Well, what to expect from the nations that historically sold out not only on the Middle East to secure their own interests, but also on their own people such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia?
Basically, the Arab leaders got nothing to hope for except safeguard themselves from Iran’s political invasion. Saudi Arabia and Egypt claim they historically sacrificed a lot, but history remembers them as ruining the 1936-1939 demonstration – rebellion for the Palestinians (along other factors of course).
Moreover, Saudi Arabia meddled for a long time and used Lebanon as its front against others. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Saudi Arabia was involved on fighting Nasserite (reactionary Arab Nationalism) by supporting Christian Militias. In the 1970s, like almost all Arab nations, they contradicted themselves. They were the primary financers to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) till the Arab Nations overall indorsed the PLO after the 1967 Arab defeat. More often, the Saudis were always a pawn for the US administration to broker a deal that goes for their interests, such as Riyadh’s, which isolated Kamal Junblatt. Philip Habib also relied on the Saudis to muscle the Syrians into accepting short run goals. More recently, on LBC with Marcel Ghanem, Bolton said that several Arab leaders played a role in encouraging Israel to bomb Hezbollah (which of course Israel bombed almost everything but Hezbollah). If we follow the process of elimination, Arab leaders directly involved with the Lebanese Affair are not that many: Jordan – Egypt – Saudi Arabia (in terms of having welfare of seeing Hezbollah crushed). Jordan is no longer a political player, so we limit everything to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The latest to be witnessed by the Saudi interference in Lebanese Affairs (in parallel to the Iranian) is when the Lebanese opposition announced their civil disobedience which involved closing down routes. It is ironic that Qassem and Hajj Hassan argued that such form of escalations will last days and weeks till the Seniora government is given the boot, suddenly in the evening, we see the Grand Mufti of the Sunnis, Qabbani, announcing the end of the demonstration, after al-Bandar visited Iran towards the evening.
Now of course, we can thank the Saudis, along with ALL the Arab leaders for sending their foreign ministers during the July War to meet with Lebanon’s Prime Minister in Down Town (under US protection), while most of Lebanon was burning in hell. The funniest part is on a debate featuring Fawaz Traboulsi against a Saudi spokesman, who was yelling that he condemns adventures and undemocratic decisions (referring to Hezbollah’s solo operation) but he was speechless when Traboulsi bombarded him with questions such as “What does the Saudis know about Democracy?” or “When last time the people were represented”…etc. It has to be noted that Saudi failure to manage their own affairs brought extremists like Bin Laden, not to forget how oppressive the regime is towards their women.
The Egyptians are no better case. The term “US satellite” shines loud and clear from Moubarak’s regime. The man didn’t take any decisions towards the Israeli aggression on the Lebanese, and worse, he suppressed all forms of demonstrations that were going towards Lebanon. Historically, Egypt played a role in triggering the 1958 confrontations, took temporarily a piece of Palestine (following King Abdullah’s footsteps in 1948), and of course, and triggered the worst agreement which will lead Lebanon to a civil war in 1975 (the Cairo Agreement of 1969). I will not discuss how Egypt is still abusing the Arab League for its own affairs, only to have its hegemony broken by Saudi Arabia and recently Qatar. They opened the 1973 war, like the Syrians, in order to attain bargaining hands (mainly to restore the Sinaa Zone). Moreover, they negotiated with the Israelis while promising the PLO leaders to bring forth their demands, which of course ended up neglected and Sadat as disappointed to see the PLO and the Syrians joining hands in a rejectionist front. There is no need how to mention how Egypt’s dictatorship system brought forth the brotherhood, and still pushes people to endorse the Brotherhood’s logos as an alternative to Moubarak’s.
Both nations do nothing lately but oppress their own people and serve the US foreign policy. It should be interesting how the Saudis deny any contacts with the Israelis while Olmert said there is a Quadro – Committee with the Saudis in it, establishing contacts with it. The funnier part Levni going to Qatar even though Qatar does not recognize Israel, while Egypt long ago (ever since Sadat’s disengagement plan started officially in 1974) recognized Israel.
The Peace Initiative of course will never be implemented by Israel unless if all Arab States agree to turn their eyes towards the other end, ie away from the Palestinians. The Saudi dynasty and the Moubarak regime (soon to become a dynasty when Moubarak’s son takes over as a “democratic” president) wouldn’t have lasted that long without US support. The whole Peace Initiative is a dead end, specially when the Saudis try to refer to “No Peace and Normalization with Israel till every invaded Arab land is returned to its owners” (of course starting probably after 1948), but to show their people “they are working for Lebanon. Not till this very day we have seen anything tangible coming out of the Arab League. Just a forum place to meet up and the leaders would say: “We hope” and “We wish for this to happen…”, not to forget “in solidarity we really pray….”
I still wonder how people are optimistic, especially in Lebanon, between Saudi Arabia/USA and Syria/Iran, wow we are so lucky and loved. Not to forget any day we may see Israeli Planes hovering our heads again and bombing the heck out of Lebanon (a tiny sample of what the Palestinians are living through on daily basis). We sure are the center of attention everywhere in the world, aren’t we lucky?!