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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 03/17/05 07:37:08 AM
   
         
         
   

At Long Last, the Vaunted & Dreaded Arab Street Rises Up!

The Cedar Revolution.

The Times, they are a changin'.

From Michael Binyon, "The West cannot win Arab minds paralysed with confusion over what they believe" at the London Times, Mar. 26, 2003:

.... For weeks there has been a curious silence in the Middle East. Arab governments said little about the looming conflict. The “Arab street”, that rough and rowdy gauge of public opinion, seemed eerily calm. Of course the governments issued ritual statements about the need for a negotiated solution. But their hearts were not in it. They knew that the conflict was coming. They had already discounted diplomacy as useless. And they knew they were powerless to influence, let alone stop, America.
The West took this for acquiescence. Politicians visiting the Gulf all reported that everyone wanted to see the end of President Saddam Hussein. They fostered the impression, gained from hearsay and exiles, that Iraqis too would rejoice in his downfall. But visitors spoke to elites — the English-speaking and Western-educated rulers, the bankers, businessmen and professionals who chafe at the backwardness of the masses or the politics of the past. The masses think otherwise.
The political divisions in the Arab world, between the rulers and ruled, the Gulf and the Levant, the Islamists and the secularists, have long thwarted the search for Arab unity. The result has been a kind of mental paralysis — an inability to resolve political contradictions and conflicting emotions. Is the West a model for Arab society or a threat? Is America the Great Satan or the land of opportunity? Is Arab impotence the result of foreign domination and Western/Israeli conspiracies or is it due to the lack of democracy, freedom and progress in most of the Arab world?
The common assumption in the West, that the elites and the educated look to it as a model while those lacking opportunity see it as the enemy of Islam is wrong. In fact, many people from both groups hold both views together. And this is why the West cannot win on the Arab street....

The Arab Street on the Streets of Lebanon, Monday, March 14, 2005

A sea of demonstrators of at least 1.5 million, stretching to the Mediterranean.
A sea of demonstrators of at least 1.5 million, stretching to the Mediterranean.

According to most sources, more than a million and a half joined the demonstration. This would represent more than one third of Lebanon's population.
According to most sources, more than a million and a half joined the demonstration. This would represent more than one third of Lebanon's population.

The other side of the demonstration.
The other side of the demonstration.

Bridges, buildings...
Bridges, buildings...

Sign saying: 'We are two million demonstrators, without the 'Brothers.'' A hint at Hezbollah's march last week, which included a third of Syrian workers.
Sign saying: "We are two million demonstrators, without the 'Brothers.'" A hint at Hezbollah's march last week, which included a third of Syrian workers.

From Gerard Baker, "What have the Americans ever done for us? Liberated 50 million people..." at the London Times, Mar. 4, 2005:

.... Little more than three years after US forces, backed by their faithful British allies, set foot in Afghanistan, the entire historical dynamic of this blighted region has already shifted.
Ignoring, fortunately, the assault from clever world opinion on America’s motives, its credibility and its ambitions, the Bush Administration set out not only to eliminate immediate threats but also to remake the Middle East. In the last month, the pace of progress has accelerated, and from Beirut to Kabul....
It’s too early, in fairness, to claim complete victory in the American-led struggle to bring peace through democratic transformation of the region. Despite the temptation to crow, we must remember that this is not Berlin 1989. There will surely be challenging times ahead in Iraq, Iran, in the West Bank and elsewhere. The enemies of democratic revolution — all the terrorists and Baathists, the sheikhs, the mullahs and the monarchs — are not going to give up without a fight.
But something very important is happening now, something that will be very hard to stop. And, although not all of it can be directly attributed to the US strategy in the region, can anyone seriously argue that it would have happened without it? Neither is it true, as some have tried to argue, that all of this is merely some unintended consequence of an immoral and misconceived war in Iraq....
I doubt that anybody, even the most prescient in the Bush Administration or at 10 Downing Street, thought the progress we are now seeing would come as quickly as it has.
But what was clear to the bold foreign policy strategists in Washington was that the status quo that existed before September 11 could no longer be tolerated. Much of the Muslim world represented decay and stagnation, and bred anger and resentment. That was the root cause of the terrorism that had attacked America with increasing ferocity between 1969 and 2001.
America’s critics craved stability in the Middle East. Don’t rock the boat, they said. But to the US this stability was that of the mass grave; the calm was the eerie quiet that precedes the detonation of the suicide bomb. The boat was holed and listing viciously....

The Arab Street on the Streets of Lebanon, Monday, March 1 through Monday, March 7, 2005

Tue Mar 1, 6:52 AM ET / A Lebanese woman waves her national flag during a celebration following Lebanese Prime Minister Omar Karameh's resignation. Lebanon faced an uncertain future after the dramatic resignation of pro-Syrian Karameh in the face of massive public protests sparked by the murder of his predecessor Rafiq Hariri. (AFP/Joseph Barrak)
Tue Mar 1, 6:52 AM ET / A Lebanese woman waves her national flag during a celebration following Lebanese Prime Minister Omar Karameh's resignation. Lebanon faced an uncertain future after the dramatic resignation of pro-Syrian Karameh in the face of massive public protests sparked by the murder of his predecessor Rafiq Hariri. (AFP/Joseph Barrak)

Tue Mar 1, 7:06 AM ET / Two Lebanese opposition demonstrators stand in a car as they flash victory signs and wave a Lebanese flag during a celebration one day after the Lebanese government's resignation in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Lebanon's president was taking on the task of forming a new government Tuesday, while opposition leaders shook off the jubilation of using people power to force out a pro-Syrian Cabinet and sought to ensure the next one is less beholden to Damascus. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Tue Mar 1, 7:06 AM ET / Two Lebanese opposition demonstrators stand in a car as they flash victory signs and wave a Lebanese flag during a celebration one day after the Lebanese government's resignation in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Lebanon's president was taking on the task of forming a new government Tuesday, while opposition leaders shook off the jubilation of using people power to force out a pro-Syrian Cabinet and sought to ensure the next one is less beholden to Damascus. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Wed Mar 2, 3:51 AM ET / Lebanese protesters wave Lebanese flags in downtown Beirut March 1, 2005. 'People power' may have forced Lebanon's government to stand down but popular opposition is unlikely to sweep away the entire Syrian-backed system, analysts said. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Wed Mar 2, 3:51 AM ET / Lebanese protesters wave Lebanese flags in downtown Beirut March 1, 2005. 'People power' may have forced Lebanon's government to stand down but popular opposition is unlikely to sweep away the entire Syrian-backed system, analysts said. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Thu Mar 3, 7:39 PM ET / A Lebanese protester waves a flag during a daily sit-in in the capital Beirut March 2, 2005. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Saudi Arabia on Thursday for crisis talks on the future of Syrian troops in Lebanon as Russia and Germany joined international demands for their speedy withdrawal. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
Thu Mar 3, 7:39 PM ET / A Lebanese protester waves a flag during a daily sit-in in the capital Beirut March 2, 2005. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Saudi Arabia on Thursday for crisis talks on the future of Syrian troops in Lebanon as Russia and Germany joined international demands for their speedy withdrawal. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

Fri Mar 4,12:43 PM ET / Lebanese student protesters wave a flag and hold banners during a daily sit-in in Beirut, March 4, 2005. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prepared to announce on Saturday a partial pullout of troops from Lebanon, but U.S. President George W. Bush warned nothing short of a full withdrawal would satisfy Washington. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
Fri Mar 4,12:43 PM ET / Lebanese student protesters wave a flag and hold banners during a daily sit-in in Beirut, March 4, 2005. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prepared to announce on Saturday a partial pullout of troops from Lebanon, but U.S. President George W. Bush warned nothing short of a full withdrawal would satisfy Washington. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

Fri Mar 4, 5:44 PM ET / Lebanese opposition protesters wave their national flags in downtown Beirut 03 March 2005. President George W. Bush stepped up calls for a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, warning the Damascus government that there could be 'no half-hearted measures.' (AFP/Patrick Baz)
Fri Mar 4, 5:44 PM ET / Lebanese opposition protesters wave their national flags in downtown Beirut 03 March 2005. President George W. Bush stepped up calls for a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, warning the Damascus government that there could be 'no half-hearted measures.' (AFP/Patrick Baz)

Fri Mar 4, 3:21 PM ET / Lebanese opposition protesters wave their national flags during a rally in downtown Beirut. Lebanon sank deeper into political paralysis as Syria was set to announce a troop pullback from Lebanon. (AFP/Patrick Baz)
Fri Mar 4, 3:21 PM ET / Lebanese opposition protesters wave their national flags during a rally in downtown Beirut. Lebanon sank deeper into political paralysis as Syria was set to announce a troop pullback from Lebanon. (AFP/Patrick Baz)

Mon Mar 7, 8:54 AM ET / Lebanese opposition protesters wear sweatshirts showing a map of Lebanon during a demonstartion against Syria in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday March 7, 2005. About 100,000 anti-Syrian demonstrators converged on Martyrs' Square, repeatedly chanting 'Syria out!' and most waving Lebanon's distinctive red and white flag with a green cedar tree. Monday's demonstration marked three weeks since the Feb. 14 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri that began a peaceful campaign against Syrian control. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Mon Mar 7, 8:54 AM ET / Lebanese opposition protesters wear sweatshirts showing a map of Lebanon during a demonstartion against Syria in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday March 7, 2005. About 100,000 anti-Syrian demonstrators converged on Martyrs' Square, repeatedly chanting 'Syria out!' and most waving Lebanon's distinctive red and white flag with a green cedar tree. Monday's demonstration marked three weeks since the Feb. 14 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri that began a peaceful campaign against Syrian control. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Confer.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Thu. 03/17/05 07:37:08 AM
Categorized as International & Photos.

   
         
         

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