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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
The Arab Summit and the Designer Opposition in Syria

The “Sumptuous Summit”

by REEM HADDAD

Well sumptuous because Qatar has hosted it and had spent lavish sums of money on it. It had taken the Arab Summit and made it Qatari- a terminology more apt would have been the’’ Qatari Summit’’. Using and abusing its money Qatar manipulated, coerced (with the help of its more muscular friends) and tricked those attending the summit into turning a blind eye to the farce that happened.

It is very clear when reading the charter of the Arab league that no country has the right to oust another country out of its rightful place. The only way that can happen, is by consensus of all member countries attending- which didn’t happen! A lot of stealth was involved! It was only after all member countries had taken their seats, that it was announced that the Syrian delegation would be joining the summit – only this delegation wasn’t the legal one – the one representing the Syrian people. It was comprised of people that until recently no one in Syria had heard of – and in particular Moaz Al Khatib head of the delegation who had , four days prior to the summit, submitted his resignation from the Syrian National Coalition only to rescind it a day later and head the delegation and Hitto whom no one – no one in Syria had heard of until he became ‘’ Prime Minister ‘’! In addition there was a token Christian and a token women. They grouped themselves uncomfortably- Hitto possibly thinking he should be leading that particular delegation. And so Moaz Al Khatib launched into his speech. To many it sounded like the sermon of an imam delivered during Friday prayers-which indeed is what he was prior to the ‘’revolution’’. His words were dramatic and they all rhymed- possibly more fit for a poetry reading. He asked for more intervention from the USA and from NATO. He asked for rockets to be placed in the north of Syria to ‘’protect’’ the civilian population. He urged jihad and then he said something strange. Something that should have rung alarm bells in the minds of those listening. He exempted from jihad those with needy parents – even , even if the parents were Christians.

This is something well worth pondering for those in the west who support that kind of thinking and that idealogy. What exactly are they inviting in? Today they invite the Islamists and the fundamentalists into Syria. Tomorrow they won’t wait for an invitation to spread to Europe!

Many questions arise from the Arab Summit- will it be normal practice now to allow the opposition a seat? Will next summit see a seat for the Bahraini opposition? Who chooses who keeps the seat? How did these individual countries decide? For example were the Somali people given a choice of who should represent Syria in the summit and they chose the opposition? Or is it only a designer opposition that they will go for- one that suits and caters to them ?

Reem Haddad can be reached at reem.haddad@gmail.com