Here’s proof that te…
Here’s proof that terrorists, and Hezbollah in particular, are afraid of democracy.

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Nearly 500,000 pro-Syrian protesters waved flags and chanted anti-American slogans in a central Beirut square Tuesday, answering a nationwide call by the militant Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group for a demonstration to counter weeks of massive rallies demanding Syrian forces leave Lebanon.

Organizers handed out Lebanese flags and directed the men and women to separate sections of Riad Solh Square. Loudspeakers blared militant songs urging resistance to foreign interference. Demonstrators held up pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad and signs saying, “Syria & Lebanon brothers forever.”

Other placards read: “America is the source of terrorism”; “All our disasters are from America”; “No to American-Zionist intervention; Yes to Lebanese-Syrian brotherhood.”

One could be overly afraid of the large numbers who attended this demonstration (although it’s hard to tell how much of the turnout was coerced, which I bet a lot was). However, the perceived need to demonstrate in this way shows me that these guys are desperate. Think about it; they’re protesting against the removal of an occupying force. I wonder how many of these same folks are for the immediate removal of US troops from Iraq?

Here’s a hilarious juxtaposition:

Large cranes hoisted two giant red-and-white flags bearing Lebanon’s cedar tree. On one, the words, “Thank you Syria,” were written in English; on the other, “No to foreign interference.”

First of all, having them written in English shows who the intended audience was; not Lebanon or Syria, but the US. And think about it; with one side they thank foreign occupiers while on the other side they call for the removal of foreign occupiers. One sign in the accompanying picture has both “Syria=Yes” and “USA=Out” on it. Go thou and figure.

A cabinet minister spoke at the demonstration, with a similar disconnect.

Cabinet Minister Talal Erslan drew cheers Tuesday when he said the crowd came from all over Lebanon “to affirm our gratitude to Syrian president Bashar Assad.”

“We have come here to affirm Lebanon’s independence, sovereignty and unity … and say no to the flagrant foreign interference in our affairs,” he said.

Participants stressed that the foreign influence they referred to was from the United States, France and other countries, not Syria, which they welcomed.

Military occupation isn’t “flagrant foreign interference” while diplomatic pressure is? That’s a convenient redefinition.

A bit of history is in order.

Syria has had troops here since 1976, when they were sent as peacekeepers during Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. When the war ended, the troops remained and Syria has dominated Lebanon’s politics ever since.

So what these demonstrators would have us believe is that Lebanon cannot safely rule itself so it must trust that to it’s occupiers to guide them along. If this weren’t such a blatant power play by Hezbollah, you’d almost have to chalk this one up to a mass case of Stockholm Syndrome.

Aside from all the schizophrenia going on here, the larger point to be made is that Bush and crew were often derided when they said that the perpetrators of 9/11 attacked us because they hated our way of life, our freedoms. Detractors insisted that the reasons had to do more with our foreign policy and our pro-Israel stance. But as the insurgency in Iraq and these demonstrations by Hezbollah show, it really is democracy that they fear. They’d prefer to be an occupied country than have the will of the people heard. That’s why they hate us; because we’re free.

Cross-posted at and Blogger News Network. Comments welcome.)

UPDATE: Instalaaaaanch! Welcome, Reynold’s readers.

UDPATE PART DEUX: Welcome aboard readers from Junkyard Blog, Dean’s World, One Hand Clapping, Gus Van Horn and Liverputty. (Hey, didja notice that Homespun Bloggers Radio show #6 is on the air? >hint<)

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