So the first numbers are strating to come in, they range from 800 000 to 1 000 000. Since people are still pouring in it seems obvious that the demonstrations will soon reach the historical proportions of the famous march 14 and maybe more.
We are witnessing the same popular will today to topple the government than to push Syrian troops out of the country in 2005. If we believe international press (see Le Monde who used to be a good news paper in France but is mutating into one of the worst Mid-East propagandist, or Haaretz who talks about “Hezbollah and its
pro-Syrian allies”) it is a pro-syrian demonstration. Equally the so-called “majority” uses the same rhetoric: Hariri who seems to be playing the same tape he bought in some ranch in Texas over and over again declares “We will not accept to be part of an axis of Syria and Iran”. Of course thay do not address the other main points of the opposition’s requisitory such as corruption, breaches to the constitution, biaised electoral laws or the absence of any counter power to the current governement that goes against all principles of democracy.
So if we believe all these rethorical discourses and propagandist press articles we have today as many people demonstrating for Syria as we had people demonstrating against it in 2005. Are Lebanese people so schyzophrenic? Allow me to doubt that. If there is a pro-syrian constituent in the rally (the numbers must approach 200 000 based on the march 8 demonstration minus all those who actually turned out to be Syrians on that date, so we are left with 6 to 800 000 who share other beliefs), it is sureley not enough to call the whole thing “pro-syrian”. Or else I need some kind of explanation as to how Syria was able to attract more people now that it’s grip on Lebanon has softened then when it’s army was still around.


7 Replies to “Numbers”

  1. about numbers… the large gathering on 14th of march 05 was calculated by lebanese specialists. there were 450.000 people that day. that’s the utmost capacity of the Martyrs square and the parking plots surrounding it. the riad el solh square is half that size. today, first day of the opposition’s sit-in, both places were full of people.

  2. Bech…

    Before asking yourself what is the REAL proportion of the so called “pro-syrian forces” in today’s rally could you please be kind enough and tell me how do you define a “pro-Syrian”?

    Do you mean that there were actual people in the demonstrations that want them to come back?
    Do they have a fusion program between Syria and Lebanon?
    Do they want to impose the Bashar el Assad mustache cut?
    Do they plan to replace Hummus with Camel milk?

    What is so “Pro-Syrian” in their political agenda that leads you to try to evaluate the number of the REAL pro-Syrians in the crowd?

  3. hey Boumb;
    This was not a post by Bech 🙂
    I agree that defining a pro-syrian might be one of the crucial questions in Lebanon today and wanted to ask it in this article before deciding to make it shorter.
    I am here referring only to the two openly “pro-syrian” constituants of Lebanese politics, mainly the very few followers of Lahoud and those of Berry. But I agree that these are rough approximations.

  4. the pro syrians:
    in 1976, they were all the christian leaders who gathered in a “HELF” and called for the syrian troops to enter lebanon and help them get rid of the armed palestinians.
    in 1989, they were practically all the members of parliament as well as the governments who, out of fear or for personnal interests, obeyed syrian orders and fought aoun’s revolution.
    since 2005, they are those who feel more affinities towards syria than the usa.

  5. “out of fear or for personnal interests”

    that sums up lebanese politics … no need for syria, iran, usa, israel, they might as well be mercury, venus, mars … etc …

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