Thursday, May 28, 2009

The clear and present dangers

Some are still predicting that these elections will be violent because after all, as I have been told, "this is Lebanon."

The clear and present dangers to these elections are currently:

1. The Israeli maneuvers that will take place on 31st May-4th June - Hezbollah in particular are warning that these maneuvers mean "that the Zionist entity [is] getting ready for war."

2. The continued uncovering of Israeli spy networks - The uncovering of these networks is increasing the tension in Lebanon especially because some of the networks have been linked to political parties in Lebanon, such as the spy Ziad Humsi to the Future Movement. So far 30 Israeli spies have been arrested the latest being an army colonel. Lebanon has officially complained to the UN about these spy networks.

3. Political rhetoric - Although there have not been too many fiery speeches, as the election draws closer politicians may try to galvanize support by upping the political rhetoric. Thus, far the only highly controversial speech has been the Nasrallah comment that May 7 "was a glorious day" that created anger and disbelief, even among those that are pro-the resistance.

4. Clan violence/political violence related to the elections - In the Bekka the first 'election related' death has occurred with a clash at a Future Movement office the cause of the clash is not known. It is likely that these kind of clashes are tied up in the local family disputes that is manifested also into political affiliation. However, the risk of family feuds developing into election related ones is a danger.

Will calm reign?

The Der Speigel report - This report illustrated the calm political climate at the moment. This explosive report stated that it had received information that Hezbollah was responsible for assassinating of PM Rafik Hariri . If this story occurred last year would there have been such a calm and calculated reaction by the two coalitions? A match was struck but has been promptly blown out by all sides. Hopefully this is a sign that these elections will pass without too much trouble.

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