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Syrians turn back on hostile Lebanon rally

February 15th, 2006 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Excellent article by Khaled Yacoub Oweis. Some highlights:

“They say they want the truth about Hariri but don’t care if their alliance with America ruins Syria.”

“They are the same Lebanese politicians who used to bow for our officials. They were agents then and are still agents now, but to Western and Zionist masters.”

“Forty years ago Syrians had many political parties and more expression but we did not abuse the freedom. We would not have used it to hurt Lebanon.”

Here’s the article…

Syrians turn back on hostile Lebanon rally
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Television sets in Damascus were tuned to football, dramas or the Koran on Tuesday, anything but a Beirut rally to mark the first anniversary of the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

Although half a million people gathered 80 km (50 miles) west of Damascus demanding Lebanon’s pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud step down, few Syrians cared, saying the Hariri issue has turned into a U.S.-backed campaign aimed at destabilizing Syria and blaming it for inherit divisions among the Lebanese.

“The people at the rally you talk about are being led by war criminals who turned Lebanon into hell for 15 years. Why should we be impressed?” said engineer Fares al-Baroud, sitting at the Havana cafe in central Damascus and watching a replay of an Italian football league game.

“They want to blame Syria if Lebanon turns into a banana republic. They say they want the truth about Hariri but don’t care if their alliance with America ruins Syria.”

Baroud was referring to tension between pro and anti U.S. players in Lebanon’s sectarian system and the fact that Shi’ite Muslims, who are the country’s largest sect, have largely stayed away from the rallies for Hariri, who was a Sunni.

Most Syrian popular anger was directed toward Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, a warlord during the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war and a former ally of Syria. Jumblatt was instrumental in the events that eventually led to Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon after the Hariri killing.

“AGENTS THEN, AGENTS NOW”

Jumblatt denounced Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the “tyrant of Damascus” and called for revenge on him for alleged Syrian involvement in Hariri’s killing.

“Who is moving these people? They are the same Lebanese politicians who used to bow for our officials. They were agents then and are still agents now, but to Western and Zionist masters,” said Hussein Saleh, a government employee.

“They think they can create a future for America in the region?”

The United States, which imposed sanctions on Syria in 2004, has been at the forefront of international pressure on Damascus for its alleged role in the assassination of Hariri.

Damascus denies involvement in the killing and has pledged to cooperate with a U.N. investigation into it. The ongoing inquiry has implicated senior Syrian officials in the murder.

Syria however has not recovered from economic pressure on it after the killing and the government on Monday switched state dealings to Euros from dollars as a precaution against disruption to foreign currency flows.

“Hariri was well liked by the majority here. But the Lebanese response to his killing has been emotional and we have not seen hard evidence on Syrian involvement,” said Mohammad al-Qahwaji, a retired French teacher.

“The Lebanese forget that we are really one family,” he said. “It is rare to see a Lebanese without relatives in Syria and vice versa. Forty years ago Syrians had many political parties and more expression but we did not abuse the freedom. We would not have used it to hurt Lebanon.”

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 norman // Feb 15, 2006 at 3.58 am

    I watched the rally in Lebanon today,I got so mad about what i heard from Jumblat the traiter,Iwish the Syrian people watched to get as mad as i was and start treating these ungratfull Lebanese with what they deserve boycot and sanctions ,but with how good our syrian heart is and how we think in Syria that we should separate between the taiters in the leadership and the rest of the people we will continue to help the Lebanese,God Bless Syria.

  • 2 norman // Feb 15, 2006 at 4.14 am

    The March 14 leaders in Lebanon continue to call themselves (majority) leaders ,I wounder if it is time for Amal and Hizball will call now with the support of Aoun for a new elwction under a new election law with one man one vote rule and let however wins the right to form a govorment then will see how much Harreri and his cronies have.after what i saw today ,apparently Syria did good by having Lahood as president as he seems to stop selling Lebanon to Israel by Harreri and his freinds ,That is apparent from the attacks on Lahood , Bashar and syria and the Lebanese resistance.

  • 3 Anonymous // Feb 16, 2006 at 3.32 am

    I’m a syrian and i’m happy that lebanese says openly what us syrians hide in our mind because of fear from asad mukhabarat.
    If syria had 10 % of the lebanese freedom ,assad will not be able to resist the will of the people ,that explain why the first enemy of assad is the return of dignity and freedom for the syrian people that prevailed before tyranny.

  • 4 A-non-a-miss // Mar 9, 2011 at 6.08 am

    Syria is a tragic beauty. Though her land is lined with natural wonder, Syria’s political system denies much if its population the right to freedom, justice and truth. Hence, whatever happens between Syria and her neighbours (especially Lebanon) is a slice of history that may never truly be exposed, revealed or known. So we are left with a jaded picture of a country whose raw beauty may never be matched by its political climate.

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