Thursday, May 29, 2008

Will Doha peace last ?

Samir Salha argues in Today's Zaman that... "it should be noted that Hezbullah is facing a great challenge in relation to its abstinence from causing another crisis and prevention of external interventions in the country's domestic affairs. In addition, even though the recent crisis once more demonstrated that sectarian and ethnic identities are still prevalent and that there is still no comprehensive sense of being Lebanese in the country, the parties and actors in domestic politics should realize that nobody can easily break the internal balance in the country and that even the most miniscule intervention with this balance will be detrimental to the safety and security of everyone in the country.

If we look at the point at which the latest developments in Lebanon have reached from our country's perspective, we'll see that Turkey's foreign policy, which has historically opted to stay away from developments in the Middle East and only adopt a Western-oriented perspective, now has a place in a great family picture in which the new Lebanese president is posed between Arab League Secretary-General Amr Musa and Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora. Looking at this portrait shows the great transformation undertaken in Turkey's foreign policy and to what extent this transformation has been influential."

And, Shmuel Rosner in Slate, "Will the International community abandon Lebanon?"

...David Welch, felt the need to praise even the most unlikely regimes: "If Syria and Iran have supported that," he said, "then perhaps they will continue to exercise a more constructive role in Lebanon." If he had his fingers crossed behind his back, no one saw. If he winked as he suggested such an improbable outcome, nobody noticed. But Welch knows, as do all the others, that neither Syria nor Iran are suddenly planning to play a "constructive" role in Lebanon. If they support the agreement and the United States also supports it, pretty soon one party is going to look stupid.

...The problem is that the decisions the Lebanese have recently made only increase the likelihood that they will eventually be abandoned by the international community. "There is no contradiction between having a foreign policy that looks at Lebanon as Lebanon and also sees how Lebanon fits into our regional calculations," said Feltman. That is true, unless "Lebanon as Lebanon" makes decisions that render it easier for regional forces to meddle in its affairs. Choosing a pro-Syrian president might be such a decision. Avoiding the question of disarmament might be another such decision...

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