Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Absent a miracle, the focus should be on damage-control: Al-Quds

Al-Quds al-Arabi editorializes: The question who was behind the Pierre Gemayel assassination shouldn't be the main preoccupation at the moment, for two reasons. First, because none of the putative suspects is likely to see this evolve the way they presumably had in mind. If this was done by people wanting to halt the establishment of an international tribunal into the Rafiq Hariri assassination, clearly the effect will be the opposite, and proponents of the tribunal will be all the more determined. If, by contrast, this was done in order to break the momentum of Hizbullah which was about to bring its supporters into the streets to press for a new Cabinet with more representation for them, at most this will be postponed for a few days or a week.

What is far more important than finger-pointing is coping with the danger. The Al-Quds al-Arabi editorialist talks about the possibility of retaliatory operations leading to civil war, "if not immediately, at least in the near future". For one thing, he says, some will be using this to try and "reorganize the Lebanese street according to the old sectarian model", prevalent in pre-Taif times (meaning during the Lebanese civil war that ended with the Taif agreement in 1989, which was supposed to be a first step in ending the sectarian model), with extremist Christians on one side, and extremist Muslims on the other. But he stresses no one can really imagine at this point where this will lead.

Hopefully, he adds, the calls for calm by Pierre Gemayel's father and others will create "an opportunity to save what can be saved", but really, he says, we will need a miracle, and unfortunately we are not living in the age of miracles.


Blogger helena said...

Badge-- I think it's more helpful if you call the paper by its full title, Al-Quds al-Arabi, to avoid confusion with the (Quds-based) Al-Quds?

11:26 AM  
Blogger badger said...

good point (correcting that right now)

12:39 PM  

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