Monday, February 28, 2005

The Middle East Playground

In Tom Friedman's Sunday column in the Times he writes:

"Indeed, in the Middle East playground - as Friday's suicide bomb in Israel reminds us - tipping points are sometimes more like teeter-totters: one moment you're riding high and the next minute you're slammed to the ground. Nevertheless, what's happened in the last four weeks is not just important, it's remarkable. And if we can keep all three tipping points tipped, it will be incredible."

Today's bombing in southern Baghdad, killing well over 100 people, is another example of being "slammed to the ground" the next minute. But you cannot deny, as I said last week, the winds are a-changing in the Middle East.

Today in Lebanon, from the AP:

"BEIRUT, Lebanon - With shouts of "Syria out!," more than 25,000 flag-waving protesters massed outside Parliament on Monday in a dramatic display of defiance that swept out Lebanon's pro-Syrian government two weeks after the assassination of a former prime minister.

"Cheering broke out among the demonstrators in Martyrs' Square when they heard Prime Minister Omar Karami's announcement on loudspeakers that the government was stepping down. Throughout the day, protesters handed out red roses to soldiers and police."

This is history we are watching. If you don't want to accept, or make excuses about what is really going on in the Middle East, it's really too bad.

UPDATE...

Tom Barnett and Andrew Sullivan weigh in on the encouraging trends coming out of the Mideast.

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