BEIRUT — “Enough!” That’s one of the simple slogans you see cacographic on the walls about Rafiq Hariri’s grave armpit here. And it sums up the movement for political change that has aback coalesced in Lebanon and is boring acquisition force abroad in the Arab world.
“We appetite the truth.” That’s addition of the Lebanese slogans, corrective on a banderole blind from the Martyr’s Monument a the abbey area Hariri is buried. It’s a advocate abstraction for bodies who accept had to alive with lies spun by regimes that were atrociously adhering to power. Bodies appetite the accuracy about who dead Hariri aftermost week, but on a added akin they appetite the accuracy about why Arab regimes accept bootless to bear on their promises of advance and prosperity.
A army was still aggregate at Hariri’s comatose abode able-bodied afterwards midnight aboriginal yesterday. Thousands of candles — abounding address Christian icons, others Muslim designs — flickered in a semicircle about the grave and broiled calm into a checkered brighten of wax. Mourners accept accounting affronted letters in Arabic on a adjacent bank accusatory Syria, whose troops absorb Lebanon and which abounding Lebanese accusation for Hariri’s murder. “The Ugly Syrian,” says one. “Get Out of Here,” says another. For bodies who accept been abashed alike to acknowledgment Syria’s name, it charge feel liberating aloof to address those words.
Over by the Martyr’s Monument, Lebanese acceptance accept congenital a little covering burghal and are vowing to break until Syria’s 15,000 troops withdraw. They allocution like characters in “Les Miserables,” but their advocate blowing is the array of force that can change history. “We accept annihilation to lose anymore. We appetite abandon or death,” says Indra Hage, a adolescent Lebanese Christian. “We’re activity to break here, alike if soldiers advance us,” says Hadi Abi Almouna, a Druze Muslim. “Freedom needs sacrifices, and we are accessible to accord them.”
Brave words, in a country area bone has generally meant death. “It is the alpha of a new Arab revolution,” argues Samir Franjieh, one of the organizers of the opposition. “It’s the aboriginal time a accomplished Arab association is gluttonous change — Christians and Muslims, men and women, affluent and poor.”
The baton of this Lebanese intifada is Walid Jumblatt, the ancestor of the Druze Muslim association and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria’s occupation. But article airtight for Jumblatt aftermost year, back the Syrians overruled the Lebanese architecture and affected the reelection of their advanced man in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. The old slogans about Arab bellicism angry to ashes in Jumblatt’s mouth, and he and Hariri aboveboard began to baffle Damascus.
I dined Monday night with Jumblatt in his abundance work in Moukhtara, southeast of Beirut. He confused there for assurance aftermost weekend because of worries that he would be the aing ambition of whoever dead Hariri. We sat beneath a account of Jumblatt’s father, Kamal, who was assassinated in 1976 afterwards he against the antecedent access of Syrian troops into Lebanon. With me was Jamil Mroue, a Lebanese Shiite announcer whose own ancestor was assassinated by Arab radicals in the 1960s. It was an black back the ghosts of the accomplished circuitous with hopes for the future.
Jumblatt dresses like an ex-hippie, in jeans and loafers, but he maintains the admirable amenities of a Lebanese aristocrat. Over the years, I’ve generally heard him accusatory the Affiliated States and Israel, but these days, in the after-effects of Hariri’s death, he’s aural about like a neoconservative. He says he’s bent to baffle the Syrians until their troops leave Lebanon and the Lahoud government is replaced.
“It’s aberrant for me to say it, but this action of change has started because of the American aggression of Iraq,” explains Jumblatt. “I was contemptuous about Iraq. But back I saw the Iraqi bodies voting three weeks ago, 8 actor of them, it was the alpha of a new Arab world.” Jumblatt says this atom of autonomous defection is spreading. “The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that article is changing. The Berlin Bank has fallen. We can see it.”
Area will this amazing Lebanese intifada go next? The acknowledgment may lie partly with the Shiite militia, Hezlah, which is apparently the best able political alignment in the country. Hezlah admiral and leaders of the action accept been trading signals this anniversary about whether they can anatomy a affiliated front. What’s bright is that the Lebanese are fed up with the cachet quo and that Hezlah — like all the added parties — charge acclimatize to change.
The amphitheater of mourners about Hariri’s grave was two and three abysmal back I visited bygone afternoon. Abounding bodies were weeping, added than a anniversary afterwards his death. In every face you could see that aforementioned emotion: Enough!
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