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The Rally to Rally

Answering the call of Hezbollah, a very large rally took place in Beirut today. Here are some opening paragraphs of the media coverage.

Nearly 500,000 pro-Syrian protesters waved flags and chanted anti-American slogans in a central Beirut square Tuesday, answering a nationwide call by the militant Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group for a demonstration to counter weeks of massive rallies demanding Syrian forces leave Lebanon. – AP, Beirut

Chanting "Beirut is free, America out," tens of thousands of people swarmed into the Lebanese capital Tuesday for a mass rally led by Hizbullah to counter global demands for an end to Syria's domination. – Naharnet, Beirut

Hundreds of thousands of pro-Syrian protesters poured into a central Beirut square this afternoon in a demonstration called for by the militant group Hezbollah that vastly outnumbered recent rallies demanding that Syrian forces leave Lebanon. – NYTimes

Syria flexed its Lebanese political muscle Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of people, responding to a call from the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, took to the streets of Beirut in a show of support for Damascus. Several eyewitnesses, however, told United Press International that large numbers of demonstrators were brought in from Syria to swell the numbers.UPI via Washington Times

Of course. Those who oppose foreign intervention, see the U.S. as the great Satan, and seek to destroy Israel couldn't count on huge crowds without strong-arm tactics and other shenanigans. Caveman has a personal account of his barber defying orders to attend the rally and accounts from Future TV that the intelligence services are bussing in people from remote villages for the rally. [HT: Across the Bay]

Hezbollah has put itself in a tenuous position. While seeking to become a more legitimate political party, it has taken a position that will eventually fail. And afterwards, without the support of Syria and Iran, the party will have little left but its hatred of Israel and the U.S. to stand for. The question may be whether or not the Shi’a in Lebanon will continue to support them in such a climate. Tony, at Across the Bay, has more including a look at the not so good day for Hezbollah.


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