Thursday, April 07, 2005

Aiding Democracy in Lebanon

In a powerful piece for the April 6th Wall Street Journal, Claudia Rossett writes about the democratic yearnings of the Lebanese people:

In all this, no where has the clamor for liberty and accountable government been more acute than in Lebanon, a nation that during the last century boasted democratic institutions before there were mutilated by war, then smothered by Syria's occupying forces. And in recent weeks, in their struggle for freedom, the Lebanese people have voiced a vital demand, one that deserves far more attention than even the considerable amount it has already received. They have been telling it in English to the world press, and writing it in Arabic in white-and-black signs across their country, on walls, billboards and banners.

They are demanding, simply: "The Truth."

Why is this so important? Because the truth--however problematic or undiplomatic--is one of the most effective and underused weapons in the arsenal of democracy. The U.S. State Department, or for that matter the folks at the Quai D'Orsay, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the United Nations, could do worse than to procure and post on their own office walls some of those Lebanese signs that demand "The Truth."

It bears noting under despotic regimes anywhere, the most common reason for which democratic dissidents are jailed is simply that they have dared to tell the truth. Tyrants depend on fictions, on the lies that all their subjects support them, that they have a legitimate monopoly on power and that what they do is for the best. When that facade cracks, there is an opportunity for genuine liberation.

'The Truth': A Simple Demand From the Lebanese and Oppressed People Everywhere

While Syria is going through the motions of withdrawal, it is clear that the Assad regime hopes to continue to dominate Lebanon from behind the scenes. Syria, in cooperation with Iran and its terrorist attack dog Hezbollah, intends to undermine the Cedar Revolution and retain Lebanon as a vassal state.

Faced with such a threat, the pro-democracy forces in Lebanon need all the help they can get. Fortunately, the good folks at Spirit of America are stepping up to the plate and offering their assistance.

Please consider donating to Spirit of America's efforts to aid the Lebanese opposition in their quest for freedom and truth. Let the Lebanese know that they are not alone.


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