I was suspect of this article from the AP linked by Drudge earlier today saying 500,000 pro-Syrian protesters demonstrated in Beirut today. I trolled around looking for a good blog article this morning giving an explanation. This afternoon, I found a very good one from Little Red Blog. He lists 4 different articles, with the last one as reported by UPI through the Washington Times that Syria may be busing in "demonstrators" from Syria!
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Here is what President Bush had to say today on Syria during a speech to the National Defense University:
"History is moving quickly, and leaders in the Middle East have important choices to make. The world community, including Russia and Germany and France and Saudi Arabia and the United States has presented the Syrian government with one of those choices -- to end its nearly 30-year occupation of Lebanon, or become even more isolated from the world. The Lebanese people have heard the speech by the Syrian president. They've seen these delaying tactics and half-measures before. The time has come for Syria to fully implement Security Council Resolution 1559. All Syrian military forces and intelligence personnel must withdraw before the Lebanese elections, for those elections to be free and fair.
The elections in Lebanon must be fully and carefully monitored by international observers. The Lebanese people have the right to determine their future, free from domination by a foreign power. The Lebanese people have the right to choose their own parliament this spring, free of intimidation. And that new government will have the help of the international community in building sound political, economic, and military institutions, so the great nation of Lebanon can move forward in security and freedom.
Today I have a message for the people of Lebanon: All the world is witnessing your great movement of conscience. Lebanon's future belongs in your hands, and by your courage, Lebanon's future will be in your hands. The American people are on your side. Millions across the earth are on your side. The momentum of freedom is on your side, and freedom will prevail in Lebanon.
America and other nations are also aware that the recent terrorist attack in Tel Aviv was conducted by a radical Palestinian group headquartered in Damascus. Syria, as well as Iran, has a long history of supporting terrorist groups determined to sow division and chaos in the Middle East, and there is every possibility they will try this strategy again. The time has come for Syria and Iran to stop using murder as a tool of policy, and to end all support for terrorism."
President Bush is pushing forward his agenda of spreading democracy around the world to friends and foe alike. Peaceful protests, Orange Revolutions and Cypress Revolutions are the future for people fed up with dictators and autocrats.