Two bombs have exploded in the past few days, killing at least two people and causing considerable damage. The message that this sends seems to be that the Lebanese have to choose between SECURITY and SOVEREIGNTY. But it may well be that this time the Lebanese want both.
Leaders taking part in the ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT in Algiers -although most of them asked Assad to comply with UN resolution 1559- did not speak with a strong enough voice. With Lahoud asking them for help in the face of foreign interference, and the opposition urging them to support their fight, the Arab leaders must have found it hard -or simply too politically costly- to take sides. On another note, their rejection of Jordan's proposal for unconditional diplomatic ties with Israel would make it potentially impossible for Lebanon to engage in normalisation talks with Israel before the step is taken by more powerful Arab countries (excluding Jordan and Egypt). Does that strengthen Hizballah's argument for retaining its arms?
-On Bush's position concerning the 'democratic wave' seemingly sweeping the Middle East ( in today's International Herald Tribune)-
In response to an article entitled "still think Bush was wrong?", E. H. Gould wrote: << Thanking President George W. Bush for the "Arab Spring" is like crediting a crowing rooster for the rising sun. In fact, the Arabs' move toward freedom is despite Bush, not because of him. The same brave Egyptians who now call for free elections in their country were beaten and arrested in the streets of Cairo when they protested the US invasion of Iraq. Bush, unlike any other American president in memory, is widely detested in the Arab world. Bush's espousal of "democracy" only cheapens the world in the Arab eyes and embarrasses reformers.>>
(I thought the first sentence presented a good analogy and wanted to share it with you).
Hizballah Secretary General Sayyed Nasrallah announced that he wanted to discuss the Party of God's status in Lebanese political life with Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir (By the way, have you noticed that both men have 'Nasrallah', or "victory of God" in the names?). Both men are widely recognised by most Lebanese as reasonable, rational men. This may perhaps come as a surprise considering the fact that they are both religious figures. But in a country where politicians do not always inspire great trust, the two men appear to have, if not the trust, at least the respect of the people. Such steps that are guided by reason -rather than interest- give some reassurance that not all is to be determined by force and events beyond our control.