The leaders of the Arab World are at least consistent. If any of their brethren, be it the Algerian people in 1993 whose democratic Government was ousted by the Military, to the continuing grinding but solvable poverty endured by the Palestinians and now the brutal suppression of the Syrian people, the Arab World looks resolutely the other way. No our problem Guv’
But as soon as the West and the UN doing anything to ameliorate the lot of the downtrodden, then the despotic and corrupt ruling Arab Elite stick together and play the Nationalist anti Arab/ pro Zionist Card.
The likes of the Saudi Royal Family, and the Oil Sheiks of the Emirates could have put a stop to Assad years ago, by levering him out of power through a policy of disengagement. But the same inertia that prevents the Arabs from using their petro chemical billions to alleviate the desperate suffering of the Palestinians still reigns.
The Arab Leaders know that the best way to control their citizens is to keep them down, keep them ill educated, keep them poor and above all present them with the bogeyman of American and Israeli anti Islamism.
The shame is that successive blunders all over the Middle East by the UK and America plays into the hands of these regressive anti education, anti women and anti democratic regimes which we continue to tacitly approve of by selling weapons and doing billions of pounds worth of business with.
Ideally the Syria issue should, like Iraq and Saddam Hussein before it, be an Arab problem with an Arab solution, but until the Arab Powers live up to their responsibilities it is up to the Western Powers to protect civilian life as far as is practicable.
I wrote this text in March 2011. All I needed to do was swap the words Libya with Syria, and Gaddafi with Assad. Predictable and depressing stuff.