Friday, December 01, 2006

Stand Fast Everlasting Cedar

How does a country go from burying a minister, assassinated in broad daylight, to a sit-in aimed at bringing down the government of which this minister was a member, all within a week?
That is the reality on the ground today as Hizballah and their allies have announced the commencement of a series of sit-ins, demonstrations, and other acts of civil disobedience aimed at pressuring the government to give-in to their demands for a right to veto any and all cabinet decisions. The sit in is due to take place in the downtown area, effectively shutting down a crucial traffic artery into the capital and closing down businesses operating on the most expensive real estate in the country.
As I have followed the latest news and developments, and as I have typed up this post and several others on the topic, I have remained stoic, my reactions frozen by the realization that the tactics being pursued by this opposition today, are above the reproach of those who used these very same tactics against a government headed by one Omar Karami, in April 2005. I have remained unmoved by these actions because I know that I would’ve supported these very same tactics if the tables had been turned. If Hizballah, Amal, the Future Movement and the PSP had forged an alliance in Parliament, and created a cabinet deficient in its Christian representation then my reaction would have been to support street protests in returning these ministers to the cabinet with a gain in their powers.
But that isn’t the situation today. Today, we find ourselves in a situation in which those who have continuously acted with complete disregard for the institutions of our state, those who have ignored the presence of our military, and those who have marched in support of tyrants and assassins, have conspired to push the country down the path of fear and instability. So no, the situation is not the same. Unlike the actions being taken here today, the actions taken on March 14th and the days and weeks that followed, had a spirit embodied in a name: The Cedar Revolution!
Tomorrow, as the supporters of Aoun and Nasrallah and Berri and Qanso and Franjieh and Karami take to the streets, they will know that their actions have no name, that their voices have no spirit, and that their motives have no virtue.


  1. Blacksmith,
    Very well put. But I guess the "opposition"'s slogan is to bring down the "unconstitutional" government. Coming from the same people who never agreed to the Taef in general, it sounds like a contradiction.

  2. And what about the presidency of Lahoud? who got extended in office by the Syrian viceroy of the time, Roustom Ghazaleh under the threat of death?

  3. Anonymous6:42 PM

    What about Rouston Feltman? No to American Tutelage!

  4. Steve6:48 PM

    hello dear all. Is Roustom a common name in the middle east? Who is Roustom Feltman? Is he related to Jeffrey Feltman the U.S ambassador in Lebanon?

  5. Anonymous,

    American tutelage exists only in certain minds, uncomprehensibly, the same minds that claim that the syrian tutelage did not exist. The US is a superpower and there's nothing wrong with having good relations with it. This is only a fact of politics. Now, if Castro, Kim Jong Il and Ahmedi Najad are good examples, then saying no to American tutelage is saying yes to backwarndness. I'll stick with being a friend of the Americans anyday.

  6. It seems Mr. anonymous that you like to take your showers under the sewage. I prefer to take them under clear running water.
    The Lebanese foreign policy was for so long decide in Damascus, we in Lebanon where receiving "recycled" treatment as all the relation of the outside world passed through the sewers of al moutajirin palace of assad.

  7. Steve,

    anonymous is merely playing with words. He is combining the first name of the Syrian intelligence brigadier Rustom Ghazaleh with the last name of US embassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman. His intention is to imply that the Lebanese government is currently controlled by the Americans the same way it was controlled by Syrian intelligence (represented in person by Ghazaleh). I'd suggest you take what anonymous is saying with a grain of salt (and more). And no, Rustom is not that common as a name.

  8. Anonymous8:02 PM

    ''How does a country go from burying a minister, assassinated in broad daylight, to a sit-in aimed at bringing down the government of which this minister was a member, all within a week?''

    I just wanted to remind you that the manifestations were planned before the assassination of Pierre Gemayel. You are asking the wrong question.

  9. Yes sophia we know that, the coup d'etat plot was planned by Bashar Assad and his agents in Lebanon back in August. Just visit the archives of our blog for a detailed debate what that!

  10. Actually Sophia, I think the question I'm asking goes to the heart of the matter. If you look at the slogans prominent in this demonstration you see that what these people are protesting for has nothing to do with the current issues assailing Lebanon's sovereignty.

    We have assassinations and security incidents occuring monthly, all part of a seemingly greater plan at the destabilization of the country. We just came out of a war that we didn't want and what is the opposition talking about? Elections? They have chosen to completely ignore the pressing issues on the ground in order to push an agenda that would help Syria fend off the pressures it is currently under. That is the reality of whats going on.

  11. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Lebanon can not exist as a state by writing off a huge segment of its population as you have done in this post by claiming that these protestors who are excersizing their right of freedom of expression are really marching senselessly for a non-existent cause. You should give more credit to the 'hundreds of thousands' that showed up, showed restraint, raised by far mostly the Lebanese flag, and has not done any damage especially given the atmosophere of animosity and fear that was perpetuated by the March14'ers in order to intimadate the Lebanese from protesting.

    I respect the other's opinion and I do see their points, but this is really bordering on elitism. I think that instead of brushing off people's opinions contradictory to yours as being due to their inferiority, perhaps one should give them the benefit of the doubt for the sake of 'forging a new Lebanon' no?

    I want to know why the whole country has to be paralyzed because one or two sons who happened to be famous, rich and powerful are murdered in a very sad and ugly way (no doubt about that) while the great martyroms of the south are a mere passing event that deserves not even the smallest protests?

  12. Mr anonymous are you aware of the bus loads of syrian army troops and workers sent by Bashar yesterday in bus loads upon bus loads. Are you aware of the 10 000 LL that is handed to each syrian worker to take part in the demos?
    It's the same thing as during the "divine" defeat ceremony where non lebanese arabs and persians outnumbered the locals.

  13. Anonymous, I'll refer you to my reply to Sophia and to my analysis of the situation just prior to the demo: Analysis

    I'll also say that you are very out of line, and that you have totally misquoted my post by implying that I think the people who showed up at the protest are inferior. This is just the kind of badgering that Lebanese should be walking away from not embracing, as you have done.

  14. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Then I apologize to you, blacksmith jade, for saying that you were implying inferiority upon the supporters of the leaders in the streets. But this is how I interpreted your last sentence:

    "Tomorrow, as the supporters of Aoun and Nasrallah and Berri and Qanso and Franjieh and Karami take to the streets, they will know that their actions have no name, that their voices have no spirit, and that their motives have no virtue."

    People of nameless actions, spiritless voices and virtueless motives... God help Lebanon then if the majority are like this.

  15. The men of bashar and Iran in Lebanon are the minority even if with the artificial boosts by paid Syrian workers and unpaid Syrian conscripts, in addition to Persian pilgrims and Iraqi refugees in Damascus. So mr anonymous before you become a wise guy educate yourself about lebanon some more.

  16. Arabic Coffee Pot9:56 PM

    Yeah the 'nameless actions' may have been too much.

    I think most people are calling this a 'coup' now? So there you go anonymous, it has a name :)

    Oh, thats coup as in coup d'etat if you missed it...

  17. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Debate, ok, how many Iranians and Syrians are there? 50,000? 100,000? big deal, does that make a difference to a crowd that filled up both the Riad el Solh and Martyr's squares? (assuming your rumours are true).

    Arabic coffee pot, thanks! I'm glad to know that my 'nameless' actions are considered classy enough to have french names.

  18. anonymi (if there's more than one):

    Taking the country to the verge of utter collapse for the sake of michel aoun and suleiman "tehyeej" franjieh does lack virtue and cause, and is completely irresponsible (...july war...) no matter where u stand.

  19. Anonymous1:33 AM

    Where do we go from here?
    Maybe we can agree tonight that the country is divided.This division is
    not healthy.Both sides are convinced
    they are right.Does any side have the
    decision making power in its hand?
    It does not seem so.Maybe Aoun is the only loose cannon of the bunch.This is why he is so disliked by our political
    establishment and the embassies in

  20. except the iranian embassy...

  21. Irrespective of what each one of us think and who is behind who and what. If one side has the right to exercise his/her democratic power (and change the political course of a nation) by street demonstration then the other has. And figures plus social/sect mix speaks for themselves. It seems that some people after having been saved by the Syrian during the war just keep not getting it. If they keep at it, I am afraid this time their will be no last minute retrieval or magic bullet.


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