Good news in Lebanon, maybe...

Results from the fourth and final stage of voting in Lebanon have given a substantial majority to anti-Syrian opposition leader Saad Hariri, son of the former Prime Minister RafikHariri who was assasinated in February. Following a series of protests this spring, the first free elections were held in Lebanon in more than three decades. Early on, the protesters united, Lebanese Muslims and Christians, to oust Syria. With this election, that dream has been realized. Hariri is making all the right sounds, as reported by the BBC.
"There should be administrative and financial reforms, anti-corruption measures and economic, development and social programmes."
The potential for peace in the Middle East just increased, if only slightly. Syria used the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon to fight a low grade proxy war with Israel. Hopefully, Lebanon will now be free under Hariri's leadership to finally pull the plug on Hezbollah and begin to restore the grandeur that once was Lebanon.

The Jerusalem Post reports on the threat of sectarian violence that has been the unfortuante result of this protracted election cycle. Maronite Christian politicians who supported Syria as a way to protect their minority status in Muslim Lebanon, have been roundly defeated.

Democracy is a messy business, and it will be years before the true results of this election are known, but one thing is clear: Without US involvement in Iraq, movement toward democracy would not be happening in the Middle East.