x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Libyan regime is now approaching its end

A roundup of daily commentary from Arabic newspapers

"During the paranoid stroke that seized Colonel Muammar Qaddafi during his latest TV address, he reiterated his warnings to Libyans that the US would not allow them to move forward in the revolution, saying it would treat Libya the same way it did Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia," wrote Satea Noureddine in a commentary  for the Lebanese daily Assafir.

He hinted at Americans standing behind Col Qaddafi because they need him to placate any eventual rise of an Islamic Libyan emirate along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This is the same set of threats other veteran regional leaders put forward to bring legitimacy to their ruling.

Yet, the Tunisian and Egyptian experiences has proved the contrary. The West appears more aware of the social and political structure of the region than Arab rulers and their intelligence agencies. Increasingly, western thinkers believe that the recent Arab uprisings are partly a revolution against Islamic fundamentalism, which has become since 9/11 the scapegoat for most Arab and Muslim political elites.

In his speech, Mr Qaddafi implored the West and the US in particular to rush to his rescue. But he is wrong in assuming this because the international community has already expressed a strong condemnation against him and is mulling over suitable action. This is likely to accelerate the end of his regime.

Iran finally reaches the Mediterranean

"The arrival of two Iranian frigates to the Syrian port of Latakia  in the Mediterranean is a historic  and strategic event if seen in terms of the rapid changes taking place in the Middle East," noted the London-based newspaper Al Quds al Arabi in its editorial.

"So what has changed and why are they sent at this particular conjecture to these restricted areas? To understand the strategic importance of this move, we need to stop at the Israeli reaction. The government opposed strongly the passage of the Iranian warships by putting pressure on both the Egyptians and the Americans. The Israelis also threatened to strike the vessels at sea."

This kind of pressure was fruitless, as the US was too weak to intervene in an open confrontation with Iran in light of the escalating revolutionary transformations in the Arab region and especially after the use of its veto to block an Arab proposal to issue a UN condemnation of Israeli settlement policies.

Israel also failed because the new Egyptian system is in transition and is less likely to heed the Israeli dictates, as it was the case under the president Hosni Mubarak. Israel needs to understand that Cairo has exercised its full sovereign rights to allow the passage of the Iranian vessels, which are not in a military mission, through the Suez Canal as per the international treaties on this issue.

Brighter era ahead for the Arab League

"The Arab League seems to have finally awakened from a long hibernation when it decided to suspend the participation of Libyan delegations in all meetings of the organisation's bodies in response to the massacres carried out by the Libyan regime against its own people," observed Tariq Alhomayed in an opinion article for the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al Awsat.

We hail this measure and think how effective the organisation could have had it taken firm stances before. Similarly, had the Arab League waved the "unacceptable and irrational" condition of unanimity to issue every single resolution, our situation could have been much better.

The League failed in the past to act firmly against Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait, or when he attacked the Kurds. It was also less determined in taking a suitable decision against the Libyan regime when it  was accused of plotting  to assassinate  King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, then the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Although Amr Moussa, the League secretary general,  is a staunch advocate of reform, the League does not have a magic wand, especially since Arab states are involved in many inter-state conflicts, which have impaired its efficiency.

Today, there is great hope that the recent decision would usher in a new positive era for the Arab League.

Police officers need to do their jobs

Those who directed the thugs involved in acts of sabotage last Friday in Jordan have committed a sin against the country, observed Maher Abu Tayer in an opinion piece for the Jordanian newspaper Addustoor.

It is absolutely unacceptable for those saboteurs to hit their countrymen with sticks and break their bones. We have had enough of thugs, he writes. We want a peaceful day, with no events that are likely to trash the reputation of Jordan.

In previous protests and marches, no Jordanian dared to smash a car or break into a shop. Police were seen distributing water and juice to demonstrators.

Protecting people's lives does not need any coordination or orders to come from the top. It should come spontaneously.

"As human beings, we should not accept seeing bloodshed without acting to stop it. This leads us to question why the police were less prompt to intervene and instead took a neutral position, as if they were not concerned at all."

Meanwhile, the investigations into last Friday's incidents are being carried out secretly, but the results should be made public quickly before the culprits slide into oblivion.



* Digest compiled by Mostapha El Mouloudi