August 30, 2004


U.S. mulls U.N. action on Lebanon (KRISHNADEV CALAMUR, Aug. 30, 2004, UPI)

The United States and France are discussing a U.N. resolution that would support Lebanon's sovereignty, following a Syrian-backed Lebanese Cabinet decision to endorse a draft bill that would allow President Emile Lahoud to stay in power for three years after his six-year term ends in November.

"We are discussing with the French a possible resolution at the Security Council that would stand up for Lebanon's right to decide its own fate," a senior State Department officials told reporters on condition he not be identified.

The Lebanese Parliament is expected next month to debate a draft constitutional amendment that would give Lahoud a three-year extension to his six-year term. The draft bill was endorsed by the Cabinet Saturday, after being pressured by Syria.

Although most Lebanese -- across a wide variety of political groups oppose an amendment -- Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon, supports the move. There are some 16,000 Syrian troops in the country and most political decisions need Damascus' assent.

The presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon is a bone of contention between Washington and Damascus.

"It is our view, and I think the view of many in Lebanon, that it's about time, 15 years after the Taif Accords, to live up to the spirit of those accords and have all foreign forces removed from Lebanon," U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday.

So given French support, the Democrats must approve of defending Lebanon's sovereignty from Syrian interference, right?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2004 6:29 PM

How many Christians left in Lebanon?

Posted by: Eugene S. at August 30, 2004 9:30 PM

Mr. Judd;

The Democratic Party will dump France over this the way they'll dump McCain over the SwiftVets.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 30, 2004 11:13 PM

It must be a coalition of the bribed. How else can you explain French participation ?

Posted by: Peter at August 31, 2004 3:29 AM
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