Democracy in the middle east

When neocons suggested that the Middle East could use some democracy, this was dismissed as an impossible task by everyone. But here is what’s happening

The most extraordinary event of all, of course, is Iraq’s Jan. 30 election, when 8 million voters cast ballots despite insurgent bombs and bullets. Weeks earlier, Palestinian voters had trooped to the polls to elect a successor to Yasser Arafat. They chose Mahmoud Abbas, who proclaims his desire (sincerely or not) to end the armed struggle against Israel. Then, on Feb. 10, Saudi Arabia held its first-ever municipal elections. Only men could vote, but this was still a crack in the hitherto absolute authority of the royal family.

Now, in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak has suddenly pledged to hold a multi-candidate election for president this fall. Will he allow a genuine contest? That opposition leader Ayman Nour remains in jail is hardly encouraging. But something significant has happened when the pharaoh feels the need to proclaim, “Egypt needs more freedom and democracy.” [Neocons May Get the Last Laugh]

Besides this people in Lebanon are now demanding that Syria withdraw immediately. Even the Arab media is reporting this as positive news

In a widely noticed interview, Walid Jumblatt, the leader of Lebanon

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