Syrian Hoax" – on the Syrian-Lebanese situation –
has provoked more criticism than any article I’ve published in a
Some of the responses have been of the scholarly variety . . .
are an absolute idiot. With reporters like you we don't need
any other enemies."
pushing the liberal propaganda on us Harry. You are good at
it. We know at least 50 percent of the American public are clueless.
Just like you. Now if we can convert the rest of us to sniveling
cowards like you, we’ll be in real good shape for the future."
obvious from what they say that these people know much more about
the Syrian situation than I do. It’s quite cruel that they don’t
pass on to me any of their superior knowledge. They hinted that
they know things I don't know, but they refuse to tell me what those
Occupiers & American Occupiers
I pointed out in my article that the 13,000 Syrians "occupying"
Lebanon are nothing compared to the 150,000 American troops in Iraq
– and yet George Bush is demanding an immediate withdrawal
of all 13,000 Syrians. (Yes, I know that Bush isn’t the only "world
leader" calling for Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon, but he’s
the only one making a lot of noise about it.)
Someone wrote to tell me that there is no comparison between the
Syrian and American occupiers:
is that Syria has no interest whatsoever in promoting freedom
for the Lebanese, whereas the US has allowed open protests, free
speech, and a landmark vote involving dozens of political parties.
The Syrians have turned Lebanon into a complete client state.
But Zvi Bar’el has pointed out in
the Israeli publication Haaretz:
Just to calm
those who note the "historic moments" in the Middle
East, Lebanon is the freest country in the region. Its parliament
has real power and its newspapers and electronic media demarcated
the boundaries of freedom of expression before Al Jazeera did
so. Anti-establishment satire has existed there for a long time
and its citizens, even more than the citizens of Turkey, regard
themselves as more Western than Arab.
In fact, if the Syrians won’t let the Lebanese express themselves,
why are the American media making such a big thing out of a few
thousand people holding
rallies in Martyrs Square, rooting for the Syrians to leave
We’ve all read about such demonstrations and seen them on television.
From the media, we could easily draw the impression that there isn’t
a single Lebanese who doesn’t want the Syrians out of Lebanon by
High Noon. But it might help to add some perspective if the media
just as ardently covered the
pro-Syrian demonstrations – which, in fact, are considerably
larger than the anti-Syrian rallies. As with the anti-Syrian demonstrations,
some of the participants have been urged to join the demonstrations
by various organizations and some are everyday people who want to
express their opinions.
And as to the idea that the Iraqi people under American occupation
are much freer than the Lebanese, please take a closer look at the
police state the American military has established in Iraq.
Much Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing
Syria is not my idea of a nice country. But it’s also not a threat
to anyone – not even to the Lebanese. Few Americans understand
the long relationship
between Syria and Lebanon – a relationship that began way
before George W. Bush was born.
But neither reality nor history mean anything to George Bush or
to the sycophants who are willing to follow him down the barrel
of a cannon. As the Israeli writer Uri
Avnery has pointed out, "George Bush, the (not-so-)Quiet
American, runs around the world hawking his patent medicines, ‘freedom’
and ‘democracy,’ in total ignorance of hundreds of years of history."
Avnery’s article "The Next Crusades" is an excellent summary
of U.S. and Israeli meddling in the Middle East.
We have had would-be Messiahs in the White House since time immemorial.
Not one of them had the faintest idea what he was getting into when
deciding how to rearrange the rest of the world. And not one of
them ever had to pay for his bungling. It was always thousands and
thousands of Americans and foreigners who paid with their lives
for the President’s mistakes.
One correction: In my previous article I said "Syrian
troops first invaded Lebanon at the time of the Gulf War."
This was wrong on two counts. The Syrian troops were invited in
by the Lebanese government, and that was in the mid-1970s. Several
readers noticed my carelessness, and I’m grateful for the correction.