by Khaled Abu Toameh
Obama and many others in the international community have been quicker in condemning settlement construction in Israel than atrocities by Arab dictators against innocent civilians.
Has retired South African judge Richard Goldstone considered the possibility of heading a special commission of inquiry to look into the war crimes that are being perpetrated against Libyans and other Arabs?
Settlements may be a problem, but they are not more dangerous than the massacres that are being perpetrated against Arabs.
It took President Barack Obama nine days to condemn Col. Muammar Gaddafi's massacres in Libya as "outrageous" and "unacceptable."
It took the UN Security Council more than a week to hold a closed-door meeting and issue a tempered statement condemning the violence in Libya and calling for its immediate end and for those responsible to be held accountable.
This is the same Security Council that one week earlier held a special and open session to condemn construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Fourteen out of fifteen members of the council voted in support of the anti-settlement resolution, which was vetoed by the US.
The same members, however, saw no need to hold a vote on the slaughtering of thousands of Libyans by Gaddafi.
But both Obama and the Security Council stopped short of calling for Gaddafi's removal from power for perpetrating atrocities against his own people.
The Europeans have also been cautious in their response to the carnage in Libya. They too have refrained from calling for regime change in Libya.
One can understand why Americans and Europeans are worried about their economic interests in Libya, especially with regard to oil. It is also likely that the West is embarrassed about its relationship with the Libyan dictator who, despite his crimes, was welcomed back into the international community in 2003.
Then, Gaddafi was apparently forgiven for his role in the Lockerbie plane explosion and support for countless terror groups in the Arab and Islamic world. Gaddafi was forgiven because he had agreed to abandon his nuclear ambitions and promised to be good..
Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, on the other hand, who for over 30 years served Western interests in the Middle East and did his utmost to preserve the peace treaty with Israel and support moderate Arabs and Muslims, was thrown to the dogs by the Obama Administration as soon as his people started demanding regime change.
Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seem to be more troubled by the death of 300 Egyptians than the brutal massacring of thousands of Libyans. Obama and Clinton seem to be more worried about construction in Jewish settlements than war crimes and serious human rights violations in the Arab world.
The US Administration and the rest of the international community have once again sent a message to the Arabs that they do not really care about human rights and democracy and that they are ready to sacrifice thousands of Arabs to keep the oil prices as low as ever. Mubarak was unfortunate because his country does not have oil.
Now at least the Arab people know that they can no longer rely on Obama and Clinton to support any of their pro-democracy movements.
Khaled Abu Toameh
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