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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Lebanon Update

Reuters:

Lebanon's pro-Syrian political coalition was in disarray Thursday with a key politician saying he could no longer work with President Emile Lahoud, another top Damascus ally. Tensions boiled over a day after Prime Minister Omar Karami stepped down after he failed to agree a cabinet with pro-Syrian allies, deepening the worst political crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war. The crisis could make May elections unlikely, though Lahoud holds consultations with lawmakers Friday on naming a prime minister-designate to keep alive hopes that a government could be formed quickly to supervise the poll. Caretaker Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh warned that postponing the elections could lead to violence and called for the polls to be held on schedule. 'I'm for holding elections... It's not that important if we win or lose,' he told reporters. 'If we don't reach the stage of an election that would reflect the public's will, then we might arrive at a situation... that would lead to violence.'
Things are certainly still bubbling there and hopefully they will work out well. It does sound like the Interior Minister has the right attitude though.

3 Comments:

Anonymous tsykoduk said...

There is a really good NPR Story online about this. It's a good listen.

Evidently, they cut a flag up, and are having local leaders sign it as a pledge to peace. In the story they interviewed a mayor who really understood the situation. He basically said that this country is the young people's now. They are diffrent then the old people. That the old people destroyed the country, and he hoped that the young ones could put it back together.

Really moving

4/14/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger The probligo said...

I admire your optimism.

I am far more sceptical of a favourable outcome. I for one can not help thinking about how 1975-90 started...

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_Civil_War#Regional_Conflict_and_the_PLO

"The modern nation of Lebanon, assembled from a French mandate granted by the League of Nations after the Conference of San Remo, was established in 1943 in conjunction with an unwritten power-sharing agreement (known as the National Pact) among three major ethnic and religious groups: Maronite Christians then in the majority, Sunni Muslims, and Shi'ite Muslims. Soon after the nation's birth, it saw the arrival of Palestinian Christian and Muslim refugees from the 1948 war associated with the establishment of the State of Israel. Most were settled into camps in Southern Lebanon where they were excluded from mainstream society.

A brief civil war sparked by Arab nationalists questioned the very legitimacy of the nation itself, but was ended by the intervention of American soldiers."

I wonder if anything has been learned since...

4/14/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Tsyko, that was a great story, thanks for posting that.

Probligo, perhaps I am dense here, but what is your point? What is it you feel we or Lebanon or someone should have learned from that history exactly?

4/15/2005 07:31:00 AM  

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