Hezbollah Roars in Beruit
The coup begins. Again.
Hezbollah walked out of the anti-Syrian Cabinet--just as it was about to approve a UN Special Tribunal. Why?
Maybe because Syria expected this Tribunal to prove Damascus commissioned the recent wave of assassinations in Lebanon?
Perish the thought!
Now, Hezbollah rallies at least a million to demand the Cabinet resign.
The BBC has coverage:
Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian allies have held a mass rally in Beirut to protest against Lebanon's government.
Amid tight security, demonstrators chanted slogans denouncing Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
The opposition says it will keep up the pressure until the government resigns.
The protests follow weeks of rising tension in Lebanon, with the killing of a leading anti-Syrian politician and resignations from the cabinet.
Mr Siniora has vowed to resist what he called an attempted coup.
Hezbollah has been demanding a bigger share in the cabinet that would give it the power to veto government decisions.
We appeal to all Lebanese, from every region and political movement... to rid us of an incapable government
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah
Speaking from behind a bullet-proof glass screen, Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun said the government was not one of national unity and so was not constitutional.
"I call on the prime minister and his ministers to resign," he told the cheering crowd, many of them waving the flag of Lebanon.
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has been emboldened by a conflict with Israeli forces in the summer that destroyed many parts of southern Lebanon but failed to shatter his movement's militia.
Hezbollah accuses the Lebanese government of failing to support it during the conflict.
However, the anti-Syrian parties that have the majority in government accuse Hezbollah of serving Syrian interests in their country.
So Lebanon is supposed to combat the strongest military in the Middle East because Hezbollah invades Israel and captures IDF personnel without government authorization?
Walid Jumblatt knows the true reason for Hezbollah's show:
Anti-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt told the BBC that Hezbollah was trying to block the international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Siniora warned any attempt to topple his government would fail
"The question is: What do they want? They only want to avoid the truth that is the international tribunal. This is the answer."
The government came to office last year in the first election held after the withdrawal of Syrian troops originally stationed in Lebanon during the civil war.
Syria was forced to withdraw its military presence after massive street protests and international pressure, triggered by the February 2005 assassination of Mr Hariri.
A UN investigation has implicated several Syrian officials in the killing - but Syria denies it is involved.
Syria will stop at nothing to secure control over Lebanon. Hezbollah will do whatever it takes to ensure that Syria succeeds.
The West must not stand for Syria's interference in Lebanon's affairs. If Bashir wants the Golan Heights back, let him sit down with Israel and negotiate. The US and Europe must reassure the Lebanese that they support their independence from Syria.
Are we serious about isolating those nations that utilize terrorism as an instrument of policy? Or will we play lip service to Lebanon's democracy while cutting deals with her oppressor in order to escape Iraq?
Put up or shut up time approaches. Which will it be?