Sunday, February 20, 2005

**A couple of days ago, my father and I were having a conversation about the current hot topic of the middle east which is the assassination of Rafik Hariri. One ironic thought that always surfaces when the subject is tyrants and totalitarian regimes is the fact that they repeat each other's mistakes and they use exactly the same old silly tricks.

An example of that is the "decision" of Bashar Asad to send his military intelligence chief general to retirement because "he reached the official retirement age". This is something that Saddam used to do whenever there's a scandal or a big failure surrounding any critical governmental institution or personnel in an attempt to direct the attention to that unfortunate official showing him as the main source of trouble and the cause of the failure.
Well, back to my father, he made one interesting comment that I couldn't agree fully with; he said "This is September 11 of the ME" in reference to the situation in Lebanon.
But it seems that there are other people and bloggers who share my father's point of view; Chrenkoff shares this thought and has an informative update on the investigations.

Meanwhile, public opinion polls in Arab countries show that the majority supports the idea of an international investigation on the attack (69.59% on the BBC Arabic and 58.8% on Alarabiya) but it's also interesting to see that around 99% of the samples in Ramalla/Palestine oppose the international investigation!

**Back from Lebanon to Baghdad with a quick update on fuel situation; the fuel (gasoline in particular) shortage is reaching an end after several tough months. It took me less than 15 minutes yesterday to fill the car with gasoline as there were only 11 vehicles waiting in the line ahead of me. The lines are shorter in all gas stations in Baghdad but vary relatively from one region to another.

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