Tuesday, March 15, 2005

First hand Account in Lebanon

Claudia Rosett joined Hugh Hewitt (Complete transcript @ HH site) on his radio show Mon (3-15-05) and gave a first hand report of the doings in Beriut. Seems a crowd of (approx) 1 million Sunnis and Christians trumps 150,000 pro Syria Hezbollah rally.

CR: I think even the people who were involved in trying to organize it did not expect that it would be this big. They were trying, they were hoping for a big turnout. It had become more and more important because the terrorist group with seats in the parliament here, Hezbollah, had staged this huge rally in Beirut last Tuesday, and another smaller one in southern Lebanon Sunday, and there has been a lot of discussion over the past few days of whether, whether Hezbollah is a significant rival to the democratic movement, how the balance of power actually stands. It had become as ort of numbers game between these two rival protests, and this trumped what Hezbollah staged last week, in a huge way. This one was voluntary, it was still done at some risk. You know, this place is far from out of the woods and what people kept saying today was please keep a spotlight on us, keep us in mind. In fact, there were many who want george Bush to keep speaking up. This is a a group of protestors, Hugh, and it represents about a quarter of the population --this is a small country-- who like Americans, and I heard people today saying "Thank you President Bush. Please don't forget us right now."
HH: Is it extending into the evening? Are the demonstrations continuing or have they gone home for the evening?

CR: At this precise hour I don't know because I haven't been there in a few hours, but they certainly lingered after the protests ended. They lingered for hours, unlike the Hezbollah protests, which as soon as the main event is done, people are gone with speed. They just disperse. This one people were sitting around the curbs talking, they were eating dinner, they were listening to more speeches, it was going on. Now there is talk here that the government, which is still pro-Syrian in who's in it, may try and remove the tent encampment on which the demonstrators have been centered around. We'll see what happens. That could go either way. If they actually try it, it could backfire.

Pray for these people. The dominoes are falling and many bad guys in the neighborhood are going to be working overtime to keep their power. Pray for those that are to step into the vacuum.