Leading article: The Arab League must withdraw

Share
Related Topics

If there was ever much hope that Bashar al-Assad might be willing to compromise, it has now been comprehensively dispelled. Far from moderating his position, the Syrian President's defiant speech this week makes clear that he is digging in. Alongside wearily familiar lines blaming foreign conspiracies for the rebellion that has claimed more than 5,000 civilian lives since March, he made alarming promises to crack down with an "iron fist" on the terrorists causing such upheavals.

So much for the Arab League mission to oversee the peace plan the Syrian President mendaciously signed up to in December. Indeed, such is the swagger in Damascus that President Assad now openly scorns the threat of expulsion with which the League pressured him to sign. It is not hard to see why. Not only has the delegation not stopped the violence, its observers have been corralled, manipulated, and used to buy time for the obnoxious Syrian regime. Enough is enough. It is time to call a halt to a charade that works in no one's favour but President Assad's.

The credibility of the Arab League mission has been suspect from the outset. With only 165 observers at its full complement, the delegation was never anywhere near large enough to cover a country the size of Syria effectively. Its reliance on the regime for logistical and security support rightly sparked concerns about its independence. And the leadership of General Mustafa al-Dabi – a supporter of the Sudanese President, wanted in the Hague over genocide in Darfur – also raised eyebrows. After weeks of escalating violence, the mission is now unravelling. That one of its observers has quit, branding the entire operation a "farce", accusing the regime of gross crimes, and describing the situation on the ground as a "humanitarian disaster" only confirms sceptics' worst fears.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has hinted that the Arab League mission should not continue indefinitely. She is half-right. It should not continue at all. Simply by their presence, the monitors are lending legitimacy to a wholly illegitimate regime. They should be withdrawn forthwith.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there