A recent program on CNN focused once again on the Lockerbie crash.
It also focused on the US administration's criticism of the Arab League's call for an easing of the air embargo on Libya. As a Gulf paper commented, even though the Arab League call is a timid one, not entailing any unilateral measures, it shows the American excuses given for continuing the embargo have not yet convinced the Arabs.
The Arab states respect international law; however, their respect has done them no good. The self-appointed guardians of international virtue and diplomacy in Washington are punishing Arab states one by one.
They are insulting the Arabs, heaping disrespect on them and in effect telling them to go to hell.
They are doing this by the blind support of Israel and by their veto of even the most impotent resolution critical of the Zionist state.
In the case of Libya, all proposals put forward by the Arabs have been pushed aside. Their viewpoint has not been taken into consideration and insult has been added to injury.
The weakness of the Arab states has brought them to this pitiful position where even the thought of addressing the United States causes them convulsions.
And the US, which has the high moral ground, dictates and refuses Arab suggestions of all kind of dialogue over the Lockerbie affair.
The Arab League has not even advised its member states what they can do to overcome this ban and circumvent it.
In the meantime the Libyan people are suffering.
Many have a strong feeling that the proposed Doha summit will fail. This is no surprise. The surprise will be if it is held. The US is working behind the scenes applying pressure to Arab states to attend the conference. The US foreign policy makers are making nonsensical utterances such as "Do not mix politics and economics." What do we Arabs have to mix then? What is the conference itself mixing?
In earlier conferences, some of the US ambassadors themselves delivered invitations to leading businessmen in some Arab countries.
The American administration wants an economic and social marriage between the Arabs and Israel. So does Israel. However, the terms being offered by these two "rascals" are unacceptable.
The Arab states, if they have the guts, should be steadfast in their attitude to the key issue of peace.
Yes. "We want peace" should be echoed from all over the Arab world. But we also want our land in exchange for peace. We want Palestinians to have total sovereignty over their territory and exercise the God-given right of self-determination as others around the globe do. The Arabs want Israeli withdrawal from the Golan and Southern Lebanon. If Israel wants security, Clinton and the other Yahoos in the United States can send the Texas Rangers on the California border patrol to Israel.
An end to settlement activities in Jerusalem and the occupied lands which UN articles 242 and 338 recognize as belonging to the Palestinians will also be required. Perhaps Mrs. Madeleine Albright's Israeli relatives will have to be relocated but that will not be a problem. The US Congress and Newt Gingrich can pass a bill giving Israel a few billion extra dollars for this mini-exodus.
If these points - the ingredients of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East - are viewed seriously by Washington and Tel Aviv, then many Arabs may buy plane tickets to Doha. Otherwise you will see many empty seats at the Doha conference.