Monday, June 20, 2005

Democracy: Is It Consolidating In Middle East?

Everything happened too fast like a phantasm. Or like a mirage. Just a year ago, Lebanon was still under the strapping hands of Syria as Beirut became one huge military headquarter for Syrian forces who toddles along the night streets of Beirut in pointed tanks and camouflaged vehicles, looking for enemies of the state. At many points in the past, Lebanon became a country where its own people became the “enemies of the state” while Syrian intruders became the hand that feeds. The Syrian forces have stayed for far too long.

But on Sunday, everything had changed. Saad Hariri, the son of assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and other anti-Syrian politicians wrestled control over the governance of Lebanon in a four-stage elections that culminated in Sunday’s balloting. From subjugation to complete control---this is the Cinderella story of Lebanon that swirled before the eyes of the world like a whirlwind, because it happened too fast. This time, too fast is good and acceptable.

How time passes. With the successful holding of the elections in Beirut, most Lebanese could only hope that from this moment on, everything will be fair and sunny in a country that had endured more than a decade of civil war that pitted mortally the northern dwelling Christians as against the southern residing Muslims as well as the over-extended intrusions by the Syrian military into its territory. While President George Bush is still struggling to fine-tune his “transplantation” of democracy in Iraq (that is, by way of military force), the Lebanese proved that democracy can still be had in Middle East through the usual and more fitting peaceful processes (that is, by election).


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