To look at the online headlines, listen to the top of the hour news updates, or watch the network news, one might get the idea that the only major events of concern today are... Michael Jackson's celebrity perversions, the killing spree of a jailed rapist who should never have been able to get a gun, Scott Peterson...again, more judicial tyranny on behalf of gay marriage, and steroid use in American sports. But, what we're not hearing and seeing enough of is the courage of nearly a million Lebanese taking to the streets again today to demand independence in defiance of tyranical Syrian occupation and the oppression of its allied Hezbollah thugs. Claudia Rosett reports from the scene tonight,
These demonstrators want the truth about who was behind the bomb blast that on February 14 killed Rafik Hariri, Lebanon's former prime minister. Today's protest will mark the four-week anniversary of his murder, which ignited Lebanon's democratic uprising. The turnout will be closely watched worldwide, seen as the democratic opposition's rejoinder to two rallies staged this past week by the terrorist group Hezbollah, which has now hitched its wagon - or, some fear, its rocket launchers - to the Cedar Revolution.
Following the American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the massive Iraqi election turnout this past January, the balance is shifting in the Arab world. InLebanon, which has emerged over the past month as the new frontline of change, Hariri's death - which many blame on Syria - was not the prime cause. It was more, as one opposition member puts it, "the drop of water that finally burst the dam." The truth these protesters are after goes well beyond finding out who, precisely, set up the bomb blast that in killing Hariri blew out windows and shut down buildings still under repair hundreds of yards from the crater.
It is incumbent on the American Left to stand up immediately, joining the voices of the Right in vocal unified support of the courageous people of Lebanon… even in defiance of politics. We can resume the argument later regarding the efficacy of the Bush Doctrine, Social Security Reform, and Washington's installed Governor. What is happening in Beirut transcends the petty biases regarding policy and partisanship. We are afterall, the torch of freedom in a gale of insanity. An ounce of unified Western pressure now would cause Syria to fold without violence. But, if the anti-Democracy forces sense that they will be handing the world Left and American liberal partisans a victory over President Bush via their obstinance, they will ensure a bloody slaughter to punctuate the Bush Administration's Middle East policy as a dowry to accompany their peculiar consumation. As Rosett puts it...
The tragedy would be if the world community, having finally noticed that the totalitarian regime of Syria was desperately unhealthy for Lebanon, should now give a pass to the terrorists of Hezbollah. Having watched the democratic opposition gain momentum for the first three weeks following Hariri's death, Hezbollah leaders last week stole some tactics from the democrats, wrapped themselves for the first time in the Lebanese flag, held a huge rally last Tuesday in Beirut and a smaller one yesterday in southern Lebanon, and are now singing the national anthem while paradoxically parading pictures of President Assad. By the time Hezbollah held its second demonstration, all of five days after its sudden adoption of the Lebanese flag, experts both in Lebanon and abroad were already deep in discussion over whether, as the New York Times put it in an editorial yesterday morning, Hezbollah leader "Sheikh Nasrallah is not above changing his stripes, if it is politically expedient."
Chaos is the enemy of freedom… and a mutual ally of irrational little men intent on laying despotic claim to other's inalienable destiny. The only way for liberty to triumph, is for good men and women to do... something. Here's a million of them.
See also: Free Republic, Captain's Quarters, Hugh Hewitt, Instapundit, Powerline, Stone Cry Out