Opposition protesters, heartened by reports of elections in Iraq
Whats the evidence the Iraqi election was a cause of this? It’s inspiring that they’re sticking it to their government, but I’m getting rather tired of the “every thing in the entire world is directly do to the actions of the current or past US president I want to assign blame or credit to.”
I don’t know… the fact that the opposition leader said as much, in as many words? The fact that the opposition protesters are holding up signs quoting George W. Bush? I know, it’s still a stretch to link this to Iraq even if people are saying “We’re acting now because of what we saw in Iraq.”
Pardon me if I don’t bother to provide a link that you could dig up just as easily on your own. ;)
I think “annoyed at Syrian interference and likely involvement in the death of a well liked politician” is a more accurate and less propagandised description of events. It’s not like they suddenly discovered that Iraq had held elections and said to themselves “OMG! Did you know they’d had elections in Iraq? Let’s have a demonstration!” and decided to gather in the streets to voice disapproval against the Syrian influence in their nation.
I think the demonstrations are evidence more of the deep divisions that tore the country apart only 20 years ago than evidence of a flowering democracy in light of Iraqi elections. That’s because Lebanon was already a flowering democracy, and has been one of the most democratic and free nations in the Middle East long before the Iraq invasion.
Tim, all the things you mentioned are certainly factors, but I think you are too quick to discount the effects of free elections is Iraq and the Occupied Territories on Arabs in other countries. It’s embarrasing to many of them that two of the most free elections in the Arab world were held under occupation and those events serve as a constant reminder that change is possible.
I think “annoyed at Syrian interference and likely involvement in the death of a well liked politician” is a more accurate and less propagandised description of events. It’s not like they suddenly discovered that Iraq had held elections and said to themselves “OMG! Did you know they’d had elections in Iraq? Let’s have a demonstration!” and decided to gather in the streets to voice disapproval against the Syrian influence in their nation.[/quote]
If you believe what they themselves are saying about it, that’s precisely what’s happened; these sorts of things went on all the time before, but what happened in Iraq inspired them to ask for change.
I find it interesting how quick people (not just on this board) are to jump on that phrase, “Heartened by the elections in Iraq.” It’s as if you can hear the weight of entire belief systems collapsing under the feather-weight of a simple fact.
<sarcasm>Yes, my belief system is that it’s completely impossible for anything Republicans do to have a good effect.</sarcasm>
Actually, it’s that I’m getting really tired of everything that happens in the region immediately seized on as The Fruit of Bush, without argument. “Opposition leader says so” - there you go, thank you, never mind. I’m just a bit tired of the argument-free invocation on Libya sucking up to the West, the new Palestinian leader being much better than the old one, Saudi Arabia having another sham attempt at reform, etc, etc. And on top of that, “they’re doing this because of Iraq” is an entirely separate thing from “they’re doing this because Bush and the rest of the first wold has made it clear Syria has to get out,” with entirely different policy implications. Seeing how the right has a history of saying everything proves the policy of unending invasion right, forgive me for being skeptical.
And can you send the reports of the opposition saying it’s Iraq, etc? Google news isn’t producing it.
Let’s start with Wallid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze leader and outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy through the years, who told the Washington Post:
It’s strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. 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. . . . The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it.
Let’s start with Wallid Jumblatt, the Lebanese Druze leader and outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy through the years
Would this be the same Wallid Jumblatt who has a vested interest in Washington applying pressure to get the Syrians out of his country?
I’m not saying he’s wrong, Daniel, but you’re the sort of guy who was probably quoting Chalabi a few years back. You might want to think twice before putting too much trust in one man trying to curry favor with the US.
Anyway, it’s silly to try to attribute events in Lebanon to one thing. Everything is still shaking out and its way too premature to be celebrating the birth for Freedom, Democracy, and Justice in Lebanon, whether you attribute it to Bush, Hariri’s martyrdom, or, hell, the Ukrainians.
I don’t see a connection with Libya or Palestine, either, which is why I haven’t mentioned them. Also, I don’t see that particular link between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, but that linkage is beyond the scope of this thread. What I do see is a second very powerful example of the Iraqi invasion bearing the fruit the neoconservatives claimed it would; first the election, and now this.
A few years ago I saw a poll taken in one of the arab contries, It was asking their favorite movie. Surprising Braveheart was the winner of the poll. I guess it makes sense that people being subjugated would connect with that movie and its doesn’t really have much christianity in it.
Yeah! And I think that’s the best thing about this. Before, with a handful of protesters, you could say with a straight face that the protesters were an odd band who were probably rallied together by Americans and Zionists (well, if you’re the sort of person who uses the word “Zionist” with a straight face, that is).
I heard an NPR man-in-the-street piece on the protests last week, and several people that were interviewed said that the election protests in the Ukraine were what had really given them confidence that they could succeed.
Compare the Lebanese and Ukrainian protests, and compare the Lebanese protests to the Iraqi election. Which resemblance is closer?