Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The volume gets turned up in Lebanon

Today's demonstrations in Lebanon by anti-Syria forces dwarfed last week's pro-Syria rally, which in turn had trumped the anti-Syria one preceeding it.

This crowd was estimated as having been close to a million. This is a big crowd by anyone's standards. But by the standards of Lebanon, population 3.5 million, this isn't a crowd, this is practically a census.

As I wrote earlier,

I believe that one of the reasons this "purple finger revolution" has been able to move with such rapidity is that the worldwide media are able to spread those images quickly and effectively to people who in years past would never have had access to them. These people see those images, do the same sort of processing, and come to their own changed conclusions: it's possible; we can do this, too.

Well, that was just speculation on my part. But in the AP article about today's rally, here is evidence of the seminal role of modern communications, particularly the Internet and cellphone messaging:

In recent days, opposition ads for Monday's rally have been running on television, and activists in towns and villages arranged buses to the capital. E-mails and telephone text messages referred to Prime Minister Omar Karami's claim that the Hezbollah demonstration showed the government had the support of the majority.
"Prove him wrong," the messages flashed across cellphones and computers

And they did. Now, we await Syria's next move in this game of chess writ large. I don't think that this is checkmate. Not yet.


At 12:52 AM, March 15, 2005, Blogger Morgan said...


"...this isn't a crowd, this is practically a census."

That's a great line.

At 1:52 PM, March 16, 2005, Blogger Brian H said...

And there are other estimates as high as 1.8 million. That's half the country! Hell, they could stomp the Syrian occuppiers to death and hardly notice their own casualties. ;)


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