Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Forgive me for not reporting on all the exciting events here. My computer has gone to the shop and I must take refuge in the computer café’s. The demonstration in Beirut yesterday turned the world on its head here. The spirit of Syrians was lifted out of the gutter and sent soaring. All the Lebanese are not against Syria and with George Bush. The crowds that gathered in Riad Al-Solh Square were estimated by al-Jazeera to be 1.5 million. BBC reported them to be 200,000. Whoever was counting they were big, much bigger than the crowds that came out in favor of “the opposition.”

Lebanon is divided. All the same, Nasrallah’s followers sought to appropriate the same symbols as the opposition, which is very healthy. The placards held up by the demonstrators bore the same cross and crescent seen at previous demonstrations. The great symbol of the event was the Lebanese flag; red and white were everywhere. Nasrallah spoke about Lebanon for the Lebanese, united against all foreign influence.

Of course, the thrust of his speech was diametrically opposed to that of the opposition. He painted the opposition as unpatriotic and as agents of the West and Israel who do not have the best interests of the region at heart. They do not stand on the side of Arabism and the struggle against Lebanon’s enemy, Israel.

The relationship with Syria was handled with great skill and care. When he finished his speech with the words, “Long live Syria.” Everyone here went wild with joy. After weeks of feeling like crap and as if the whole world – even the Arabs – hated them, Syrians saw and heard the gratitude they believe they deserve for ending the civil war and protecting Lebanon. They know they are not alone. The Arabist rhetoric of the Baath Party and Bashar al-Asad still resonates in the hearts of millions. Nasrallah was careful not to suggest that Lebanon needed Syrian forces on its soil or that it could not stand alone. Quite the contrary, “Lebanon has proven that it is the strongest Arab country,” Nasrallah said.

The Lebanese resistance is the only resistance that has won against Israel and driven it from Arab soil. The clear implication is that Lebanon does not need Syria. It can defend Lebanese soil on its own as it had proven in the struggle against Israel. “The Arabs will not concede to Israel and the West through diplomacy what it has not conceded on the battle-field,” he said. “Israel will not win through diplomatic pressure what it could not win on the battle field,” he promised. Lebanon will be the last Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel. Hizbullah fought for Arabism, the honor of the Arab world, and against Israeli and Zionist domination. Syria helped in the struggle and has been a corner stone of assistance and succor, he explained; Lebanon will not turn its back on Syria today or in the future. No amount of international pressure or diplomatic maneuvering will defeat the noble stand of the resistance, which liberated Lebanon form Israeli occupation. History, blood, and inclination tie the Syrian and Lebanese people together.. “They are one people.” This last slogan is redolent with meaning. It is the slogan used by Syria and rejected by the Lebanese opposition.

Nasrallah rejected 1559 as the latest installment of the struggle and upheld Ta’if. The resistance has not lost its meaning or purpose, Nasrallah argued. After all, the battle now being waged on the streets of Lebanon is part of the greater struggle over who rules the Arab World – the Arabs or the Great Powers and Israel. Hizbullah and the Lebanese people will ensure that the Arabs win. He said that Syria would withdraw from Lebanon with honor and had the gratitude of all Lebanese, but its role in the region and assistance would continue. The crowd went wild and this last sentiment brought tears to Syrian eyes and relief to their hearts.

Family members called me from Latakia to ask me what I though and to tell me how proud they were and what a great man Nasrallah is. I was out doing errands much of the day and all the shops had the TV on. Store owners and errand boys alike were leaning over their counters watching the demonstration with amazement and gratification. “This was the true Lebanon,” they insisted. “People from every part and every religion,” they intoned, repeating the line that the Lebanese opposition has been using for the last two weeks to insist that it expresses the true Lebanon. “George Bush asked for democracy. This is the true democracy," I was told repeatedly.

Today, Syrians will demonstrate. Many have told me they will go. The school in which my wife teaches has closed for the day because it is in Mezze, the section of town where the demonstration is to begin; the director fears that the kids will not be able to get home because of the crowds. The UN offices are only opening for half the day. It would seem that all of central Damascus will be closing early today.

This is the first demonstration of its kind that most Syrians can remember and they are excited. Perhaps the government will learn that it needs the people and their support? Perhaps the people will learn that the government needs them? The Lebanon example is bearing its first fruit here.

58 Comments:

At 3/09/2005 02:20:00 AM, Blogger yaman said...

I'm not sure whether an armed religious group is the best organization to be espousing this sense of solidarity....

 
At 3/09/2005 03:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here because I could not post on the previous page:
Dear Mr. Lindsay,
I am not in any organized opposition for the shear fact that there is no such thing. How can I be patriotic in their eyes when I am a traitor if I am against Baath for their systematic demolition of the Syrian spirit, ethics, morals, justice, honesty, and economy? Do you think they will let me stand in opposition facing them asking for investigating them on their wrongs and requesting to strip them from their power? Do you think they will not treat me the way they did to these "Damascus Spring" people? Charges are fabricated without a second thought and I am rotting somewhere for a long time.
At the same time, I personally am against any non-peaceful form to overthrow the regime for the simple principle that "blood will only generate more blood". In fact the, and if and when we have a democracy, I would support the abolishment of the death penalty in Syria for 10-15 years until democracy is on solid ground.
Unfortunately, and having principles (unlike the ruling regime), I can not accept for a single moment to have any foreigners on our soil to "protect democracy". International tribunals for the prosecution of individual crimes committed against the humanity of Syrians and Lebanese is another issue where Sharon, and Rifat should top the long list.
This is why I am in desperation living between a rock and a hard place. Maybe you can see where my rage is coming from.

 
At 3/09/2005 03:41:00 AM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

Dear Joshua,

Let me enlight you on who was at that demonstration:

1. Hundreds of thousands of Hezbollah followers (Shiites predominantly) who only gethered in Riad El Solh square because their leader Hassan Nasrallah said so, not because they actually love Syria. If Nasrallah told them to rally against Syria, they will gladly do so too.

2. Thousands of Syria National Party followers, obviously, the patriotism (or lack) of these people need not be discussed.

3. Thousands OF Baath party followers, which nationalism/lack of (also to the Lebanese independent state) is also clear.

4. Thousands of individuals who were ferried from Syria in order to add more substance to the demo.

If the Syrians believe that those gentlemen represent Lebanon, then they are quite wrong. They in fact represent the traditionally social outcasts of the Lebanese republic.

I don't care about numbers, those people will procreate at an astronomical rate to create a quantitative superiority without any regard to the social, educational and living conditions of their children, and then they blame the Lebanese republic on their problems.

It is really sad that Hezbollah has grown to such an extent and no one in Lebanon but a large chunk of the Shiites are happy with that. Other shiites like Amal's and remaining Syria's proxies are only temporarily in the flow.

Since when does Hezbollah represent Lebanon? This is a joke.

 
At 3/09/2005 04:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ibrahim, you have to admit that Lebanon is not only Maronites Christians. Otherwise, you just sound like a looser in your comment.

 
At 3/09/2005 04:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Landis,

It is surprising to find an American citizen so excited by political events orchestrated by dictatorships and secret services.
Maybe you miss the preparations for this event. People were carried from Syria. Threats were sent to whoever doesn't want to participate. Money was paid for taxi and bus owners. Religious decrees were issued to rally the people.

Yesterday people shouted death to America and applaused the Syrian regime, the same Syrian regime that is thriving to meet and to please this same America.

Unfortunately, those who were in Riyad Solh would applause to any speech done by Hizbullah. Those who are taking the street today in Damascus are not different.

It is sad to find out that the avrage citizen in the Middle East Area still feeds on nonsense talk.

It seems that the Baath ideology of crushing the individual has still long years of prosperity ahead.

 
At 3/09/2005 04:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon at 4:25 AM ,
You are just another looser or the same one. Grow up people, and stop fantasizing stories.
Why is the "opposition" so annoyed by Nasserallah's speech?
He called for national unity, national dialogue, protecting the institutions and real sovereignty in a Lebanon where EVERYONE has a say. A word of advice, stop this "alot but poor Hizbollah supporters" because it is just proving your racist & sectarian views.

 
At 3/09/2005 05:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kingcrane- We miss you!

 
At 3/09/2005 05:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lebanese 'oppositon' is the joke. Democracy is majority rule and the majority have spoken. Rise up against the Syrians and get slaughtered.

The rich Maronites (the opposition) excluded from power can go back to their neo-con homes and cry about morals and justice.

As far the US is concerned, he could care less about the lebanese people or their freedom. Superpowers have interests not friends. All of these made lebanese neo-cons have not realized this.

Long live greater-Syria!

 
At 3/09/2005 06:00:00 AM, Anonymous jtpacta said...

Now that Hizbollah has staged its demonstration, a large section of the Western press has hastily - and gleefully – resurrected some of the old clichés it never really parted with, such as “pro-Syrian Muslims” and “pro-West Christians” – note the nuance - or, as Hassan Fattah in the NYT said today: most demonstrators represented “Lebanon's Shiite working class, compared to the predominantly Christian, upper class represented by the opposition”… It is nice anyway to learn that debt-ridden, pauperized Lebanon seems to have a thriving industrial sector able to provide work for hundreds of thousands from a single community!

 
At 3/09/2005 06:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting comments by those here who are more attuned to the situation on the ground. I especially agree with Ibrahim.

Is Israel really Lebanon's greatest enemy? Freedom can never be the enemy of the people. It can only be the enemy of the despots and the Islamofascists.

 
At 3/09/2005 06:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Landis , you are way off in your analysis. The syrians continue to lull themselves. They too deserve a flourishing country that respects their rights and their opinions. Shoving their baathismn down our throats does not make their problems easier. Not a single lebanese, including hizbullahis trust syrians or believe they helped Lebanon. As you well know the syrians never fought the israelis directly even in Lebanon. In fact they need to liberate their joulan before they give us lessons in anti-zionism... or are they satisfied with hte apple treaty?
As for the demonstration orchestrated by the worried hizballa, I have this to say: A pro-oppressor demonstration under occupation is meaningless. Lebanon is occupied by syrian soldiers and mukhabarat and many fear for their lives and livelihood, others are made to fear their compatriots, in the name of a fallen ideology.. What has the baath given its people?? NOTHING: political retardation, an entire nation frozen in the ninetenth century, fear and mistrust.
Even if you are naive enough to believe that the masses brought out came up to one million of nasralla supporters, that leaves 3/4 of the country opposed. Mind you we do not oppose the other lebanese, we oppose his servitude to a loosing dynasty, that of the assads.
As for your wife's school in Mezze, do you know anyone related to the prison there, I know of a couple of people who were swallowed alive by the syrian "security" system.. we are not allowed to see them or to even know whether they are alive or dead.. The syrian security folks however have been known to respect the dead: they will send dead lebanese prisoners in their nailed coffins to be buried by their families, but you have to trust them as to the contents, because you will not be allowed to open the coffin. The syrians need to demonstrate, but not to kowtow to their regime but to ask for some fresh air, their rights, their freedoms and their future. They also need to be informed about the atrocities committed by their government against our citizens.

 
At 3/09/2005 06:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Landis , you are way off in your analysis. The syrians continue to lull themselves. They too deserve a flourishing country that respects their rights and their opinions. Shoving their baathismn down our throats does not make their problems easier. Not a single lebanese, including hizbullahis trust syrians or believe they helped Lebanon. As you well know the syrians never fought the israelis directly even in Lebanon. In fact they need to liberate their joulan before they give us lessons in anti-zionism... or are they satisfied with hte apple treaty?
As for the demonstration orchestrated by the worried hizballa, I have this to say: A pro-oppressor demonstration under occupation is meaningless. Lebanon is occupied by syrian soldiers and mukhabarat and many fear for their lives and livelihood, others are made to fear their compatriots, in the name of a fallen ideology.. What has the baath given its people?? NOTHING: political retardation, an entire nation frozen in the ninetenth century, fear and mistrust.
Even if you are naive enough to believe that the masses brought out came up to one million of nasralla supporters, that leaves 3/4 of the country opposed. Mind you we do not oppose the other lebanese, we oppose his servitude to a loosing dynasty, that of the assads.
As for your wife's school in Mezze, do you know anyone related to the prison there, I know of a couple of people who were swallowed alive by the syrian "security" system.. we are not allowed to see them or to even know whether they are alive or dead.. The syrian security folks however have been known to respect the dead: they will send dead lebanese prisoners in their nailed coffins to be buried by their families, but you have to trust them as to the contents, because you will not be allowed to open the coffin. The syrians need to demonstrate, but not to kowtow to their regime but to ask for some fresh air, their rights, their freedoms and their future. They also need to be informed about the atrocities committed by their government against our citizens.

 
At 3/09/2005 06:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do I sense so much hostility? What's the deal? You see a massive rally in the Middle East in support of things you don't like, and you find ways to lower its value. The fact is that there are views from both sides, and each side is able to express its views through peaceful demonstration. No matter which side you are on, how can this be bad for Lebanon, Syria, or the entire region?

 
At 3/09/2005 07:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon at 6:32 & 6:31,
You are right, there is no official announcement of how many Syrian soldiers died in Lebanese battle grounds but we know that in the 1982 Israili invasion of Lebanon, we lost between 12,000 and 16,000 Syrian soldiers & hundreds of millions US$ worth of artillery and military equipment.
As for Hizbollah's demonstration, you can go on with your illusions and self denial but if you really believe in the unity, integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon then pause for a moment and think about the majority of Lebanese people who, if you like it or not, disagree with you.

 
At 3/09/2005 07:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If your brother is stupid and hit you in the back - would you do the same to him and loose twice?"

We have to agree on one thing: the Syrian Mafia that acted in the past years in Lebanon was a major source of instability in the country. It strangled Lebanon and drove most of its talented people. That was done to ensure - from a regime perspective - that the government and president in Lebanon do not go astry in the quest for the strategic goal of Syria i.e. forming a block against the Israelization of the region and Arab world.

But this worked against Lebanon, Syria and the Strategic goal. We need to make a difference between what the joint Lebanese-Syria Mafia wants: a control or resources and people in both countries And what some real honest people want to achieve in terms of fighting back the Israelization of the region.

To cut a long story short:
- No for the Syrian Presence in Lebanon that includes the joint Mafia.

- Yes for a free and independent Lebanon able to protect Hizballah as an honest fighter for the freedom of all againt the Zionist dream of swallowing everything and everyone: christians, Muslims, Syrians, Arabs and Lebanese.

- No for intereference in the Lebanese society: let democracy rule and you will be sure that most people (not only Shiites) will support the view of being an element of change against the policy of surrender the Arab world is going through.

May God bless you all.

 
At 3/09/2005 07:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 7:19,

May God bless all Syrian soldiers who died fighting Israel.
I don't know how many Syrian soldiers died in 1982 fighting Israel.
However what I know is that the pityful high Syrian command asked for a cease fire only after 5 days of fighting, leaving Beirut and all the freedom fighters over there alone againt the Zionist war machine.
And please don't come up with the statement that there was a Syrian battalion in Beirut side by side with the true fighters. An Army is a whole thing. Either the whole Army fights or it doesn't. Syrian soldiers and officers were taking a sun bath in the Bekaa (it was June remember, the weather is great in June) while Lebanese and palestinians true believers in the Arabic cause were giving their lives in Beirut.
Late thank you Syria for this much needed support!!

 
At 3/09/2005 08:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

while everybody is throwing numbers let's look at it in a more objective way. the riad solh square is 78,000 m2 in surface area, so if there is 3 people per m2 then there 235,000. the opposition demo was between 70 and 100,000. but the opposition demo was not joined by thousand of syrian workers plus it had to deal with roadblocks placed by the army which turned many away. entire villages were threatened to join the pro-syria demo, and many join for fear of reprisals from syrian intelligence. but there's another question. if the pro-syria crowd is so big why are they afraid of free and fair elections? why they only want elections where syrian intelligence is intimidating the pro-lebanon crowd? hmmm? let the syrians withdraw and let's hold an election. and then we'll see if it is true or not that lebanon is 99.98% bathist.

 
At 3/09/2005 08:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:07am:
You are drunk orr delusional if you think that 70,000-100,000 attended the maronite protest two Mondays ago.

As for you George Bush-like fuzzy math to calculate how many people were in riad solh square, I aint buying it. I observed both demonstrations and it was not even close. Yesterday's far outnumbered the opposition-Western press love-fest.

It is amusing that Lee Smith, Michael Young and their ilk are constantly taking pot-shots at the Syrian inability and inefficency but all of the sudden, they are capable of this organized mass movement of people with a wisk of their fingers. Seems a bit of a contradiction, do ya think?

I hope the 'opposition' does push this....because Gucci, Padra and the rest of them will stay home when the Syrians put the smack down.

 
At 3/09/2005 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:26,

The Syrian army is retreating eatwards with the highest fighting spirit and all the honors that it deserves. Martyr square is westwards. I was just wondering, following your post, if it is military move like in 1967 or 1973 or 1982 to "crush" the ennemy and score another "victory"?
Wake up man, Syria is hurrying to meet the American diktat and is leaving poor Nasrallah on the street with all his heroes.

 
At 3/09/2005 09:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 840am

We will see who controls the political and economic activity in 8 weeks.

My bet: Bashar al-Asad and Emile Lahoud.

Go buy some more Gucci - the Arab spring will be short this year.

 
At 3/09/2005 09:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

drunk or not drunk. this is the estimate based on surface area and crowd density. anyway, they are withdrawing. the world puts a little pressure and they start withdrawing. and bashar keeps begging ariel sharon to talk to him, but sharon keeps giving him the cold shoulder. the rabbits of the golan have been uncovered for what they are: cowards. they talk tough and talk like superheroes. but when turkey parks a couple of tanks on the border and tells hafez give us ocalan, he surrenders him in 15 minutes like a mouse. (or was it 10 minutes?). it turns out like father like son. aren't there any men in syria???

 
At 3/09/2005 09:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syrian Men have been kicking the shit out of Lebanese wo"Men" for a little over a century. So if we are cowards, what are the Lebanese?

Go and get America to save you helpless sluts. When they forget about you, you find out who your daddy is.

Want to hear a joke?
The Lebanese Army...thats it.

 
At 3/09/2005 09:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, the lebanese didn't surrender in 15 minutes without firing a shot. calm down man. but you have to accept the facts. this is not my opinion. this is clinical psychology 101. the coward mind is cruel towards the unarmed and backs down when faced with the the strong. saddam with all his bluster, was caught in a hole, said "i am willing to negotiate" in a female voice, and obediantly submitted to a dental exam. hafez assad burned lebanon. then turkey parked a couple of tanks on the border, assad responded like saddam by saying "i am willing to negotiate" in a female voice, and surrendered the poor fellow in 15 minutes to face execution. so the question still stands: aren't there real men in syria????

 
At 3/09/2005 09:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear anon 9:29 AM & 9:12 AM ,
Please grow up, you both sound like pathetic kids!

 
At 3/09/2005 09:41:00 AM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

This is the funniest post I've read on your site to date, and not because you qualified the term opposition with quotes!

The funny thing, which requires a psychologist, not a political analyst, is that all this BS about Arabism comes from two suspect groups: the shi'a and the alawis! It's hilarious! So the bashar junta uses it to cover its minoritarian complex, and Hizbullah claims it to get over its inferiority complex. That's the meaning of "Hizbullah beating the Israelis" myth: we the SHI'A not you the ARAB SUNNIS beat the Israelis. So we are finally TRUE ARABS, not just the black sheep of the family!

All the dynamics are really minoritarian and inferiority complexes. Even Hizbullah's dealings with the other Lebanese comes from a haughty vantage point that hides that complex.

For the Syrians to fall for that empty bS rhetoric shows why to date they haven't had a decent government. They're suckers for rhetoric and empty ideology. It's hilarious considering that they haven't fired a firecracker in the Golan, and they just lost Alexandretta to the Turks!

Besides, considering that you said that the REAL meaningful part of Nasrallah's speech, not all the Arabist masturbation, actually says that the Lebanese DON'T NEED Syria (wink wink to """""the [alleged, so-called] opposition""""", just leave us our weapons) it's hilarious that the Syrians glanced over that and fell for the emotional, masturbatory part of the speech, as opposed to the political part!

In that sense it shows that the Lebanese aren't really as divided as the Syrians like to fool themselves into believing. They are in fact united in getting Syria out! Even Hizbullah's speech wasn't really "diametrically opposed" to that! You yourself showed that in your analysis! The point about the peace with Israel MIRRORS what the opposition said! Aoun himself said that we won't sign peace before Syria does. Jumblat and the Christian opposition have both called for excellent, but NORMAL relations with Syria. The Lebanese do POLITICS, the Syrians play violins and smoke the opium of Arabism. Do you think that any Shiite, when done with the BS poetry and rhetoric, actually supports that Syria continues its hegemony over Lebanon, sucking it dry, and bullying its political elite through the mukhabarat!?!? Of course no one mentions the COROLLARY of "standing with Syria"! It's EASY to say we stand with Syria. Now continue that thought for second. Does that mean we want Syria up are ass? Not even Nasrallah said that. He is talking about the "centrality" of the resistance. Syria is a sidekick!!! Nasrallah is an ego-maniac who's trying to use this as leverage to bargain with the """"""opposition.""""" And the Syrians, needy as they are, swallowed it hook line and sinker!!

Which brings me to another point. The fact that now Nasrallah effectively controls Bashar's fate in Lebanon must make Daddy Hafex turn in his grave! Who's occupying whom!? Do you think any Sunni Arab country (and the Sunni Lebanese community) will miss the fact that the dim don of the Alawite regime has no card except for the Shi'a Islamist group in Lebanon and the Mullahs of Tehran!?

It's quite amusing to watch I can tell you that.

 
At 3/09/2005 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

Oh and that quote about the Hizbullah rally was "the true Lebanon, people from every part and every religion" takes the cake!

I don't know what the Syrians were watching, but that was an overwhelmingly SHIITE demonstration with minor sycophants like the Baath Party, the SSNP, the Pakradouni Phalange, the Mourabitoun (The f'king mourabitoun for God's sake!!!) oh and Palestinians from camps and bus loads of "lebanese" Syrians from across the border. I.e., this was a SHIITE thing! The TRUE diverse rally was the ANTI-Syria rally where the vast majority of Druze, Sunnis, Christians and by the way many independent (and even hizbullah members there on their own) Shiites joined! That guy in the store got it ALL backwards. Just like Bashar did!

 
At 3/09/2005 09:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see that both the Maronites & neo-cons are paranoid with Hizbollah's demonstration. Maronites felt how minor and weak they are and the neo-cons realized that Lebanon is no picnic.

 
At 3/09/2005 10:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delighted to see how Tony is attacking like a Spanish bull that was hit by the bullfighter in the ass: Yes Tony, Lebanon said no to you and your fellow neo-cons. You know what would have been more delightful? seeing your facial impressions when you watched Hizbollah's demonstration:))

 
At 3/09/2005 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

Lebanon is for all intents and purposes (even if not immediately) out of Bashar's control (at least as it used to be). The Arab order has had enough of Bashar's stupidity and running to save his ass (and they'll think about it three times now if they seem him placing all his chips on the "Shiite crescent" which they all oppose). The EU has had it extending him life line after life line and getting slaps in return. And the US has its eyes set on getting Syria out of Lebanon. There are possibilities of sanctions that involved the EU which would cripple Syria with its already dead economy. There are 10000 troops and thousands of workers leaving lebanon that need accomodation in Syria.

In the face of all that, what does Bashar have to offer (and what do the Syrians run to for solice)? Arabism... empty rhetoric from a bygone era. And to add insult to injury, it's rhetoric sold by Alawis!

The Syrian kelptocracy shouldn't traffic Lebanese Hash from the Bekaa. It should traffic Arabism. The strongest opiate from the ME EVER. Da Chronic ain't got shit on Arabism!

This analysis from the Daily Star said it best:

"As it turned out there was no big plan. No great future policy, no new blueprint that Lahoud was indispensable to. It appears to have been simply a deed that was carried out because it could be.

Likewise, the failure of Syria to respond with a coherent policy on its future policy for Lebanon smacks of arrogance in dealing with its smaller neighbor.

And what good does any of this do Syria? All it has achieved is a new-found unity between Washington and Paris for the first time since the invasion of Iraq. Hardly a cause for celebration in this part of the world."

 
At 3/09/2005 10:11:00 AM, Blogger FadiY said...

To Ibrahim:

The racial political philosophy of "Pierrot-Inbitah" (your leader Pierre Gemayel) has no place in Lebanon, anymore. Having TOLD us all what really went on in Riad El Solh square, I suggest you go back to Rue Monot, to your Tequilla shots and endless nights of whimsical pleasures ... while you contemplate the LACK of freedom we have in Lebanon. Oh, and by the way, I suggest you take with you a few UKRAINIAN escorts from Kaslik .. to live the Beirut spring.
Sincerely,
Fadi (a Sunni- aka. a maronites' attractive "guinea pig.")

 
At 3/09/2005 10:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear Hear Anon at 10:01pm

Tony cherry-picks articles, takes arguments out of context, and relies on Bill O'Rielly style "shut-up" tactics to win arguments.

Now the larger, other Lebanese side has spoken he is simply dizzy from all his information manipulation.

Try reality Tony, you wont get all worked up from trying to frame things so narrowly in your misconstrued world.

Face it - Lebanon is Syrian

 
At 3/09/2005 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Chops said...

Dr. Landis -

You certainly have some opinionated readers! Thanks for reporting what you see in Damascus - I'm at least one reader who appreciates factual reporting.

In my opinion, Nasrallah's rally could be the parachute that Assad needs to get out of Lebanon without losing face in Syria. He's got the momentum now to hold a big event with Nasrallah, hand him the keys to the city, and say that Lebanon has graduated and the Syrians are pulling out - of their own volition, of course. It gives him a chance to lose without looking like a loser. And that would make us all winners.

 
At 3/09/2005 10:34:00 AM, Blogger johnplikethepope said...

The U.S. media in not usually the best friend of Hizbollah, but several stories in nightly news and major newpapers were surprisingly pro-Hizbollah.
It was noted that Hezbollah provides a social safety net of sorts which they would not otherwise have. The point was made that if seats in the Lebanese parliament were apportioned on the basis of popular support Hezbollah would have more seats than they do today. The rallies portrayed as peaceful, sizable and generally in line with a democratic process.

The U.S. President's remarks also indicated a willingness to accept Hezbollah as a constructive force in Lebanon's political future if they choose the path of peace and democracy. When he says democracy is the antidote to terrorism, it says to me that even terrorist groups like Hezbollah can come into the fold and shed their pariah status.

Please address criticisms of the above information to the U.S. media and President. I am just the messenger, and a second-hand one at that.

 
At 3/09/2005 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear johnplikethepope,

like i wrote above. we need free and fair elections. this is the ONLY solution. and this is all the opposition is asking. let the hizballa crowd vote like everyone else. no problem. remove the syrian moukhabarat. remove the syrian army. end all interference. unban all parties. release all political prisoners. stop arresting and torturing the opposition. and let's all vote. they keep telling us "face it: lebanon is syrian", "your days are over", "go play in monot", "you are just a minority", "you are racists". we tell them FINE. put your money where your mouth is and let's settle it in the ballot box. let the democrat vote. let the islamist vote. let the arabist vote. let the zionist vote. let the neo-con vote. let the baathist vote. but they go hide behind the syrian moukhabarat for protection like cowards. where are the men on the pro-syria crowd? BE MEN AND VOTE!!!

 
At 3/09/2005 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Nicolas92200 said...

It would have been ideal to leave things to the ballot, but remember that the elections next May will never reveal the true majority simply by the fact that it is not based on a popular vote but rather a sectarian division of parliament seats.

Why did the anti-Syrians in Lebanon turn down Nasrallah's offer to hold a referendum on the presence of the Syrian army Lebanon?

What will it take to have the anti-Syrians accept the ideas of the other side of the debate? Why is there an automatic rush to say that a large deal of the demonstrators on Tuesday were shipped (or bus-ed) from Syria? Who gives them the moral authority to come up with such conclusions while no-one is supposed to doubt the authentictiy of "their demonstration"?

If they ask for democracy then they need to accept the rules that come along with it! You don't pick and choose democracy and rules as they suits you!

 
At 3/09/2005 11:57:00 AM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

>>You don't pick and choose democracy and rules as they suits you!<<

You just did when you said that democracy = referendum = majority rule!

That's not the democracy of Iraq for instance! The Iraqi Shiites who are almost double the numbers of the Lebanese Shiites have opted for consociational democracy (similar to Lebanon's) because it's a plural, segmented society (like Lebanon)! They need to do coalitions and compromise to advance their agendas (like in Lebanon). And there are a hundred agendas because the Shiites are not united (like in Lebanon) and don't speak with one voice (as in Lebanon also).

Read about the various democratic models before you talk about the intransigence of the Maronites. Besides, if you are a Syrian who's lecturing us about "majority rule" then the irony is too cruel for words.

 
At 3/09/2005 12:05:00 PM, Blogger Lee said...

Hi Josh--

This is a really upsetting post--as are many of the comments, the thuggish ones and those that try to accomodate the regime's actions intellectually. By all means, it's awful that the Syrian people feel like they've been unfairly put under the international microscope and are now "targeted"; and no doubt many families lost sons, brothers and husbands in Lebanon during the wars; and the demonstrations yesterday should be a reminder to Americans, especially in Washington, that Lebanon is for the Lebanese and we should stop wanting to see our own agendas played out in the political lives of others. But all that said, the idea that the ravings of an Islamist lunatic and the efficiency of security services in rounding up support and cruhing dissent should make the Syrian people feel good about what their regime is doing in Lebanon is symptomatic of a really sick society. Syria, you deserve better. Why are you cheering a violent, rapacious body like the Asad regime? Is it because they've so damaged you so badly, it feels better to see someone else humiliated as well?

 
At 3/09/2005 12:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh, all this "real men" talk is making me dizzy. Lets focus on the issues PLEASE!!

 
At 3/09/2005 12:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don’t you love it when American leftist and third worldists come together with Arabists and Islamic fundamentalists? The world seems to make sense again when so called secular humanist liberals endorse a rally held by a party known to butcher civilians, oppress women, discriminate religiously, engage in drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering, and advocates a theocracy in place of the most democratic country in the ME. It also reinvigorates the soul when those same “liberals” defend the OCCUPATION of a country as they denounce the occupation of another. It’s heart warming when Bashar’s Syria is defended for its glorious human rights history while an un-orchestrated demonstration that was non partisan, that epitomized all the values of Western society is shunned as disingenuous, suspicious and foreign. This is sickening; even the hawkish, demagogic message from someone on this site showcases the differences between the two movements. Those fascist Maronites are pleading with each other to show restraint in the face of continued beatings, drive bys and other insidious provocations in their neighborhoods (Crypts style). Check the forums of their prominent parties.

Jeff

 
At 3/09/2005 12:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don’t you love it when American leftist and third worldists come together with Arabists and Islamic fundamentalists? The world seems to make sense again when so called secular humanist liberals endorse a rally held by a party known to butcher civilians, oppress women, discriminate religiously, engage in drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering, and advocates a theocracy in place of the most democratic country in the ME. It also reinvigorates the soul when those same “liberals” defend the OCCUPATION of a country as they denounce the occupation of another. It’s heart warming when Bashar’s Syria is defended for its glorious human rights history while an un-orchestrated demonstration that was non partisan, that epitomized all the values of Western society is shunned as disingenuous, suspicious and foreign. This is sickening; even the hawkish, demagogic message from someone on this site showcases the differences between the two movements. Those fascist Maronites are pleading with each other to show restraint in the face of continued beatings, drive bys and other insidious provocations in their neighborhoods (Crypts style). Check the forums of their prominent parties.

 
At 3/09/2005 12:22:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don’t you love it when American leftist and third worldists come together with Arabists and Islamic fundamentalists? The world seems to make sense again when so called secular humanist liberals endorse a rally held by a party known to butcher civilians, oppress women, discriminate religiously, engage in drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering, and advocates a theocracy in place of the most democratic country in the ME. It also reinvigorates the soul when those same “liberals” defend the OCCUPATION of a country as they denounce the occupation of another. It’s heart warming when Bashar’s Syria is defended for its glorious human rights history while an un-orchestrated demonstration that was non partisan, that epitomized all the values of Western society is shunned as disingenuous, suspicious and foreign. This is sickening; even the hawkish, demagogic message from someone on this site showcases the differences between the two movements. Those fascist Maronites are pleading with each other to show restraint in the face of continued beatings, drive bys and other insidious provocations in their neighborhoods (Crypts style). Check the forums of their prominent parties.

Jeff

 
At 3/09/2005 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey look who shares your opinions guys:

http://www.marxist.com/MiddleEast/lebanon_demo080305.htm


"now is the time to raise the red flag"

 
At 3/09/2005 01:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Landis keeps on coming back to this theme that the "Lebanese are divided." First, there is exaggeration in this statement. There is some truth to it, but let's face it, there has never been such consensus among the Lebanese that the Syrian control of Lebanon has to end and that democracy and freedom should and will prevail. Lebanese from all walks of life agree that Syrian occupation has been bad for Lebanon, its economy, and that it has stifled the development of democracy in Lebanon.

I also wonder whether Dr. Landis considers the Lebanese any more divided than the Syrians. It seems that Bashar does not even control his own people. Let's face it, this regime has talked about reform and not done much about it. Flynt Leverett and other remnants of Syrian apologists need to recognize that the Syrian regime is weak, internally divided, and that whether Syria stays in Lebanon or not, the regime is bound to collapse. I just hope for Lebanon that their collapse happens after they have withdrawn.

One minor point about the demonstration. Hundreds of buses with Syrian license plates as well as no license plates at all (but with painting on the side that speaks for itself) were in Beirut yesterday. Lebanese TV stations have interviewed dozens of Syrian demonstrators and Palestinians. Syrian workers at construction sites and at factories were all told to show up. How many of the 400-500,000 were Syrians and Palestinians? We will never really know. But what we know is that this was a good-bye party for the Syrians.

Get one thing through your thick head. The Lebanese opposition does not want Syria to be defeated in Lebanon. They want Syria to get out of Lebanon. If defeat is what it takes, then it is an unfortunate choice by the Syrians. The Lebanese have made it clear they would prefer to agree with Syria.

Hezbollah, who still benefits from widespread support among the Shia community and even beyond, faces a tough choice. Hezbollah has to realize that few Lebanese are willing to die for the Shebaa Farms - Syria can make life easier by signing an agreement with Lebanon confirming the Lebanese identity of the area- and even fewer want to die for the Golan -especially since few Syrians have shown their willingness to die for the Golan.

Finally, the Lebanese opposition, while in disagreement with Hezbollah over the continuation of armed struggle (whether for Shebaa or Golan), do not wish any harm to Hezbollah. All we are saying is that following free and fair elections in Lebanon -which can only take place after Syrian withdrawal and in the presence of international observers- the elected representatives of the Lebanese people will choose a government which in turn will set the country's defense and foreign policy. Hezbollah knows that the majority will not vote for continued war and is trying to position itself for the day after.

Scholars such as yourselves should tell the truth about this region and not perpetuate myths about Syria.

Fact Checker

 
At 3/09/2005 02:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who Killed Hariri? Even Robert Fisk thinks it is the Syrians!

ROBERT FISK: (Laughs) If I had a clear idea, believe me, it would be in The Independent! Look, I have my suspicions. One think you have got to say and have got to realise is this: Rafik Hariri was against the Syrian presence in Lebanon. He had resigned as Prime Minister because he didn’t like the extension of three years of the pro-Syrian president of Lebanon Emile Alahoud. Hariri, in his last week, spoke quite openly, in private - but he spoke - about his concerns about the Syrians. He spoke, for example, about the way in which Lieutenant General Rustum Ghazali, the very powerful head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon, had been rude to him over the phone. Hariri hung up the phone up and Rustum Ghazali was not rude again, although he was to other Lebanese ministers. Hariri had discussed a week before he died with Walid Jumblat, the Druze leader, whom I also know well and who told me this himself. Hariri was having tea with Jumblat – they were good friends - and Hariri said, ‘So, which of us is going to be first? You or me?’ Well, it was Rafik Hariri. I asked Jumblat where one could find real proof of Syrian involvement in Hariri's murder, if indeed the Syrians were responsible? He made the very good point that everyone who has crucially fallen out with Syria - his own father, Kamal Jumblat in 1978, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Rene Mouawad, the ex-President, or the President as he was when he was killed, and now Hariri have all expressed their opposition towards Syria. And they all get killed. Rather extraordinary coincidence. Though I'd have to say that Rafik Hariri did have enemies in the business world as well. He was a very kind man, on a personal level, and a very, very generous man, but a very ruthless businessman. He clearly had in his mind a plan to get the Syrians out. He talked about a plan. He talked about it not long before his death - six weeks before. He was talking privately about a plan to get the Syrians out. Well, we don't have more proof than that. All we can say is that the pro-Syrian government got the pro-Syrian authorities to investigate this murder, and after two weeks, three more bodies were found. Some investigation!

 
At 3/09/2005 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see that the babies are still crying over Hozbollah's demonstration: Repeating your illusions won't make them true!!
You can write as much as you want but it won't change the facts:
THE MAJORITY HAS SPOKEN
Why don't you follow the "opposition" leaders and deal with reality and start a dialogue with the majority instead of crying around in this self denial hysteria

 
At 3/09/2005 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anon at 2:54 PM
I wonder how and when this converstation with Mr. Fisk took place but anyway it doesn't matter. There is a UN appointed investigation team whom both Lebanon & Syria have vowed cooperation and will come out with the final conclusions.

 
At 3/09/2005 04:47:00 PM, Anonymous Firas said...

Fact Forger (Anonymous 1:29),

With all due respect, your message is a subjective, reactionary response that is meant to deny irrefutable facts and replace them with your baseless opinions. Here’s a Syrian response:

The Lebanese ARE divided, Syria notwithstanding. They’re divided first and foremost about the identity of their country, out of which emanates their division about Syria. Some Lebanese believe (and want) Lebanon to be an Arab country that is an integral part of the larger Arab and Muslim world. Others want Lebanon to be oriented toward and aligned with the West; they don’t even want to be considered ‘Arab’. This “division” about Lebanese identity has been around since the very inception of Lebanon and remains. The division was there before Syria entered Lebanon and will remain after Syria withdraws. In fact, it is this very division that has drawn Syria and other countries into the Lebanese political scene – even before the civil war. This division was evident when Lebanon was created in 1920, it was evident during the Nasser era in 1958, it was evident again in 1969 with regard to the Palestinians and most recently vis-à-vis Syria. Of course, the division was most clearly manifested in the 15-year civil war where the Lebanese fought each other and brought in anyone they could: Syria, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Libya, France, etc. Need I continue? Finally, what we saw yesterday is yet another example of the fundamental “division” of the Lebanese with regard to the very identity and character of their country. So, Lebanese fundamental division is a FACT, and is not subject to your opinion. Now, as a Syrian, I disagree with Syria’s transgressions in Lebanon, but also know that Syria has done much to safeguard the unity and integrity of Lebanon as a country, not to mention protecting most of those who today make up the “opposition”.

As for Syrians’ divisions, sure, there are serious differences in Syria. However, what there is not is a division over the make-up, identity and soul of the country. Syrians of all political persuasions share and believe strongly in the identity of their country. They differ on most other matters from its internal politics to its regional role and everything in between. As for the reforms, after 30 years of solid one-party rule with no tolerance for opposition or dissent, and a rigid socialist-style command economy, reform is not easy. It takes time to steer that ship in a different direction, while maintaining stability. Today, 5 years after President Bashar Assad took power, much has changed. Certainly, the pace of reforms is much slower than most of us would like, and we do hope that the political conditions will strengthen the hand of reformers to drive a more aggressive economic and political reform agenda. And, despite our fundamental reservation about the Syrian government’s policies, we definitely don’t wish for the regime to collapse, and neither should you, because, whether Syria is in Lebanon or not, the Lebanese will feel the effects of Syrian instability. If we get a cold in Damascus, Beirut will sneeze; it’s just the basic forces of nature, geography, history and society at work. That’s another fact for you to chew on…

As for your attempt at justifying the superior numbers of the pro-Syrian demonstrations yesterday, I won’t dignify your charges with a response. But, one can’t help but observe how pathetically hypocritical those of you who continuously babble and parrot on about Lebanese democracy are. Check this simple fact: Yesterday, over half a million Lebanese cheered for Syria and against 1559, dwarfing your demonstrations by several multiples. Now, you may not like it (and that’s your prerogative), but it IS a FACT. When you’re the only demonstrators, you sight your numbers. When you’re outnumbered, you cry foul. You just can’t accept the facts on the ground – plane and simple. It’s because you can’t bring yourselves to accept the other Lebanese who stand diametrically opposed to you politically, yet you still have the audacity to claim democracy. How pitiful.

Regarding Shebaa Farms, I don’t profess to know whom they belong to, though my understanding is that they’re Syrian territories. Regardless, I find it highly disingenuous for people (like those in the opposition) who were quiet as mice while Israel occupied the South, to offer advice to those who fought for their country’s liberation.

Try this for a fact: You and your friends in the opposition do not speak for all Lebanese, so quit hijacking the voice and will of the Lebanese people. You’re best advised to have a serious dialogue with the other Lebanese and maybe then, when you can speak with one voice, you can build national unity and can be taken seriously by others on the outside.

Firas

P.S. While you're at it, you might want to check your friend's facts about Robert Fisk. Some democrats, you are!!

 
At 3/09/2005 05:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Landis i am curious whether you read and write arabic. It must be hard to get a real insight of what is going on down there if you can only communicate with family and the Youngs , and Badrans , and foreign diplomats.

 
At 3/09/2005 06:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

firas, sorry man but you have no clue what your talking about. you are not on the ground. do you have any idea how difficult it is to demonstrate in a police state? the moukhabarat are everywhere threatening people. entire villages where threatened for if they don't support syria. did you see the interviews with the syrians in lebanon demonstrating? did you see the convoy of busses from syria? think for a second. more than 90% of the egyptians are against an extension of mubarak. they could only assemble 200 people!! the egyptian govt can assemble 2 million the next day if it wants.

 
At 3/09/2005 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 3:52 wrote
I wonder how and when this converstation with Mr. Fisk took place but anyway it doesn't matter. The conversation took place tomorrow (Australia :)) It was posted today at:

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2005/s1319861.htm

 
At 3/09/2005 11:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't take a clairvoyant to see the likely trend of future events...

The Syrian Army withdraws to Bekka to protect the Hizbollah training camps and infrastructure (and WMD on loan from a little farther East of there).

the Syrian Intelligence agencies stay put and continue their intimidation of any Lebanese "true believers"

Bush (and the Europeans, who never get left off of the secondary waves of history after pooh poohing the first 3 or 4 primary ones) tell the wimpy eye doc that it isn't good enough....additional spontaneous Pro Lebanese non trucked in ringer demonstrations occur, and one is finally put down by force by a squad of itchy trigger fingered religously deranged hizbollah cowards....

and the US Marines show up 3 weeks later and with virtually little competent Syrian resistance (though incurring some effective if cowardly attacks from Hizbollah baby killers) don't stop until Damascus....

2 for the price of 1.....double coupon days in the ME...oh joy!!


And the Mullahs in Tehran REALLY start getting nervous.....

 
At 3/10/2005 12:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so refreshing to see what happened in Lebanon.
The Syrian went out, which is the right thing to do, cordial congratulations to the Lebanese people, they really deserve it after so long of misery.
But what was really refreshing is to know that the country will not succomb to the shouting, blathering and ulterior motives of an oppurtunistic so called opposition.
We all know what this opposition is really about.
A Few political Maronites who were a thorn in Lebanon's and Syria's flank for decades.
They do not like the turn of times, when they lost there political dominance, a dominance that was not earned on demographic merit, but rather a post-colonial/post-mandate favoritsm by France.
They can not even convince themselves of accepting or belonging, sincerely, to there Arab roots and surounding.
Always extending their hands out, to the "civilized world" and their "loving mother" France!
What is refreshing is that no one needs to worry about Lebanon, because there are a MAJORITY of honest, humble, proud and sincere patriotic people who will not let the country fall back 60 years into the lap of western mandate.
Congartulation to Lebanon on the Syrian withdrawal.
And a heartful congrats on the new honest guardian majority!

 
At 3/10/2005 12:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so refreshing to see what happened in Lebanon.
The Syrian went out, which is the right thing to do, cordial congratulations to the Lebanese people, they really deserve it after so long of misery.
But what was really refreshing is to know that the country will not succomb to the shouting, blathering and ulterior motives of an oppurtunistic so called opposition.
We all know what this opposition is really about.
A Few political Maronites who were a thorn in Lebanon's and Syria's flank for decades.
They do not like the turn of times, when they lost there political dominance, a dominance that was not earned on demographic merit, but rather a post-colonial/post-mandate favoritsm by France.
They can not even convince themselves of accepting or belonging, sincerely, to there Arab roots and surounding.
Always extending their hands out, to the "civilized world" and their "loving mother" France!
What is refreshing is that no one needs to worry about Lebanon, because there are a MAJORITY of honest, humble, proud and sincere patriotic people who will not let the country fall back 60 years into the lap of western mandate.
Congartulation to Lebanon on the Syrian withdrawal.
And a heartful congrats on the new honest guardian majority!

 
At 3/10/2005 01:20:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

I moved here because I could not post on the previous page:
Dear Mr. Lindsay,
I am not in any organized opposition for the shear fact that there is no such thing.
But there is indeed. Actually there are quite a few organizations like that in Syria. Patrick Searle had a piece on them a little while ago. In that piece, regime officials that much of the opposition was "patriotic" and they were not so opposed to that. OTOH, I don't exactly want to get you in trouble.

How can I be patriotic in their eyes when I am a traitor if I am against Baath for their systematic demolition of the Syrian spirit, ethics, morals, justice, honesty, and economy?What makes you so sure that they feel that way? In Searle's piece, many regime officials were not taking that line at all.

Do you think they will let me stand in opposition facing them asking for investigating them on their wrongs and requesting to strip them from their power?No, they won't, and the opposition groups in Syria right now are not generally asking for officials to be investigated, nor for them to be removed from power. There's nothing wrong with those demands, but right now, it's not smart to make them. I would urge the patriotic opposition to steer clear of this for now.

Do you think they will not treat me the way they did to these "Damascus Spring" people?

I do not have details on that, but mostly, they were just shut down, correct. Note that Bashar is releasing political prisoners by the 100's. Note that the press is more open than in decades. Note the first spontaneous demos ever in Syria. There is a smart and not smar way to be part of a patriotic opposition.

Charges are fabricated without a second thought and I am rotting somewhere for a long time.And how often is this the case under Bashar at the moment? Can you give me some examples other than rioting Kurds or people making open public protests? There are some red lines the patriotic opposition must not cross these days, and you need to figure out what those are.

At the same time, I personally am against any non-peaceful form to overthrow the regime for the simple principle that "blood will only generate more blood". In fact the, and if and when we have a democracy, I would support the abolishment of the death penalty in Syria for 10-15 years until democracy is on solid ground.Well I surely support all of that. That sounds like a good patriotic opposition line right line. Consider a line like the "loyal opposition", that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, and having principles (unlike the ruling regime), I can not accept for a single moment to have any foreigners on our soil to "protect democracy".Right, well now you are getting a feel for how a patriotic opposition line looks like.

International tribunals for the prosecution of individual crimes committed against the humanity of Syrians and Lebanese is another issue where Sharon, and Rifat should top the long list.For the moment, I think you need to back away from this whole "international tribunals" line, esp for Rifat. You are still mad about Hama? This is surely a way to provoke the regime. Think it if you want, but don't say it.

This is why I am in desperation living between a rock and a hard place. Maybe you can see where my rage is coming from.Well, I don't like to recommend you join some patriotic opposition for fear I encourage you to do something that gets you arrested. I assure you these groups exist, though, and there are many of them. You seem immensely unhappy and furious as it is though, so maybe you may as well hook up with some patriotic opposition to outlet some of your rage. I will see if I can find Searle's article for you.

 
At 3/10/2005 01:20:00 AM, Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3/12/2005 12:02:00 PM, Anonymous Ibrahim said...

To the f*ckers who keep on blabbing about Maronites' wealth, I am Maronite and I am poor as shit and still struggling to make a living... Eat dirt, the richest man in Lebanon is Sunni and the Gemayels represent my d!ck.

A-Holes, I only represent myself, proud to be Maronite either poor or rich.

 
At 4/28/2005 11:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys 1 week after that the opposition did a anti-syrian demonstration that is at least 1.5 times the size of the hezbollah demonstration. Plus dont forget all the anti-syrian demonstration they did before that.
So sorry to spoil your joy, but you see what the majority wants.
But I wonder if you heard about this demonstration, because all foreign journals were banned in syria the day after that...
Wake up man!

 
At 8/09/2005 01:10:00 PM, Anonymous montana said...

syrian regime used to steal from lebanese people and cheat(elections and stuff) and fuck up and do whatever they want as if lebanese people were slaves and they owned every one of them ,not to forget the thousands of lebanese still in syrian prisons (some still being tortured even though they re innocent)though the fuckin syrian gouvernment denies it)so syrian supporter come to me and ill butcher every last one of you if you try to make some shit to defend your sisi selves and gayish opinions.

 

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