An Event and a Regional Trend

The press reports that came from the three European big capitals, Madrid, Rome and Paris, refer to the danger of confusion that may arise in Lebanon as a result of the presidential merit’s crisis, especially if the loyalists name a president from their ranks in a way that violates the constitution.
The information about communications between these states started off from their feeling of a common danger that surrounds the work of the UNIFIL forces in which French, Spanish and Italian soldiers participate, and also from precise information about the activity of the extremist groups that try to work from Lebanon and threaten the European security.
The problems that the European advises face is Washington’s insistence on choosing a Lebanese president that serves its agenda in the area, through targeting Syria from Lebanon and adopting the resolution 1559 and working to disarm Hezbollah by force.
The Europeans do not adopt the same stand due to the French enthusiasm to respond literally to the US requirements and the unsuitable stand that the French foreign minister was persuaded to adopt, so he finds himself obliged to turn around his aggressive attacks against Syria and Iran every day and deny what he announced after Condoleezza Rice expressed a more moderate tone after a few hours.
Will the Europeans succeed in convincing Bush’s administration to start dialogue with Syria and Iran and accept the logic of compromise in Lebanon? The European behavior complies until now to the US intransigence despite the opposition against this intransigence inside the US, and despite the danger of confusion in Lebanon and the crises in the Middle East that may threaten the Europeans in their countries, as the experiences of the previous decades have proved.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The March 14 coalition’s forces have lunched a campaign against the speech delivered by Secretary General of Hezbollah and considered it as a defense of Syria, expressing surprise at his accusation of Israel of committing the assassination and explosions operations in Lebanon. Some of the coalition’s speakers violated all the moral norms in the political discourse despite Hassan Nasrallah’s commitment to these norms, and resorting to the political argument and stand.
The stormy climate resulted from the statements made by Jumblatt, al-Siniora and a big group of representatives which raised the concern and disgust of the Lebanese public opinion and suggested that the conciliatory process seems more difficult.
The opposition sourced considered the attempts to exonerate Israel as an extension to the logic of stopping, considering it as an enemy, and this is the logic of Samir Geagea and Walid Jumblatt, which made the former interior minister Ahmed Fatfat issues orders to the military units in Marjayun barracks to give shelter to the invading Israeli force, which escaped the fire of the resistance and insulted and humiliated the Lebanese military. The sources added that the choir of revilement, which belongs to a team that completely corresponds to the US-Israeli goals in Lebanon, did not offer the public opinion one evidence that supports its insistence to exonerate Israel although it controls the authority, and the investigation apparatus that coordinates with the international investigation commission. This team knows that its fabrications during Detlev Mehlis’s mission fell down, so its uses its last cards of political influence to prevent the scandal which may cover some persons from the March 14 coalition who have a known history of collective massacres and eliminating opponents and old intelligence connections with Israel, America and some Arab intelligence organs.

Arab and International Press

The British paper The Observer said diplomatic relations between Washington and London witnesses increasing tension due to British doubts on the US justifications to attack Iran.
Iranian official press agency said the spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry Mohamed Ali Husseini said a delegation from the international atomic energy agency will visit Tehran next Tuesday to hold new talks on suspended issues in Iran’s nuclear file.
Abbas William Sami said in an article published in Christian Science Monitor that the popular support for the Iranian revolutionary guards in Iran will make the US efforts to impose sanctions on them difficult, but this does not exempt the US from finding a way to contain the revolutionary guards.
Assistant professor of political science at the College of International Relations and Pacific Studies in San Diego Barbara Walter said in an article published in Los Angeles Times that history shows that civil conflicts like the ones in Iraq last for a long time.
A report by the US Government Accountability Office said that the efforts that the US exerts to help Iraq to organize its ministerial services lack coordination and clear goals, and therefore, they lose their efficiency.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that everybody in the US, including the democrats, the republicans, the congress and the pentagon, fear the Jewish lobby.
International press agencies said that the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to calm down his critics through announcing that the Autumn Conference will not be an alternative to direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
The second channel in the Israeli television prepared a report on commemorating Jerusalem’s international day saying that about a billion Muslims commemorated this day.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

The second channel in the Israeli television
The political analyst Dan Margalit said the Israeli and Palestinian sides will try to satisfy Bush at the autumn conference but they will not offer anything valuable, but if the conference helps us to avoid the danger of war it will be good.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said a big runaway operation for fundamentalists from Rumiyeh prison was aborted.
Ad-Diyar said political sources say that the majority will elect a president with the half plus one quorum at Venetia hotel.
Al-Akhbar quoted a Jordanian source as saying that Saudi Arabia does not oppose electing the army’s leader Michel Suleiman as a president.
An-Nahar said the house speaker Nabih Berri, who is in Geneva, and representative Saad Hariri, who is in Washington; work to diffuse the crisis resulted from secretary general of Hezbollah’s speech.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the majority opened fire on the dialogue between Berri and al-Hariri.
The NTV— the political steps will be delayed until after al-Fitr Eid.
The NBN said the retaliation against the speech made by Hassan Nasrallah is part of the wasting time game until the end of the Eid holiday.
The OTV said the ruling team has rejected the opposition’s initiatives as a whole.
The LBC said the retaliation against Hassan Nasrallah formed the news titles and focused attention on the assassinations’ file.
The Future said al-Hariri started a visit to New York to meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the ambassadors of the Security Council five permanent member-states, and Terry Roed Larsen, who is authorized to implement the resolution 1559.

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.