An Event and a Regional Trend

McCain, the Horse of Continuous War in the Middle East

The US presidential elections changed into a regional event in the Middle East area and the reports and the available information that came from the US refer to a set of realities which attracted the attention of experts and analysts and the political and press circles in the area:
- 1. It is clear that Bush’s administration and the main bloc of traditional conservatives in the Republican Party work to secure the winning of the Republican candidate John McCain who talked in his speeches about perpetuating the presence of the US armies in Iraq for another 100 years and the complete adoption of military invasion strategy.
- 2. The race inside the Democratic Party between Hilary Clinton and Barrack Obama reflects a basic dimension in the nature of the foreign policy of any Democratic administration. It is clear that the Democratic administration will start off from Hamilton-Baker recommendations, which are based on the principle of dialogue with Syria and Iran and activating the tracks of the compromise.
- 3. This American scene led some analysts to deduce that the events of the area in the coming months will have certain reflections on the trends of the US voters after the foreign policy jumped to the forefront of attention.
- 4. Bush’s administration focuses its efforts on the attempts to prevent a dangerous deterioration in Iraq that doubles the US failures there through the rise in losses. The Bush’s administration concentrates on implementing Bush’s plan concerning the Lebanese condition through preventing compromise on all the axes of the Arab – Israeli conflict through coordination with Arab states in order to strangle resistance and provide the cover for the Israel military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the collective punishment to bet on winning basic constituencies of voters and the pressure lobbies in the US.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Between Hasan Nasrullah’s Speech and the Arab Initiative’s Dilemma

Lebanese press and political circles focused on the speech of Hasan Nasrullah, which was considered one of the strongest speeches in its stands on the level of the conflict with Israel and the internal Lebanese condition. On the other hand, house speaker Nabih Berri and Arab league secretary general Amr Musa stressed holding the four-sided meeting tomorrow to continue the dialogue between the opposition and the loyalists within the framework of the items of the Arab initiative.
The following indicators can be recorded in this respect:
- 1. Nsruallah’s termination of the debate on the assassination of the leader Mughniyeh through stressing that Israel is the killer hailing the seriousness of the Syrian investigation and that Israel is the main enemy for Hezbollah. Nasrullah also wondered about the reasons of warning citizens of some states of visiting Lebanon.
- 2. Hasan Nasrullah offered a deep and convincing reading for the Lebanese and Arab public opinion about the Israeli open war against Lebanon since 1948 in the shadow of the Lebanese regime’s impotence and negativity saying that the martyr Mughniyeh played a crucial role in achieving victory in 2000 and on July war.
- 3. The reactions of the loyalists ignored a highly important point mentioned by Nasrullah which revealed the reality of the resistance’s method in caring about the internal conciliation as a starting point for the priority of the conflict with Israel. Nasrullah said that the destiny of resistance and its weapons depends on a national dialogue on a Lebanese defense strategy.
- 4. The speech said there is an internal mobilization among the loyalists through betting on a coming Israeli war next spring. He stressed that the resistance will be able to destroy the Israeli army on the Lebanese ground. This is the natural and scientific meaning for the concept of the end of the Israeli state which was based on an army contrary to all the other states that the armies are formed to serve them.
- 5. Nasrullah stressed that the party will retaliate against the assassination of Mughniyeh starting off from the legitimate right to self-defense and that resistance will choose the suitable place and time.
- 6. The loyalists rejected the guarantees demanded by the opposition during the meeting with Hisham Yusef. This pushed general Oun to say that there is a decision to destroy the Arab initiative.
- 7. Some press sources linked the tour of the Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora with internationalization endeavors and the destiny of the Arab initiative and the Saudi decision concerning the preliminary participation in Damascus’s summit.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said if the Iraqi government and the Kurds in the north can not defend Iraq’s borders this does not mean that this country should be vulnerable and open for any invasion.
Al-Bayan said Lebanese condition is approaching explosion.
The Saudi paper al-Watan wondered if the goal of the Arab summit is achieving Arab solidarity and integration and adopting a unified stand towards the nation’s causes.
Samuel Ruzner said in an article that the Israeli attack on Syria on last September and the assassination of Emad Mughniyeh may improve the image of Israel on the level of deterrence.
The Iranian paper Rose said Ahmadinejad government retaliated against the criticisms concerning spending the oil revenues saying that the government spent all the revenues on developmental projects.
The Guardian said that Israel cheated the UN concerning the nuclear weapons more than Saddam Hussein.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian satellite station said Putin stressed that he will not allow others to drag Russia to a new arms race.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Al-Alam
Special Interview
Head of the reform and change bloc Michel Aoun said that the Arab initiative is not balanced.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said while the secretary general of Hezbollah was warning of a new Israeli war, internal forces worked to obstruct the Arab initiative. As-Safir said Hasna Nasrullh drew the borders of the resistance’s crucial decision to retaliate against the assassination of Emad Mughniyeh, stressing the resistance’s independent decision and its clinging to internal dialogue. An-Nahar said the question is: What is destiny of the Arab initiative?

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the historic speech of Hasan Nasrullah commemorated the martyrs and stressed resistance’s continuity.
The NTV said the open crisis in Lebanon is equal to the open war. The regime searches for solutions abroad and the opposition prepares itself for the worst.
The NBN the loyalists reject compromise because they bet on a coming Israeli war.
The OTV said the general Aoun clarified that the three thirds formula will not be a framework for the solution.
The LBC said the Lebanese became accustomed to delaying the date of the parliamentary session and consider it as and indicator of the conciliation’s failure.
The Future said the issue of the threats that the Arab embassies receive jumped to the forefront.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar
Program : With the Event
Representative Nabeel Nicola wondered why the Lebanese government is absent in the investigations into the assassination of Eamd Mughniyeh.

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