Across the Bay

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Real Million Man March

Rich relates what he managed to see and hear from Hariri's funeral procession. He mentions the huge numbers of people that were deliberately flocked in from the Druze and Christian areas as well.

Readers not familiar with this episode are reminded that a while ago, the Syrians orchestrated a so-called "million man march" to show how the Lebanese actually support Syria and are against all the international pressure against it. Unfortunately, only a couple of thousand people was all what the pro-Syrian local organizers (the Baath and the SSNP) could amass. So they had to rely on Hizbullah to provide the bulk of the demonstrators. It was a big fiasco from top to bottom.

In this case, you see a cross-sectarian outpour, united in its call for independence and sovereignty, and the full withdrawal of Syria and its edifice from Lebanon. Rich describes how the flags of parties that were deadly enemies during the '75 war are now hovering next to each other in solidarity.

If Syria thought it could intimidate the opposition (and specifically the Sunnis) and scatter them, it has miscalculated, yet again.