Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Two can play the democracy game

Huge Pro-Syrian Protest Fills Square and Streets in Beirut:

Hundreds of thousands of pro-Syrian protesters poured into a central Beirut square this afternoon, in answer to a call by the militant Hezbollah group for a demonstration to counter weeks of huge rallies demanding that Syrian forces leave Lebanon.

Thousands in the huge crowds waved Lebanese flags, as called for by the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.
Surely hypocrisy is flowing in many directions, including some from me, I'm sure. But the mainstream media mill has made the rallies in the Ukraine and Lebanon as signs of flowering democracy, while the anti-"Great Satan" rallies in Iran 25 years ago and the huge anti-war marches here two years ago were largely ignored. Today's rally in Beirut will test the value of the years of propaganda against Hezbollah--I'm sure some of the media will be portraying the entire crowd as a bunch of terrorists (if they portray it at all).

I remember reading somewhere about some famous person being asked, in fairly recent years, what he thought was the true meaning of the French revolution. He replied "It's too soon to tell." And I think that's probably the most honest approach to recent developments. Two years ago, things were far from perfect in Iraq, the Ukraine, or Lebanon. Huge amounts of instability have been introduced into all three countries, much of it from the outside, and most of that from the US. In Iraq, the instability seems to have made things substantially worse, at least for the time being. Whether whoever survives the next five years in these countries lives in a freer society than before is a very open question. My belief is that war is the ultimate crime, and no matter what emerges eventually out the other side never justifies starting a war. The death, destruction, terror and misery war causes are real and terrible, something which no number of purple fingers can ever justify.

So, to all those idiot cartoonists showing democracy dominoes and the like--not one of these countries is a success story yet. I know you're helping W create his own reality, but people are dying by the thousands in the process.