Tuesday, March 08, 2005


So tell me again how this is all going to work out?

According to the Guardian, tens of thousands joined in a Hizballah-led pro-Syria rally in Beirut today. Now forgive me if I'm wrong, but this throws a little hitch in the smooth transition to flourishing democracy that all the pundits are declaring as the legacy of George W. Bush. How exactly is the Lebanese "opposition" going to see about getting Hizballah to disarm? It seems to me that they are either going to call on international intervention (which some already have) meaning foreign involvement (not exactly the hallmark of sovereign democratic rule) or there is going to be a conflict between rival Lebanese groups. As somebody once said, "This won't be Ukraine of 2004, but maybe Lebanon of 1975." The press here in the US has been covering this like it's one big party, with people waving flags in the streets. But at some point the flags are going to come down and some real issues are going to have to be dealt with here. And it may not be pretty.

UPDATE (8 March, 11:50 a.m.): According to Reuters (via Ha'aretz), it's hundreds of thousands attending the rally, which "dwarfed previous Lebanese protests demanding that Syrian troops quit Lebanon." According to Hizballah and Lebanese security sources, the rally turnout was one million people (I'll stick with hundreds of thousands for now).

Also, Tom Toles once again proves his genius (I tried to get the image to post here, but my computer is experiencing some serious problems, so I could not do it).

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