September 3, 2004


Lebanese Parliament extends pro-Syrian president's term (The Associated Press, Shlomo Shamir, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service, 9/03/04, Ha'aretz)

On Thursday, the UN Security Council narrowly adopted a resolution warning against outside interference in Beirut's presidential election.

The council voted 9-0 with six abstentions, the minimum vote possible, to approve the U.S-drafted resolution after the United States and co-sponsor France agreed under pressure not to mention Syria by name.

The resolution, which called for "free and fair presidential elections," aimed to head off the move to extend Lahoud's term.

"We believe Lebanon should be allowed to determine its own future and assume control of its own territory. Yet the Lebanese people are still unable to exercise their rights as a free people to make those choices and to take those steps as a nation," U.S. Ambassador John Danforth told the council before the results of the parliamentary vote were known.

"What the Lebanese people and we have witnessed over the past week in terms of Syrian actions is a crude mockery of this principle. It is clear that Lebanese parliamentarians have been pressured and even threatened by Syria and its agents to make them comply," Danforth said.

This is the first Security Council resolution clearly directed against an Arab state.

That would be due to the efforts of the Evangelical in Chief and the minister he sent to the UN. Yet American Jews hate born-agains. Strange world.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 3, 2004 3:57 PM

This American Jew does not and never has. Those of us Jews to whom the faith is more than just a social action committee have long recognized that we have more in common with Evangelicals than with those who insist that religion has no place in the public square.

The fear that non-observant Jews have of an Evangelical-led pogrom would be laughable if they did not take it and themselves so seriously. What is obvious is that the best friends Jews have -- and the only group that would stand up for our safety and that of Israel should it come to that -- are the Evangelicals. And, as he has demonstrated time and again, the best friend Israel has ever had is George W. Bush.

Posted by: Morrie at September 3, 2004 4:10 PM


Could you please call my Mother-in-Law?

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2004 4:14 PM

It won't help, Orrin.

We're terminally stupid. Sorry.

Posted by: Brian (MN) at September 3, 2004 4:22 PM

Perhaps a nitpick, but isn't Iraq an Arab state, and weren't there security council resolutions directed against it?

Posted by: mike earl at September 3, 2004 4:56 PM

Morrie: Please call my mother in law too! And my father in law! They made my wife and I get psychological counselling before we got married!

Posted by: rds at September 3, 2004 5:18 PM

My thought, mike.

My other thought was, of course, that the Muslims have been driving the Christian Arabs out of Lebanon for a couple decades now, making elections a joke anyhow.

If Bush wants to pressure Syria, that's where he should have started.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 3, 2004 6:53 PM

The Christians should be driven out. It's going to be a Shi'a state.

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2004 7:48 PM

That does bring up who will be the real power in Lebanon; is it Nasrallah, as a New York Review of
Books profile of Baby Assad; seems to suggest; will it be someone else

Posted by: narciso at September 3, 2004 8:58 PM

This insufficiently observant Jew agrees with Morrie's comment above.

Posted by: Eugene S. at September 4, 2004 12:58 AM

So you agree with me that Shia states are totalitarian theocracies, by definition?

We're making progress

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 4, 2004 3:04 PM


Not at all. In Wilson's world the majority group gets to rule. That's especially going to be true in the Lebanon, where power distribution has always been done by group.

Posted by: oj at September 4, 2004 5:48 PM

Wilson said that, but he didn't mean it.

But if the majority group cannot accept or get along with minority groups, there's going to have to be a lot of population shifting.

Anyhow, you concede my point. Even you cannot conceive of a shia polity in Lebanon that would not operate as a theocratic totalitarianism

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 5, 2004 6:17 PM

No, I can't conceive of Shi'a supporting totalitarianism.

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