Monday, March 14, 2005

Million Man March

At least according to some early reports, it appears that today's anti-Syrian protests in Beirut easily surpassed in size Hezbollah's recent pro-Syrian protest (which consisted itself of perhaps 500,000 protestors), and may have included up to 1.3 million Lebanese. One fact that I think a lot of people have overlooked amid the increasingly regular, hundreds-of-thousands strong demonstrations of the past month is that this wave of political activism is ocurring in a country that contains less than four million people. On the face of it, I'm inclined to think this is a good thing (being that dyed-in-the-wool supporter of civic involvement that I am). But insofar as this could signify a return to the popular factionalism that precipitated Lebanon's brutal, 15-year civil war, I don't think unrestrained optimism is yet the order of the day.

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