Sunday, February 20, 2005

The new "Intifada"

The Lebanese opposition has declared an "intifada" against the current Lebanese regime and Syria following last week's assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

The opposition in Lebanon is demanding a complete withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country. The opposition, declaring its "intifada of independence" on Friday, said it was directed against the Lebanese and Syrian governments, in response to their "crimes." It announced it would not participate in parliamentary elections, slated for May, as long as Syria's occupation of Lebanon continues. Opposition leaders met Friday at Beirut's Bristol Hotel, where they decided not to resign, so as not to forsake the political arena to Syrian loyalists.


If this Intifada eventuates, it would be the fifth uprising the Middle East has experienced in recent history and forebodes severe blood loss. The others include the Shia uprising against Saddam in the early 90's, both Palestinian uprisings of the late 80's and the current/recent one; and the 2003 Kurdish uprising against Syria.

It seems that many within and out of Lebanon consider the Hariri's death to be attributable to Syrian intelligence agents. This brings me to the Al Jazeera poll which offered the following choices for the culprits: a) Israeli agents b) American agents c) Syrian rebels d) Lebanese rebels e) others. Considering that rebels of the Labanese puppet government alse rebels against Syria and are likely to hold similar ideals of democracy advocated by Israel as a regional model and the USA as a global model, the choice is as genuine as the choice in the following statement: you are to a) yourself b) your mother's child c) your child's parent d) your siblings' sibling.

And yes, it seems that Al Jazeera has added this one to the list of acts that Israel has shot itself in the foot just so that it looks like an Arab is holding the smoking gun - September 11th; Tsunami; Hariri; etc.

And this from a publication with volatile reliability (although they are sometimes very right):

Monday, February 21, presidents George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac meet in Paris. With Lebanon at the forefront of their agenda, they will have to look hard at some tough questions. How to handle the situation if Assad orders his Syrian troops in Lebanon to march on Beirut in defense of his puppet government? And worse still, what if the full weight of the Syrian army is sent across the border to squash the uprising? Will the two Western leaders dispatch a joint US-French force to repulse the Syrian onslaught?

If they did, it would be the most drastic event to hit the Middle East since the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The second American invasion of an Arab land might this time be partnered or endorsed by a European power.

To force the hands of the American and French presidents, the leaders of the Lebanese uprising are preparing a spectacular event to coincide with their summit. One proposal is for a hundreds of thousands of protesters to march through Beirut’s streets and seize the parliament building.

Other “intifada” events in the planning:

  1. Giant rallies to strangle normal life in the capital.
  2. A human chain from Hariri’s tomb to government headquarters on the seam-line dividing the Hizballah-dominated southern district from the Christian-controlled West that would aim to paralyze government activity.
  3. Opposition leaders have notified Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, head of the Shiite Amal, that the only session they will allow to be held is an open debate on the murder of the former prime minister that produces the formation of a state inquiry commission. This commission’s mandatory guideline must be to call General Rostum Ghazallah as its first witness.
  4. The mobilization of Lebanese expatriate communities in the United States and Europe for synchronized street rallies to generate broad international popular sympathy on the same lines as Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.
  5. Armenian Christians in Lebanon and Western countries will be asked to join the struggle.

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