Monday, January 15, 2007

If only...

Patrick Seale writing in the English language version of The Hyatt newspaper, postulates a hypothetical solution for some of the Middle East's problems.

He starts with Lebanon, "because, in spite of appearances, it could be the easiest crisis to solve. The heart of Lebanon's problem would seem to be that the Shi'ite community, mainly located in the south of the country and in the southern suburbs of Beirut, has for long been denied its fair share of state power". He advocates revising Lebanon's confessional constitution to include the burgeoning Shi'ite population.

Regarding Syria "Lebanon's relations with Syria, which have been severely battered over the past couple of years. Yet, a permanent estrangement between Beirut and Damascus is unthinkable....But, for the current hostility to be overcome, mistakes must be corrected. Officials of both countries responsible for past crimes and abuses must be punished. Syria must recognize Lebanon's sovereign independence, while Lebanon must acknowledge Syria's strategic interest in preventing a hostile power establishing itself in Beirut, which would be seen by Damascus as a grave threat to its national security."


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