An Event and a Regional Trend

The internal condition in Burma suddenly jumped to the forefront of the attention of international press and diplomacy. It is clear that Bush’s administration hides political goals and a strategy behind this attention which it can move on all the levels.
The new Burmese file hides other goals which are tens of thousands of miles far from Burma and the interests of its people. And as the Americans used the Kosovo case to pressurize Russia and rebuild the balances in Eastern Europe within the framework of their political, military and oil interests, Burma’s case is a platform for pressurizing China, which used with Russia a bout a year ago, the veto against a US draft resolution to interfere in this small country and put the hand on its institutions and political system.
What attracted the attention of experts is the relation between the timing of this US escalation concerning Burma and Washington’s tendency to exert pressures on China and Russia concerning their stand towards the draft resolution to tighten sanctions on Iran. The Americans already know the reality of Moscow’s and Beijing’s stand, which rejects this tendency. This obstructs the US endeavors to escalate against Iran.
This new step in Burma is a part of a plan to escalate pressures on Iran within the framework of an Israeli-US plan to strangle the independent and free state in Iran which embraces Arab rights which are usurped by the Zionists, especially after the recent years revealed the US inability to impose domination on the Middle East with invasion, occupation and aggressive wars.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Assessments concerning the horizons of solution in Lebanon are different. The house speaker stressed his determination to continue his initiative and achieve progress despite the obstacles and attacks of the loyal hawks Jumblatt and Geagea. The available information revealed that the loyalists focus their attention in the talks on the government, which will be formed after electing the president. Informed sources said representative Saad Hariri concentrates on this topic to guarantee chairing the first government in the new term and to get prior commitment from the opposition to be the head of the government after the elections of 2009. Some episodes indicate that there are attempts to pass a prior agreement before the presidential elections on the head of the government and its ministers in a way that implies adopting the formula of 19+10+1 which was already rejected by the opposition.
Leading opposing sources stressed their rejection of returning to the first square and expressed their surprise concerning the attempt to jump over the simplest democratic principles through confiscating the results of the parliamentary elections before they take place. These sources mentioned the attacks on the opposition due to its call for a unity government as an introduction to the presidential merit. This is the demand that the opposition withdrew as a response to Berri’s initiative, but suddenly the loyalists brought it to the table. The opposition stressed in this respect clinging to Berri’s initiative to oblige the loyalists to commit to the two thirds quorum and hold consultations on the presidential topic. As for the new government, it should reflect the current parliamentary balance and become 14+16 and not as some loyalists try to leak. This issue should also be left until after the merit. The opposition also pointed out that the equations of compromise in the country are clear: the conciliatory president should be accompanied by a conciliatory prime minister, which should not be from the Future Trend (Siniora or Hariri), and if the representative al-Hariri wants to be a prime minister, he should work to elect General Aoun as a president.

Arab and International Press

Moscow News said the scenarios that the British paper the Daily Telegraph talked about concerning a possible war on Iran are not theoretical ones.
The Times said the Pentagon developed a plan to attack 1200 Iranian installations.
The Daily Telegraph said the US vice-president Dick Cheney reacted in a violent way when Rice said negotiations on Iran’s nuclear file may continue until after January 2009.
Arab press quoted Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa as saying that Syria will participate in the Autumn conference on peace in the Middle East.
Al-Bayan said tension dominated the scene in the UN general assembly meetings in New York.
Eugene Robinson said in an article published in the Washington Post that the Americans want from the presidential candidates a clear vision about the US policy in the Middle East.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said after the death of Gamal Abdul Naser the banner of Arab unity was torn.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said pessimism surrounds the presidential dialogue, while An-Nahar said that the political characteristics of the president can be summed up in three points: the independent decision, calming down resistance and guaranteeing the international Tribunal.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the house speaker gave his initiative a new momentum through sending his envoys to the different sides of the opposition and the loyalists.
The NTV said optimism dominates the presidential discussions and consultations.
The NBN said Nabih Berri’s rescue mission is still on the right track.
The OTV also said there are clear signs of optimism in the Lebanese political scene.
The LBC wondered where the train of the merit will stop after a week from leaving the station of the lost time?
The Future said consultations continue in all directions amid an optimistic atmosphere.

Television Stations Interviews in Lebanon

Program: The Hour’s talk
Former minister Fadl Shullak said he is against all this existing political structure and that he does not belong to March 14 alliance and supports resistance against Israel.

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on in Arabic, English and French languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic and English.