Thursday, March 10, 2005

Making sense of Lebanon

Tom Friedman, as usual, does what he does best, in his lastest column on the ever-dynamic situation we're watching unfold in Lebanon. The big news the past couple of days was Hezbollah's pro-Syrian, counter-protest led by their leader Nasrallah.

Money graphs:

"The fact that Hezbollah had to resort to a mass rally, just like the Lebanese democracy movement's, is itself a victory for the democrats. Hezbollah clearly felt that it must prove it is as popular a force as the democratic opposition. But something tells me that those Hezbollah demonstrators who were waving the picture of Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, were uncomfortable. And this is Hezbollah's weak spot: deep down, it and its supporters know that when they raise the pictures of Syria's president, they are raising the question of whose interests they have at heart.

"If democracy in Lebanon is going to re-emerge in a reasonably stable way, Lebanese democratic forces have to constantly be inviting Hezbollah to join them. After all, Hezbollah represents an important and powerful trend among Lebanon's Shiites, most of whom are patriots eager to see Lebanon independent and united. At the same time, though, the Lebanese democrats need to constantly and loudly ask Hezbollah - and get the U.N. and the European Union to constantly and loudly ask Hezbollah - 'Why are you waving the picture of the Syrian president? Whose side are you on?'"

As the Instapundit says, read the whole thing.


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