Monday, October 10, 2005

Insurgents Target Arab League Convoy

Terrorists fired shots at a convoy of Arab League ministers in Iraq to mediate differences between the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd ethnic factions on the eve of voting on the proposed constitution. None of the ministers were injured in the attack, however six Interior Ministry commandos were wounded by the insurgents. ( Gunmen attack Arab League convoy in Iraq).

Opposition to the Arab League runs far beyond the insurgents, however. Even government officials criticise the Arab League for their reluctance to condemn terrorism and their slow response in getting involved in the current constitutional crisis. Official response to the Arab League's visit was lukewarm at best. The visit is better than nothing, although it came late," said Iraqi President Jalal Talabani after his meeting with the envoys.

The situation in Iraq presents a bit of a dilemma for the Arab League. The conflict in Iraq and the insurgency in general poses a problem for surrounding nations. A stable Iraq is certainly in their best interests. Both Iran and Syria are coming under fire both in the US and in the EU with both nations being accused of providing aid and supplies to the insurgents. It would be in the Arab League's best interests to see the situation stabilize in the region.

On the other hand, a ratification of the constitution this week would signal a victory for US policies in Iraq, something other Arab nations view as unwanted interference. As much as they want to see a stable Iraq, they do not want to openly support US policies in the region. As a result, the Arab League has been extremely slow to intervene in the squabble between the three major Iraqi ethnic groups.

Iraqi leaders are now holding last minute talks to defuse the opposition of the Sunnis before balloting begins. Those talks may hold the best chance for a compromise that could save the constitution. As it stands now, the Arab League does not have sufficient credibility with any of the groups to be able to make that much of a difference at this late hour.


No comments :