Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Vote in Presidential Elections.
Why are US-backed politicians in Lebanon angry when Syrians want to vote freely?
Not only has the US-supported March 14 Alliance opposed voting in Syria’s June presidential elections by the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, but it has shown it cares very little about democracy or voting.
While Washington has supported the coup-installed regime in Ukraine, which is bombing its own people in places like Donetsk, Lugansk, and Slavyansk, it has opposed the Syrian government’s fight against the terrorists and anti-government forces committing crimes against civilians. In the case of Ukraine, the US claims that these are legitimate measures, but not in the case of Syria. That is not where the contradictions end. While the US supported the May-25 2014 presidential elections in Ukraine, its stance is the total opposite in regards to the presidential elections in Syria on June 3, 2014.
Thousands of Syrian nationals living in Lebanon arrive outside the Syrian Embassy in Yarze east of Beirut on May 28, 2014, before voting in the upcoming presidential elections in Syria (AFP Photo)
The US is not the only player that holds a contradictory position on the Syrian presidential elections. Here, in Lebanon, the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance, which is heavily promoted by the US and its allies as the so-called “democratic opponents”of Hezbollah, has also opposed the Syrian presidential elections. The Hariri-led March 14 Alliance, however, voting has opposed the voting process from taking place inside Lebanon.
Tens of thousands of Syrians residing in Lebanon headed into Beirut to vote. In fact, so many Syrian citizens went to cast their ballots for their country’s presidential election that they created traffic jams in Beirut due to the sheer size of numbers streaming into the Lebanese capital. The estimates on the number of Syrians that went to vote run from approximately 80,000 to 100,000 people.
More importantly, the Syrian Embassy in Beirut was forced to extend voting time. Even with the extension of the voting time by the Syrian Embassy, all the Syrians that had lined up to cast their ballots for the presidential election could not be accommodated. The Syrian expatriates living inside Lebanon, most of whom are refugees that have fled the fighting in Syria, who were not able to vote were told that they would have to go and cast their votes in Syrian polling stations on the Lebanese-Syrian border.
The reaction of the Hariri camp in Lebanon was initially one of utter shock and then anger towards the massive number of Syrians voting. The March 14 Lebanese politicians that 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 ingenious their claims really were and still are. March 14 has demanded that all the Syrian refugees in Lebanon be expelled, even though the Hariri camp’s leaders were shamelessly pretending to be looking out for the interests of these same Syrian refugees earlier by calling for military intervention and regime change in Damascus. March 14 even described the voting process as “provocations by pro-regime Syrians.” It is also worth noting that these Syrian refugees have been exploited as cheap laborers, prostitutes, and child brides in Lebanon in addition to having international aid, both financial and material, coming to them diverted.
Not only has the US-supported March 14 Alliance opposed the Syrian population that is stranded in Lebanon from exercising its right to vote, but it has shown its true fascist colors. Voting and democracy have only been things that these supposedly “democratic” figures hide behind. The hollowness of the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance’s democratic credentials should come as no surprise, because these same US-backed politicians have repeatedly saluted Saudi Arabia’s leaders as democrats.
What is the most important thing to note is that those who claim that the Syrian presidential election is going to be a giant fraud and that the Syrian population will be forced to vote in a mock election are negated by the fact that no one forced the Syrians in Lebanon to vote. None of the Syrians in Lebanon voted out of fear as can be seen clearly from the volumes of footage from the event. Not only did the Syrians inside Lebanon vote in a free environment, but the majority of them supported Bashar Assad.
When the majority of the Syrian population in Syria votes for Assad and openly sings his praise and holds banners and posters supporting him, it means he genuinely has popular support. Watch the spin doctors make all sorts of lies to reinvent what has happened. Go ahead New York Times and Washington Post, take your best shots. Instead of trying to undermine the Syrians that voted freely, you should be talking about the fraud in Egypt’s elections.