Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Moderates vs Radicals

Posted by worriedlebanese on 18/06/2007

Seen from the outside, there seems to be a clash between the “moderates” and the “radicals” throughout the Middle East. And the major fronts seem to be Palestine and Lebanon. In Palestine, Fateh is presented as a moderate force, while Hamas is denounced as a radical force. In Lebanon things are always more complicated. The moderates are an aggregate of historically opposed and confessionally varied political forces. And the radicals are Hezbollah on one side, and the Qaeda/pro-syrian sunni islamist forces on the other.
Since the 2005/2006 parliamentary elections in Lebanon and Palestine, the US and Europe have been very openly supportive of the “Moderates”, and very vocally opposed to the “Radicals”. On the other hand, Syria and Iran have been very vocally supportive of the “Radicals” and sometimes violently hostile to the “Moderates”.
The whole international and regional mood has been to pit one against the other. In Palestine it has successfully led to an open war between the two factions. In Lebanon, violence has errupted between the “Moderates” and some “Radicals”, while a “cold” war has been opposing for almost a year the “Moderates” and the “Radicals”.
This disctinction and labelling of forces was created by the Americans. The “moderates” are their allies, and the “radicals” are those who are still combatting Israel. This labelling is justifiable if one is looking at the international dimensions of the conflict, but they are totally unsatisfactory if one is interested in the local and social dimension.
What is moderate about Mubarak’s regime? What is the trait shared by Siniora’s and Abbas’ regimes?

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