab country.

They all point to the example of Iraq in a second way, which is the United States went in to rid Iraq of a dictator, and look what we got. Look what this region got, which is Iraq in disarray, sectarian violence within Iraq, and now, as we know, exporting jihadi elements back into Syria, Sunni extremists.

And Egypt is dealing with their own jihadi elements in the Sinai. So, whether it’s for practical reasons or on the level of trust in the United States’ motives, I just didn’t hear anyone who had confidence that the United States could act effectively and was doing it really with the region’s interests at heart….

JEFFREY BROWN: The president of course is hoping for support from that part of the world, particularly through the Arab League. Where do things stand for that?

MARGARET WARNER: Well, not encouragingly for the Obama administration, because, as you said, the Obama administration hoped that, just as just with the action in Libya, they would be acting in concert not only with some European partners, but with the Arab League.

The Arab League last week I think it was met and said, essentially, held Assad, said Assad should be held to account, and was critical of Assad, stopped short of military action. This week, starting yesterday, they had an emergency meeting which they moved up from later in the week to reconsider the question.

But what came out, the first readings looked like, oh, they’re now really calling on the international community to do something. But when you look at the text — and I spoke to people both in the Egyptian government and in the Arab League — they say the important thing about the today’s announcement was, yes, we’re calling on the United Nations and the international community to take some sort of deterrent action or deterrent measures against the use of chemical weapons by the regime, but — but the only basis, the only legal basis for military action is under either the U.N. charter of self-defense or by a vote of the Security Council, which, as one Egyptian official admitted to me, for practical — in a practical sense, that’s not going to happen because of Russia’s opposition.

And so it is interesting that — on two points. One, Egypt has long been an ally of the United States, is not acting in concert with the U.S. here. Egypt was the first to came out last week and say they were opposed to the use of force. And, secondly, that Marwan Muasher, who is the former foreign minister of Jordan, said to me today, it’s interesting that the only Arab leaders in the full-throated way calling for U.S. military action are the ones without elected parliaments.

That is, they are the governments that don’t feel they have to be responsive to their people, and that is some of these Gulf kingdoms, and that whether it’s Jordan or Egypt and other states which do have aroused publics now, and since the Arab spring, an even more activist public, they are not willing to go there.

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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49 Responses

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 3, 2013, 12:48 pm

      @ Obsidian
      Well, we do know with crystal clear awareness that neither the Persian or Arab Street likes US and Israeli intervention in the Middle East. Proof in the pudding is no matter what local coalition is mustered up by the US to intervene militarily in the Middle East, the US will never allow Israel to join any such US-led coalition.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        September 5, 2013, 6:47 am

        If Egypt is any indicator, the ‘street’ doesn’t like anyone. Not their leaders, not the United States or Israel, not foreign journalists.
        All said, they don’t seem to like themselves very much.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 3, 2013, 1:17 pm

      Obsidian

      Is it true that Israel has offered to fly the Syrians to Uganda with the Africans who are too dark for Israel?

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      September 3, 2013, 2:29 pm

      You care even more about Syrians, right Obsidian? You only care about Israel. If Syria was in Africa you wouldn’t give a damn.
      Reminds me of when neocons invoked gay rights to bash Hagel, not because they care about gay people, but it was a way to attack him because of concerns about Israel.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        September 3, 2013, 3:47 pm

        @Krauss

        I’ve contributed money to the International Red Cross Syrian relief program. Have you?

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 3, 2013, 3:59 pm

        How much?

        And did you really “contribute”, as opposed to donate?

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        September 4, 2013, 1:11 am

        I donated $36.

        Who’s going to match or exceed that?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 4, 2013, 5:42 am

        You’re Jewish and apparently Israeli, why do you give a damn about dead Syrians but not dead Palestinians or the human rights orgs that monitor the occupation (that aren’t hasbara Zionist watchdog groups)?

        If you aren’t donating to some Palestinian charity – whatever your other ‘credentials’ are, are worthless.

        It’s like, there’s a war going on already for decades in your own backyard but instead you donate to Syrian blah blah (as a talking point, as if we could know if you did or not).

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 9:01 am

        Obsi,

        Thirty six dollars? Really-really??! Sure it wasn’t $35.99?

        You know, I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but….. I just can’t – I’ve tried, but it ain’t working – everything in me just tells me that your charitable $36 is a bit of a cyber fib. Okay. So go BS some other “contributor”.

        And at the risk of blowing my own trumpet here, I have to say that I have spent much, much, much more than that, giving my dollars directly to ACTUAL Syrian refugees, many of them – meeting them randomly for the past couple of years and seeing for myself that they’re in need and acting accordingly. I also employ a refugeed Syrian gardener, so I am, in practice, giving him not just money and free accommodation for his family, I’m giving him dignity and empowerment as a working man as well.

        And while we’re at it, talking of charities and all that, why don’t you tell us how many dollars you donated to your beloved zionist gestapo club?

        Moi? You couldn’t pay me enough that would make me donate a single cent to any zionist thugster.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 4, 2013, 9:34 am

        >> Who’s going to match or exceed that?

        Exceeded.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        September 4, 2013, 10:50 am

        @Taxi

        Here is my posting to Phil asking that he post the ICRC Syria relief site (which he’s failed to do).

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/matthews-populist-establishment.html#comment-570597

        As for my $36 donation, the number 36 is for Jewish good luck, ‘double chai’ (life). The number 18 is the number for chai.

        Taxi. You really should learn to trust a little more.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        September 8, 2013, 10:43 am

        LOL

        What a cheap excuse to be Zionist and still donate to dying Arabs.

  1. American
    American
    September 3, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Sounds exactly right and accurate to me.
    Get our stinking immoral,hypocritical US ass out of the ME .

  2. Pamela Olson
    Pamela Olson
    September 3, 2013, 12:16 pm

    It’s interesting… it seems the people of Egypt don’t want US military action because they don’t trust the US, while the current rulers of Egypt probably don’t want it because they don’t want to be next if they decide they need to gas their own people.

  3. agatharchides
    agatharchides
    September 3, 2013, 12:33 pm

    The current government of Egypt actually doesn’t have an elected Parliament (or anything else for that matter). Still, it is probably acting in accord with popular opinion here and will doubtless milk it for all the political benefit it can.

  4. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    September 3, 2013, 12:42 pm

    Some people told Margaret Warner “the United States got it wrong about Iraq”. Unfortunately they did not, American Actions especially kinetic ones are the culmination of POLICY if the intelligence backs up policy, well that’s just a bonus.
    Regime change regardless of intelligence was policy in Iraq and once embarked upon had to be completed regardless of the fate of the Iraqi’s. Now Syria, first a limited strike, if that does not provoke a retaliation will be followed by further strikes until regime change is necessary, Russia will jump up and down but will not be able to do much, what will Hezbollah and Iran do? The US/Israel are playing for very high stakes, in fact all actors in the region are, I have a feeling the aggressors US/Israel, Saudi Arabia and GCC have not thought the consequences through and will only push back when Hezbollah and Iran [who are next] spell the downsides out in no uncertain terms.

  5. Taxi
    Taxi
    September 3, 2013, 1:14 pm

    Egypt’s interim government announced its stern opposition to “any foreign strike on Syria”. It declared a loud and clear ‘NO’ to both America, AND, ehm… Saudi Arabia. Actually. You missed that one, Phil.

    I guess a handful of billions don’t buy you much in the middle east anymore, eh mondofolks.

    Right now, the status quo in the middle east is a-rockin’n’rollin’. You can feel it in the air and under your feet. Of course, the old guards are pretending that it’s ‘business as usual’. Hellllllll no it ain’t!

    *I really wish Al Mayadeen TV was broadcast in English. Very sharp analysis by a very wide variety of analysts from around the world; constant meaty and long interviews with officials from around the world – and the best part, NO COMMERCIALS, very few station-identification segments, and some cool short vids with Arab ‘people’ empowerment messages. Lots of stuff on Palestine every day.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    September 3, 2013, 4:12 pm

    RE: “Last night PBS aired a stellar report by Margaret Warner in Cairo, saying Egyptians overwhelmingly oppose a US military strike on Syria. . . “ ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Also, I was pleasantly surprised by how aggressive Ifill and Woodruff were (questioning the need to intervene in Syria) in their “exclusive” interview with Obama on PBS’ News Hour about a week ago.

  7. Clif Brown
    Clif Brown
    September 3, 2013, 6:02 pm

    While following US media reports is a good idea simply to see if they are moving anywhere near to good reporting, don’t forget an old reliable for world-wide events, BBC Newshour.

  8. just
    just
    September 3, 2013, 7:44 pm

    Well, I don’t trust us either. Thanks to Margaret Warner.

    Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan are bearing the unhappy burden of over 2 million refugees from Syria almost alone. How many have the US and Israel taken in? How about SA and the Gulf nations?

    It’s telling, eh?

    • just
      just
      September 3, 2013, 9:49 pm

      And Syria has many people hunkering down in fear. I have no idea, nor do I have confidence in the ‘intelligence’ as to who is engaging in the most dastardly of killing.

      It’s a civil war! ( an oxymoron if there was/is one) We have all folks contributing their own agendas disguised as “intelligence”. I can make an educated guess, but I DON’T KNOW, and am very slow to “judge” based on bs. Funny how modern history repeats itself while mere mortals who have conquered and decimated nod sagely, all the time laughing up their sleeve, and slapping themselves and each other on the back.

    • Walid
      Walid
      September 4, 2013, 3:24 am

      “Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan are bearing the unhappy burden of over 2 million refugees from Syria almost alone. ”

      It’s much worse than simply about feeding and sheltering the refugees, Just, of the 750,000 Syrians in Lebanon, tens of thousands are believed to be armed and leaning toward fundamentalism. Contrary to other countries like Jordan and Turkey where they are restricted to the camps, refugees in Lebanon are free to come and go as they please. The Lebanese businesses are replacing their Lebanese workers with Syrian refugees to work in all forms of agricultural and other manual labour, sales people, cashiers in supermarkets and so on because they accept much lower rates of pay. Thousands of unlicensed Syrian small retail and repair shops have sprung up everywhere unfairly competing with local shops. Politicians are saying nothing about this supposedly for humanitarian reasons but it’s really all about the politics of who is with Syria and who is against. The 750,000 new refugees are taxing the already inadequate supplies of electricity and water and the excess demand causing the price of bread and other foods to rise. With the anticipated bombing of Syria, the refugee population combined with the Palestinian one is expected to swell to the point of having the country’s current Shia majority surpassed by the Sunni. Maybe this is what it’s all about in the new Middle East.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 3:32 am

        Walid,

        Surely you can see by now what the evil plan is:

        Turn the Levant into sectarian enclaves, dissolving thereby all national identities – keeping these sectarian enclaves weakened and waring with each other over issues of ‘faith and religion’, and giving israel the ultimate ‘reason’ to declare itself a “jewish state”: because everyone else around it is a declared ‘islamist state’.

        In case you didn’t know, Alquaida has already declared the northern provinces of Syria “the first islamist state in the Levant”. Unrecognized by anyone, of course. And not for long. Of course.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        September 4, 2013, 9:07 am

        “the first islamist state in the Levant”.

        Surely the first Arab Muslim empire would qualify . Isn’t the whole point of Islamism to try to get back to that original “purity” ?

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 4, 2013, 9:17 am

        >> … giving israel the ultimate ‘reason’ to declare itself a “jewish state”: because everyone else around it is a declared ‘islamist state’.

        Not that there’s any valid reason for a “Jewish State” to exist, but to argue that one should – nay, must! – exist because the states surrounding it are all “Islamic States” would be a particularly piss-poor one.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 4, 2013, 9:42 am

        Taxi, the Israelis are not averse to having either the Sunni or the Christians at their northern borders. The plan from a long time ago was to somehow transfer Lebanon’s Shia to the Shia enclave of Iraq. Israel tried it with its carpet bombing and the cluster bombs in 2006 and failed. The Sunni are easy going and would whip up an agreement with the bad guys very easily if there is something in it for them while the Christians would give them half the store just to be friends with them.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 10:23 am

        “The Sunni are easy going and would whip up an agreement with the bad guys very easily”.

        Maybe your Sunni family would “whip up an agreement”, Walid. But I assure you, most other Sunnis in Lebanon wouldn’t. Neither would most christians. And I mean the MAJORITY of Sunnis and Christians would throttle an israeli on sight, no problem. Never mind the minority that would go along with israel just to spite their national opposition parties, and not for the love of zionists whatsoever.

        You need to come visit your country to establish some facts on the ground here. Your reading is completely off the reality scales.

        Oh, and to say that “sunnis” are “easy going”, is the biggest joke yet. It ain’t shias who are cannibalizing and terrorizing the neighborhoods. It’s takfiris and all takfiris are Sunni moslem. Not shias.

        You sound like one of them Lebanese Sunnis who is resentful of the rise of shiaism in Lebanon, after the shais were the underdog and downtrodden for decades upon decades, by the Sunnis especially.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 4, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Taxi, you are being overly harsh with me about the Sunni. I said they were easy going to be polite. Actually, I feel they are the puppeteers behind all the events that have been happening. No matter what happens, they always come out of it smelling roses. The majority Sunni you are talking about are the very ones that have been clamoring to have Hizbullah disarm, which would only serve to give comfort to Israel and they have been at it from the very begining of the 2006 war. You have just about the same situation with about 35% of the Christians that swear by the US that have been gunning for a peace treaty with Israel for decades. A few months back, a current Christian MP declared that he is proud that his party had accepted Israel’s help and arms during the civil war. That leaves only about 20% of the Sunni and about 65% of the Christians that are truly anti-Israel.

        I don’t resent the rise of the Shia as they’re the ones that liberated 20% of Lebanon in 2000 that had been occupied by Israel for about 20 years and the ones that are keeping the Israelis on their side of the fence and the ones that are preventing a hit on Iran.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 12:59 pm

        Apologies, Walid. But I didn’t get you were being “polite”. Okay. I accept that, even though your intention was abstracted, cuz I know you’re a good egg, really. And I apologize again.

        But I must correct your percentages, again. Right now, the pro hizbollah sunnis are anywhere between 60-65%, led by the popular sunni politician, Salim al-Hoss, as well as the sunni Grand Mufti, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabban. So your theory of 20% sunni anti-israel is factually wrong and way off the mark. The sunnis who hate hizbollah, are not exactly lovers of isreal either as you claim – they’re playing realpolitik cuz they are jealous of the powers tha hizbollah has earned for itself. You go down to Sidon and Tyre and talk to an (unbearded) sunni there, and they will froth at the mouth to hear the mention of israel – israel who bombed them several times over and killed their family members.

        And regarding Lebanon’s christians, General Aoun receives the loyalty of approx 75% of Lebanse christians in political matters, and General Aoun is a HUGE hizbollah supporter. So your figure of 65% is just a tad low here too.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 4, 2013, 2:03 pm

        You’re a good egg too, Taxi. The Sunnis that are with Hizbullah are not 60-65% but only about 20% since the majority of Sunnis are behind Hariri, which is firmly in the US camp and is anti-Hizbullah. Salim al-Hoss, probably the only honest politician to have served in Lebanon, is now retired and has a small following of Sunnis but he’s no longer politically active. The grand Mufti you mentioned was until a few weeks back on the Hariri payroll and now Hariri is trying to get him to move over and make room for a new mufti and he’s refusing to budge. The grand mufti named a new mufti for Saida but the Hariri people are refusing to let him take his post.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 3:57 pm

        “Salim al-Hoss, probably the only honest politician to have served in Lebanon, is now retired and has a small following of Sunnis but he’s no longer politically active.”

        Waleeeeeeeed! C’mon. I mean, you being Lebanese, you should know there’s no such thing as a “retired” politician in Lebanon! They’d be on their deathbeds all wrinkled and slurry and boney-fingers wagging, and they’d still be giving their marching orders to the foe of the week. Boy there’s some real topsy-turvy swings and shifts in alliances in Lebanese politics. Here’s an example:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selim_Hoss

        I still say your 20% is way off. I don’t believe it was ever that bad: the enmity between the sunni and hizbollah. I see their relationship as a fluctuating one – never fixed – on any specific percentage – as per happens always in Lebanese politics: shifting alliances.

        The Hariris are practically dead and buried, politically speaking. They are still rich and throwing their Saudi money around, but their political power is flaccid. Because of their weird and weak leadership. Really, Walid, would any self-respecting, intelligent, and self-preserving sunni, follow this kinda leader in the video below, in this day and age, with a forebodding war at the door?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EHe6tiwKJ8

        There is most definitely a sunni fatigue with Hariri jnr. The sunnis are divided over which direction to take, whom to follow who would serve their interests and guarantee their survival and their continuing prominence in a very unsteady ocean of chaos. I assure you, Walid, the majority are not looking at Hariri Jnr for guidance. I would say a minority Hariri diehards, plus opportunists on the payroll, plus the sunni bearded jihadists, are about what Hariri’s got at the moment. Totaling around oooooh say 20% of sunni support?

        :-)

        Kidding aside, though, Walid, since the takfiri terrorist attacks on the two sunni mosques in Tripoli several weeks ago, and other takfiri carbomb deadly surprises around town, not to mention the absurd and fatal flexing of sectarian muscle by Aseef in Sidon, the sunni community is turned off the Hariri path, they really are. There’s an atmosphere of insider terrorism coupled with a feeling of an outsider attack looming, and people are naturally looking for protection and protectors. Right now, hizbollah looks a steadier bulk in the face of the coming turmoil, than the over-manicured Hariri Jnr.

        Shifting alliances. That’s Lebanon politics. And at the moment, the sunni are shifting away from Hariri Jnr because he is simply a weak leader. Shifting away too from Saudi Arabia, for punishing their Grand Mufti who dared to put Lebanon’s security (hiabollah) above Saudi approval and blessings. The Grand Mufti has a huge and dedicated following – and they’re all pro hizbollah. I hope you can see how all this would make for my 60%.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    September 4, 2013, 3:13 am

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  10. piotr
    piotr
    September 4, 2013, 7:25 am

    Egyptian junta is actually aligning itself with Syrian goverment.

    The model is fully fascistic. Broad movement demonizing opposition and adulating the leaders in power, while demonized opposition, that is branded “Islamic terrorists” is subjected to media closures, banning as organizations (de facto already, courts will put their stamp on it shortly), and mass trials. The lesson drawn from Mubarak demise is clear: the previous edition of cleptocracy became geriatric and lost connection of any kind of broad movement.

    Junta also listed abandoning of the “Syrian brothers” as one of the crimes of Morsi right from the start. It seems that they may doubt if Assad is guilty of using chemical weapons, but if he did not, he should. One may wonder why KSA financed the coup. I think that KSA and Emiratis view Brotherhood as the most dangerous opposition internally and if secular fascism is the only way of keeping it out of power in Egypt, so be it. The princes, as frequently accused, really have no ideology. But I guess that it puts the project of defeating the “Shia axis” in disarray. Shia are dreaded as the internal KSA opposition too.

    American neo-cons joined Saudis in plotting plans to defeat the Shia axis as on one end it threatens KSA: the prospect of “liberating” the eastern, oil rich province of the Kingdom that has Shia majority, and on the other hand it supports the self-styled Resistance to Israeli occupation. But the project is idiotic as it uses taqfiris who are virulently against everybody. And as such, it gets very substantial right wing opposition that includes: Egyptian junta, a big slice of British Tories, perhaps most of GOP in USA (if not most, surely a lot).

    For the progressives, the prospect of Iraq Invasion Mark IV (I hesitate how to count, second Gulf war, Libya, Yemen?) and the repetition of political use of contrived intelligence is repulsive. We pride ourself as caring if the accused is guilty (as opposed to “even if not, surely this is a nasty person”).

  11. Walid
    Walid
    September 4, 2013, 9:35 am

    “Egyptian junta is actually aligning itself with Syrian goverment.”

    I doubt it. It may be putting on a nationalist or anti-Imperialism show of sorts but deep down, it’s not going to piss-off the US by aligning itself with the Syrian government. If it did, the US would have the kids back in no time in Tahrir demonstrating for the overthrow of the military. Look how easy it was with Morsi.

    • Taxi
      Taxi
      September 4, 2013, 9:56 am

      Good grief, Walid!

      Being against the bombing of ‘Syria’, the country, is NOT the same as supporting the Syrian ‘regime’. Why don’t you go and read up some Egypt news on this matter. Or watch Al Mayadeen for interviews with Egyptian parliamentarians. They are saying: “we do not take orders from USA and Saudi Arabia no more, especially when it comes to our national security – and Syria is our northern national security front line, therefore we are completely against striking Syria and we will do what’s necessary to protect our national interests”.

      You’re stuck in the Morsi/Mubarak days. It’s a whole new ballgame now, where the rules favor the people, not the ‘regime’.

      Maybe you need to also visit some history pages that write about the brotherly relationship between Arab Syria and Arab Egypt, the Arab Syrian Army and the Arab Egyptian Army.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 4, 2013, 12:24 pm

        “Maybe you need to also visit some history pages that write about the brotherly relationship between Arab Syria and Arab Egypt, the Arab Syrian Army and the Arab Egyptian Army.”

        Taxi, I was reacting to a statement by piotr. I’ll believe you when Egypt puts its foot down at an Arab League meeting and insist that Syria be admitted back into the League and to have the Syrian rebels representative that’s currently got a seat there thrown out.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 1:09 pm

        Walid,

        There is talk in Egypt regarding the by-laws of the charter of the Arab League that were (illegally) broken over the Syria issue under Morsi. The interim government is addressing this already and no doubt will arrive at re-instating Syria back into the fold in due course. The Free Syria Army btw are not in fact officially recognized by the Arab League.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 4, 2013, 2:30 pm

        Taxi, Morsi wasn’t around when Syria was suspended by the Arab League. What was out of order with the suspension, was that for such a drastic decision, there had to be a unanimous vote by all members and for this specific decision, Lebanon and Algeria refused to go along but the resolution still went through; it was presided by Qatar. The FSA is not recognized because Syria has not been expelled but simply suspended. It has a seat as an observer or something like that and the rep was given the opportunity to make a short plea in the opening session of the emergency meeting in Cairo last Sunday. al-Droubi, who is in charge of international relations of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood that was a participant in the BHL-organized Israelis and Zionists pow wow with the Syrian opposition in Paris in July 2011 is now permanently in Saudi Arabia, so it gives you an idea that the AL is not about to throw out the FSA observer to let Syria back in.

      • Chu
        Chu
        September 4, 2013, 12:43 pm

        Why so sanctimonious against the mondocrowd, Taxi? I know that now you’ve been there and it’s a whole new reality so you need to talk down to the old crowd. Maybe Weiss could let you pen a few articles so you can reeducate us?

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 4, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Thanks for your reflections, Chu. I wouldn’t call it “sanctimonious”, but I would definitely call it a frustration. Because I expect the MW crowd to deal with facts and illuminate hidden nuances, especially people like Walid, whom, for years, I used to rely plenty on to provide the ‘missing parts’ from the Levant picture. Well I don’t need to rely on him anymore, but I would like to see him being more empathetic (he used to be that), as well as critical of his struggling people. Not just critical and off on the facts often.

        The suffering people of the Levant deserve more from their compatriots. It’s what I think. Because they’re in the eye of the mincer right now and they need all the help they can get.

        But point taken, my bad, I’ll try and be more honey than sting.

      • Walid
        Walid
        September 5, 2013, 5:56 am

        “Well I don’t need to rely on him anymore, but I would like to see him being more empathetic (he used to be that), as well as critical of his struggling people. Not just critical and off on the facts often. ”

        Glad for you that you don’t. Will look forward to learning more about the region from you.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 5, 2013, 6:29 am

        Walid,

        I’m still interested in your POV, buddy. I’m sure you know more Lebanon history than I do. All I’m saying is that I’m surrounded by Lebanon experts at the moment, and am constantly learning from them.

        Thank you for engaging with me. And thank you for your patience with me too.

      • Chu
        Chu
        September 5, 2013, 10:40 am

        Taxi, more honey please. Thanks. Chu.

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        September 5, 2013, 12:03 pm

        For you, Chu: honey with cherry on top.

      • Chu
        Chu
        September 5, 2013, 12:41 pm

        :0 And more info from the Lebanon experts! Good reading…

    • piotr
      piotr
      September 4, 2013, 1:41 pm

      Egyptian junta’s alignment with Syria is probably only verbal, hard to see them supplying Syria with anything, so Americans (and Saudis) will swallow that. What I observed is that it is hard to see cohesive alliances in Arab world except for the “Shia axis” and the Gulf group of KSA and the sidekicks, Kuwait, Bahrain, Emirates (while Qatar is somewhat of a maverick). KSA has separate reasons to fund Egypt and taqfiris, while the latter probably hate each other.

      However, removal of the junta will not be easy. If you have the guns, you do not need majority support to have a stable regime, 30-50% will do very well. When the opposition gets copious amounts of guns etc. from outside this may be different, but I do not see it happening in Egypt, yet. Right now the junta has the monopoly of arms and a decent amount of fresh cash. And as long as they are bashing Hamas and Gaza, American (those who count) will be happy.

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