While it's not rare to witness disunity among Arab states-- indeed seeking "Arab unity" is often an exercise in absurdity-- it is refreshing to see this disunity playing out at this level. After Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco will reportedly send low ranking officials to attend the "Arab solidarity" summit in Damascus alongside the lonely (and very angry) thug.
London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat on Wednesday quoted Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa as saying that “countries that do not attend the summit will regret it,” without elaborating.
Like some of you out there, I have never been a fan of Arab gatherings. The Arab League, as an organization, would do its members a greater service if it were turned into an organ for economic cooperation, as opposed to fake political unity that consistently fails the test of history and reality. One almost feels sorry for Amr Moussa, stuck defending notions that never existed. The Arab initiative was doomed to failure for many reasons, one being the Damascus regime's intransigence. However, it also failed because it came from the Arab League, a vessel for inaction and looking backwards, that the Syrian regime used to justify its support for terrorism, in the name of common causes and the so called "Arab solidarity".
Allow me to gloat as I witness the increased isolation of Bashar and his pals. Many of us thought they would never see the day when a Lebanese government would boycott an Arab summit on principle. While many other principles still need to be defended at home, mainly the one called rule of law, there is hope that the international tribunal will breathe some of that back into the country. Next month, the tribunal that will hopefully try the killers of the Lebanese potential will start. It is too early to say "at last", but this tribunal, as the boycott did, can, at least psychologically, empower both those who fought for Lebanon, and those who almost gave up.