Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Will the Arabs dare to listen to Somaliland?
BY Bashir Goth*
Mar 27, 2006 — The Arab League has the habit of leaving issues to fester until such time when surgical intervention becomes necessary from foreign powers whose interests do not necessarily match those of the Arab world.

Examples are plenty but a few recent ones include Somalia, Southern Sudan and Darfur, Iraq and the Lebanese-Syrian issue. None of these issues has come out of the blue. All of them have been fermenting and escalating for years before they have reached the bursting point. All the time, the Arabs were using an ostrich mentality and burying their heads; hoping that they one day could raise their heads to find things fixed by some divine power. It is quite perplexing how Arabs love the status quo and use all their energy and resources to ensure that things stay as they are; they do this not only because they prefer stability and peace to the turbulence and commotion that often result from change but because they also fear that any change may rock the murky waters of Arab politics and expose the Arabs inability to deal with it.

Realpolitik also seems to elude the Arab focus, while sentimentalism and empty nationalistic slogans blur the clarity of their vision. A real example of the Arabs propensity for idealism and contempt for pragmatism is their famous Khartoum Resolution of 1967 which carried the three "nos" of Arab-Israel relations at that time: No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel, No negotiations with Israel.

It took another decade for Egypt’s Anwar Sadat to cause a political Tsunami in Arab politics and inject the first dose of realipolitik into the Arab political lexicography. Other than the masterly strike of Sadat, all other Arab attempts of realpolitik came too late when the political landscape had already changed beyond recognition and they had to face the bitter reality of opting for face saving tactics.

Now as the Arabs hold their 18th summit in Khartoum on 28-29 March 2006, one issue that calls for a masterful realpolitik decision is that of the little known country of Somaliland. By just evoking the name, one can anticipate frowns on faces of Arab politicians. More Sudan Tribune, Awdalnews Network, WardheerNews,,Qarannews