Tuesday, March 15, 2005

You know they are serious, when... 

First off, we've had the Hizbollah, pro-Syrian, pro-government rally, which according to various estimates attracted somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million people to the center of Beirut.

Now, we have an opposition, anti-Syrian, anti-Government rally, with anywhere between
800,000 and 1.3 million people in the streets.

Lebanon's total population is
3.7 million.

To get your head around the magnitude of these events, think the United States. Think the Presidential campaign 2004. Think a Kerry rally, somewhere outside Boston, attracting somewhere between 40 and 80 million people. Then think a Bush rally, on the outsikirts of Dallas, with a field crowded with between 63 and 103 million Americans.

That's somewhere between one third and two thirds of the US population coming out into the street, and the lower overall estimate of just over 100 million people protesting is not significantly lower than the total number of people who have voted at the 2004 presidential election (over 120 million).

And everyone thinks that the Americans are passionate about politics!

But speaking of knowing when they are not serious...
Amir Taheri has another good opinion piece about the reluctance of the Western anti-war crowd to support democracy throughout the Middle East. "There are, as yet, no signs that the 'Western street' may, at some point, come out in support of the new 'Arab street'," he writes.

Indeed, over the last three years, millions marched around the world to get the US troops out of Iraq. Over the last 15 or even 30 years - and much more importantly, over the last few weeks - how many in the West marched to get the Syrian troops out of Lebanon?

Taheri wonders: "Is it because many of those who will be marching in support of Saddam Hussein this month are the remnants of totalitarian groups in the West plus a variety of misinformed idealists and others blinded by anti-Americanism? Or is it because they secretly believe that the Arabs do not deserve anything better than Saddam Hussein?"

No - it's because the Western left is now isolationist. It has been following, with a significant time lapse, the transition from Trotskyism-Leninism to Stalinism. Just like the Soviet communists had once raged with revolutionary fervor and dreamed of spreading dictatorship of the proletariat across Europe and then the rest of the world, only to eventually settle for
"socialism in one country", so had the Western left-of-centrists once dreamed of spreading democracy, freedom and human rights around the world, only to champion today the doctrine of "democracy in one country" - ours.

So if the critics of the Bush Administration like to point out to the Trotyskite roots of neo-conservatism, that's fair enough as far as it goes, but they should accept that by the same token today's left is Stalinist.


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