In the wake of this month's devastating explosion in Beirut, French and American leaders have made a show of pledging their support to Lebanon. But many have greeted these messages with suspicion in light of the disastrous history of French and US involvement in the country since it attained independence in 1943.
Habib Battah is an independent journalist working and living in Lebanon. He is the founder of BeirutReport.com and is a lecturer in journalism at the American University of Beirut.
The US prides itself on its freedom of speech, but when it comes to television coverage of the protests, there has been remarkably little space given to demonstrators to voice their concerns or explain their motivations — a marked contrast to less liberal countries undergoing similar unrest.