An Event and a Regional Trend

The dangerous deterioration of the Pakistani crisis, the continuous developments in Georgia, and the changes in the Asian republics, which were part of the former Soviet Union, that ousted governments and cancelled military treaties, which include facilitations and bases for the US forces, all this form new indicators which reveal the collapse of the system that the Americans established on the Chinese borders and in the heart of Russian geopolitical range.
The crisis in Pakistan is nominated for a dangerous development and reflects a set of contradictions and dimensions, which are difficult to control with fire and iron. President Musharraf faces chronic problems inside the armed forces and in the state’s institutions despite the US infinite support. The possible understanding with Benazir Bhutto may not alleviate the problems resulting from the strong opposition to his rule, especially after the US did not oppose the return of Benazir Bhutto in the heavy and dominant weight of the tribes and Islamic trends that Musharraf and the Americans accuse of being sympathetic with al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, where the Americans face continuous failure.
The oil resources, the continental pipelines and the oil markets are gathering in a geographical range which is closely connected with three states that raise the anxiety of the Americans and their economic and political calculations. The three states are Russia, China and Iran.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The most important stage in the conciliation endeavors starts off today and was described as the last opportunity with the arrival of the French presidential envoy Claude Guéant with Boris Boillon responsible for the Lebanese file who will stay in Beirut for some days. The press said that the French envoy will propose specific mechanisms for reaching the approved president, who will be chosen by Bkerki.
The available data and information reflect the following indicators:
- 1. The US stands, including the last statements by the US assistant secretary of state David Welch, which supports the possibility of confrontation. This pushed analysts to pose questions on the nature of the authorization given to Sarkozy by the Americans.
- 2. The Syrian and Iranian support for conciliation forms a substantial asset for the French initiative. Press circles talked about a European cover and an Egyptian-Saudi support for the US declared project, which is different from the project being prepared in the corridors and the private meetings, according to French sources.
- 3. Some Lebanese circles anticipated an accelerated movement concerning the presidential issue, and noticed differences in the March 14 coalition and an embarrassment in the club of the loyal candidates who will be ruled out through the mechanisms of conciliation. If General Michel Oun is not elected as a president, he will be the main Christian partner in the authority due to his representational weight.
- 4. The options of the post- conciliatory deadline are still available in case the French endeavors fail. The opposition forces and the loyalists stressed readiness to take crucial practical steps. The loyalists may resort to the half plus one quorum to respond to the US demands, while the opposition threatens of a comprehensive uprising to prevent leaving al-Saniora in office.
- 5. Arab and European communications movement which aims at finding regulations for preserving the status quo if the sides do not agree.

Arab and International Press

Ronin Bergman said in an article published in Yidiot Aharonot that the Iranian president announced the activation of 3000 centrifuges but the Israeli intelligence doubts the truth of this declaration and claims that a long time will pass before Iran reaches the point of no return due to some shortcomings.
The Washington Times said in one of its articles that Jamal Mubarak, who is a strong possible successor to his father, started to adopt a harsh tone against the US and said that the influence of Washington in the area started to retreat due to the policies of George Bush’ administration.
The Washington Post said that the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert bravely announced that Israel finds the Palestinian authority a trusted partner in peace negotiations, pointing out that there is a possibility for real achievements before the end of Bush’s term.
The Iranian weekly Noroz said the Iranian press talked this week about economic dangers resulting from the behavior of president Mahmud Ahmadinajad and drowning the country with money. This may lead to economic collapse if a war erupts.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: What is Beyond the Item of News
Arab intellectual Azmi Bashrah said that the Israeli entity wants the world to launch a strike against Iran due to a special ideology, pointing out that al-Baradi stressed that there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapon.
Deputy chairman of Washington’s Institute for the Near East’s affairs Patrick Clawson said Iran has signed an agreement which has obligations that Iran can not jump over, while the US does not commit to this agreement.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said representative Walid Jumblatt announced clinging to the half plus one quorum and warned from a pro-Syria president that cancels the tribunal and the resolutions.
As-Safir said delaying the session of November 12 became a reality and the US authorization of the French created a dynamics that led to selecting the approved candidate. — Al-Akhbar said the US assistant secretary of state David Welch threatened General Aoun of including him in the list of the sanctioned personalities.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered if the US really authorized France to solve the crisis or if this authorization is a mere maneuver to deprive the opposition of its constitutional options.
The NTV said Paris plays with the last Lebanese cards, while the NBN said the majority of the Lebanese believe that the half plus one president will be a mined one who will explode himself and the country.
The OTV wondered if tomorrow will be the day for settling the presidential issue especially after the US successful step on the line of Washington and Damascus.
The LBC said in the eve of the international attempt to save the presidential merit the US ambassador heard from Christian leaderships reservations about a president that does not meet the sovereignty trends and the Christian aspirations.
The Future said the destiny of Monday’s electoral session is not decided yet despite statements about delaying it.

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.