Assad Will Withdraw Syrian Troops From Lebanon: (Wink-Wink)
The Word Unheard out of Damascus is that Syrian dictator Bashir Assad has told Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa that he will "soon" begin withdrawing Syrian troops from the occupied parts of Lebanon.
What actually happens may be another thing, as the AP article cited some rather ambiguous quotes that do not neccessarily serve as reassuring:
"Assad stressed more than once his firm determination to go on with implementing the Taif agreement and achieve Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon in accordance with this agreement," Moussa said.
What is meant by the term 'go on with'? Do they mean 'continue'? If that's the case, it's all a sham because Syria never started withdrawal. Do they mean 'finally go ahead with'? Is it a poor translation or intentionally ambiguous? Maybe I will shoot over a request to MEMRI. Currently they show nothing on this meeting between Moussa and Assad.
Assad stressed 'firm determination' more than once? Why doesn't he excercise 'firm control' over his own generals and pull them back north into Syria? Many suspect that the generals run Assad and do not want to give up their balck market operations in the four quarters of Lebanon. (I will find andpost links when time permits.)
More from Moussa (note that it is not directly from Assad):
"Syrian withdrawal is part of Syrian policy and will see steps in this direction very soon," Moussa quoted Assad as saying.
How courageous of Assad to send Moussa to do his talking.
It should be observed that "Syrian occupation is part of Syrian policy." Until there is physical movement, observers should be summarily unimpressed.
Syria will withdraw from Lebanon when Tehran tells them to and not a moment sooner.
But then, there is reason for hope. Seems the Lebanese don't care much what Tehran or Damascus want:
The Washington Times: Tens of Thousands of Protesters in Beirut demand Syria ouster
And, chronologically speaking, Moussa's quoting of Assad came before Bush and Chirac told Syria to leave Lebanon.
We'll be keeping our eye on this one.