Tuesday, February 15, 2005

 

DEALING IN PEACE (2), IRAQI ELECTIONS AND THE LEBANON

15 February 2005

DEALING IN PEACE (2)
As if the peace process could not be any more difficult, reports are circulating that Hezbollah have published a threat to assassinate Palestinian President Abbas if he continues with the peace negotiations with Israel. (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/02/13/1108229853462.html)

Hamas on the other hand are playing their cards close to their chest, by adhering at least to the initial requests for a cease-fire, with the active provision that if Israel ‘attacks’ Hamas will respond.

IRAQI ELECTIONS

The Iraqi Electoral Commission released figures concerning the results of the national elections. The final tallies are still to be tabulated, but as expected, the Shias and the Kurds were the most represented ethnic groups. How those arrangements play out with or without the Sunnis is still to be tested, the most interesting finding is that approximately 60% of all Iraqis or 8.5 million people cast their votes. The total registered voter number was just over 14 million. (http://afr.com/premium/articles/2005/02/14/1108229928871.html)

IN THE LEBANON

The brutal assassination of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was a tragic return to bestial politics, ‘Lebanon style’.

The country has made continual and steady progress (as commented before on this blog) towards normalcy. Not only the assassination, but also the manner and style it was undertaken suggests that not is all well below the surface.

There have been suggestions mooted that Hariri was killed because he was leading the move to call on the Syrian army to finally leave Lebanon. Syrian occupation of the country forced an end to the tribal civil war that ravaged the country. And during occupation, Lebanon reclaimed its economic independence and was fast tracking itself towards becoming a successful emerging economy in the region.

However, the Syrians had never made public their ‘exit timeframe’ from Lebanon. The Syrians have for centuries viewed Lebanon as part of greater Syria, and it has been further mooted that Syria may have had a roll in the assassination of Hariri in order to reduce the internal political movement towards liberation.


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