Reform in Eqypt
I am very pleased to just learn that Eqyptian president Mubarak has announced reforms
to the Egyptian election laws that will include an opportunity for the people to vote for competing candidates for president.
I am pleased because this will make Egypt one less Arab ally that will be considerably short of truly free and democratic, and that this has happened peacefully and in a way that will cheer the people.
Remember when the Arab press accused the coalition of imposing democracy on a reluctant Arab world? Freedom and democracy seem to be popular concepts in the Arab world these days. We should all feel encouraged.
Lebanon On a Short Fuse
Lebanese from all walks of life, Sunni and Shiite, Druse and Christian, are outraged at the murder of Rafiq Hariri and feel new urgency to end the continuing Syrian occupation. The question now is who will take what sides, and what will ultimately catalyze as this happens soon after a successful Iraqi election and rising international pressure on the repressive governments of Syria and Iran both. Debka points out
that the Palestinians may find their situation even more complicated as things heat up in Lebanon.
Something Like Progress
This AP story
says Syria may finally be losing its grip on Lebanon. The article doesn't mention the problem of Hezbollah but it's a hopeful sign all the same. The Ba'athist government of Syria is rapidly running out of doubletalk to call itself anything but a repressive dictatorship.