In yesterday’s Washington Post there is a article written by David Ignatius that is quite interesting.
“Enough!” That’s one of the simple slogans you see scrawled on the walls around Rafiq Hariri’s grave site here. And it sums up the movement for political change that has suddenly coalesced in Lebanon and is slowly gathering force elsewhere in the Arab world.
Brave words, in a country where dissent has often meant death. “It is the beginning of a new Arab revolution,” argues Samir Franjieh, one of the organizers of the opposition. “It’s the first time a whole Arab society is seeking change — Christians and Muslims, men and women, rich and poor.”
The leader of this Lebanese intifada is Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria’s occupation. But something snapped for Jumblatt last year, when the Syrians overruled the Lebanese constitution and forced the reelection of their front man in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. The old slogans about Arab nationalism turned to ashes in Jumblatt’s mouth, and he and Hariri openly began to defy Damascus.
“It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq,” explains Jumblatt. “I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.” Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. “The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.”
That last paragraph jumped out at me. The leader of a freedom revolution in Lebanon is saying that if it were not for the Iraq war none of this would of happened. Think this is isolated?
More than 150 Syrian intellectuals on Wednesday signed a petition calling on Damascus to end its military occupation of Lebanon. The petition was sent to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
As I earlier posted, once freedom starts you can’t end it.
I must say, that those who mock haven’t been paying attention to the empirical data that’s been piling up. First, we had the Afghan election last fall with this extraordinary turnout. Then we had the Palestinian election. Then we had the Iraqi election. We’re going to have a parliamentary election in Afghanistan in the spring. So this isn’t a theory anymore, this is actually happening on the ground in the Middle East and it is absolutely revolutionary, these free and fair elections.
What’s interesting is that Democracy in the Middle East is looking pretty damn good at the moment. This is something the left said would never happen, and now that it looks like they were wrong again they have resorted to all kinds of childish behavior. Such as calling the few blogs who quoted Jumblatt as being part of a neocon circlejerk.
They also say we are making Jumblatt into a neocon pinup.
Chrenkoff notes a few facts tho:
If you are still wondering how quoting somebody translates into support and endorsement of that person and his past history and past statements, well, you’re not alone.
Jumblatt is not what you would consider “a nice person.” Had Matthew Barganier at Antiwar bothered to read the rest of my post he would have discovered that in the very next line I quote WaPo’s David Ignatius who says “over the years, I’ve often heard [Jumblatt] denouncing the United States and Israel,” and then proceed to recall Jumblatt’s long history of bloody conflict with Lebanon’s pro-Western Maronite Christians, and mention that Jumblatt is currently trying to cozy up to Hizbollah. My “new neocon pinup”? Methinks the (anti)war fever is getting better of Antiwar.
Antiwar also points us in the direction of a post by Justin Raimondo who argues that we can’t take anything that Jumblatt say seriously because he’s got some zany ideas (CIA created bin Laden and al Qaeda, the true axis of evil is “oil and Jews”, etc.). Curiously, Jumblatt sounds like a bit more extreme version of Antiwar. Yep, a serious credibility problem here.
Yet, I think it’s precisely because of his past positions that Jumblatt is worth quoting. As he himself admits before giving the US his backhand compliment, “It’s strange for me to say it…” Because even if our enemies are starting to give America its due, then we might be on the threshold of some really interesting times.
Does the left hate Bush so much that they are hoping for freedom’s failure? What is going through their heads?
Now you see the type’s of people who threw things at our Vietnam soldiers and called them “baby killers”. Shameful.