Tuesday, March 01, 2005

After the Resignation

The Lebanon Daily Star describes popular reaction to the resignation of Prime Minister Omar Karami during a Parliamentary session shown on huge TV's in Martyrs' Square. The opposition, however, has no plans to rest on its laurels and is naming new targets:
"Following the prime minister's announcement, the opposition also demanded the resignation of State Prosecutor Adnan Addoum, Director General of the Surete Generale Major General Jamil Sayyed, Director General of the State Security Major General Edward Mansour, Director General of the Internal Security Forces Ali Hajj, head of military intelligence Raymond Azar, commander of the presidential guard Mustafa Hamdan and head of the Monitoring Agency in the Lebanese Intelligence Bureau Ghassan Tufeili."

This is not the first time popular demonstrations have helped force a Middle Eastern government from power (1948 Baghdad, Beirut and Cairo in 1952, Tehran in 1906, 1953, and 1979). However, in most of these other cases western powers had an interest in maintaining the status quo. In Lebanon today, that is not the case.

UPDATE: Juan Cole reviews the history of Lebanon.


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