Arab League must oppose sectarian warfare

I strongly support a forceful and prompt U.S. response, including air strikes, against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists whom I consider war criminals and mass murderers. Equally important, the U.S. should be extremely aggressive with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in demanding that he reach out to Sunnis and Kurds to create a national unity government and end his current one-party Shiite dictatorship.

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Additionally, there may be an opportunity, and I emphasize may be an opportunity, for some common interests with Iran if and only if Iran uses its influence with Maliki to urge him to include Sunnis and Kurds in a unity government.

Above all today, it is time for the Arab League to meet and take a new and strong position against sectarian warfare throughout the region. It is time for the nations that comprise the Arab League to agree to work to end funding and support for sectarian warfare on all sides in conflicts across the region. It is time for the nations that comprise the Arab League to end government support, and end government tolerance of wealthy private support, for sectarian warriors engaging in mass killing on all sides of these conflicts.

The United States must and will be a central player in ending the killing and carnage of sectarian war. But the Arab world, embodied by the Arab League, must take the lead to save their people, in their region, from the dismal future that awaits if this murderous sectarian warfare continues to be a way of life in the Mideast.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.