Robert Tracinski at TIA Daily has been closely following the Lebanese protests against Syrian occupation and the implications for America. Today he noted a Washington Times article (Tent city rises to pressure Syria) and wrote:
When I saw references in reports from the past few days to anti-Syria protesters modeling themselves on Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution,” I thought at first that might just be the opinion of the reporters. Now it is becoming clear that Ukraine is the explicit model for Lebanon, with the Lebanese calling their movement the “Cedar Revolt” to evoke the “Rose” and “Orange” Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine.
The political leaders of the Lebanese protests are not necessary our friends (Walid Jumblatt, for example, has a history of anti-American statements) -- but they are far less hostile to our interests and far less likely to support terrorism against the US or our ally, Israel, than the Syrians and their Iranian backers. That’s why the new Cedar Revolt -- which is gaining momentum -- is such a positive development for US interests.
What interests would the U.S. have in putting pressure on Syria? Tracinski noted another Times/AP article: Terrorist claims Syrian training. From the article:
Iraqi state television aired a video yesterday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer, who said he trained Iraqi terrorists to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops. He also said the terrorists practiced beheading animals to train for decapitating hostages.
UPDATE I -- February 28: From CNN: Lebanon protesters defy ban.
With Lebanon’s pro-Damascus government facing a possible vote of no confidence, tens of thousands of demonstrators defied a ban and poured into Beirut’s city center Monday to protest against Syria’s military presence in Lebanon. Opposition leaders want the pro-Syrian government to resign -- and for Syrian forces to go home.
Perhaps pressure on Syria is beginning to work; CNN reports: Syria hands over Saddam half-brother.
Iraqi officials said Sunday that Syria captured and handed over Saddam Hussein’s half brother, one of the blood-soaked insurgency’s most wanted leaders, ending months of Syrian denials that it was harboring fugitives from the ousted Saddam regime. Iraqi authorities said Damascus acted in a gesture of goodwill.
UPDATE III: The CNN link in Update I has been changed by CNN to reflect this breaking news: Lebanon's pro-Syrian PM resigns.
The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in central Beirut.
The demonstrators, awash in a sea of red, white and green Lebanese flags, had demanded the pro-Syrian government's resignation -- and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon -- since this month's assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Posted by Forkum at February 24, 2005 10:26 PM