Roger L. Simon

Dead Men Walking

The BBC’s Roger Hardy looks at the Arab Summit in Algiers:

At least as striking as what the Arab leaders will talk about is what they will not talk about.

Although there is an international effort under way to revive the Middle East peace process, the Arab leaders plan to do no more than reiterate the cautious peace plan they first announced three years ago.

They are unwilling to discuss democratic reform. And also absent from their deliberations will be the event which has plunged Syria and Lebanon into crisis – the assassination last month of a former Lebanese prime minister.

It’s scarcely surprising that ordinary Arabs have grown cynical about their leaders’ tendency either to be constantly at one another’s throats – or to utter long-winded platitudes about their common purpose.

Hardy concludes:

What unites Arabs now is something fuzzier – they tend to support the Palestinians, to dislike America, to watch al-Jazeera.

I wonder if even that is true anymore – or just a truism.