"Controversial Sudanese General Mohammed al-Dabi, who led the month-long Arab League observer mission to Syria, submitted his resignation on Sunday.
"Human rights groups criticized him for his actions in Darfur, where Sudan is accused of genocide by the International Criminal Court.
"The Arab League suspended its mission in Syria at the end of January, after it failed to halt the violence."
To which dot should this one be connected? Sudan, it turns out, is virtually at war with its former southern half...over oil. As we noted at the time, The New York Times practically forgot to mention oil in its celebration of the independence of South Sudan. Now, when no one is paying attention anymore, they mention it. So the guy who was supposed to prevent atrocities in Syria (with an unstated back story that is all about oil) is removed because of atrocities in his own country (with an unstated back story that is all about oil.)
And then this dot...
Here's The Times, again:
"The Arab League asked the United Nations Security Council on Sunday to send a peacekeeping mission to Syria, and called on Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with the country in an effort to pressure it to end the violence there.
"As the Arab League sought to speed an end to a conflict that appears to be escalating toward civil war, several Islamist groups, including Al Qaeda, sought to ramp it up, calling on their followers around the globe to join a jihad against the Syrian government.
"At a meeting of the Arab League's foreign ministers in Cairo, after the League's own observer mission to Syria failed to end the bloodshed last month, the organization adopted a resolution asking the Security Council to authorize a joint Arab-United Nations force to 'supervise the execution of a cease-fire.'
"The resolution also called on Arab League members to 'halt all forms of diplomatic cooperation' with representatives of the Syrian government. As it has before, the League also called for Syrian military forces to withdraw from the cities, and an immediate end to the killing of Syrian civilians.
So, instead of noting that Al Qaeda, the Saudis, the US, et al, are all on the same side, this reportage misleadingly stresses the "conflict" between Al Qaeda and the UN over how to resolve the Syrian situation. It is certainly true that the UN -- however one thinks of that institution as embodying a particular viewpoint -- supports negotiations, and Qaeda does not. But as usual, the elephant in the room is missing: the United States and its European allies, desperate -- desperate -- for oil. And the Saudis, desperate to neutralize all sources that might foment a Shiite-led rebellion in Saudi Arabia's oil heartland.
A final thought: At this rate, and with this behavior, and the media's incompetence (or willful ignorance?), don't expect the United States government to launch a crash Manhattan Plan -- to generate alternative energy sources -- any time soon.