Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Day of Shame!

Yesterday was a tragic day in the contemporary History of Lebanon. I'm pretty sure that yesterday's sad events reminded most of the Lebanese people who lived during the civil war of the period of terror, fear and hatred that ruled Lebanon for 20 years. Although it was a black moment in the lives of the Lebanese, the only thing that was right was the Army’s behavior.

The Lebanese troops were present everywhere yesterday. They were standing next to the burning wheels and doing their best to calm the protesters. It’s true that they couldn’t open the roads. It’s also true that they couldn’t stop all the fights and confrontations that took place between the militants of the opposition and the people who were trying to open the roads. But they were in the streets, taking no sides and trying to prove that they were the only neutral institution in Lebanon.

I salute our honoroble army.

What was realy revolting yesterday, other then blocking the streets and forbiding people to get to their work, is that most of the supporters of the majority and a number of ministers and deputies criticized the army saying that it was doing nothing and that it was standing with the opposition. In fact I think that this reaction was wrong, miscalculated and dangerous. I beleive that the most important thing in the coming period is to support and protect our troops. This is the only way to protect our country from falling appart. The army is our last bastion in front ot the civil war.

I read today Robert Fisk’s article about yesterday’s incidents and I was amazed by the last paragraph:

“The mobs were there in their thousands, chorusing their hatred for those who lived across the other side of the boulevard. There were few officers. But after an hour, a Lebanese colonel ran down the street, a smartly dressed man, not even wearing a flak jacket, who walked straight into the highway between these two great waves of angry people, the stones banging off his helmet and body and legs. And the soldiers around me stood up and ran into the road to join him between these two enormous forces.

I don't like journalists who fall in love with armies. I don't like armies. But yesterday it seemed that this one man was a lonely symbol of what stood between Lebanon and chaos. I don't know his religion. His soldiers were Sunnis and Shias and Christians ­ I had checked, of course ­ all dressed in the same uniform. Could they hold together, could they remain under his command when their brothers and cousins, some of them, must have been among the crowds? They did. Some even grinned as they hurled themselves at the hooded men and youths too young to have known the last civil war, pleading and shouting for the violence to end. They won. This time. But what about today?”

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