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Monday, March 14, 2005 

1559 is dead. Long live 1559.

"It's all over." That is how one reporter described the situation in Lebanon after touching base with Western Embassies in Damascus. "There is no more threat of sanctions. No use of force," he was told. Now that the Syrians have agreed to withdraw their troops, UN Resolution 1559 is dead."

From Joshua Landis's Syria Comment.

I hope it's over... But did you read the article by Robert Fisk in the Independent yesterday? It explained that the UN's investigation team will report that the Lebanese authorities have covered up the evidence of Hariri's assasination, adding that "US President George Bush is expected to announce this week that Syrian - and perhaps Lebanese - military intelligence officers were involved in Hariri's killing; the bombing took the lives of 18 other civilians."

Of course there's reason to worry that this is just the beginning. Bush has been using Syria as a scapegoat for things that are happening in Iraq, Lebanon and Israel. Quite a tall order, as Rime Allaf said.

But if Bashar can relinquish control over Lebanon, he can do anything. I don't think there's any emotional tie to Iraq whatsoever. Agreeing to any of Bush's demands shouldn't be difficult. And Hamas and Jihad have been repeatedly expelled from Damascus (!). As for Hizbollah, well, the world is coming to respect them as a political force to be reckoned with, not just a bunch of bandits. 500,000 speaks loudly.

So yes, we can meet any and all of Bush's demands. And I think we will.

It's sad that we have to talk in these terms, but that's the way of the world until Bush leaves office.

As for Robert Fisk, I admire his politics hugely, but (and i'll say this quietly) - don't believe everything he says.

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  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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