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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
The UK Daily Telegraph reports:
There are signs that tectonic plates could be shifting throughout the Middle East. Eight million people voted in Iraq in defiance of those who vowed to kill them for doing so. Municipal elections are being held in Saudi Arabia. President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has permitted opponents to stand against him as he seeks to be re-elected for a fifth term. After the death of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, and the democratic accession of Mahmoud Abbas, there is fresh optimism that a lasting peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians could be on the horizon.
Credit where it’s due. MoveOn.org have earned their bragging rights:
Beirut is not the only place where MoveOn is having an impact. Throughout the Middle East, from Egypt to Iran, there is a rumble of freedom that can be directly traced back to MoveOn’s earliest Flash Animation Against Bush film contest. When Al-Jazeera and Iraqi State Television broadcast these films, I can only imagine how many normal Muslim citizens were heartened by our principled stance with the international community against the illegal US invasion of Iraq. Later, they drew encouragement from our online petition to end US military occupation, our fund drive raves to Re-Reject Bush, our courageous suit to overturn the stolen election in Ohio, and our steadfast opposition to the Administration’s dangerous push for early Iraqi elections. Make no mistake: these efforts created a rich loamy fertilizer of inspiration from which the flower of Mideast freedom is just starting to emerge.
UPDATE. Divergent Australian views:
The Prime Minister, John Howard, has credited the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a catalyst for Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon and other promising democratic developments in the Middle East.
But his assertions were dismissed by the Labor leader, Kim Beazley, who warned that the Australian troops newly deployed to Iraq could be caught up in a bloody civil war.
“What’s really happening there is the Lebanese people are throwing off the shackles,” he said. “As far as I can see, this situation in Iraq has got little to do with it.”
Beazley can’t see very far.