This Morning’s news round-up turned almost into a Middle East Special. General Musharraf’s resignation as army chief is today’s news. The wrap-up to yesterdays Annapolis Declaration is covered broadly in the media and unsurprisingly the scepticism has returned after yesterday’s reveling in celebration of impending peace. Analysis sheds a dark light on the situation of the broader Middle East and the prospect of an attack on Iran. Iraqi refugees suffer the consequences of US and Iraqi government propaganda and are returning to Iraq in greater numbers, not always out of their own free will. France has suffered renewed violence and in Germany a landlord had his very own domestic surveillance program. For more detailed information on all of these topics, see the post below the fold. “Europeanview” wishes you all a happy, healthy day. Take care!
Pervez Musharraf steps down as army chief. Thus, Musharraf complied with the demands of both, his political rivals and his western allies. On January 8, 2008 when, or maybe if, general elections will be held, he may well join Bush’s “Coalition of the Defeated”. Very aptly named so, by ThinkProgress.
Iraqi refugees are returning to Iraq and the Iraqi Government is quick to attribute this to the improved security situation. This is not quite the case, but the claim produces an effect that forces more and more people to return to Iraq, never mind the consequences.
Paradoxically, the growing belief in Syria and Jordan that it is safe to return to Iraq may provoke a new problem. With 1.5 million Iraqis in Syria and 500-700,000 in Jordan, these two have borne the brunt of the exodus while the US and Britain have almost entirely closed the door to fleeing Iraqis. Syria and Jordan are now desperate to see Iraqis depart even though many of them still have nowhere safe to go.
Now, that the buzz of the Annapolis declaration has subsided, more sober views can be heard again. The prospect of a Peace Treaty, that secures a Palestinian state within a year, is naive at best and considered a immaterial by some.
Veterans of the Middle East’s travelling circus greeted each other. “Peace there won’t be,” Nahum Barnea, star columnist for Israel’s Yediot Aharonot, laughed to an old friend. “But you’re looking well.”
Their casual scepticism is not surprising, given the destabilized broader Middle East . The crucial question remains: Is there a hidden agenda behind the Annapolis conference, now that the US is crouching to strike Iran as their next target bringing things from worse to worst?
France is again suffering nightly riots in her suburbs. The unrest has spread beyond the capital as in 2005, but has decreased in intensity. The night before 82 policemen had been hurt, while trying to contain the violence. Scenes from the riots are eerily mindful of computer games with ego-shooter veterans at the trigger.
One rioter with a shotgun “was firing off two shots, reloading in a stairwell, coming back out – boom, boom – and firing again”, Gilles Wiart, deputy head of the SGP-FO police union, told the Associated Press.
The impact of dictatorship on people’s lives, the inhumanity of such systems is reaching far into the fate of people who were in any way connected to the regime’s actions, be it victim or perpetrator. The lives of young men and women in Argentine have changed dramatically when they learned, that the very people who raised them as their children, were involved in the death of their real parents.
And, finally: “Domestic Surveillance” on a different scale. A German landlord was arrested for installing cameras in the bathrooms and bedrooms of his tenants and according to police it wasn’t meant to check whether the bathroom was cleaned correctly.