February 26, 2005


Toss Bashar Assad Out of Both Lebanon and Syria
: The assassination of Rafik Hariri is the final straw. The world should help the two nations oust this tyrant. (Danielle Pletka, February 25, 2005, LA Times)

If Syria is responsible for the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri — as many observers believe — it is only the most recent in a long line of that country's transgressions. And it must not go unanswered.

It marks a moment when much of the world is united against the regime of Bashar Assad, Syria's tyrannical dictator. It is clear that quashing Assad in Lebanon would strike a blow for liberty there. As important, it could strike a blow for a free Syria, and wider liberty in the Arab world. [...]

But liberty for Lebanon should not be the endgame for the United States, France or the United Nations. Syria itself must be freed from the Assad dictatorship, with its legacy of poverty, corruption and death, including the 1982 murder of up to 20,000 opponents of the regime in the city of Hama.

The costs of standing up to Syria in Beirut and in Damascus should not be insurmountable. Assad is feeling the world's censure now, claiming that he will begin to remove troops from Lebanon. A small increase in pressure might move him out altogether.

And Sunni Arab governments in the region may well be amenable to challenging the Alawite status quo. Even the Shiite-dominated government in Iraq has taken a stand against Assad, closing its border with Syria several times. If Syria continues on its current path it could find itself an island in its own region, denied trade, tourism, hard currency. A free Lebanon could even exclude Syrian guest workers — now exported to Lebanon's free market to relieve high unemployment at home.

How about a book for correctly picking when Baby Assad steps down or calls an election to choose his own replacement?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 26, 2005 12:36 PM

i say assad is swinging from a lamp post by june of this year.

Posted by: cjm at February 26, 2005 2:03 PM

Someone should send him glasses and say it's time to continue your studies.

Posted by: Sandy P at February 26, 2005 2:20 PM

Baby Assad benefits greatly from the 'Apres moi, le deluge' factor. When his choice to support or his inability to halt the growth of a terrorist base in his country becomes too obvious, there is no good reason to keep him around. The deluge is already here.

Posted by: Bart at February 26, 2005 5:29 PM

I've always had my doubts as to whether Baby Assad is really running things or not in Syria. I suspect the real power there is a junta of military officers ala Burma. Assad just seems way too incompetent to be a ruthless dictator like his father was.

Posted by: MB at February 26, 2005 5:31 PM

Baby gets sent to his room for a "time out" by Bastille Day (my mother's birthday).

Who got the book for the best "fish face" story awhile back?

Posted by: Dave W. at February 26, 2005 9:48 PM

How does flees a half hour ahead of a mob howling for his head fit into this scenario?

I think they will be out of Lebanon before the snow melts.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 26, 2005 10:07 PM


You, but you won't email me and don't have an address posted.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2005 10:32 PM


Posted by: Dave W. at February 27, 2005 12:28 PM
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