Syria out of Lebanon Now!

The fallout from the assassination of Rafiq Hariri continues.

The US government has followed up on its temporary recall of its ambassador “for consultations” with a strong statement (from a Fox News article):

“The free world is in agreement that Damascus' authority over the political affairs of its neighbor must end,” Bush said. “The world is speaking with one voice when it comes to making sure that democracy has a chance to flourish in Lebanon and throughout the greater Middle East. And when democracies take hold, the world becomes more peaceful.”

The United States will brook no further interference:

“We've seen words. What we want to see is action that moves in that direction. Syria needs to quit interfering in Lebanon. The Lebanese people are standing up, in the streets of Lebanon and saying we want to reclaim our sovereignty and independence, free from outside interference.” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. He added that not only must troops withdraw, the secret police must go as well and the nation must be permitted to run its own political affairs.

The is strong support from middle eastern countries as well as a dusty UN resolution calling for Syria to leave Lebanon. Even so, Syria has stated its own concerns:

Syria's ambassador warned that a quick withdrawal of his country's soldiers, could leave a power vacuum and rekindle the sectarian violence the Syrians suppressed.

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters puts it rather well:

Assad knows that Syria is through in Lebanon. He may drag it out to June or July, but he's finished there, and he knows it. The Lebanese may not allow them to wait to the end of March to get out, “technical” issues or not. Those demonstrators won't stop until Syria leaves, and Assad knows the US won't let up either.

I believe that the discussion of a “power vacuum” is apt. Syria is looking for a way to maintain control. It may not be through an insurgency like what is being attempted in Iraq, and it may not be a “scorched earth” policy either, but they will look for some way to retain control of the buffer state between them an Israel.

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, Mar 2 2005 04:42 PM

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More Want Syria Out of Lebanon

Via Captain's Quarters this morning we find that Captain's Quarters, Captain Ed, 3/3/2005">Russia and members of the Captain's Quarters, Captain Ed, 3/3/2005">Arab League have joined the calls for Syria to leave Lebanon. Russia's removal of support is ... [Read more]

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