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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: La presse arabe s’alarme

by Rosa Moussaoui

The Arab Press Alarmed

Translated Wednesday 11 September 2013, by Isabelle Métral

Fears of a regional conflagration are prominent in last week’s editorials

From Algiers to Beirut, the press has for several weeks been voicing alarm over the regional conflagration that might follow upon a Western military intervention in Syria. Egypt’s Al-Ahram weekly finds a strong argument in the lesson of the 2003 US expedition. “The possibility of a US military intervention in Syria is clearly reminiscent of the wars in Iraq,” notwithstanding notable differences in the context,” the editor warns. Then asks where the rebels find their weapons. “It is rumored that since January 2012 Qatari planes have been delivering weapons via Turkey every other day.(…) Late in 2012 some three thousand ton of weapons and ammunition sold by Croatia [1] (60 mm cannon and rocket-launchers) and paid for by Saud Arabia have been flown on 75 flights,” the weekly claims.

The title of the Lebanese daily l’Orient-le Jour is eloquent enough: “Niet we can”

Absolutely opposed to the prospect of an intervention, Hacen Ouali, points to the Arab countries’ turpitude in the columns of the Algerian daily El Watan where he laments the fact that “whereas Western countries voice their skepticism, some Arab countries express their readiness to endorse military strikes against the Damascus régime as was the case for Iraq and Afghanistan. Diplomatically, with very few exceptions, the members of the Arab League, under the influence of the Gulf monarchies, support the US.”

In Lebanon, despite a more interventionist editorial line, l’Orient-le Jour also voices misgivings: “What would happen if Hezbollah retaliated against the US strikes by launching missiles on Israel?” the Beirut daily asks, and expresses its “fears of the repercussions of these tensions” on Lebanon itself. The title of its editorial clearly sums up the situation: “Niet we can.”

[1Editor’s comment: Recall that these were delivered to Croatia by the US, using the NATO structure: see this ICH article

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