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Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Beginning of the End for Lebanon? Part 7

Hezbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has called for mass demonstrations in the streets to bring down the government of Fouad Siniora according to an al-AP report originating in Beirut.
The leader of Hizbullah, Hassan Nasrallah, said Thursday that Lebanon's Western-backed government had failed and he called for peaceful protests to force it to resign.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's government "has proven it is incompetent and has failed to fulfill its promises and achieve anything significant," Nasrallah said in a televised address broadcast on Hizbullah's television station, Al-Manar.

Hizbullah-led opposition groups have called for mass protests to begin Friday in downtown Beirut with the aim of bringing down the Western-backed government.

The call for peaceful street action came in a statement broadcast Thursday on the television stations of Hizbullah and other opposition groups. It said the street action would begin on Friday at 15:00 in downtown Beirut, where the embattled government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora has its offices.

The prime minister and members of his Cabinet have been bracing for mass demonstrations for days. The security forces have deployed troops and armored vehicles outside government offices, where the prime minister is holed up.

The call for protests came after weeks of political tension between pro-Syrian groups in the opposition, led by Hizbullah, and anti-Syrian factions supporting the government, which has wide Western backing.

The opposition "calls on all the Lebanese of all sects and parties ... to gather peacefully and stage an open-ended sit-in to protest the absence of real political participation and to demand a national unity government, whose priority is to decide a new election law," the statement said.

It called on supporters to carry only the Lebanese flag and to avoid carrying party banners or posters.

Although the statement said the protest would be peaceful, any attempt by demonstrators to take over government buildings could lead to violence.

It was not clear from the opposition statement whether the groups would attempt to take over government buildings.

Previously, groups that support Saniora's government have vowed to call counter demonstrations.
You just knew this was going to happen. Hopefully, with Hezbullah being backed by Syria and Iran, this will give the Bush administration the courage to just say no to 'engagement' with the Syrians and the Iranians.


At 4:53 PM, Blogger Michael said...

"It called on supporters to carry only the Lebanese flag and to avoid carrying party banners or posters."

That's the scariest part of the article. Nasrallah's posturing is just par for the course, but that line is sinister. They are planning for the West to call the demonstrations "spontaneous uprisings," or something like that, and not "Hezbollah ordered marches," which they will be.


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