Monday, March 07, 2005

Don't Believe Everything You Read and See on TV

This has been a time of great turmoil for the people of Lebanon. You probably know from tv that there have been nightly demonstrations by the opposition party, mostly young people demonstrating. It was thought to be a good thing when the government resigned but as of yet there is no interim government. The pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, refused to resign and has continued to refuse to resign. He is the one who has gone to Syria today to talk with Syrian President Assad about withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon. Let's see. How can we add two and two and get four with these two, one in the hip pocket of the other. My papers say that troop withdrawal will begin today. I'll believe it when I see it. There are Syrian troops all around the outskirts of Aley. I rarely see them unless I am out for a walk.

Tomorrow there is to be a pro-Syrian demonstration in Beirut. In a democracy, as we know it, all sides get to say their piece. Lebanon has been under the thumb of Syria so long, they don't remember how to be a democracy. There is the threat of violence now. The opposition doesn't want to hear what the pro-Syrians have to say. My guess is that the opposite is true too.

The Lebanese, while wanting Syria to get out, also need to maintain working relations with them. It's sort of like when your relatives come for a visit and don't know when to go home. Syria has been here about 30 years. They were needed at the time but now it's time for them to go home. Just as with your relatives, you'll still talk to them and maintain a relationship; so, too, Lebanon needs to be on good footing with Syria to protect their peace and do business. It's sticky.

It's also very complicated, on both sides. Then there's Israel to the south. Syria is still at war with them. They like the access through the south of Lebanon. And it goes on and on.

Because of all the days we've missed school due to this political upheaval and 3 days to snow (well, not Michigan's idea of snow), we now have to make up 5 of the 7 days. YUCK!!!!! So this week we work on Teacher Appreciation Day usually a fun holiday full of presents and flowers for the teachers, plus the day off. AND we work on Saturday this week and next and the first two Sat of April. Bummer!!!
Boo! Hiss!