March 3, 2005


Saudis to Syria: Withdraw From Lebanon (SALAH NASRAWI, March 3, 2005, AP)

Assad said he would study the possibility of a partial withdrawal before an Arab summit scheduled March 23 in Algeria and said he is doing all he can to resolve the problem but that not everything is up to him, the official said.

The Saudis replied that the situation was his problem and warned that if Damascus refuses to comply, it would lead to tensions in Saudi-Syrian ties, the official told The Associated Press, speaking by phone from Riyadh.

Damage in those relations would deepen Syria's isolation after its traditional allies Russia and France joined the United States and United Nations in demanding a full pullout. Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Washington, often presents Syria's point of view to U.S. officials.

In a further sign of impatience, the Saudis rejected a Syrian request that the upcoming summit officially ask Damascus to withdraw its forces, which would give any pullback an Arab endorsement, the official said.

Saudi Arabia is also said to be angry with Damascus over the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who also held Saudi citizenship and was close to the Saudi royal family.

How much more isolated can he get?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 3, 2005 2:10 PM

Depends what's in the Bekka Valley.

Posted by: Sandy P at March 3, 2005 2:15 PM

Russia telling him to get out is the last straw, and is an indicator of how unwilling the Russians are to jump ugly with the US.

Posted by: Bart at March 3, 2005 4:26 PM

And now we replace the devil we know with the other devil we know.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 3, 2005 5:32 PM

If men were angels...

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 6:12 PM

Well, the Saudis certainly aren't angels. Their enthusiastic help should be taken with a truckload of salt.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 3, 2005 6:17 PM

Well, you wait for the angels to show up and the rest of us will deal with the world as we find it.

Posted by: oj at March 3, 2005 6:22 PM

my god how does one pooor soul carry so much of the world's weight ? atlas sighed. what a miserable pinched existence. that's some bad karma, you got goin' there, pal.

Posted by: cjm at March 3, 2005 11:21 PM

That was not my point, Orrin.

You do know the Saudis originally opposed an international investigation, don't you? And now the evidence is pointing to a suicide bomber, which is not the Syrian style. And you do know that the Sauds have a rivalry with the Assads because the Assads have suppressed Wahhabism in the Levant?

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 4, 2005 12:48 PM


When you're done is Assad gone?

Posted by: oj at March 4, 2005 12:50 PM

As long as he doesn't threaten us, and he doesn't, I don't particularly care. However, the wahhabs do threaten us, and I do care if we inadvertently strengthen them. You should, too.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 4, 2005 2:28 PM

the dominoes all fall.

Posted by: oj at March 4, 2005 2:31 PM

That's Bin Laden's intention, too.

I sincerely hope your read of what will happen afterwards is better than his.

Posted by: Derek Copold at March 4, 2005 3:48 PM