Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lebanese politician says the success of democracy crucial

Saad al-Hariri, the leader of the largest parliamentary coalition in Lebanon called for strengthening the institutionalized state in Iraq, and called upon Lebanese firms to increase investment in the country as a way of building on security gains, according to Aswat Aliraq, an independent Iraqi news service.

Hariri said democracy must succeed in both countries.

Aswat Aliraq reported:

"Iraq and Lebanon are similar in the struggles they face. We are in the same situation. I believe Iraq is a democratic country and this democracy must succeed in Iraq, as it must succeed in Lebanon," Iraq president office statement cited Hariri as saying during a meeting with Iraq president Jalal Talabani and senior Iraqi officials.

He noted “stable democracy in Iraq and Lebanon formed upsetting example to neighboring governance patterns”, adding “the attack on the two countries(Iraq and Lebanon) aimed at eliminating the prospect of a democratic institutionalized state.”

The Bush administration has not done the best job explaining the broader strategy in the war on terror.

Early on, the U.S. hoped establishing democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan would put Iran in a pincher. With a population generally unsympathetic to radical Islamic governance, the thought was that democracy taking root to the north and west would embolden Iranians to push for democratic changes, and thus neutralize an enemy without military intervention.

Hariri's comments, particularly relating to stable democracy "upsetting neighboring governance patterns" lends credence to this strategy.

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