During last Sunday’s 60-Minutes interview of the ruler of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, he suggested the use of Arab Forces to quell the violence in Syria. His words echoed widely in the Arab world and the west.
But if one looks closely into the legality of this bold statement in the ink of the Arab League Charter, one would quickly discover the emptiness of his call.
The Arab League Charter contains no specific language in either Articles 5 or 6, both addressing aggression, conciliation, and arbitration, one will find no legal basis for such an action.Â
s an example, the Charter left out any language related to one Member State aggressing the sovereignty of another, which provided the Arab countries with an excuse to assemble Arab Forces to secure the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 under Operation Desert Storm.
In fact, I do not recall Arab Forces ever used against a Member State if there was no aggression by another and Syria”™s suspension of membership does not provide the legal basis to attack (Article 18 discusses “exclusion” before an action is taken but not suspension).
Also, in support of the insignificance of Qatar”™s statement, Article 8 states that “each member shall respect the form of government of another .. and shall pledge itself not to take any action tending to change that form” (Which incidentally may mean the Arab League would want to replace one dictatorship with another in Syria in order to abide by the “form” pledge).Â
The use of Arab Forces in Syria is not a serious issue except for Sheikh Hamad to soften his image in an angry Arab street bewildered by the inaction of the Arab tyrants calling themselves a League.
It’s rather cruel for his High Highness to suggest it when he knows well it is not an option. Yesterday’s Arab League meeting simply extended the failed mission of Arab Observers to observe the killing. Their Observers observe but who is observing those who dispatch the Observers to observe?
Our modern history, and that of Lebanon, is being written with the Assad family’s sweat to drench our towns with blood and tears. Qatar’s modern history is being written with cruelty and hypocrisy towards others.
The Syrian people are facing three enemies today: Brutality by Assad, cruelty by the Arab League starting with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and impartiality by the rest of the world. Â