Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lebanon takes example from Ukraine

By Aussiegirl

A Middle East newspaper,
The Daily Star, weighs in with a Lebanese view of how the Ukrainian Orange Revolution influenced and helped shape their recent demonstrations. The help of the United States is mentioned prominently, and the recent statements of President George Bush. I think we can say that the tipping point in all these revolutions has been not only the Ukrainian election, not only the Iraqi Election, or the Afghani election, but as Steve Den Beste has pointed out -- it is due primarily to the American election, and the re-election of George Bush.

The world watched, waited and saw -- that the American people were committed to Iraq -- and to freedom and democracy generally. Nothing "nuanced" there -- there is no "nuance" needed when you're talking freedom and democracy -- they are simple concepts -- but oh so difficult and painful to put into action.

That's why being "nuanced" is so easy -- one dithers and considers and mulls, like Hamlet -- while the world crashes in around you -- and then you look around at the carnage and say -- "See -- I told you it was complicated and nuanced -- who could possibly make sense of all this?"

Thankfully, the people of the United States, the people of Iraq, the people of Ukraine all stood up and refused to be "nuanced" -- and look what's happening throughout the world. A positive fever of democracy is spreading like a pandemic. And the EurocRATS are left bringing up the rear as usual, hemming and hawing, and kicking the leader in the shins from behind for good measure as they grumble and fuss.

Read more:

Lebanese opposition has learned much from Ukraine

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

When opposition members decided to put a red and white scarf around their necks as a symbol of the Lebanese flag after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, they were not recalling the Ukrainian experience that took place five months ago, but were rather based on that experience. The international public opinion that strongly supported the popular protests against the Russian-backed regime and that sympathized with thousands of Ukrainians who supported their opposition, has become ready to accept and support a similar climate in any part of the world.

It was easy for the Lebanese opposition to benefit from the coverage of the foreign media, which influences both the Western politics and public opinion, to show what was really happening in Lebanon, unlike what previously took place when the Lebanese situation was not fully understood. Based on the recent Ukrainian experience, which is very fresh in Westerners' minds, it was easier to understand the Lebanese situation more than anytime before.

Therefore, the scarf was a smart approach used by the opposition to reach international public opinion, which could in turn understand and prompt Western governments to support the establishment of democracy in Lebanon, just like Europe and America did regarding Ukraine. Democracy is the password to the minds of Westerners in addition to equally important passwords, mainly protests and "peaceful" demonstrations. Holding candles, waving flags and staging unified marches under one slogan are all factors that support an undeclared plan based on the Ukraine experience.

Moreover, the opposition has succeeded at a proper moment that has been accidentally offered by Hariri's assassination in reflecting the Ukrainian experience in Lebanon. Although many loyalists and non-loyalists believe the opposition has benefited from the momentum of international pressure against Syria to escalate its stands, it is fair to say that the international community has been moved by the Lebanese dynamics. The coincidence of the peak of popular Christian and Muslim anger and sadness triggered by the assassination with U.S. President George W. Bush's visit last week to Europe, has motivated a more firm unanimous international position toward the Lebanese people, not the opposition. Even the demands of both parties have become the same. It has become easier for the United States and the international community to consider that the Lebanese people have their say.


At 12:23 AM, Blogger Pindar said...

Aussiegirl, you can really turn a phrase! I loved the following comment: "And the EurocRATS are left bringing up the rear as usual, hemming and hawing, and kicking the leader in the shins from behind for good measure as they grumble and fuss." Like a bunch of pouty school kids!


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