I woke up to quieter than normal streets. Anyone who's been to Hamra knows what normal noise level is here; it's usually between Jet Engine level and a Fran Drescher shriek. So I turned on the TV to find a reporter on the streets of Beirut informing us how it is a normal day across town and how all roads and businesses are open. He sounded convincing except in the background you didn't see people or cars instead you saw a dark cloud of smoke. How could I possibly know the Truth of what is going on. I could switch the channel, this isn't Syria or Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country, we do have other non-state controlled and very free media (except for New TV which is not free because it is not protected by a militia).
So I switched the channel and at 8 am Samir Geagea was already declaring that the army and the security forces have failed at their jobs (accusations that were rapidly echoed by other Bristol troop figures) and unleashed his new generation of black clad thugs to take things into their own hands. So the army that had its arms full already with Lebanon's largest civil disobedience movement, now had the added burden of fending off thugs looking for trouble. I didn't like that scene so I switched back to the other TV station with which, as I found out yesterday, shares my habit of daydreaming and a hatred for Naser Qandil.
At the end of the chaotic day calm was restored. 3 people were dead and a hundred or so injured which is tragic; but given that the whole country( and not any country) was engulfed in street fights involving guns, I must say the army and the security forces did a commendable job. If riots of this scale broke out in any American city, the amount of deaths and injuries would have been multiple times more, not to mention the looting that would have hapened.
Kudos to the army and friends for doing a tremendous job at averting disaster, despite what some ungrateful bastards are promoting for narrow personal political gains.