03/02/05 — Happy stuff: Don’t overlook news from the positive side

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Happy stuff: Don’t overlook news from the positive side

Woo-hooo! There’s good news from the Middle East.

Look at some of the things that have happened during the last few days:

•The rogue nation of Syria, apparently seeing some advantage in warming up to the United States, captured the half-brother of Saddam Hussein, one of the principals in Saddam’s bloody rule of Iraq. He was wanted by the United States, and Syria handed him over as an apparent gesture of good will.

•For years, to the consternation of the United States and other champions of freedom and peace, Syria has had a puppet government in Lebanon. This week demonstrators in Beruit marched 25,000 strong and forced the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet. The president called for elections.

•The cause of freedom got another boost when President Hosni Mubarak ordered multi-party elections in Egypt this fall. They will include opposition-party candidates for Mubarak’s own job.

•Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority would unify its complex and competing security forces, which will help the new, more reasonable Palestinian leaders contain terrorist attacts against Israelis.

•European leaders have offered to make economic incentives available to Iran if Iran will abandon its nuclear fuel program.

•In Iraq, government officials are putting democratic machinery in place in the wake of successful elections that saw a higher turnout than American elections have had in a long time.

Of course, all is not sweetness and light. Insurgent bombings in Iraq are still going on, and the encouraging developments of late don’t guarantee that our worries are over in the Mideast.

But we lose perspective unless we take note of these happy happenings as well as the disappointments. If we feel like celebrating, that’s all right, too.

Published in Editorials on March 2, 2005 9:40 AM