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August 1998 
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ESMAT TAKES THE LONG DRIVE


"He will fly to Tunis and then drive to Libya because the UN refused to grant him an exception."

MER - Washington - 8/10:

It would be historically comical if it weren't so politically pathetic. These days the head of the Arab League comes hat in hand asking Washington and London not just for money and gunsfor favored regimes but for permission about how and when to visit "sanctioned" Arab countries, members of his own organization!

We've yet to get all the details, but sources in Cairo indicate that last week the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Esmat Abdul Meguid, reluctantly agreed he was going to take a long car ride from Tunis to Tripoli because the Americans told him that's the way he had to go, overflying Libya which is on the way from Cairo.

You see, the Americans and Brits control the U.N. "sanctions" Committee regarding Libya. Indeed, one ranking U.N. official admitted recently that the organization has all too often become an appendage of the U.S. State Department. It's bad enough that the Arab League is so diminished that its Secretary-General has to ask the Western powers if he can fly, or has to drive, to visit the leader of an Arab country.

But meanwhile, all this is happening against the backdrop that the U.S. fired the last U.N. Secretary-General -- also a most compliant Egyptian Arab who was supported by just about everyone else in the world -- for not doing things totally the American/Israeli way. Not to mention that the U.S. is the U.N.'s biggest debtor by far, keeping the "world" organization near insolvency while forcing its superwill upon it.

The Arab League did nothing about Qana, has actually participated in the genocide visited on Iraq, watched Lebanon be destroyed, sits on its hands vis-vis Algeria, watches Israeli settlements still further mushroom accompanied by Jerusalem's encirclement, meaninglessly snarls at the new Turkish-Israeli-American military alliance, and awaits Israeli nuclear missile subs coming to the Red and Med Seas.

And as a final sign of its near-total impotence and irrelevance these days -- except when the Americans wish to put it to use -- the Arab League has spent most of the year blustering how it was going to do this and that because of what the Israelis (and Americans) are doing to the Palestinians. But it is a paralyzed and despondent organization -- indeed the Arab League hasn't even managed to hold a meeting about this most historic of matters!

Esmat's drive should have actually been a much longer one -- straight into a shameful retirement.


 

 

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