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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 05, 2003

Lebanon: News from an off-the-beaten-path source

Powell's visit to Syria and Lebanon has been well publicized; for example, the visit constituted a major topic for the Sunday news review of the major TV channels.

But one aspect, the liberation of Lebanon, was totally obscured in the context of the Powell visit, and I had to dig deeply into the Web to get any info at all. Thanks to Daily Alert, however, I found the following report at Channel News Asia:
Hundreds of demonstrators urge Powell to ask for Syrian pullout from Lebanon

US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Saturday stressed American support for an independent Lebanon during his stopover in the capital Beirut, in an allusion to the more than 20,000 Syrian troops in the country.

But that assurance apparently did not convince hundreds of anti-Syrian demonstrators.

They clashed with security forces, as they urged Mr Powell to ask the Syrians to pull out of Lebanon.

The demonstrators marched towards the Foreign Ministry in downtown Beirut carrying banners calling on Syria to withdraw from their country.


Syria is the dominant power in Lebanon, where it maintains thousands of troops and some right-wing Christians oppose their presence.

The protestors clashed with police when they tried to get to the offices of an opposition Christian-owned TV station, which was closed by authorities last year.

One of the protestors who was hurt in the clashes was carried away on a stretcher, while ten others were arrested and two policemen were injured.

Also hoping to catch Mr Powell's eye was a group of Palestinians demonstrating beside a highway leading to the airport.

They were protesting over the US-led war in Iraq which ended Saddam Hussein's regime.

As well as chanting anti-American slogans, they were demanding an end to what they called the US "occupation" of Iraq.
This piece raises the question as to why one could find no such report from AP, Reuters, etc. (Of course, I stand corrected if I'm wrong.)

Also note that the "Palestinians" miss no opportunity to snub the US, even as the rest of the world is recognizing that Iraq has indeed been liberated, and as Saddam's mass graves are being discovered. And why should they not snub the US - they have learnt that regardless of what tantrums they throw, the US will continue to court them and reward them.