Monday, February 28, 2005

The Iraqi Domino Effect

At around noon today, Eastern Standard time, the Lebanese pro-syrian government officially resigned. Presumably forced out due to the peaceful protests by its people. Once again, it shows that the Arab World desires freedom. Here are a few quotes from the protestors last week, before the resignation:

"We have nothing to lose anymore. We want freedom or death," says Indra Hage, a young Lebanese Christian. "We're going to stay here, even if soldiers attack us," says Hadi Abi Almouna, a Druze Muslim. "Freedom needs sacrifices, and we are ready to give them."

The events in Lebanon inevitably lead to the question of whether the successful Iraqi election had anything to do with it.

According to Walid Jumblatt, one of the leaders of the oppossition, the Iraqi election had a huge effect:

"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."

Obviously, the assisnation of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was the main catalyst, but it is encouraging that the election had substantial effect on the Lebanese people.


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