I'd like to excuse myself from my month-long absence from this blog. I have been bogged down by major commitments, which took up a good chunk of the 7-day week. One of those commitments has been a placement at the Australian online political mag Crikey. Commentary on this blog will resume, but activity will remain sporadic as the next few months present themselves as a telling time for myself personally.
Despite my absence, my eyes have remained fixed on the Middle East, although very little new has developed. Another Lebanese MP assassinated, the same rhetoric from the same chieftains, Israel taunting Syria, and a failed presidential election. What is promising is that the Lebanese factions have agreed to engage in active dialogue, either in full public light or behind the cameras, in order to avert another catastrophe in the country. This period offers analysts and spectators of the Lebanese conflict an opportunity to judge and scrutinise the chess players.
Who will co-operate? Who will compromise? Who will seek to sabotage?
(Pictures: Reuters images of Japanese journo being killed, I drew the red circle around the dead man)
The people of Burma obviously have no fears in confronting totalitarians, is that an option for Lebanon? Our problem remains that we do not have a single totalitarian, but rather an oligarchy of totalitarians. In that light I consider Burma fortunate, the end of the tunnel appears to be more illuminating. Nonetheless, I endorse my support for the plight of the Burmese people, and all suppressed peoples.
I'd like to bring attention in this drama to Russia, who - for the past 12 months - has transparently sought to re-establish respect and supremacy on the international stage. It appears the Russians have fallen short once again in vying to be a responsible power. Its complete silence on Burma in favour of lucrative military deals with a crook regime demonstrates that Moscow cannot be trusted as a source for global security.
I don't mean to absolve other world powers from their obligations in global affairs. The Middle East is great evidence of "democratic" powers pushing aside principles to feed an ever-expanding economic appetite. We long for the day when humanity becomes the pillar of a government's national interest.