February 28, 2005

Kiev Redux?

The pictures from Beirut are eerily reminiscent of the pictures of the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine just a few short months ago, except the colors are red, white and green instead of orange. Some Beirut photos here and more here.

The ever-interesting Chris Hitchens muses on the disappearing concept of the "Arab street" here.

We must be cautious. The Syrian régime wiped out the city of Hama when it rebelled against Hafez Assad, father of the present leader. There may be difficult days ahead.

But the parallel with the Ukraine is remarkable -- a country historically dominated by a powerful neighbor rises up peacefully but en masse for democracy and independence, with a crowd sitting in until it gets its way.

Syria doesn't have the tradition of democratic institutions that Lebanon has, but one must ask, if Lebanon succeeds in peacefully winning back its sovereignty, can Syria be far behind?

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