[The Independent, U.K.]

[Click here for jumbo version]



L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon

As Arab Revolutions Rage, Anti-Christian Extremism Rears its Head


“At a time when the seawalls of autocracy that we once deemed indestructible are collapsing, one after another, it still needs to be said, at the outset, that great changes are never effected in one day, and that at least for the moment, not everything about the revolutionary saga is rosy.”


By Issa Goraieb


Translated By Emily Jane Tomlinson


March 12, 2011


Lebanon - L'Orient Le Jour - Home Page (French)

A Libyan rebel: Can that nation's opposition movement dislodge one of the world's most determinded dictators - even with outside help?  

AL-JAZEERA NEWS FEED: Live coverage of operations over Libya and around the Arab worldRealVideo

As a journalist, it's probably a comparison that one in more inclined to draw. But while glued to the television watching that terrible tsunami sweep away everything in its path, only to abandon Japan to rush toward Hawaii, why not spare a thought for the irresistible protest movement spreading across the Arab world?


At a time when the seawalls of autocracy that we once deemed indestructible are collapsing, one after another, it still needs to be said, at the outset, that great changes are never effected in one day, and that at least for the moment, not everything about the revolutionary saga is rosy. In post-Mubarak Egypt - an Egypt still controlled, it must be recalled by the army that Islamic extremism, and more specifically anti-Christian extremism, is again rearing its ugly head, taking advantage of the same “blind eye” that was turned toward it by the fallen regime. Libya is sinking into what seems likely to prove a lengthy civil war, a consequence of which, inevitably, will be de-facto partition, the possibility of which the CIA doesn’t rule out, and which is underscored by France's decision to send an ambassador to Benghazi, the anti-Qaddafi capital.


The more reassuring aspect of the Arab tsunami is that it has occasioned governments that have survived it by the skin of their teeth, or relatively speaking, were spared to feverishly undertake such a large number of reconstruction projects. In this respect, and to speak only of the Arab region, it’s natural that the Lebanese should squint in two directions, gazing at Syria with one eye and Saudi Arabia with the other. These two countries have been so deeply implicated in our domestic problems that we credit them with the power to make it rain, or make the sun shine, depending on whether they are as thick as thieves or pulling dirty tricks on one another.   



Calls to demonstrate may have gone unheeded in Saudi towns yesterday, but the alert is far from over. Yemen, Bahrain and the sultanate of Oman have been smoking for weeks like menacing embers at the borders of the oil-drenched kingdom. And while the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council continue to stand shoulder to shoulder, their American protector is nevertheless advocating that peaceful demonstration be permitted, and recommended, above all, that minimal constitutional reforms be granted, of the sort that King Mohammed VI of Morocco has just brought himself to permit.


For its part, the Baathist regime in Damascus seems to have been lending an ear to Lady Prudence when it decided to offer allowances to needy families, reduced taxes on imported foods, the granting of presidential amnesties to individuals convicted of certain crimes and misdemeanors, as well as some elderly and ill prisoners. The amnesty, it should be said - and without wishing to interfere in Syria's internal affairs (a courtesy which that country does not always pay us) - is of crucial significance to the Lebanese, in more ways than one.


Firstly, obviously, it reminds us of those hundreds of our compatriots who have been detained, sometimes for decades, in Syrian prisons, their very existence denied by the authorities. Secondly, it reminds us of those incredible cases, unveiled by Human Rights Watch, of Syrian dissidents kidnapped and handed over to Syrian authorities by Lebanese security officials, always ready to do dirty work on behalf of their masters across the border. And, finally, it reminds us of the great prison that tiny Lebanon once was, and which it risks becoming again, if Syria - even a reformed Syria - fails to change its imperious attitude toward our country.


The Lebanese escaped from that great prison thanks to the Cedar Revolution of 2005. It would seem, however, that once was not enough: the bars on the cell windows have multiplied since then, and the [Hezbullah] militia has been armed to such an extent that they can steal the show even in the face of direct Syrian and Iranian interference, flagrantly perverting our country's democratic traditions. The people clearly and freely pronounced their opposition to these aberrations in 2009. And the pro-sovereignty assembly tomorrow in the Place de la Liberté, offers them the chance to do so again, and put aside partisan feelings in the interests of a priceless social good. Even the most pig-headed factions will get the message: we can vote with our feet.



The Herald, Zimbabwe: African Union Backs Qaddafi to Prevent 'Western Influence'

Kayhan, Iran: Ahmadinejad Predicts Uprisings in America and Europe

Daily Star, Lebanon: 'Better Late than Never': U.N. Approves Libya Action

Debka File, Israel: Coalition Shows Cracks as Qaddafi Digs in for Guerrilla War

Die Presse, Austria: Gates Speaks the Truth: U.S. Can't Afford More Invasions

FTD, Germany: Impose 'No Fly Zone' on Qaddafi's Oil Millions
Semana, Colombia: Egypt's Imaginary Revolution
L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: When Tyrants Tremble; and U.S. Allies Sweat

Vedomosti, Russia: Muslim Uprisings Spell End of 'Our Sons of Bitches'

News, Switzerland: Twittering 'Sweet Lies': Corporate Co-opting of Social Media
Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia: Arabs Pay Homage to Facebook and Twitter!
Dar Al-Hayat, Saudi Arabia: Today's Muslim Unrest is 'No Passing Cloud'
Kayhan, Iran: America's Doomed Campaign to Help 'Puppets and Traitors'

Global Times, China: It's Time for China to Exert More Influence on Mideast

DNA, France: An Unhesitant Salute to Egypt's Uncertain Triumph of Liberty

FAZ, Germany: Explaining the West's Hesitation on Egypt
Kayhan, Iran: Ahmadinejad: Egypt Revolution Reveals Hand of the 'Mahdi'

Jerusalem Post, Israel: Sharansky: 'Maybe its Time to Put Our Trust in Freedom'

Le Quotidian d'Oran, Algeria: SHAME ON YOU, MR. OBAMA!

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland : America's Egyptian Problem: Ethics or Realpolitik?

Amal al-Oumma, Egypt: What We Egyptians Have Learned from Revolution

O Globo, Brazil: Facebook and Twitter are Just a Means to a Greater End

La Jornada, Mexico: In Egypt, Washington's Global Image is Once Again at Stake

Al-Wahdawi, Yemen: In Egypt, the 'Mother of All Battles' is Still to Come

Al-Seyassah, Kuwait: U.S. Pressure on Democracy is at Root of the Problem

Tehran Times, Iran: Egyptians and All Arabs Must Beware of 'Global Ruling Class'

Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria: Mubarak, Friends Scheme to Short-Circuit Revolt

Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: U.S. Must Act or Cede Egypt to the Islamists

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: America's' 'Shameful' Faustian Bargain Unravels

Guardian Unlimited, U.K.: Mubarak Regime 'Still Very Much in Power'

Hankyoreh, South Korea: Egypt: Will U.S. Pick the Right Side this Time?

Global Times, China: Egypt, Tunisia Raise Doubts About Western Democracy

Kayhan, Iran: Middle East Revolutions Herald America's Demise

Sydney Morning Herald: Revolution is in the Air, But U.S. Sticks to Same Old Script

The Telegraph, U.K.: America's Secret Backing for Egypt's Rebel Leaders

Debka File, Israel: Sources: Egypt Uprising Planned in Washington Under Bush


Bookmark and Share



blog comments powered by Disqus









































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March 22, 9:35pm]


Bookmark and Share