Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Long Live the Cedar Revolution

The situation seems to be taking a turn for the best in Lebanon with the resignation yesterday of the country’s prime minister and his cabinet. Here are two interesting articles on the topic taken form the Globe and Mail: Cheers ring out in Beirut and Lebanon eyes future after fall of government. Once again, I must reiterate that I believe the impact in the Middle East of these events might be tremendous. In one of the articles it is mentioned that official Syrian TV is not reporting on the protests in Beirut, but with the amount of people tuned on to satellite TV, the entire region is following in real time this popular struggle for change. If it succeeds, oppressed neighbouring nations might be encouraged to seek change, as a previously unknown precedent will be set in the Arab world.

In one TV report I was struck by the similarities between this "Cedar Revolution" and the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine at the end of last year (PORA's web site). It was obvious from the start that the Lebanese were inspired by the successful actions of the Ukrainians and were applying their techniques (tents in the central place serving as a permanent manifestation nucleus, refusal to dismantle them even under police pressure), but they even have a giant screen TV broadcasting the sessions of the parliament to the protesters on the Place des Martyrs, exactly like it was the case in Kiev. And to think that this method of peaceful revolution was initiated by our Serbian brothers when they brought down crazy Milosevic, and then perfected in two countries of the ex-Eastern Block, Georgia and Ukraine. I have always maintained that the Middle East should stop bitching (sorry for the rude language) and follow the example of Eastern Europe, and here it is, happening in front of your eyes.

Now, the Lebanese should keep the pressure on, while averting civil armed conflict. If they obtain the resignation of President Emile Lahoud, I believe the withdrawal of Syrian forces will be assured.

Some Civic Campaigns web sites (something similar should get organized in Lebanon)

www.mjaft.org :: Albanian Mjaft

www.zubr-belarus.com :: Belarusian Zubr

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