March 15, 2005
On "Again, the Fruits of Overthrowing the "Realists"Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives
Today in Lebanon's Daily Star Rami Kouri writes of "Lebanon's meaning in the wider Arab context," where he points out that:
"something very important to the Arab world continues to take place on the streets of Beirut, and it is not primarily about being pro- or anti-Syrian. Neither is it mainly about political anthropology - the counting of headscarves, bellybutton rings, beards and designer shoes among the street demonstrators, in order to note their ethnic, religious and ideological identity."
"Having attended all the demonstrations, I am convinced that Lebanon these days represents a historic, unprecedented drive for national self-determination by Arab citizens. The Lebanese seek to define three crucial aspects of their national identity and power structure that no Arab citizenry has ever done in the past eight decades or so of nominal Arab independence: first, the nature of their sovereignty and political configuration; second, the nature of their relations with neighboring states and foreign powers; and third, the relationship among their own military-security sector, the average citizen, and the institutions of governance."
So in spite of the leftist anti-war crowd, the so-called "realists," Bush was right and they are wrong, and the "realists" just can't bring themselves around to admit it. In a previous post on this subject I quoted a journalist in the Middle East who said, "What matters, however, is that they should recognize that the people of the Middle East are right in seeking peaceful reform."" And reform they intend to have!
From Democracy Project
"Please don't let Bush forget us." "Our hope is America." "We thank Mr. Bush for his position." "We love the American people."
Those are some of the expressions of support and hope yesterday's demonstrators in Beirut said to Claudia Rosett, as she reports in this morning's New York Sun. Call it the new Arab street.
Yesterday I noted that the Bush administration's offensive against "realist" hegemony in the foreign policy apparatus was bearing fruit even in Ireland. Today, with the million-strong protest in Martyr's Square in Beirut fresh on our minds, it's again plain for all to see that the President's willingness to ignore the "experts" and behave as if liberty was a universal virtue is paying off. The old guard, who always preferred "stability" to liberty, has been sent packing, and not a moment too soon. They'll be remembered not for any successes they enjoyed (what were those, now?), but for coddling dictators and allowing rogue regimes to fund world-wide terrorism. Realists assume that two oceans will protect us, but such thinking should have gone our in 1939. On 9/11, it was dead on arrival.
From Arthur Chrenkoff, a little perspective (hat tip-Democracy Project):
First off, we've had the
Hizbollah, pro-Syrian, pro-government rally, which according to various
estimates attracted somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people to
the center of Beirut (according to Lebanese sources, this estimate is exagerated and is actually more in the neighborhood of 350,00, with many being bused in from Syria).
Now, we have an opposition, anti-Syrian, anti-Government rally, with anywhere between 800,000 and 1.3 million people in the streets.
Lebanon's total population is 3.7 million.
And then an even stronger perspective from Amir Taheri (hat tip - Chrenkoff)
THROUGHOUT the debate that preceded the liberation of Iraq two years ago, supporters of Saddam Hussein claimed that any attempt at removing him from power by force would trigger an explosion in "the Arab street". As it turned out, the explosion they had predicted did take place, but only in Western streets, where anti-Americans of all denominations, their numbers inflated by the usual "useful idiots", marched to keep the Baathist butcher in power.
More than two years later, however, the Arab street seems to be heading for an explosion. From North Africa to the Persian Gulf and passing by the Levant, people have been coming together in various "Arab streets" to make their feelings and opinions known. These demonstrations, some big, some small, have several features in common.
Unlike the rent-a-mob marches concocted by the Mukhabarat secret services, this latest spate of demonstrations was largely spontaneous. Nor are the demonstrations controlled by the traditional elites, including established opposition groups and personalities.
So in spite of the "realists" - the anti-war, anti-Bush-at-whatever-the-cost crowd, freedom and democracy, in whatever form it takes to accomodate the culture of the region, is on the march. Even former president Bill Clinton, a Democrat, said the "Iraqi elections went better than anyone could have imagined," and defended Bush for not providing a timetable for when the US would withdraw from the country, as some Democrats have requested. Clinton also said it is "wonderful" that thousands are in the streets in Lebanon to demand their country back.
Democracy Project has it right by saying that, "This is hardly the time to play footsy with vicious murderers(refering to Hezbullah - Hyscience) who've worn out their welcome in much of Lebanon. When the "realists" raised objections to other elements of the Bush drive for democracy, whether in opposing the liberation of Iraq or the push for greater freedom in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the President ignored them and pressed ahead. Success breeds success; keep pushing, Mr. President." So Forget the "realists," they had it wrong, they have it wrong, and they will continue to "not get it."
Posted by Hyscience at March 15, 2005 9:26 PM
Articles Related to Middle East News and Perspectives:
- On "Again, the Fruits of Overthrowing the "Realists" - Mar 15, 2005