Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Middle East happenings

News from the Middle east not having to do with Iraq:
Arabs are going to start giving money to the Palestinians despite the international ban on giving until the Hamas government recognizes Israel.

The Arab nations are pushing Hamas to attend a peace conference with Israel, but it still hasn’t met the international stipulations, and if they start getting money from some other source, I don’t think they’re going to start.

The Arab nations apparently are going to give money as a protest to the UN over the U.S. veto of resolutions designed to chastise Israel over the latest strike in Gaza.

Tony Blair is asking Syria and Iran to “help” stem the violence in Iraq.  All they need to do is renounce terrorism and any nuclear ambitions they might have.  Seems like not a lot, right?

Lebanon’s cabinet approved UN plans for setting up an international tribunal to try suspects from the investigation of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  Also, a few pro-Syrian members of their parliament have resigned too, so things are looking ok in Lebanon.  Except for all that rebuilding they need to do after the Israeli attack a few weeks ago.

Violence by the government backed Janjaweed militants in the Darfur region has spread to neighboring Chad.   “Everything was burned to the ground — even the Koran was burned.”  I guess you can’t argue that they’re a religious militia.  It appears to be entirely ethnic, and further supports the idea that this is, indeed, genocide.  But you already knew that, right?  Someone please tell the UN.

Oh, and by the way, if I were the president of Chad, I’d be pretty pissed right now.

In other news, Kofi Annan decided today that the real cause of tension between the west and the Islamic world is, of course, just politics.

      Political tensions, rather than religious differences, are the source of the rift between the West and the Muslim world, and any resolution must include an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday.

      His claim that religion was not the root of the conflicts that have multiplied since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States contradicted those of some theorists who believe cultural and religious identity emerged as the main source of tension following the Cold War.

      In a challenge to that theory, Annan traveled to Istanbul to attend a meeting of the U.N.-backed "Alliance of Civilizations Initiative," which enabled a group of experts and luminaries to draft a report on how to promote peace.

Oh, is that all we need?  We need a group of experts to draft a report and then we’ll have peace?  And I was so worried!

I think the terrorists would have something to say about what the core issues in the aforementioned tension would be, don’t you?

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