An event and a Regional Trend

Is it oil, or a military strike after the resignation of Fallon? Is it settling and arranging compromising equations that can coexist with a Palestinian unity government? Is it a temporary truce for preparing a new war against Syria and Lebanon and Gaza? Is it a preparation for raids on Iran and preparing for a new stage of adapting to the difficult equations and waiting for the surprises of the US elections?
All these questions surround the tour of the US war leader Dick Cheney in the area.
Oil and Israel are the two priorities of Dick Cheney, but experts said that what is certain is that this tour will fail. Some experts said the war leader is coming to raise the spirits of his allies in the area without being able to promise them with big victories. It is probable that he will discuss with them plans of assassinations under the title of preparing for the next stage through eliminating some disturbing sides before the end of Bush’s presidential term. He will also ask the leaders of the oil states to take quick measures in the light of the economic dangers, which result from the soaring prices of oil.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

A state of waiting dominates the Lebanese political reality. The impression that one may get is that the political crisis is stagnant and no solution looms in the horizon, especially after the US stand, which followed delaying the presidential elections session and indicated that the decision of preventing the compromise, that David Welch and David Satterfield brought with them to Lebanon, is still dominant.
All this happens while anticipating the results of the communications concerning the Syrian – Lebanese relations, that take place on the sidelines of Dakar summit, continues.
- 1. The Lebanese loyalists continued their campaigns against Syria and against the Arab summit despite the Saudi and Arab confirmation of attending the summit. The observers considered this as an implementation of foreign orders to nurture the climate of political confrontation.
- 2. The house speaker Nabih Berri and the other sides of the opposition stressed the principle of dealing with any formula for the solution, based on a complete basket of political understanding in accordance with the Arab initiative’s items and preventing reducing the issue to electing the president. The problem did not lie in the first presidency and can not be solved through the elections. The opposition also stressed partnership in the government and approving an electoral law, based on the provinces and dismantling the network of security intervention in Syria, which was established by the loyalists through a US direct support.
- 3. Some Lebanese sides anticipate Dick Cheney’s visit to the area and what takes place in the corridors of the US administration after the resignation of leader of the central area, admiral Fallon, who adopted a firm stand against the US military adventures in the area. He also submitted a report on the condition in Lebanon that warned from the danger of a new civil war or the US direct intervention to protect the loyalists.
- 4. The observers focused on the water deal with Cyprus that the prime minister officially denied. The opposition said the water will go to Cyprus and then move to Israel. Debate also continued on the Israeli violations and threats against Lebanon. Questions increased on the behavior of the ruling team and its services to America. On the other hand, the agenda of Dick Cheney poses questions on Washington’s options concerning the Palestinian file and settling the Palestinian in Lebanon.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said it is time for the world to pay attention to the continuous massacre in Iraq in the shadow of an American occupation that lasted for five years.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the presence of the US warships in the area is not new.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that as long as the US stand towards the Israeli settlement is the same, the US ideas about peace are meaningless.
Yidiot Aharonot internet site quoted security officials as saying that Hezbollah ended the logistic preparations for a confrontation with Israel.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said that the Lebanese opposition and the loyalists seem comfortable in the shadow of the presidential vacuum, which may become destructive in the coming months.
The Qatari paper al-Rayah said that after five years of occupation Iraq will either be a strong state or divided to provinces.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

The Syrian satellite station said that vice-president Farouk al-Shara will head tomorrow for Dakar to chair the Syrian delegation to he Islamic conference.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said that Qatar works to reduce the sharpness of the Syrian-Saudi tension and raise the level of representation in the Arab summit.
As-Safir said the regional communications concerning the Lebanese crisis did not achieve any breakthrough on the level of forming a unity government, but the channels of communications remained open.
Al-Akhbar said Lebanon will receive this week the invitation to attend the Arab summit in Damascus pointing out that the loyalists called for boycotting it.
The paper added that Iran mediates between Syria and Saudi Arabia pointing out that Iran told Saudi Arabia that it stands in the wrong place while Syria stands in the right place.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the US interventions in Lebanese internal affairs and the statements on how to direct the parliament aim at leading Lebanon to more confusion.
The NTV said there are no wars in the horizon but the vacuum may change into a permanent vacuum.
The NBN said the double standards policy governs our world.
The LBC said the door of contest between the house speaker and Washington is opened.
The Future said the crisis is stagnant and waits for the results of regional communications and the Arab summit in Damascus.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: With all the Courage
Deputy assistant of the US secretary of state Robert Denin said that the US president is committed to peace and establishing an independent Palestinian state.
Minister of economy Sami Haddad said the set-in in Riyadh al-Sulh square is an occupation of public properties.
The economists Jack Sarrouf, Fadi Aboud, Philip Skaf and Biyar al-Ashqar said conditions in Lebanon are dangerous.

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, French, German, and Spanish languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and Spanish.