Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What Lebanon is really about

Tony Blair has railed against Syria and Iran’s proxy war being waged with Hizbullah.
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Blair is quoted by the Daily Telegraph this morning:
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At root, we need to recognise the fundamental nature of the struggle in the region, which has far-reaching consequences far beyond that region and even in countries like our own. All over the Middle East there are those who want to modernise their nations, who believe as we do in democracy and liberty and tolerance. But ranged against them are extremists who believe the opposite, who believe in fundamentalist states and are at war not against Israel's actions but against its existence."
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He has been supported by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (not exactly a paean of freedom and democracy, but Egypt too has faced Islamist terror). Mubarak considered the actions of both Hamas and Hizbullah as " losing sight of the main Palestinian goal of obtaining an independent state." He is right. There wont be a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza as long as Israel is getting attacked directly by the terrorist wing of the Palestinian government.
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Meanwhile, Syria and Iran have issued a joint statement calling on Israel to withdraw completely from the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and Jerusalem (the last mentioned so that the Palestinian government led by people committed to wiping out Israel can have a capital there), get rid of its nuclear deterrence and let Iran do as it wishes with nuclear technology. None of it says that Israel will then be secure, none of it calls on Syria and Iran to recognise Israel's right to exist, none of it says that terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbullah would then be disarmed, none of it says that Syria's one-party state will be open to political plurality and freedom of speech. Interesting that an Islamic fundamentalist state (Iran) and a secularist one-party dictatorship (Syria) are such good friends.
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The funniest part is this "The two sides expressed concern over continuation of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the countries in the region drawing attention to the negative repercussions of such intervention on stability and security of the region." Funny that they are concerned about something both of them do regularly, but then this is how Syria treats those who might raise this issue in Damascus:
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"A metal seat with movable parts to which the detainees feet and hands are tied. By bending the chair’s main frame to the rear so that immense pressure is exerted on the neck and joints. This creates great difficulty in breathing and may lead to unconsciousness. One version of these chairs is called the Syrian Chair, where the metal parts are fixed at the front chair legs, to which the detainee’s legs are tied. This leads to the bleeding of the ankles, and is accompanied with beating."

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