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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Peace Or War?

I have been following the situation in Lebanon closely; they are at a crossroads. The Gemayel assassination has sparked huge gatherings in opposition to the agenda of Syria and Hezbollah. See the last week and a half of Ouwet.com, starting with this post:
I just came back from the demonstration, i didnt think we could make another March 14th, but i was proven more than wrong. Over a million easily were down there, the people kept coming till 2 pm from all regions and the roads of Beirut were all filled.
Today’s slogan was “We love life” and “We want to live” and expressed the feeling of those downthere at Martyrs’ square. We, the Lebanese people, want and deserve to live in dignity and freely.
Those who are closest to it know what the true choices are. The people of these areas seem whipsawed by foreign activists. Hamas in Egypt:
The political leader of Hamas said Saturday that the Islamic militant group is willing to allow negotiations with Israel but warned of a new uprising if talks fail to reach a deal for a Palestinian state within six months.
Mashaal also suggested Hamas could accept a "two-state" solution -- with a Jewish state in pre-1967 borders and a Palestinian nation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank -- though he stopped short of using that phrase or of recognizing Israel.
Teddy bear bombs suggest that withdrawals may not be possible, although there is in theory a truce in Gaza, but I think there will be trucebreakers galore.

It is not a time for the faint of heart, and the Pope is going to Turkey, while the Turkish police try to establish security for the visit. I hope he survives; there have been multiple attacks on priests in Turkey. The kicker to this Newsday article comes at the end:
A recent Turkish thriller, "Plot Against the Pope" by Yucel Kaya carries the subtitle "Who will kill the pope in Istanbul?" Its conspiracy theory ties the assassination into a plot by conservative Roman Catholics, Freemasons and U.S. intelligence services to attack Iran, Turkey's eastern neighbor.
Ah, the alibi. That pretty much sums it up; while Catholics and judges are attacked in Turkey, some of the Muslims rage over the Regensburg speech. Those who preach death are honored, and those who preach life are hated; the combat literally is between those dominated by rage and the will to destroy and those who love life and want to live it. This is less of a religious conflict than an ideological conflict.

There has been talk that Pope Benedict XVI will visit a mosque; I certainly hope that if he does he will leave it under his own power.

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