Lebanon’s “Cedar Revolution” is a case in point, one that illustrates the entirely illusory nature of the media hype – which is, unsurprisingly, identical to the U.S. government’s official line. The official story is that the long-suffering peoples of Lebanon have had enough, and – drunk with the mere promise of the magical elixir of Democracy – are at last rising up, seizing their liberty, and throwing off their Syrian oppressors. It’s a pretty story, albeit a bit simple-minded and hackneyed, but there’s just one problem: it isn’t true. ~Justin Raimondo

Nothing better captures the simple-mindededness of American journalism’s coverage of the “Cedar Revolution” than the tired, recycled paean to hip, modern youths fighting oppression that is Evan Osnos’ report on Lebanon in the March 3 Chicago Tribune. It is really too generous to call it a report, since it reads more like a review of trends in this year’s youth culture than a serious description of the political situation in Lebanon, and this is the point. The fake “revolution” must be associated with newness, trendiness, youth and the hip youngsters who are making it happen (we saw this especially in the stage-managed Ukrainian mob tactics during the winter), so that an insignificant political demonstration in a country that does not ban, though it does restrict, freedom of assembly is taken as some kind of bold, Arab hippie march against the forces of the old and corrupt powers that be. “Woodstock” is even invoked by Mr. Osnos, if you can believe the silliness of it, and the stage-managed, planned tent city that invaded the heart of Kiev in December has a meager, smaller imitation forming up in the center of Beirut.

In recent years, it has become a reasonable bet that whenever the Western press begins describing a “spontaneous” and “populist” demonstration against the government in power (which just happens to suit Washington’s view of the situation) there are foreign NGOs or international agencies funding, training or encouraging the protesters in a not-too-subtle attempt to manipulate the politics of the country in question. Whether or not this is the case in Lebanon I cannot say at the moment, but the sheer unanimity of the Western press in its coverage of this situation suggests to me that, just as in the Ukraine, the real story is being carefully concealed and the official government view is being propagated as the reporting of facts. That Washington and Tel Aviv benefit enormously from the humiliation of Syria that the recent series of events in Lebanon have brought about cannot be ignored in assessing the authenticity of the “revolution” or, more importantly, in assessing how some genuine protest is probably being manipulated and used by outside forces to throw Lebanon into chaos.

The habit of journalists and pundits, formalised after the fraudulent “Rose Revolution” in Georgia, to give every one of these almost certainly unrepresentative and foreign-directed protests silly labels to provide a simple colour-coded or symbolic referent for the ignorant audience(”Orange” or “Cedar” or, perhaps a future “Qat Revolution” in Yemen or, coming soon in Armenia, the “Pomegranate”!) betrays how tendentious and unprofessional the reporting has been about each of these so-called revolutions. The very use of the phrase “Cedar Revolution” in any but a half-sarcastic tone suggests to me someone who either has a clear agenda or has not approached the story with the proper sense of skepticism and inquiry that journalists ought to cultivate.