October 29, 2003

Arab Solidarity Watch Multiple suicide

Arab Solidarity Watch

Multiple suicide bombings in an Arab capital. Dozens killed, hundreds wounded. The vast majority of the fatalities Iraqi Arabs. Indeed, Iraqi nationals serving in nascent post-Saddam police forces mostly the intended targets.

So I thought I'd do a quick Lexis-Nexis search date segmented for the past four days.

Search terms: Hosni Mubarak, Bashar Assad, Crown Prince Abdullah, King Abdullah.

Would leaders of the key Arab states have anything negative to say about the spate of bombings? Would they condemn the brutality that felled so many of their fellow Arabs? The scourge of suicide bombing coming home, so to speak?

No. Not a whimper of condemnation from Hosni Mubarak (he tepidly wished for "Iraq's stability" in a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister), Crown Prince Abdullah (who told a cabinet session that "he hoped Muslim countries and peoples would seize on the holy month of Ramadan to end all kinds of disunity and disputes"), King Abdullah (nada), or Bashar Assad (no surprise there).

Now, it might be that English language journalists simply haven't written up the strident condemnations issued by these key Arab leaders as word of the horrific bombings raced around the globe. Perhaps the Arab language press is full of such denunciations of Arab killing Arab.

Or maybe not.

Sadly (and pretty predictably), the reaction has been mostly of this nature.

Talk about morally bankrupt leadership. Leaders have to lead--not just bow to the prejudices and fears of their people. Sure, Washington has made some missteps in its Middle East policy and our reputation is at somewhat of a nadir in the Arab/Islamic world.

But does that mean that long term allies like Crown Prince Abdullah, King Abdullah and Hosni Mubarak can't even bring themselves to condemn the horrific suicide bombings of earlier this week?

Not on Washington's behalf, mind you. Listen, the U.S. isn't asking varied potentates to sycophantize and kowtow to America by always condemning whatever happens in the region that we deem worthy of condemnation.

But surely when Arab blood is spilled in such large number--Arab leaders might step up to the plate to condemn these vicious tactics?

Nope. Rather a quite deafening silence or broad banalities uttered about Ramadan bonhomie.

Guess the resurrection of any great pan-Arabist projects isn't looming just over the horizon, huh?

Posted by Gregory at October 29, 2003 10:38 AM
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