Monday, February 28, 2005

Crazy Happenings in Lebanon

Have you been following Lebanon at all? You should be. It looks like it might be solid evidence that Bush's domino effect hopes will be realized.

After the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri earlier this month, Lebanese citizens began to turn out in force to protest Syrian occupation of the country. Drawing explicit parallels to the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine from a few months back, the "Cedar Revolution" has won a major victory today: the Lebanese government, generally considered a puppet of Syria, has resigned en masse.

The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in central Beirut.

The demonstrators, awash in a sea of red, white and green Lebanese flags, had demanded the pro-Syrian government's resignation -- and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon -- since this month's assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Demonstrators in Beirut's Martyrs Square chanted, "Syria out! Syria out!" after Prime Minister Omar Karami announced his resignation in a speech aired by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation.

In his speech, Karami said he would have won a no-confidence vote scheduled for later in the day, but was resigning to avoid making his government a stumbling block to peace.

The country's pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, now must pick a prime minister to form a new government until scheduled elections in May.

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