Lebanon’s Hariri-led March 14 Alliance is supported by all the undemocratic Arab petro-sheikhdoms, including the Saudi regime. In twisted terms, the March 14 Alliance has consistently been promoted by the US and French governments as a beleaguered coalition of democrats struggling to save Lebanon from Hezbollah and its foreign allies Iran and Syria. This narrative has always been false. The most undemocratic political elements in Lebanon’s dysfunctional political landscape have either been members of the March 14 Alliance or aligned to it as proxies. This includes Christian warlords like the child killing Samir Geagea and open supporters of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda like the disgraced Ahmed Al-Assir who fault against the Lebanese military in an attempt to extend the fighting in Syria into Lebanon.
The Hariri camp of self-declared democrats has shown its true and ugly colours on many occasions. Many of its members have supported the bombing of their own country by the Israelis in 2006, collaborated with the aggressors attacking Lebanon, stolen state funds, and involved in corruption scandals. These scandals include the Hariri-controlled Future Movement’s shipment of weapons to the anti-government forces in Syria by Okab Sakr and support for the group Fatah Al-Islam, which fought the Lebanese military in Nahr Al-Bared, by Jamal Al-Jarrah.
March 14 has shown its true colours again. This time March 14 politicians have opposed the right of the Syrian citizens inside Lebanon to cast their ballots to decide who would be Syria’s next president. Not only have they opposed it, but they have been outraged that the Syrians living inside Lebanon would dare vote for Bashar Al-Assad. This is why these March 14 Alliance politicians, which use to shed crocodile tears for the Syrian people, are now demanding that the Syrian refugees in Lebanon all be deported back to Syria or elsewhere. They are even referring to these Syrian refugees as security risk to Lebanon and
Tens of thousands of Syrians living inside Lebanon went to vote in advance for their country’s presidential elections by casting their ballots at the Syrian external polls inside Beirut on May 28, 2014. Large crowds with pictures of Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Republic’s flags and national colours flooded the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency described the event thus: “Waving the Syrian flags and honking their car horns while holding banners and chanting patriotic slogans, Syrian citizens, estimated in their hundreds of thousands, flocked from all Lebanese cities and villages, clogging the roads and streets leading to the Syrian embassy in Yarzeh, east of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.” Even Al Jazeera and news networks hostile to the Syrian government were forced to admit that this took place. Their numbers are estimated to range anywhere from 80,000 to approximately 100,000 people.
So many Syrian citizens went to vote that they created traffic jams inside Beirut. The Syrian Embassy in Beirut, where the voting polls were located, was even forced to extend voting hours in an attempt all the Syrians that wanted to vote — the bulk of which were clearly supporters of President Bashar Al-Assad. Even with the extended hours for voting the Syrian Embassy failed to accommodate all the Syrians that had lined up to cast their ballots. The many Syrians that could not vote were instructed to go cast their votes in Syrian polling stations on the Lebanese-Syrian border on June 3, 2014.
There are two important points here. The first important point here is not only that the Hariri camp’s politicians in Lebanon, which have supported regime change in Syria since 2011 under the pretext of sympathizing with the Syrian people and on the basis of support for democracy, have shown how really ingenious they are by opposing the same Syrian refugees that they have been pretending to defend. The second important point here is that the claims that the Syrian presidential election on June 3, 2014 is going to be rigged and that the population inside Syria will be forced to vote in a mock election by the Syrian government are both invalidated by the Syrians rushing to vote in Lebanon. Not only did the Syrian expatriates in Lebanon vote voluntarily, but they were very enthusiastic and the majority of them voted for Al-Assad.
What can be inferred from the voting in Lebanon and the open support of Syrian voters for Bashar Al-Assad is that he is genuinely popular and that he will win the 2014 presidential elections. Neither the US nor the corrupt March 14 Alliance in Lebanon can accept this. Ironically while the US says that the May 25 presidential elections in Ukraine that were organized by a coup-installed government are legitimate in the midst of fighting, but that the June 3 presidential elections in Syria are not.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is currently in Lebanon and will be in Syria as an international observer for the 2014 presidential elections.