March 12, 2005

Anti-Lebanese Protests and Why Democracy's Winning

Thousands of supporters of Hezbollah, the Syrian-puppet terrorist gang, counter-protested in Lebanon last week. Yesterday thousands of Palestinians protested against the Lebanese, saying that Syria should stay in Lebanon. What's interesting is not the content of the protests, but the fact that they were held at all.

Remember, Arab states do not have a strong tradition of protest except as a way to bash America and Israel or to praise their local government. That's not to say that anti-government protests never happen, but compared to many other places protests are further down the list.

The normal process for protesting your government in many of these places is to blow yourself up and try to take them with you. The fact that Hezbollah and Gaza Strippers are protesting at all is a sign that democracy is already winning in the region. They're fighting democracy on its own terms: non-violent, mass demonstrations in the street rather than bloodthirsty, suicidal bombings.

When protest comes in the form of murder, carnage and explosions it forces many democrats to use violence in response (which is often justified and even necessary) but when terrorist sympathizers are forced to respond to democrats with protest-in-kind it shows who is setting the agenda. The terrorists are losing the initiative, and we can't let up for even a second. Further protests, even under threat of bombing or injury, have to continue. We have to push them into debating on peaceful terms, rather than simply communicating through pain and death.

Hopefully, before long violence will be harder and harder to accept as Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians realize that non-violent methods are more effective and don't require the pain and sacrifice of terror.

We should be glad that groups like Hezbollah for a change are forced to mimic the tactics of their opponents instead of the other way around.


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