Lakhdar Brahimi's Long Career of Useless Diplomacy
We are led to believe that the UN, or “the international community” which is the term that has been coined by the US empire to disguise its wars of aggression behind the veneer of international legitimacy, has just appointed retired Algerian diplomat, Lakhdar Brahimi, as its envoy to Syria. As if we don’t know how those appointments come about.
I was sitting in the office of former deputy assistant secretary of state, Paul Hare, in the Middle East institute in 1993 when he got a call from the US Department of State to notify him that he has just been appointed the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Angola. The call did not even come from a UN office. After he hung up the phone we both had a good laugh about the status of the new international relations in the wake of the end of the Cold War. Lakhdar Brahimi (like Kofi Annan) was appointed by the US government, make no mistake about it.
Brahimi is a veteran diplomat but without any achievements under his belt. He was Algeria’s ambassador in Cairo in the 1960s and was known as a staunch Nasserist Arab nationalist who railed against US imperialism and colonial Zionism. He obediently fit the role that was required of him by the Algerian government at the time. Brahimi later became a diplomat for the Arab League.
In Lebanon, we remember him for his years of “work” as an envoy to Lebanon: he was supposed to help in mediating the end of the civil war. It seems that Brahimi’s only achievement during that time was prolonging that protracted conflict.
He had no successes in Lebanon whatsoever. His role in the Taif Accords (which may appear on his official resume) was entirely non-existent. The Taif Accords was a lousy deal between the Syrian and Saudi regimes, neither of which were – or are – in a position to help in constructing a viable functioning democracy.
In the George W Bush era, Brahimi was resurrected as an obedient servant of US wars of aggression. He was dispatched to Afghanistan to help in smoothing the American occupation before he was used in Iraq in the same capacity - to smooth over the American occupation there. Some Iraqi politicians still grumble about his role at the time.
- Arab world’s reactions to the CIA torture scandal | Dec 15 2014
- Before Edward Said: a tribute to Fayez Sayegh | Dec 09 2014
- Mubarak’s verdict: ancien Arab regimes as new regimes | Dec 01 2014
- The NYT’s unsubtle war on fairness in covering the Arab-Israeli conflict | Nov 24 2014