Like those people in the world who are interested in world politics and social issues, I too am closely following the battle of the demonstrations in Lebanon.
I liked the first demonstration where many tens of thousands of people rallied together in support of a Lebanon free from Syrian troops and their secret agents.
Those people looked like us.
By and large, the pro-Western anti-Syrian protesters were young, well dressed and happy. No matter which image I saw on television, or on the pages of every Western newspaper, the massive crowd always looked the same.
My favorite image was on the front page of the National Post which illustrated a beautiful young woman atop the shoulders of a young man. She was beaming with pleasure at participating in this moment of free expression.
This is the image of Lebanon, the Syrians, Palestinians and Shiites murdered some 30 years ago in Lebanon’s civil war.
And now it’s back.
Yesterday’s (March 8, 2005) anti-West Hezbollah pro-Syrian demonstration might have been attended by as many as a million people. But unlike the pro-West demonstration, these demonstrators were not happy.
To the contrary, on every television broadcast and newspaper I saw, I saw angry men. Men who were against something, rather than men who were for something.
And I use the word MEN.
Unlike the pro-Western demonstration with that beautiful young women, I saw no women in the Hezbollah demonstration. There were no radiant smiles or cheers of joy.
There was only the same kind of anger that only a generation ago unleashed the beasts of hell upon the people of Lebanon.
Finally, the true battles in the Middle East are being defined. It isn’t about Jews versus Moslems and Israel’s so-called “treatment” of the Palestinians. It’s all about FREEDOM, SECULAR DEMOCRACY and MODERNITY.
And this time, the forces of good in Lebanon will not have to fight the forces of evil on their own.
This pro-Western demonstration was attended by the same type of people (Christians, Druse, and Secular Sunnis) who made Lebanon the magnificent and modern country it was before the Syrians, with a lot of help from their putrid friends tore it apart.
The two remaining putrid friends of Syria (Iran and Hezbollah) would like nothing more than to do it again if the Secular modern Lebanese have a chance of resurrecting the Lebanon of 30 years ago.
But this time it’s different.
The last time the Shiite murderers led by Syria and Yasser Arafat left their scars on the Christian, Druse and Secular Sunnis, there was no George W Bush to stop them.
Bush told Syria’s Bashir Assad to get out of Lebanon by May (2005) or else. The last time Bush told an Arab leader what he had to do or else, Saddam Hussein didn’t take him seriously. Bashir Assad knows what happened.
Bush means what he says and says what he means. I would be very careful if I was Assad.
And then there’s Israel.
If Assad thinks he can sucker Israel into a fight for the purpose of causing dissension in the region, he will be making the mistake of his life. Israel doesn’t need much of an excuse to tear Assad’s military apart.
Israel can do it. And they will do it.
And what will Iran (Syria’s only friend) do about it with 150,000 battle seasoned American troops parked along their border?
If this was an NFL Post Season Division Championship Game; here’s how it would look:
The bad guys (Syria) would have the home team advantage, with the stadium filled by their screaming fans.
It would be the 4th quarter. No time outs for the bad guys.
They’ve got the ball on their own 1 yard line on 4th down.
The clock has run down to zero.
Their best long range receiver is on the bench too scared to take to the field. And the visiting team (the good guys – USA) has already run up the points.
More or less, this game is all over but the cheering.
Next: it’s the Middle East Super Bowl with Iran.
One has to wonder if the Home Team (Iran) is even going to leave the locker room and show up on the field.
In a sick kind of way – I kind of hope they do.