Take that, terrorist rats!

Take that, terrorist rats!

: The scene in Lebanon today is miraculous. I’m watching it on Alhurra right now. I don’t understand the words. Don’t have to. The camera is filled with Lebanese celebrating a free future. PubliusPundit has all the details: “A human ‘tsunami’ covers Beirut.”

Between 800,000 and 1.3 million people have jammed Martyr Square and roads leading to it to answer Hizbullah’s pro-Syria rally, which was half the size (and filled with Syrians, by many reports). When Hizbullah had its rally, various eeyores said, see, that’s bigger than the pro-freedom opposition rallies that have filled Beirut. Well, take that. And as one speaker says, quoted at Publius:

From Nayla speech:

  • richard mcenroe

    Oh, come on Jeff, everyone who’s anyone knows the Lebanese people want to remain under Syrian rule. Why, Syria is so popular that all those Hezbollah supporters had round-trip bus tickets to Damascus to prove it!

  • Does anyone have any word of any support demonstrations that might be planned here in America? Surely that wouldn’t be counterproductive. It would be something I am sure a lot of Americans would participate in.

  • What is happening in Lebanon today is jaw-dropping. I have several Lebanese pals and every one of them are simply stunned by what’s going on, in a good way of course. They were elated when the pro-syrian government fell, then they became depressed when Hizbollah staged that big rally (with the help of all their bussed-in Syrian pals), and now today comes a gigantic pro-democracy rally so enormous that they believe it will live in infamy and finally break Syria’s back in the region. They’re even talking about going back to Lebanon, talk which a few months ago would have been inconceivable.
    What an incredible time we live in. All of this can still go either way of course, but it’s looking a lot more like it’s going to go the way of democracy right now.

  • Franky

    You may want to check quotes before you recite them. Mencken’s actual qoute was “the cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy. This is like saying that the cure for crime is more crime”.
    But that’s a minor point. Here’s wishing the anti-Syrian Lebanese success with kicking the syrian government out of Lebanon.

  • Ruth– The Lebanese Forces Forum has a thread in its politics section dedicated to worldwide rallies.

  • What an incredible time we live in. All of this can still go either way of course, but it’s looking a lot more like it’s going to go the way of democracy right now.
    Errr, you’re conflating your memes there buddy. Lebanon has been a functioning democracy for quite some time. These aren’t “pro-democracy” rallies that are happening, they’re anti-Syrian rallies. The pro-Syrian Lebanese politicians were no less democratically elected than the opposition who turned out in record numbers today in Beirut.
    Good riddance to the Syrians, by the way, and all of the mayhem that they have caused the Lebanese people, but for the love of Bob please get your facts straight. Lebanon is not Iraq. Lumping together all of the people of the Middle East in this manner as if they’ve all just been freshly liberated by the now apparently divine Bush is both ignorant and condescending.
    The Lebanese aren’t in the streets because they want democracy – they already have it! The Lebanese are in the streets because the thugs in Damascus thought they could kill one of the country’s most beloved figures with impunity. Rafik Hariri’s murder would have sparked this kind of mass demonstration regardless of what was going on anywhere else in the world. He practically rebuilt Beirut from the ground up, for crying out loud.

  • Jersey Exile — Good point. This is more of a sovereignty/independence issue. However, once Syria’s army and intelligence infrastructure is out, their democracy will certainly be strengthened considerably.

  • J. Peden

    Poor Franky: did you ever get the idea that you are missing something, like in your brain. But how would you know? “Democracy is evil,” but that’s not the same as the people kicking Syria out? Moron!

  • Robert M:
    Thanks for the lead/info.

  • The Lebanese aren’t in the streets because they want democracy – they already have it!
    Does everything have to be spelled out for you? I am very well aware that they have parliamentary elections, just like say… Zimbabwe. Get a clue.

  • Franky

    J. Peden,
    I’ve wasted enough time debating with buffoons who can’t read a post but then criticise it anyway. Read over my post again, then come back and apologise for wasting my time, Jeff’s bandwidth etc. or read it again and make a comment that would lead one to believe you actually understood what I wrote.

  • richard mcenroe

    Ah, but in the words of a recent LA Times editorial… “Elections don’t necessarily mean much…” *dances a jig of schadenfreude* Gotta love watching the left’s own tropes turned back on them…

  • Speaking of tropes, here’s another one:

  • Franky

    I’m looking on this situation in Lebanon and am wondering how that old war criminal Assad the elder would have handled it. He was a wily old bastard and I wonder if he could have continued the occupation of Lebanon. His son never really wanted this job and in moments of crisis like this he obviously lacks the skill or the desire his old man had.

  • Glyn

    BBC pictures of the Lebanese demonstration at:
    There is no comparison between Zimbabwe and the Lebanon. The Lebanon is a democracy and Zimbabwe is not.

  • Actually, Zimbabwe is a democracy. It’s the implementation that’s the problem; I think that’s the parallel that was being drawn above.

  • paladin

    Jeff, every time I read a post like this, I’m reminded why I keep coming back.

  • Actually, Zimbabwe is a democracy. It’s the implementation that’s the problem; I think that’s the parallel that was being drawn above.
    Bingo. To be fair, the state of Zimbabwe’s democracy is worse than that of Lebanon, but the point is that the appearance of “voting” does not equal a true democracy. Perhaps a better analogy would be that of pre-Yuschenko Ukraine. Voting? Yes. Democracy? No.

  • Franky

    How is it muted if Al-jazeera is leading with the story on its front page and call it the “largest anti-syrian protest in lebanon since the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri”?

  • Glyn

    It’s ‘strangely muted’ because they didn’t headline their story “Take that, terrorist rats!”.

  • Glyn

    But it’s the story itself that’s important, not digressions into how the story is reported. I guess we’re all agreed on that. And I do take Hubris’s point about Zimbabwe having the appearance of a democracy, but it does seem that the Lebanon genuinely is one?

  • I’ve been reading your comments all day and I feel that being Lebanese, I should butt in.
    Lebanon actually is a democracy. Democracy has been practiced since our independance from the French in the early forties. The problem is that syria has been interferring in lebanese politics since the civil war. The essence of the problem today… or let me say what caused this flare and apparently Hariri’s death, is that the constituion was changed 6 months ago to be able to give the president an extra 3 years in his seat. Hariri voted for it, and then resigned from his post as prime minister since he did not agree with it and found such a government, a failed government. He then joined the opposition. a few months before his assassination, there was an attempted assassination on marwan hamade, a parliament member, who is part of the opposition.
    All these events is what caused this people to boil in fury. That and the long list of assassinations that have been “successful” within the past twenty years…none of which have the culprit been caught or tried.
    Please note that this is a very very brief summary of the events.

  • rampurple:
    thanks for sharing, and sorry if that sounds sarcastic, it isn’t intended that way.
    I love hearing the U.S. referred to as the original democracy, when any even basic history gives that title to Greece, then Rome, and we with a slightly over 200 year old history could gain a wee bit by looking at peoples whose history goes back more than 2000.
    As an earlier poster of Arabian nationality pointed out, the tribal councils gave the individual members each a say in governance. (Of course, represented by heads of households, but so was the U.S. in its origins, excluding women, non-landowners, servants and young people.)

  • hey guys, some points:
    -Aljazeera’s coverage IS muted, and that pisses me off
    -Lebanon is a democracy that is skewed by intimidation and abuse, but zimbabwe is not a good example, i’d compare it to turkey (where Syria plays in lebanon the turkish army’s role in turkey)
    Mustapha, Middle eastern non-white, non-female, non-left

  • Ptolemy

    There is a full 1,500 years between Rome and the U.S. so it might not be too great an indulgence to give America a little credit for originality. Our democracy is neither Greek nor Roman despite borrowed symbols (senate, etc.). Ours is a much more Anglo-Saxon/Nordic democracy that was far more inclusive even in the beginning than either Greece or Rome can boast. Its our constitution and bill of rights that has been copied the world over, not “the ancients”.

  • J. Peden

    Franky, if I have misinterpreted your intent, I certainly apologize.