Arab regime credibility hanging by its last invisible thread

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On 25 September I wrote a piece headlined Obama speaks at the UN… Goodbye to peace. Since then I’ve seen no need for me to contribute to the debate about the farce that President Obama’s push for peace is and was always going to be. But the Arab League’s decision to give Obama a one-month deadline to rescue the direct talks between Abbas and his quisling administration and Netanyahu and his deluded coalition government demands a comment or two.

Arab leaders know that with America’s mid-term elections fast approaching, there is no way a humiliated, increasingly desperate and isolated Obama can even think about applying real pressure on Israel. (I am still of the opinion that he did not enter the Oval Office programmed to do Zionism’s bidding. His real problem was that he was too inexperienced and naïve. As a consequence of that he was bound to become the prisoner of the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress. At the time of writing, and given his counter-productive escalation of targeted assassinations by armed drones, I am beginning to wonder if Obama will go down in history as one of the worst presidents America has ever had).

So why are they, Arab leaders, going through the motions?

The short answer is that once again they are seeking to cover the ugly nakedness of their impotence.

The most relevant question, it seems to me, is what, in theory, could Arab leaders still do to give themselves a reasonable chance of countering Zionism’s influence on American policy for the Middle East?

Prefaced by a summary statement of all the initiatives the Arabs including the Palestinians have taken for peace on terms which any rational government and people in Israel would have accepted with relief, they could threaten to

  • Sever their diplomatic relations with the U.S.
  • Withdraw their financial support for America’s broken economy
  • Turn off the oil taps

As I have written and said on more than a few occasions in the past, Zionism’s key players know how to play the cards they were dealt and Arab leaders don’t.

Zionism’s four main cards were and are the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust for blackmail purposes; money (virtually unlimited funds) and the influence it buys; the organized Jewish vote; and, more generally speaking, breathtakingly, brilliant organization and co-ordination.

The Arabs have always had an ace that would trump all of Zionism’s cards. OIL.

Imagine what would have happened in the immediate aftermarth of the 1967 war if Arab leaders had put their act together and sent one of their number secretly to Washington DC to say something very like the following to President Johnson behind closed doors: “If you don’t get Israel back behind its pre-war borders, we’ll turn off the oil taps.”

If Johnson had believed that Arab leaders were united and serious, he would have replied with something very like the following: “I can’t guarantee swift action on Jerusalem but give me two or three weeks for the rest.”

If the Zionists had been in the Arab position, that IS how they would have played their hand. And that is not pure speculation on my part. Over the years I have been told so by a number of Israeli leaders including former Directors of Military Intelligence.

The main point I’m making is that if Johnson had believed that Arab leaders were united and serious, they would not have had to turn off the oil taps. A secret, credible threat to do so would have been enough to cause Johnson (or any president) to put America’s own best interests first.

Will Arab leaders ever learn how to play their cards (if only to best protect their own longer term, real interests)?

I fear not.

13 comments on this post.
  1. Husein:

    United we stand divided we fall ( even if unity is only apparent …)

  2. Pauline:

    I will never understand why they take such a stance when they have the US by the nose. It only illustrates the corruption of the regimes involved. Thank you Alan for my enlightenment. Nothing has changed much apart from the absence of the man who fought a lifetime to have recognition… Arafat.

  3. Cherifa Sirry:

    Dear Alan,
    I would like to thank you very much for your excellent articles and as an Arab (Egyptian), I’d like to make a few comments on your last piece regarding Arab “leaders”.
    There are no Arab “leaders” in the present Arab world except for one… and he is top on Israel and the US’s assassination list. His name is Hassan Nasrallah, the current secretary general of Hezbollah. Although labeled as a “terrorist” group by the US and Israel, Hezbollah and Nasrallah are extremely popular and respected in the Arab and Muslim word. When Nasrallah speaks, the whole Arab and in fact Israel also, watches and listens well. The US’ stigmatizing Hezbollah, or Hamas as “terrorists” has only served to make them more popular than they already are.
    Arab leader as you predict will do nothing as has been the case during the past 30 years at least with the exception of president Anwar el Sadat who with president Carter literally forced Israel into signing a peace agreement with Egypt.. a move which Israelis remember very bitterly and strive to annul. Remember always that Eretz Israel includes the Sinai and it isn’t without reason that “Al Qaeda” presence in Sinai is slowly but surely developing by complicit embedded reporters who report what they are told to report. There is no “Al Qaeda” in Sinai and the rockets that are so-called launched from Sinai by “Al Qaeda” are launched by Israelis. As per our “peace” agreement with Israel, Israelis are allowed to enter the Sinai for I think 12 or 20 Km without any visa.
    The important Arab “leaders” (important for the US) of today are both over 80… and their end is soon coming. In Egypt, the US and Israel would like his “royal highness” Mubarak junior to inherit his father’s “throne” so that the US and Israel could continue their current policies towards the Middle East. The Egyptian people are however fiercely against Mubarak junior and even if he is imposed on us and made president in the coming “elections”, I doubt very much that he would last more than a few month. In Saudi Arabia, the Saudi people are sick and tired also of their “royal” family. There have been some interesting assassinations attempts that came very close to the Saud family. Saudi Arabia also has a large Shiite community and they also want to see the Saudi “royals” gone. Saudi Arabia plays perfectly into American hands just like Egypt but forget what their people want and need. In other words, the “moderate” US allies who are left are very close to expiry because their people have had enough of them and of their weakness and failures… not to mention corruption. Notice that in Egypt for example, the Rafah crossing was opened after the Mavi Marmara attack because of Mubarak’s fear of the Egyptian people and not because Mubarak had the vision or the courage to open it. The crossing is still open because the government dares not close it. Notice also that when Mubarak went to Germany for treatment, his entire gang (family and politicians) travelled with him. When he came back to Egypt, he didn’t dare come back to Cairo where workers had been striking for over a month in various areas. He went to Sharm el Sheikh and stayed there. He stayed there for such a long time that Minister Aisha Rateb addressed him in the newspapers and asked whether he still remembered that Cairo is the capital of Egypt and not Sharm el Sheikh. On the 1st of May every year, Mubarak addressed the Egyptian people. This year and for the first time ever, he didn’t. He addressed us on the 7th of May from an “undisclosed” location… and then reappeared in Sharm el Sheikh. In other words, the only 2 important US allies who are left in the Middle East re nearing their end. Indeed, the US is “allied” with Gulf states.. but if anything changes in Saudi Arabia and especially in Egypt, it will spread like bush-fire to the Gulf. The US has already lost Iraq, Syria and Lebanon… and every single statement or decision made by the US regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict only serves to prove that the US is really no ally, but in fact a burden.
    Arab “leaders” will not sever their relations with the US. It will be the Arab people who will do so as they did it in Iraq and Lebanon.
    You ask why Arab “leaders” are “going through the motions” and you wonder why the Arab League decided to extend Obama another month deadline. The answer is simple. All these Arab “leaders” are either US stooges or incompetent spoiled brats who are not capable of doing more. They plainly lack the education and capacity to perform in politics. Don’t the last 60 years amply demonstrate it? The US in a sense is not very clever because it seems to always back “leaders” who themselves are consciously or unconsciously paving the way for a total US exit from the Middle East and beyond.

    As for Obama, I agree with you that he may have initially had good intensions regarding the Middle East conflict but as you said, he was naïve to think that he actually could. He over-estimated the US and underestimated Israel with it various Jewish lobbies.

    The only leaders capable of standing to Israel (=US for all practical purpose) in the Near East are Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah and every Arab is aware of this and wholeheartedly supports them for this.

  4. ally a.a.:

    its not now that he arab regime s credibility is hanging by a thread. they ve never aligned themselves with anything humane or just. they ve always allied themselves with the most powerful be it wicked or down out inhumane. for them the dollar was always justice, God & love.

  5. Karen Chadwick:

    I like the analogy of a card game, Alan. This helps understand a very complex situation in the mid-east. Thanks for your excellent blog.

  6. Bob Battersby:

    You are right in your assessment of the current Arab Leaders. They are still as mutually suspicious, afraid for their position and fragmented as ever. If they could learn to network and sing from the same hymnsheet, they could exert a far more powerful influence over AIPAC dominated USA. Their statecraft needs to improve dramatically.
    Look how Russia uses its Natural Gas as a political weapon. The Arabs could learn a lot from the Russians as well as the Zionists.

  7. Tom Mysiewicz:

    The only reason the hard liners are pursuing this faux peace deal is the potential to expel most of Israel’s non-Jewish Arabs…to the phony Palestinian state. Oh, yes, a few settler-props will also be expelled to Israel. That’s if this thing ever gets off the ground.

  8. Chris Crookes:

    Great article as usual. But one thought occurred… We talk about the Arabs as if they are in some way a unified people who could and should get together and realise some unspecified common purpose and advantage. But ARE they really a united people with a common cause anymore than say causcasian whites are? Do they themselves see themselves that way?
    I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m genuinely asking.

  9. syed mehdi hasan ashraf:

    You are dead right in your assassment,I doubt this situation will change in even in distant future.Feared life will go on not only in the area we are discussing about but all,the other places around the globe.
    Unless mightiest come to believing in answering there doings infront of some one,one day(like it or not),i am afraid sir expect worst is still to come.No one,i rpeat no one who is in power any where who really has slightest of concern what happens to mankind.This is a truth.However keep doing the right work.

  10. Vera Gottlieb:

    If Arabs ever stopped bickering amongst themselves, Israel would be history. The other side of this coin: Israel holding the entire world by it’s tail.

  11. Naiyer Habib:

    The only way peace is possible if the peace is imposed on HabibIsrael and Palestinian by nations which must give up being biased and become honest broker in the conflict. This particularly depends on USA and the Muslim world. Muslim world can morally and otherwise force USA to join them in implementing the peace and just solution. The inertness and impotence of the Muslim world are responsible for what is happening there . Israel and palestinian have the right to exist but not at the extinction of Palestinian. It is shame to tolerate such injustices by people or nation of Moral.
    Your comment of suggestion is worth considering , but who will?

  12. jarjees tariq:

    ok i am going to be absolutely brutal and honest here. arab and unity r like oil and water. they can never EVER mix hence there can never be any arab unity. wenever israelis bomb the hell out of either palestinians or lebanese, i see the arabs moaning and crying and cursing. mass demonstrations in all muslim countries, burning the usa/israeli flag etc. as a child i used to wonder wat r they doing and even now i wonder wat r they accomplishing with all this bickering and moaning. u wana do sumthing concrete TURN OFF THE OIL. that is THE only language americans will understand. u can huff and puff all u want. the arab meetings r a joke, waste of time and money. in all the history there was ONE arab leade (king faisal) who had the courage to turn off the oil. within 2 weeks the mighty america was on its knees. i remember i read sumwhere this incident ‘HENRY KISSINGER WHO WAS THE FOREIGN SECRETARY CAME TO SAUDI ARABIA AND HAD A MEETING WITH THE KING. HE jokeD ‘UR HIGHNESS I HAVE COME TO U ON A PLANE WITH VERY LESS FUEL IN USA AND I HOPE U WILL GRANT MY WISH OF REFUELING THE PLANE AND ENDING THIS OIL EMBARGO. THE KING LOOKED UP AND SAID ‘OK BUT I HAVE A WISH ALSO. I AM AN OLD MAN NOW BUT I WISH TO PRAY IN THE HOLY MOSQUE IN JERUSALEM. WILL U GRANT MY WISH? king faisal was assasintated by his own nephew although we know who was behind all this. from that point on till now NO saudi king has had the balls to repeat the same. elsewhere also no dictator or king had the courage or mindset to challenge america. the leaders were and still are busy bickering amongst themselves. lavish lifestyles and total spineless impotence prevails in these lands. if sum1 speaks against the rulers he is arrested and jailed or silenced.
    in my opinion the arabs have no right to cry for the palestinians cuz they have abandoned them since a long time. wat we hear are empty rhetorics and slogans. if they really wanted to do sumthing they wud have a looooong time ago. for that u need courage and sacrifice. i will end with a quote from king faisal wen he put the oil embargo and ppl around him told him of the hardship it wud bring. he said ‘our ancestors survived on milk and dates since times unknown and we will return to that and live on’
    unless u have that kinda courage and commitment, stop crying and moaning abt palestine.

  13. George Perin:

    It is the Arab monarchies who have the oil and know their dictatorial regimes have no legitimacy without western backing.
    They get the backing (complete with the latest weaponry) and the West gets the oil.

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