Monday, February 21, 2005

Is freedom breaking out everywhere?

The BBC is awash with all kinds of stories about freedom working its way through the Middle East. First, Bush has declared that "peace in the Middle East is 'our immediate goal'" and backed it up with strong words about a viable and contiguous Palestinian state. Condi Rice has also shown strong support for Abbas in both words and cash.

Ariel Sharon has shown that he is into peace and freedom by releasing 500 prisoners in response to a generally pretty quiet ceasefire from the Palestinians.

Then just a little north, Lebanese protesters are still protesting for Syria to pull out and maybe getting some concessions

Taking some clue from the elections in Palestine and Iraq, Egyptians have gathered in Cairo to chant against Mubarak and his recent jailing of pro-democracy dissidents. Apparently they are having a problem with Mubarak because he has been president since 1981 and is grooming his son to take over for him when he dies.

Bush is going to call on Russia to "place democratic reform at the heart of their dialogue with Russia" and one could hope that Putin listens.

And finally, Togo in central Africa has agreed to elections after a lot of pressure from America, the EU and the African Union.

Is this a false dawn? Maybe, but I am praying that freedom is breaking out in these places and continues to take hold.