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Anti-Syria rally analysis
by repost Marc Cooper
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 12:14 AM
The BBC is reporting that today’s anti-Syria rally in Beirut was the largest in the history of Lebanon, drawing perhaps a million people.


That’s out of a national population of three-and-a half-million (the same population of the city of Los Angeles whose Mayoral election drew only 27% of voters).

After last week’s muscle-flexing by Hezbollah, it’s heartening to see the hundreds of thousands out in the street today demanding Syria’s immediate exit from Lebanon and the erasure of its local puppet regime. It was rather interesting last week to read the political commentary that was set off by the Hezbollah rally.

On the one hand, many on the Right wrote off the Hezbollah simply as terrorists. There is mostly definitely a central terrorist aspect to the group. But if that’s all they are, you think you might ask yourself why a half-million came out to support them. Hezbollah runs a vast network of social welfare facilities, sits in parliament, gives voice to the Shia and is a major political force in Lebanon.


On the other hand, some on the Left went to the other extreme and wrote off the pro-Democracy, anti-Syrian movement as simple stooges for the U.S. and Israel and displayed a rather alarming, sneaking sympathy at times for…yes… the Syrians. Perhaps they forgot that Syria originally intervened into the Lebanese civil war to crush the Palestinians.

And they are completely ignorant of the fact that the Syrian de facto occupation of Lebanon has not only strangled the Left, but has distorted and twisted the entire body politic. Note this extract from a statement issued a year ago by a fledgling Lebanese Movement for a Democratic Left:

"The logic behind the Syrian leadership's treatment of Lebanon is, among other things, the main factor behind the present political situation affecting all aspects of Lebanese political life, from the time of the Taif Accord until today. This situation has allowed the destruction of all attempts at rebuilding the state, has emptied its institutions of their effectiveness and transformed them into meaningless instruments at the service of (the political leadership's) material and political ambitions. /.Instead, they behave like a mafia, steeped in corruption, feverishly seeking to stay in power and further enrich themselves at the expense of common values of decency and the interests of society. To achieve this, the alliance (of those in power) never shirked from . . . openly disrespecting the constitution, the law and the country's institutions.

We do not defend the left from a partisan standpoint. We wish to express our point of view from where we stand regarding what has befallen and is still befalling our country. The culture of elimination, subservience and "occupation" has not targeted the left alone, but the country as a whole. From the beginning and until today, the only valid option is that of rejection, refusal and clarity, coupled with . . . advancing achievable and practical necessities of successful action, not theories."

In other words, get the Syrians out now.


One of those leftists who were hanging black crepe over the upsurge of the Lebanese opposition movement last week was Naomi Klein, who was last seen on this blog trying to put a happy face on Muqtada Al Sadr.

This time around, Norm Geras has taken her to the woodshed. Have a gander. And a good laugh. Norm scolds Klein as a "single-issue" western leftist. That single issue is the reductionist notion of standing in opposition to whatever George Bush is for and vice versa. I’m praying Dubya doesn’t soon come out in support of milk and sunshine.

UPDATE: Click here to listen to my Radio Nation interview with Boston University Professor Augustus Richard Norton, a long time expert on Lebanon.

by Cooper
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 12:32 AM
The above link is:
http://www.marccopper.com
by again
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 12:41 AM
whoops: http://www.marccooper.com
by Critical Thinker
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 7:56 AM
As the number of demonstrators in the recent anti-Syria rally outweighs the half-million strong pro-Syrian occupation demonstration, the commentaries stating how the latter was far more expressive of the real sentiments of most Lebanese get swept away.
by numbers smumbers
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 8:07 AM
All these rallies have shown is that Christians, Druze and most Sunnis want Ayria out while the Shia want them to stay. Each groups is a majority in its own areas so this competing number things is couterproductive. There is no "real" view of the people and by acting dismissive of either side Lebanon is pushed a little closer to civil war (the Druze, Christian Sunni block is larger than the Shia block but the bets armed and bets trained army right now comes from the Shia block)
by Joe
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 8:32 AM
Lebanese Christians and educated, intelligent Lebanese Muslims want Syria out.

Uneducated Lebanese Muslims, and terrorist supporters, wnat Syria to stay.

by joe is a zionazi paid by the ADL
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 9:21 AM
Once again, joe gets it wrong.

The PRO-Syria rally was the LARGEST rally. DUH. Get it straight! 500,000 STRONG PRO-Syria. This you can even read about in the US mainstream press which normally hates to broadcast the truth.

The Zionazis never tire of spreading FALSE information, and joe's just hoping some dummies don't get their news anywhere but indymedia, which is a mistake, because of the afore-mentioned misinformation that inydmedia allows to be posted anonymously.

If you want the truth about anything you cannot get your info from any one source. You must look at a variety of venues. Even do a google search on the key words of any subject that interests you. Be mindful of the writers' agenda.

And USE YOUR BRAIN.

After all the 500,000 PRO-Syria rallyers were carrying placards written in ARABIC.

The protesters at the teensy little rallies that were anti-Syria were carrying signs that were written in English. Most likely one can safely conclude that these little rallies were organized by Zionists and perhaps Zionized undercover US agents for public consumption to CREATE the impression that the majority of Lebanese want the Syrians out.

JUST USE YOUR EYES AND YOUR BRAIN.

WHY, also, is there no US media coverage of Israel's continued occupation of the GOLAN HEIGHTS which is a part of SYRIA??

Why is there no PRESSURE from the US government to end Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories--- a MUCH more volatile situation that is wreaking havoc on the world, since the Zionists have transformed the Palestine-Israel conflict into America's "war on terror" to fight all of imperialistic , racist Israel's well-deserved enemies???

THINK ABOUT IT.
by Joe
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 9:25 AM
Lebanon is a country

Syria is another country.

No one intelligent in Lebanon would want another country to control them and keep terrorist organizations active in there.

by RWF
(restes60 [at] earthlink.net) Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 9:53 AM
catering to his funders by trashing leftists like Naomi Klein

somehow, I doubt that Klein was draping crepe on Hizbollah, but that plays well with Cooper's real constituency, Democratic Leadership Council Democrats that need a covert operative on their left flank to attack leftists without having it attributed to them

after all, wasn't it Cooper who supported Mary Francis Berry and the attempted takeover of Pacifica by pro-Clintion/Gore forces, so that it would stop criticizing the Democratic Party?

back at KDVS in Davis, in 1998, the station ran some syndicated political program of Cooper's, apparently associated with The Nation, that served as little more than warmed over political horse race handicapping and cheerleading of Democratic campaigns

I asked the public affairs director why the station was airing such tedious nonsense, and he looked into it, and, to his credit, immediately dropped the show and replaced it with something of substance, which naturally wasn't very difficult

anyway, back to the substance, Lebanon isn't a question of numbers at rallies (for example, the impressive aspect of the Hizbollah rally wasn't the number of people who attended, but, as Robert Fisk described in his column, the striking discipline imposed by Hizbollah on its willing participants), it's a question as to whether the US and Israel (but, apparently not France, if comments from the French government yesterday can be believed) are trying to reestablish their influence in Lebanon through a governmental structure that would disproportionately favor Lebanonese Christians over Muslims, as has been done frequently in the past

naturally, Cooper is silent on this point, because it probably fits well with what Naomi Klein actually said, that a rigged system that benefits Lebanonese Christians at the expense of Muslims isn't a democracy, and that any attempt to do so will inevitably lead to civil war, something that even the thick headed Bush administration has already recognized

Syrian troops should depart, and Lebanon should have a government based upon democratic elections with newly created voter rolls and districts that reflect the current populace of the country, instead of relying upon an outdated census that conceals the demographic decline of the Christians, and artificially increases their power

perhaps, Cooper can explain, in his next column, if he agrees, and if not, why not

--Richard
what Naomi Klein actually said:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050328&s=klein

I'm having trouble finding the 'draping of crepe' part about Hizbollah, as it appears, as I suggested in my first comment, that Cooper's real problem is that Klein is exposing the underlying geopolitical exploitation of the Lebanonese situation by Bush

--Richard
deconstructing Wendy's willingness to embrace Baathism, and exploit the Syrian experience solely because it facilitates her anti-semitism

a lot of us commented upon this specific article when it was originally posted

but, I'd like to return to something I posted in direct response to the Cooper article earlier today

my left response to Lebanon is that the Syrians should depart and that Lebanon should have democratic elections, based upon a one person, one vote principle, implemented according to a current census that accurately measures the populace of the country

sounds only reasonable, after all, isn't this what the Cedar Revolution is about? and, if not, why not?

--Richard

by aaron
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 12:42 PM
Yesterday there was an anti-American demonstration in southern Lebanon that drew hundreds of thousands. It hasn't gotten much play because it's "off message"...

What's equally "off message" is the fact that the "democratic opposition" is led by forces that are OPPOSED to Shiite demands for a one-person one-vote system.

This "democratic elitism" is reflected in views held by many (certainly not all) drawn to yesterday's demo in Beirut. The SF Chronicle quotes attendee Mona Jawadi--'a postgraduate student at the American University in Beirut angered by the scuffed-shoe movement of Lebanon's dispossessed into chic city center[...].' "They think they can invade my city," she says.

The Chron also mentions Ghasten Tueni, former Christian minister, who says of those he fears will gain from demands for one-person one-vote: "The Shias look at the state as something they have to grab. They're so voracious."

I support Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon (indeed, I support an end to all military occupations in the middle east--a claim Sefarad, CT, and Gerhig can't make), but this "democratic opposition" looks pretty noxious to me.
by gehrig
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 1:14 PM
aaron: "Yesterday there was an anti-American demonstration in southern Lebanon that drew hundreds of thousands. It hasn't gotten much play because it's "off message"... "

It wasn't mentioned in the latest Daily Star, either. Could you provide a source? Or are you suggesting there were actually two different demonstrations in the hundreds of thousands yesterday, one in Beirut and one to the south, and the Lebanese paper is also suppressing knowledge of it?

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=13429

aaron: "I support an end to all military occupations in the middle east--a claim Sefarad, CT, and Gerhig can't make"

Wow. This must be lie-about-Gehrig day on Indybay.

@%<
by Critical Thinker
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 1:14 PM
I would love nothing more than witnessing the IDF being able to stop imposing hardship on ordinary Palestinians a.s.a.p. due to the need to combat Palestinian terror, regardless of the final resolution of the Palestinian problem. Alas, the various terror organizations don't intend to let up anytime soon.

The sooner Abbas cracks down on those assholes, the nearer the end of Israeli limitations on Palestinians' lives.

And to save themselves lots of heartache, I suggest to all the anti-Zionists not to get all worked up railing against and moaning about the increased Jewish settlement in Judea-Samaria around the corner unless there's credible evidence of Palestinians being actually wronged in the process. Those of you who don't accept that Judea-Samaria is disputed territory are kidding themselves, though deep down in your hearts, some of you know the truth.
but this:

[my left response to Lebanon is that the Syrians should depart and that Lebanon should have democratic elections, based upon a one person, one vote principle, implemented according to a current census that accurately measures the populace of the country

sounds only reasonable, after all, isn't this what the Cedar Revolution is about? and, if not, why not?]

and, incredibly enough, it's actually responsive to the reposted article by Marc Cooper

--Richard
by THINK
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 6:11 PM
The fact is that the minority Lebanese Christian Philangists were aided and abetted by none other than Ariel Sharon aka THE BUTCHER OF BEIRUT to commit the huge massacre of thousands of Palestinians in Lebanan (The Sabra and Shatilla Massacre) in 1982.

DUH. You really think we are so stupid that we don't know about that??

By the way, there is a BBC documentary about that event entitled "The Accused". Something you all should take a good hard look at.

by aaron
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2005 9:51 PM
Gehrig questions whether there was an anti-American demonstration held in Lebanon this week as I asserted.

The Washington Times, in an article entitled "Shi'ite backing grows in Lebanon," reports:

"The anti-Israel Shi'ite militia which hopes to boost its political power in Lebanese elections in May DREW HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SUPPORTERS INTO THE STREETS OF SOUTHERN LEBANON yesterday in its second major show of strength in a week….
Indeed, yesterday's rally in Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, was almost as large as the Hezbollah demonstration last week in Beirut, which was estimated by the Associated Press at almost half-a-million people.
The demonstrators, mainly Shi'ites joined by a few Druze, burned U.S. and Israeli flags and waved signs demanding that the United States stop interfering in Lebanese affairs...."

Other media outlets have made PASSING reference to an anti-American demonstration in southern Lebanon, but, like I said above, it is smothered under or within reporting on the more "on message" demonstration in Beirut.
______

On a related topic: when are you zionists going to comment on the FACT that much of the leadership of the "democratic opposition" is OPPOSED to a one-person one-vote system as demanded by many within the Lebanese Shi'ite population?
______

On another matter: When is Gehrig going to reproach his zionist cyber-buddie, CreTin, for insistently referring to the occupied territories in the West Bank and Gaza as the "disputed territories." Huh, mister liberal, when?


by Critical Thinker
Thursday Mar 17th, 2005 7:14 AM
You may not be Aarons, but it doesn't really matter a whole lot given your retarded behavior. If it weren't retarded and you weren't a retarded stooge for Palestinian propaganda, you'd have remembered prior to puking forth your BS about "occupied territories" that you once tried your hand with some other bull taunting gehrig for what you deemed his failure to berate other Zionists for using quotation marks around the name "Palestinians", your reasoning being that this practice seemed to you to imply that they weren't a distinct people until after the Six Day War. gehrig's rejoinder was that he had avoided taking such a stance precisely because it would work against the Palestinians. Then you finally kept your mouth shut.

As for apologizing for Israel, I woudn't be doing it *12-13 hrs* a day had this site not been inundated with so much anti-Israel defamatory shit.

And I call the disputed territories so because Israeli Jews have at least as much a right to live there as the local Palestinians and because that's their status in int'l law sans all the anti-Israel hype. Have you read Dr. D's posts, moron?

______________________________________________________________________________________


Down with censorship. Following in nessie's footsteps might make this site end up in shambles.
by Sefarad
Thursday Mar 17th, 2005 12:54 PM
Frank G. Wisner, a veteran U.S. ambassador who served in Cairo from 1986-91, says Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to open up presidential elections to competition evolved from a number of factors, including an "international environment which is arguing for greater democratic participation." But he adds that it is important to move cautiously toward political change in Egypt, for years the staunchest U.S. friend in the Arab world, and in Lebanon, which hangs in a fragile ethnic and religious balance. "The last thing any American would want is domestic circumstances in any Arab state to spin out of control and have the very people who have profound differences with the United States on top of the heap," he says. "We certainly don't want fundamentalist, Islamic-controlled, radical-controlled regimes."

Wisner, who is vice chairman for external affairs at American International Group (AIG), was interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman, consulting editor for cfr.org, on March 1, 2005.

http://www.cfr.org/publication.php?id=7882#

by RWF
(restes60 [at] earthlink.net) Thursday Mar 17th, 2005 1:04 PM
systems will have to created that present the illusion of "democracy" but ensure that American supported elites continue to control Egypt and Lebanon, and disenfranchise the Arab majorities of both

it is also curious that Wisner seems to support a pseudo-democratic system in Egypt that is similar to the types of limited electoral processes that the Chinese Communist Party has periodically considered

all in all, it's pretty hilarious, as if you can be "half democratic", like being "half pregnant"

--Richard

[Wisner Lauds Pro-Democracy Moves in Middle East, but Urges Caution
by Sefarad Thursday, Mar. 17, 2005 at 12:54 PM

Frank G. Wisner, a veteran U.S. ambassador who served in Cairo from 1986-91, says Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to open up presidential elections to competition evolved from a number of factors, including an "international environment which is arguing for greater democratic participation." But he adds that it is important to move cautiously toward political change in Egypt, for years the staunchest U.S. friend in the Arab world, and in Lebanon, which hangs in a fragile ethnic and religious balance. "The last thing any American would want is domestic circumstances in any Arab state to spin out of control and have the very people who have profound differences with the United States on top of the heap," he says. "We certainly don't want fundamentalist, Islamic-controlled, radical-controlled regimes."

Wisner, who is vice chairman for external affairs at American International Group (AIG), was interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman, consulting editor for cfr.org, on March 1, 2005.

http://www.cfr.org/publication.php?id=7882#]

by Sefarad
Thursday Mar 17th, 2005 1:09 PM

I sent the interview because it was in my e-mail box and I thought it could be of some interest here.
by RWF
(restes60 [at] earthlink.net) Thursday Mar 17th, 2005 1:16 PM
but it does tend to expose the paradoxical situation that the Bush administration now finds itself after committing itself to a mission of democratically transforming the Middle East

isn't it odd to be reading a statement by a US official praising democratic change, but simultaneously saying that it needs to be done "carefully"?

I suspect that, by the end of the year, the Bush administration will have abandoned this initiative, as it also causes embarassment elsewhere, for example, in Venezuela, where Chavez has won three elections in recent years, leading people to wonder why Bush can't accept democracy there

--Richard
by check it out
Thursday Apr 7th, 2005 9:37 PM
http://www.marwenmedia.com

Get the film.

Read the articles.

Then take a trip there yourself. You won't regret it.
by eschew neo-Nazi material
Friday Apr 8th, 2005 5:50 AM
http://www.marwenmania.com

Don't get the film.

Don't read the articles.

Then take a trip there yourself. Reach your own conclusions uninfluenced by neo-Nazi claptrap. You won't regret it.
by www.marwenmedia.com
Saturday Apr 9th, 2005 7:55 PM
http://www.marwenmedia.com

That's the ticket to the truth about Syria.