Discussion Thread

Did the Bush administration have anything to do with Lebanese overthrowing their government and wishing to be rid of the Syrian presence?

I'm most interested in hearing from my blogging Lebanese sisters and brothers. Being both Iraqi and Lebanese, I don't wish to make any assumptions while allowing everybody to speak their mind about it on this thread. I believe it was a matter of time and that the group of neocon idealogues in the Bush administration had nothing to do with it. Perhaps it is worth some prodding, though.

Please speak your minds. Your opinions mean very much to me.


update to clarify my opinion: Maybe not "nothing", but very little. I agree with calli. insofaras there were unexpected results.


At Saturday, March 05, 2005 9:45:00 AM, Blogger callipyge said...

Well, one thing is for sure: the Lebanese have an idea of what democracy is and they also know what they have to do to get there.
However, while the Bush administration did not necessarily trigger what happened, they did create the momentum that permitted the Lebanese to take their future in their hands.
The reason Syria is backing up is because it is cornered on all sides: the Lebanese one, and also the Soviet, Arab, European and American one. Nobody wants to see Syria get away with anything.
Take a look at Chechnya: nobody wants to cut ties with Russia, so Putin can get away with murder everyday! He still has his posse, whereas Bashbash does not. And this, my friend, is the reason why things are going well right now.
You certainly can't credit the Bush administration *alone* for all this; but it would be insanely wrong to say the Lebanese achieved all this by themselves. This is one of these moments in history where the interests of most parties parties converge and this is why it works.

At Saturday, March 05, 2005 9:46:00 AM, Blogger callipyge said...

Ooops. I just realized I wrote "Soviet" up there. I got carried away ;-)

At Saturday, March 05, 2005 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Tempest said...

Wishing to be rid of the Syrian presence? We have always wished that. However, Hariri's assasination helped bring a further slice of the population into the (vocal) anti-Syria camp. Since we became the majority, that way, and triggered by the outpouring of emotion from the assasination, we carried that momentum into striking, protesting, and overthrowing the government.

The Bush administration's moral support was helpful, as was their push for resolution 1559, so yes, they played a role, but no they weren't the cause behing the uprising. That was all us. Wanting Syria out is a Lebanese sentiment. Who in the world would want his country to remain occupied (apart from Hizballah, Frangieh, and Syrian parties in Lebanon???)

At Saturday, March 05, 2005 11:44:00 AM, Blogger liminal said...

"nothing to do with it" is naive sounding, i realize. yet vindicating all of the foreign policy errors made by this administration with the prevailing ends-justify-the-means sort of attitude is even more naive i believe. of course, they had a clear affect on the region, but don't you believe it would have happened without, say, the war?

i understand the whole converging interests paradigm, but really...

calli, thanks for the thoughtful response. i'll have more of one tomorrow.

and good points tempest...


At Saturday, March 05, 2005 2:21:00 PM, Blogger Mustapha said...

hello guys, i have commented on that particual topic in my latest blog ( http://beirutspring.blogspot.com/2005/03/where-should-our-hearts-be.html ),
it basically boils down to: even if the american neocons are engineering this, we, the lebanese, don't care anymore..


At Saturday, March 05, 2005 6:08:00 PM, Blogger liminal said...


yea...i feel ya there. that's the feeling i get, too.


At Saturday, March 05, 2005 7:02:00 PM, Blogger Clyde said...

"the group of neocon idealogues in the Bush administration"

you are probably more discerning than this statement suggests. i am certain that you do not mean to insult americans that support the spreading of democracy through the liberation of countries like afghanistan and iraq.

i am a parent, a Christian, a teacher. i am not blinded by some political philosophy (idealogue). i think that the former rulers of afghanistan were a threat to my country, so they had to go. i think saddam had to pay a price for trying to assassinate our president, so he had to go. if syria gets their shorts all bunched up because they fear us and the lebanese people seise the moment - great. if egypt wants our money and institutes election reform to suck up - great. if libya fears we will seek revenge for their killing of our college students so many years ago and as a result offers to back out of terrorism - great.

but don't for a moment think all of these things are happening JUST because of the people inside the countries, and don't think that we are a bunch of numb-minded idealogues.

we are, rather, a country about fed up with small-minded terrorists who are hugged warmly by the united nations - and we have a rather large military. so it is clean-up time. we'll go back to sleep in 3 or 4 years and let the world pick on us again.

At Saturday, March 05, 2005 7:21:00 PM, Blogger Tempest said...



What does your rambling have anything to do with this conversation? Where does our discussion of the events in Lebanon fall under in your tirade of threats?

Personally, I'm a staunch supporter of pres. Bush, and this administration's policy (the Iraq quagmire notwithstanding).

It's very possible that these nations you mentioned can be cauxed into action by prods and threats, but we Lebanese are different.

Are you trying to deny the existence of neo-conservatives? I ridicule this whole neocon global domination conspiracy theory, but I can't for a moment deny that there are several figures in the Bush administration that are neocons (for better or for worse).

At Sunday, March 06, 2005 4:45:00 PM, Blogger karen said...

The middle east's loose ends are unravelling it's Gordion knot. In the original fable, only Alexander's sword was able to cut the knot and by connotation a Gordion's knot represents a problem which is unsoluble in it's own terms.

Causally, Bush and the coalition forces must be credited for precipitating the events now occurring in Lebanon and the middle east. Each country is responsible for how and when it reacts to the opportunities presented to it by destabilization of entreanched middle eastern tyranny. The middle east now has a chance to come into its own, but without the conviction of the wesern democracies in it's own principles and acceptance of the universality of liberty as the rightful state of man, Lebanon and the Arab nations would still be languishing in a state of perpetual despair. Men know whether or not they are free, and when given the opportunity to rise against those who oppress them, they will do so. Is Bush responsible for initiating the change taking place in the middle east? You bet. Could any other western democracy done the same? You bet, but they didn't. Did it have to be at this precise timing to have occurred? No, it could have happened earlier, but it should not happen any later.


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