Monday, February 28, 2005

Lebanese PM Resigns Amid Protests: now that was quick! PM Omar Karami didn't even give opposition in Parliament time to vent before the vote, much less wait for the vote. This is indeed good news but the real target is President Émile Lahoud.

Critical to driving the Syrians out now is his removal and the speed in which a new governemnt is formed. I do not know anything of the parliamental process in Lebanon. Are elections required now that the PM has resigned? Seems so, as there are calls for an interim government to be formed and elections scheduled. One of the first acts of the caretaker government can take is to send notice that assistance of the Syrian Army (and the divisions of intelligence forces) are not needed anymore. This was the current pretext for the Syrians foot dragging on repatriating their forces in Lebanon (noted in this Bloomberg report.) Some conceptual words from various groups in Lebanon on addressing Constitutional issues would be a wise move also. That would kick the last prop from under the Syrian facade for staying (also noted in the Bloomberg report.)

Meanwhile, on the Freudian slip front there is this diddy in the Bloomberg story: "I am sure what is good for the Lebanese is good for Syria," Syrian Ambassador to the UN Fayssal Mekdad said. Mekhad was actually voicing Syria's concern that things will calm now and unity will be preserved in Lebanon such that there will be stability there. But his comment may also be unwittingly prophetic. Couldn't happen to a nicer Syrian government.

Update: Added the Bloomberg link. Sorry about that.

Update 2: The Christian Science Montor has a good summary story online. And don't forget to check out Across the Bay, Publius Pundit, and Caveman in Beirut. Captain's Quarters has a good post here, too.

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