Victor Davis Hanson rightly compares the anti-war demonstrations in the West with the liberation demonstrations so recently — and suprisingly — seen in Lebanon. The precious, self-referential despair of the Western rallies of the last several years can be viewed so much more clearly against the backdrop of the one million adamant Lebanese demanding freedom.
|Unlike the unhappy and despairing Westerners marching in the large cities of Europe and the United States over the last three years, the cheerful and idealistic Lebanese were not bearing placards of George W. Bush made to look like Adolph Hitler. Nor did they shout condemnations of the "Zionist entity."|
|Instead, at some risk to themselves, the demonstrators in Beirut demanded the withdrawal of Syrian troops and the creation of a legitimate government in an independent Lebanon.|
This would be sad were they not so uncivil. But the arrogant hatred and the projection of spittle into every BushHitler diatribe leaves one, finally, unmoved by their predicament. The world is going to continue on without them; engaged as they are in their own monologue, it is doubtful they will notice how truly peripheral they have already become.
One of the differences between the Lebanese demonstrations and the rallies in the West is their focus. The Lebanese people are for something — their own freedom . The anti-rallies, on the other hand, are simply against whatever it is the US government, in the form of George Bush, says it is going to accomplish.
In the end, hatred can only demolish. It is never generative, as love is. Love of country, of freedoms, of individual rights, of the rule of law. These are the things love and hope create and they call their effort patriotism. The elitists sneer. Let them. These ideas are the very air of the Middle East now. Whatever the short-term chaos and cost, there is no turning back...except to look in wonder at how far we have come since 9/11.
There are still mountains to climb. But a pause, please, to thank the Lebanese people for their courage and their belief in the US delivering on its promises. Without that belief, they never would have marched. And had they not marched, Iraq would be an even harder slog than it is, Iran's restless prisoners would have less hope, Syria's Hassad would not be trembling in his dreams.
Thank you, Lebanon, for rushing in where angels fear to tread.