Monday, March 07, 2005

Freedom on the March

Syrian troops began to withdrawn to the Lebanon border today as the Syrian ambassador to the U.S., Imad Moustapha, promised that Syria would withdraw all its troops from Lebanon within a few months (probably not voluntarily). This measure, however, did not satisfy the 70,000+ demonstrators in Beirut shouting, "Freedom! Sovereignty! Independence!" or President Bush, as White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, called today's troop withdraw a "half-measure".

What is even more encouraging than the resolve of Lebanonese citizens and the U.S. government to demand the complete withdrawal of Syrian troops is the recent development that Hezbollah, the powerful terrorist group in Lebanon, is siding with Syria, and calling for counter-demonstrations tomorrow in support of Syria. There was fear by some that Hezbollah wanted Syria out, so they could take advantage of the power vacuum. But now that it is clear they support the status-quo, their popularity will wane, which is vital in developing a government in Lebanon that is not worse than the current Syrian rule.