Monday, February 28, 2005

Lebanon's turn . . . . . .

The government of Lebanon just walked off the job, encouraged to do so mostly by huge protests in the street, contrary to the direct instructions from the government not to demonstrate. It seems that the Lebanese themselves would prefer a more representative government than that which has been ruling them from Syria for some years.

What's going on? Why is the established order falling apart everywhere? First Afgans reject Talibanism, then Iraqis and Ukrainians don't want to be governed by the their former acknowledged legitimate rulers. Next thing you know, Syrians and Iranians will want to vote, if you can imagine such a thing. I don't think there's been this much uncertainty in world politics since the U.S.S.R. evaporated and the Berlin wall fell. And you may remember what a mess that turned out to be. We had to print new maps!

All this change is, well, upsetting. Used to be, a person felt secure that they knew things about how the world worked, like, for example, all Muslims only respect, want and need strong autocratic rulers, and the "Arab street" would rise up in righteous fury if one of their own despots were to be humiliated and dumped by western infidels. All the nightly news guys told us how that worked. Now, apparently, all that's changed and a bunch the little buggers want to vote!

Way too much change. Pretty soon, they might all want to vote. In that regard, President Bush has a lot to answer for.

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