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800,000 Pack Beirut For Opposition Rally (Anti-Syrian Protests)
Yahoo! News Singapore ^ | March 14, 2005 | Agence France-Presse

Posted on 03/14/2005 7:14:22 AM PST by MisterRepublican

An emboldened Lebanese opposition mobilized more than 800,000 people to demand an end to Syrian military domination of Lebanon, hurling a potent challenge to the Syrian-backed government here.

Beirut city official Mounib Nassereddine said the estimate of 800,000 did did not include demonstrators who were still arriving from all parts of the country ahead of the rally.

Thousands of Lebanese had made their way throughout the morning to the capital by car, bus and boat, heading for Martyrs Square and the grave of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, assassinated exactly one month ago in a bomb blast.

Lebanese television aired spectacular pictures of a massive throng in the square, showing thousands of demonstrators waving the red, white and green Lebanese flag in bright sunshine against the deep blue of the Mediterranean in the background.

Nassereddine said Monday's gathering was "at least two and a half times" larger than last Tuesday's turnout called by pro-Syrian Lebanese parties, notably the Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah. AFP correspondents estimated the crowd last week at 400,000.

"Hezbollah organized a giant demonstration last Tuesday to intimidate us," said Nada, 35, as she travelled to Beirut from Zahle in the east.

"Today we're taking up the challenge and invite it to join us because we represent the true majority of the country."

Added Anwar: "The Syrian people are our brothers. We have ties that go back centuries but the Syrian army and the mukhabarat (intellence service) are no longer welcome in Lebanon."

Huguette Yamine, a 57, said Monday's poltical demonstration was her first.

"I came with 10 family members. We walked here all the way from the other side of Beirut. We've had enough. I want my children to live in a free and democratic Lebanon."

(Excerpt) Read more at sg.news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: andthewallscometumb; beirutrally; braveheart; bushdoctrineunfold; bushdoctrineunfolds; bushwasright; cedarrevolution; dominoes; freedom; goforit; lebanon; middleeastdemocracy; recordprotest; syria; syriagohomenow
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1 posted on 03/14/2005 7:14:22 AM PST by MisterRepublican
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To: MisterRepublican

Next week, Hezbollah will have to start bussing in pro-Syrian demonstrators from Iran (if they can get across Iraq).


2 posted on 03/14/2005 7:17:53 AM PST by marvlus
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To: marvlus

"(if they can get across Iraq)."


Lets hope they try.


3 posted on 03/14/2005 7:20:20 AM PST by cripplecreek (I'm apathetic but really don't care.)
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To: MisterRepublican

This is funny. God-speed to the pro-freedom faction!


4 posted on 03/14/2005 7:22:11 AM PST by pissant
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To: MisterRepublican

I just want to know where they are going to park all of those cars.


5 posted on 03/14/2005 7:23:01 AM PST by Sthitch
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To: marvlus

Good for the Lebanese.
This should shut up the MSM who were sooo happy concerning the Hizballah march last week.

C


6 posted on 03/14/2005 7:23:50 AM PST by C-Note
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To: MisterRepublican

I still haven't heard a peep on Fox News...

They were all over the Hezbollah protest.


7 posted on 03/14/2005 7:24:30 AM PST by pgyanke (I've gone to find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.)
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To: MisterRepublican

Good day to be a Beirut falafel vendor.


8 posted on 03/14/2005 7:24:57 AM PST by Semper Paratus (:)
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To: MisterRepublican

Now that's one-up-manship.


9 posted on 03/14/2005 7:26:19 AM PST by Ex-Dem (40 F in March? Where's global warming when you need it...)
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To: MisterRepublican

This may be a record Freep.


10 posted on 03/14/2005 7:27:36 AM PST by Ben Hecks
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To: marvlus

These people are fearless!!!

From what I've read and heard, the Hezbollah rally was arranged by this armed group and consisted primarily of Syrians and those Lebanese that have been intimidated by them.

The real question is, can the Lebanese milatary and police neutralize Hezbollah.

nick


11 posted on 03/14/2005 7:28:02 AM PST by nikos1121
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To: Ben Hecks
With that many people confronting an armed force it won't take much to ignite this into violence. This is what amazes me, the courage of these people to stand up.

Just picture 2 billion Chinese willing to stand up to their captors
12 posted on 03/14/2005 7:30:05 AM PST by nikos1121
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To: MisterRepublican

I think a lot of these news reports are missing the point (as usual). The numbers, 800,000 anti-Syrians this week, 400,000 pro-Syrians last week, aren't that important. What does matter is that here we have a middle eastern country engaging in peaceful political protest. Such demonstrations were a rarity, to say the least, during the Clinton years.

The President has been affirming his belief that within all human beings there is a general yearning to be free. It has been through his policies that the world finally can see this truth, in the world's most troubled region no less. Once again the world's anti-democratic, neo-marxist forces have been rebuffed, this time by the people of Lebanon, and the absolute (not subjective, ABSOLUTE) truth that freedom is the birthright of each of every human being has been proven....absolutely.

Hmmm...didn't mean to rant so much. Ah well.

And Happy St. Patrick's Week! (cuz one day of binge drinking is never enough!)


13 posted on 03/14/2005 7:31:19 AM PST by Caged in Canuckistan (A message from Canada: GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!)
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To: nikos1121

"Just picture 2 billion Chinese willing to stand up to their captors"

Well, I can think of one anyway...


14 posted on 03/14/2005 7:32:50 AM PST by Caged in Canuckistan (A message from Canada: GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!)
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To: MisterRepublican
An emboldened Lebanese opposition mobilized more than 800,000 people to demand an end to Syrian military domination of Lebanon, hurling a potent challenge to the Syrian-backed government here.

Without the threat of force, a tyrant loses his second greatest weapon. His first weapon, of course, is fear. The Lebanese no longer fear Syria, and they know that 'Hama rules' are no longer in effect. Assad may be incompetent, but not nearly so that he'd start shelling unarmed protesters in the streets while half the U.S. military is parked in his backyard.

Syria can't strike back, so they're stuck trying to out protest the protester with their goon squads shoring up the numbers. That's a clumsy move that is already backfiring. Then again, Syria's been on a roll, as far as clumsy moves go. They may already be past the point of no return, especially if the internal powers in the military and security apparatus turn on Assad.

15 posted on 03/14/2005 7:33:06 AM PST by Steel Wolf (Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules. Mark it zero, Dude.)
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To: marvlus

Regarding your comment about bussing in pro-Syrian demonstrators from out of the country:

Speculation is that many of the Hezbollah demonstrators were culled from the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab "refugees" who live in Lebanon and the 1.4-2 million(!) illegal Syrians who live in Lebanon and work for wages significantly less than those earned by Lebanese.

That's why organizers of this demonstration are making comments about how today's demonstrators are really Lebanese.


16 posted on 03/14/2005 7:35:51 AM PST by Piranha
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To: MisterRepublican

It'll be 1,000,000 pro Syrian ones next week....


17 posted on 03/14/2005 7:44:59 AM PST by b4its2late (Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.)
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To: nikos1121
With that many people confronting an armed force it won't take much to ignite this into violence. This is what amazes me, the courage of these people to stand up.

That 'armed force' knows that it's being watched. They're helpless. If they start a Tiananmen style massacre, Syria will be more isolated than North Korea, diplomatically.

Can you imagine the headline 'Peaceful protesters hit with artillery and tanks; thousands killed' accompanied by a few pictures of dead women still clutching their Lebanese flags?

Assad would wind up as roomates with either Saddam or bin Laden, assuming the JDAMs didn't find him first.

18 posted on 03/14/2005 7:45:27 AM PST by Steel Wolf (Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules. Mark it zero, Dude.)
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To: MisterRepublican

Tune in next week for the Anti-Anti-Anti-Syrian demonstrations.......


19 posted on 03/14/2005 7:51:24 AM PST by Red Badger (The South seceded over refusal to end slavery. Blue states want to secede for the same reason......)
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To: MisterRepublican

What? No pics of hot Lebanese protester babes?


20 posted on 03/14/2005 7:53:58 AM PST by uglybiker (WHAT'RE YOU LOOKIN' AT?!!!)
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To: MisterRepublican
And this kind of courageous stand by the Lebanese people will embolden those who have been intimidated by Hizbollah. The courage being shown by the people of the middle east is contageous.

Neither Syria nor Hizbollah dare fire into this crowd because to do so would bring down the wrath of GWB and the American forces, and they know it.

21 posted on 03/14/2005 7:54:13 AM PST by McGavin999
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To: MisterRepublican
Lets see how the MSM reports the numbers.

I watched last week as the 'usual suspects' reported with glee the 500,000 number fed to them by Hezbullah without question.
22 posted on 03/14/2005 7:58:14 AM PST by FreedomNeocon ( though)
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To: MisterRepublican
Martyrs Square

Lovely.

23 posted on 03/14/2005 8:23:55 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: nikos1121
can the Lebanese milatary and police neutralize Hezbollah

That worries me most. Shi'ites are an estimated 40% of the population, overwhelmingly the poorest and tend to identify with Hezbollah. I'd hate to see this turn into another civil war.
24 posted on 03/14/2005 8:26:39 AM PST by BJClinton
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To: MisterRepublican

The pro syrian demos last week seemed mostly male, but I didn't watch all that closely. Creepy, violent looking males, at that.

IMO the key to defusing islamofascism is liberation of the poor women.


25 posted on 03/14/2005 8:32:22 AM PST by tkathy (Tyranny breeds terrorism. Freedom breeds peace.)
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To: uglybiker


Lebanese opposition protester protests during a demonstration in Beirut Martyrs square, Lebanon, Monday
March 14, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people answered an opposition call for a massive
protest to demand a full Syrian troop withdrawal, resignations of security chiefs and an international
investigation into the death of former Premier Rafik Hariri.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

26 posted on 03/14/2005 8:41:00 AM PST by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
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To: MisterRepublican; Mo1; Howlin; Peach; BeforeISleep; kimmie7; 4integrity; BigSkyFreeper; ...
D@MN!!!

Anti-Syrian protesters carry Lebanese flags during a rally in Beirut March 14, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in central Beirut on Monday in the largest anti-Syrian protest in Lebanon since the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri exactly a month ago.      REUTERS/Sharif Karim

Mon Mar 14,10:17 AM ET
Reuters

Anti-Syrian protesters carry Lebanese flags during a rally in Beirut March 14, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in central Beirut on Monday in the largest anti-Syrian protest in Lebanon since the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri exactly a month ago. REUTERS/Sharif Karim

27 posted on 03/14/2005 8:42:05 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: michigander
Lebanese Protest Babes for Freedom Are Back! (Photos)
28 posted on 03/14/2005 8:42:06 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady." - Tolkien)
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To: OXENinFLA

DAMN! That's a lot of people!


29 posted on 03/14/2005 8:46:54 AM PST by eyespysomething (Vous pouvez vous rendre au garde de securite!)
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To: Steel Wolf

"Can you imagine the headline 'Peaceful protesters hit with artillery and tanks; thousands killed' accompanied by a few pictures of dead women still clutching their Lebanese flags?"

You're right these thugs are backdoor operators. Car bombs, mow down women and children, use retarded children for suicide attackes etc.

Unfortunately, and this includes your peaceful demonstrations from Ghandi on...people are killed.

What is the leadership like among the Lebanese? I think the support they're receiving from Lebanese Americans is important also.

Let's pray for this to work out peacefully.

nick



30 posted on 03/14/2005 8:47:47 AM PST by nikos1121
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To: eyespysomething
Many thousands of Lebanese protestors hold national flags as they gather during a demonstration in Beirut Martyrs square, Lebanon, Monday March 14, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese answered a call for a massive protest to demand a full Syrian troop withdrawal, resignations of security chiefs and an international investigation into the death of former Premier Rafik Hariri.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Mon Mar 14,10:39 AM ET
AP

Many thousands of Lebanese protestors hold national flags as they gather during a demonstration in Beirut Martyrs square, Lebanon, Monday March 14, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese answered a call for a massive protest to demand a full Syrian troop withdrawal, resignations of security chiefs and an international investigation into the death of former Premier Rafik Hariri.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

31 posted on 03/14/2005 8:48:05 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: OXENinFLA

Wow, go Lebanon! And they are all there voluntarily. Did they really think we were going to fall for the rent-a-demo stunt. Who in their right mind demonstrates for the continued occupation of their country.


32 posted on 03/14/2005 8:49:20 AM PST by Bahbah
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To: OXENinFLA; Mo1; TexKat; null and void; kcvl; Miss Marple; A Citizen Reporter; McGavin999

Unless my eyes are mistaken, that's quite a few MORE than marched for Hezballah, right?


33 posted on 03/14/2005 8:54:30 AM PST by Howlin (Free the Eason Jordan Tape!!!)
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To: MisterRepublican
AFP correspondents estimated the crowd last week at 400,000.

A WSJ editorial today said that the published estimates of the pro-Syrian demo were 500,000, but their own sources said more like 350,000. In any case, according to the WSJ, a lot were bussed in from Damascus.

34 posted on 03/14/2005 8:58:23 AM PST by maryz
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To: C-Note
This should shut up the MSM who were sooo happy concerning the Hizballah march last week.

Aren't you the dreamer.

35 posted on 03/14/2005 8:59:44 AM PST by Howlin (Free the Eason Jordan Tape!!!)
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To: MisterRepublican
Over 800,000 Lebanese take to the streets of Beirut today to protest the presence of Syrian troops and intelligence. Shhh...be very very quiet. Apparently our mainstream media wants to pretend this isn't happening.


36 posted on 03/14/2005 9:03:15 AM PST by lonevoice (Vast Right Wing Pajama Party)
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To: michigander

37 posted on 03/14/2005 9:03:47 AM PST by gopwinsin04
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To: maryz

Turkish radio now reporting 2 million!


38 posted on 03/14/2005 9:05:32 AM PST by gopwinsin04
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To: Howlin

39 posted on 03/14/2005 9:06:12 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: MisterRepublican

"I came with 10 family members. We walked here all the way from the other side of Beirut. We've had enough. I want my children to live in a free and democratic Lebanon."

....music to our ears.....


40 posted on 03/14/2005 9:08:10 AM PST by smiley
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To: OXENinFLA

41 posted on 03/14/2005 9:08:44 AM PST by gopwinsin04
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To: MisterRepublican
A stream of buses and cars brought protesters from the eastern Bekaa Valley, while others arrived from Junieh in the north by sea.

"We are coming to liberate our country. We are coming to demand the truth," Fatma Trad, a Sunni from the northern area of Dinniyeh, told AP.

The US must now come out even stronger in support of democracy in Lebanon and the ousting of the Syrians before the May elections. The momentum must be sustained.

42 posted on 03/14/2005 9:09:04 AM PST by kabar
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To: MisterRepublican
My favorite:



43 posted on 03/14/2005 9:09:14 AM PST by Ooh-Ah
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To: dead

44 posted on 03/14/2005 9:13:12 AM PST by gopwinsin04
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To: MisterRepublican
Wow, this is extremely heartening to see. I was a little worried the Lebanese-independence side wouldn't be able to muster a response to the pro-Syrian rallies -- but they have, big time.

And it goes without saying, of course, that the DUmmies are bummed about it.

45 posted on 03/14/2005 9:17:36 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: pgyanke

I still haven't heard a peep on Fox News... and I have had them on all morning.


46 posted on 03/14/2005 9:18:34 AM PST by SheLion (The America we once knew and loved ........................is gone.)
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To: Howlin

One or two...


47 posted on 03/14/2005 9:19:21 AM PST by null and void (Every problem has a solution that is simple, seductive, and wrong...)
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To: pgyanke

They are covering local news, the Jackson Trial.

More people would rather see that....I suppose.


48 posted on 03/14/2005 9:20:21 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (This tagline no longer operative....floated away in the flood of 2005 ,)
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To: null and void

Missed your birthday; hope you had a good one!


49 posted on 03/14/2005 9:20:44 AM PST by Howlin (Free the Eason Jordan Tape!!!)
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To: Howlin

I've had worse. No one died, and I didn't bury anyone.

And I did pull a lot of weeds...


50 posted on 03/14/2005 9:21:50 AM PST by null and void (Every problem has a solution that is simple, seductive, and wrong...)
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