A Loss of Momentum

(Washington Post) Editorial - A few months ago the Bush administration had reason to hope that a spring of freedom might be beginning in the Middle East. Yet the promising announcement by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak of multi-candidate presidential elections has begun to look like a sham. Palestinians have followed up a successful election in January by postponing legislative elections scheduled for July that were to have included the Islamic opposition for the first time. In Lebanon, Syrian meddling continues. At least 35 seats in the 128-member parliament will end up in the hands of an alliance including the militant Islamic movement Hizballah, which refuses to disarm its militia and serves as a paid military proxy for Iran and Syria. Lebanese politicians must find the will to persuade Hizballah to disarm and become an ordinary political party. A Security Council resolution mandating Hizballah's disarmament provides leverage. That disarmament, like Syrian withdrawal, would serve U.S. strategic aims.

2005-06-15 00:00:00

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