Last week 500,000 pro-Syrian demonstrators took to the streets. Though the numbers were large, there were several key things to remember: 1) there are hundreds of thousands of Syrians living in Lebanon and many of the demonstrators were no doubt from that group, and 2) Hezbollah and the Syrians have their guns to the people’s backs.
The Europeans have been refusing to crackdown on Hezbollah for years, and now they’re getting bitten by the rabid dog they have fed for so long. If the Euros had joined the United States in our attempts to smother the terrorist organization the demonstrations would no doubt have been smaller and the prospect of peace and freedom in Lebanon would be even brighter. Instead, they refused even to classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Still, today 800,000 Lebanese took to the streets to protest the presence of Syrian power in Lebanon. They were not there because of intimidation; they were there in spite of it. The movement for freedom has snowballed.
European-style appeasement is a system that buys short term stability at the price of long term freedom (and stability). If the recent demonstrations in Lebanon show one thing, it is that the likes of Hezbollah should not be accommodated and their crimes should not be winked at. They should never have been allowed to grow so powerful. By failing to take any action against Hezbollah Europe helped build the forces of tyranny it now purports to oppose. Lebanon would be much better of if Syrian-sponsored terrorist groups has never been coddled.
The Bush Doctrine, (“kick the asses that need to get kicked”) is much more productive.