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Iraqi Expat

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The truth about the Pro-Syrian demo in Beirut

I have been talking to a friend of mine in Beirut and I have asked him about the situation and the demonstrations. This is what's happening:

People are scared! The saving interest rate on the Lebanese Lira jumped from 5-6% to 20% and now its 15%! The exchange rate is stable due to the billions of dollars that the government has been injecting in the market to save the Lira.

Now comes the real question; was the Pro-Syrian demonstration for real or just another Baathi-Style demonstration? Well the simple answer is that it was a Baathi-Style demonstration, i.e. very similar to the demonstrations we had in Iraq during Saddam's rule! Basically, there were three types of people at the demonstration:
  1. Hezbollah
  2. The one million plus Syrian workers in Lebanon who want Syria to stay to keep their jobs
  3. Syrian army dressed as civilians
Also some reports suggest that some of the demonstrators were brought from Syria; which I find more logical than the army, but what do I know, they are Baathists!

So how big is Hezbollah in Lebanon and how much support from the general public do they have? Well, Hezbollah is about 300,000 - 400,000 with a considerable fan base in the south. The reason for the fan base is because when the government neglected the south, Hezbollah came in and built schools, hospitals, roads, etc! I am sure many of you know or have guessed this by now; Hezbollah is funded by Syria and Iran.

Lets wait and see who will President Lahoud and the parliament appoint as the new PM ahead of next May elections. But can they be that stupid and appoint PM Karami who resigned? Well at least that's what the Lebanese people think!


Blogger dcat said...


Thanks for the clarification on this. People at ITM are looking for answers and I was on line trying to find out more and reading Lebanese web sites. I was getting more confused. This is a wait and see sort of thing.

March 09, 2005 4:33 pm  
Blogger Pancho said...

Thanks for your appraisal. It helps in the U.S. to get an inside assessment rather than reports from the large news organizations.

March 10, 2005 4:52 am  
Anonymous Kenneth said...

Guess what? There were rumors that Iran sent Iranians by bus to support the pro-Syrian protest.

March 12, 2005 11:38 am  

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