Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Editor's choice:faced with disaster, the Arabs are like mice
LONDON, 18 FEB 2003--18 February 2003--Could anything be more pathetic than the Arab demonstration against war? A million Britons marched in London, more than half a million Spaniards in Madrid; 200,000 in Paris and New York. And Cairo? Well, just 600 Egyptians turned up in their capital to protest at America's forthcoming invasion of brotherly Iraq – surrounded by 3,000 security police. By way of contrast – brave contrast – 2,000 Israelis protested in Tel Aviv against the war.

What on earth is it with the Arabs? Of all people, they – and they alone – are likely to suffer in this American invasion of their homeland. They – and they alone – have the will and the ability to understand that this US military adventure is intended – as Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, frankly declared last week – to change the map of the Middle East.

Yet, faced with catastrophe, the Arabs are like mice. Their leaders may agree with their people – but they will not let their people say so.

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