Voices of the Middle East and North Africa

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa – April 13, 2005

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Today, April 13th is the anniversary of the day recognized officially as
the start of the Lebanese civil war in 1975. After this long and bloody
conflict, spotted several times with the illegal Israeli occupation and US
assaults and bombings, relative calm came over Lebanon when Lebanese
forces were able to defeat the Israeli forces with the help of its
neighbor Syria.

But many people fear this relative calm may be over after the
assassination of “Mr. Lebanon”, the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on
February 14th. The assassins chose both their target and the time to
cause the most damage to Syria. Although Syria and Rafiq Hariri were
engaged in negotiations, it was well known that Hariri stood for the
pullout of Syrian troops, invited under an agreement with the Lebanese in
the past. At a time when both Israel and the US had escalated their
aggression against Syria, the assassination of Hariri was sure to cause a
nationalist uproar that could lead to leaving Lebanon defenseless when
Syria would be forced to pull out.

In order to shed some light to the political dimensions of this matter
Mehmet Bayram spoke with Dr. Naseer Aruri the Chancellor Professor at the
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is the author of the book:
Dishonest Broker: the US Roles in Israel and Palestine published in 2003.
He is also the author of many articles on Middle East like, “Remapping the
Middle East-The Politics of Hariri’s Assasination” which appeared in the
Counterpunch Magazine’s February 22nd issue and the Middle East
International’s March 2nd issue. Melanie Tanielian also helped to produce
this show.

You can visit the Middle East Radio Project’s web site:
www.me-radio.org to get more information, or you can e-mail us at
contact@me-radio.org.