Friday, December 01, 2006
Massive Hezbollah rally.
It is interesting that the BBC treats this, and not the pro-Phalange rally that took place after Gemayel's death, as the state of emergency. Nevertheless, let us take it as read that for certain interests in Lebanon, this is a state of emergency Michael Young, the right-wing commentator in the Lebanese Daily Star is bewildered at the new polarisation taking place. He thinks that Samir Geagea of the Lebanese Forces (the fascist militias who returned to Lebanon after Syria departed) are on the right side of the argument in perceiving the principal threat to Lebanese sovereignty to reside in Tehran and Damascus, not in the country that has recently attacked Lebanon and practically destroyed it. (The UN has announced that Israel should pay compensation, but that isn't going to happen). MSNBC reports that Fouad Siniora has been holed up in a compound surrounded by troops. He has recently been beefing up his security, hiring over ten thousand Sunni and Christian troops to protect himself with money from the US and conservative Gulf states. Anyone would think a revolution was on the cards.
Asad Abu Khalil satirises the American media coverage of the demonstration, which tries to minimise it as far as possible. CNN reckons it was 200,000 - even Yediot Ahronoth puts it at 800,000, and they've got to have cut the real figure in half at least. This rally has been described as "pro-Syrian", which is to miss the point entirely. Michel Aoun is as far from pro-Syrian as can be. The communists are no friends of Bashir either. The motive behind this rally is extremely simple: Siniora couldn't defend Lebanon, was craven in the face of Israeli aggression, and is pushing the neoliberal agenda of the Hariri gang against the will of the country. The Hezbollah claim Hariri gang are not a representative government and should make way for a national unity government, involving Christians, Shiites and Sunnis.