Monday, January 18, 2016

Wrong but right

"If we go for the international solution, the map [of the region] will not stay the way it is now."

That's PLO leader Yasser Arafat in August 1990 explaining to Arab League summit leaders his disastrous decision to back (or at least not oppose) Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, with a UN resolution already on the table authorizing the use of force to evict Saddam. A quarter of a century ago yesterday, a US-led coalition (including Syria!) began the assault to retake Kuwait. Unfortunately, a sequence of milestones, of which this was one, confirmed that the Arab world could not in fact sustain the rupture caused by the invasion. It just took a while for the full effects to become apparent.

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