Sunday, June 26, 2022 |
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• The Times, London, on the defeat of the Terrorism Bill
• Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, on Lebanon
The Times, London, on the defeat of the Terrorism Bill
The humiliating defeats in the Lords on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill are not only an extraordinary setback two months before an expected general election; they are also a telling indictment of the muddle, incompetence and myopia that have characterized the sloppy handling of this vital issue. The defeats are too resounding to be brushed aside by a Government desperate to enact legislation to replace the current detention powers that expire on Monday.…The moral weight of opposition makes it clear that Labor is facing its sternest test of how to handle the whole issue of terrorism.
The Government is now almost certainly obliged to accept most of the Lords amendments — in particular the involvement of a judge in any initial decision to impose any type of control order, not just the most severe form of house arrest.…
The sticking point, however, is the call for a sunset clause, which the Government will not accept.…The inept handling of this Bill — largely a result of indecision in the Cabinet, where Blair has shown less willingness to compromise than Clarke — has had the worst possible effect.…As a result, opportunism and point-scoring have made agreement all but impossible. …
In the short term, the Government must find a way to supervise, oversee or incarcerate terrorist suspects, involving judges at the initial stage and, if possible, bring charges quickly. In the long term, it must work out a more coherent legal framework for dealing with the terrorist threat.…The Government’s confusion was wholly unnecessary; its defeats were fully deserved.
Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon, on Lebanon
In a massive rally that drew the support of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah issued two proposals for moving out of the impasse the country is facing. The first is to form a national unity government that would begin tackling pressing national issues, including the investigation into the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri. Second, Nasrallah urged all parties to discuss our differences so that we can decide together on the future of Lebanon.
At the same time that Nasrallah was speaking, U.S. President George W. Bush issued a call for freedom in Lebanon. But Bush also spoke of the need for the “rule of law.” …
Ironically, despite our ideological differences, Nasrallah, the opposition and the Americans are all saying the same thing at the same time: Give Lebanon its freedom, sovereignty and independence.
We hope we won’t be led into another situation like 1990, when America’s strategic interests outweighed Lebanese democratic aspirations, and Syria was given carte blanche in Lebanon in exchange for its support of the U.S.-led Gulf war. …
This is the only way for the Lebanese to move forward. We have all the right tools to form a national unity government that will address the demands of all factions in Lebanon. We need only the space and the freedom to do so.
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