Monday, July 23, 2007

The thin red line: Play it again!

The death of MP Walid Eido has left a vacant seat in the Beirut Sunni seat, therefore a side parliamentary election is to take place. Three candidates have deposited their candidacy, among which one from the "Moustaqbal" list - which is backed and headed by Saad Hariri - son of slain PM Rafic Hariri. The ads for the campaign of the Itani candidates are now all out, and the signature of the campaign is "Beirut Khat Ahmar" (Beirut is a red line). The signature is in direct reply to the words of Hizbullah's Hassan Nasrallah when - at the beginning of the recent confrontation between Muslim Extremists "Fatah al Islam" and the Lebanese army in the north - he proclaimed the Palestinian camps where the militants were entrenched as "a red line" (i.e. not to be crossed or entered by force). The headline of the ads is "Beirut ma bitmut" (Beirut will never die), one of the visual interpretations has a series of coffins on in - four to be precise - it is the assumption that the four coffins belong to the MPs from the list who have already died in explosions (Rafic Hariri, Gebran Tueini, Walid Eido, and Basil Fuleihan).
The Mustaqbal party once more plays the emotional card, even the guilt trip one, as Saad Hariri did say "Either you are with us, or with the murderers"... Reminiscent of "Either you are with us, or with the terrorists" (George W. Bush).
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