....whatever happens in Lebanon and Syria, the fact that France and the U.S. have lined up together in the cause of freedom is a hopeful sign. What we have now is an imperative for Europe to come up with its own proposals for enlarging liberty in the Middle East. It's not enough to say Iraq was the wrong way; we must go on to suggest the right one. This is an agenda for the whole of the European Union. [LA Times]
Lest the EU, too, be left behind by history - better late than never, I say.
And speaking of even more unlikely supporters battered into line by the gale now blowing: Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have now called for Syria to drag its dead ass out of plucky little Lebanon:
- Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, went Thursday to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, hoping to secure Saudi support before a coming Arab summit meeting. But Saudi officials told Reuters and The Associated Press that Crown Prince Abdullah had delivered an unusually blunt rebuff. Egypt, the other key Arab player, has also called for the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon.
"The Arabs have taken a stand and the international community have taken a stand," said Joseph Samaha, editor in chief of As Safir, a Lebanese daily. "This means there is no ally left for Syria."
....Saudi Arabia's rebuke follows a similar stand by Russia on Wednesday. "Syria should withdraw from Lebanon," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the BBC late Wednesday. "But we all have to make sure that this withdrawal does not violate the very fragile balance which we still have in Lebanon, which is a very difficult country ethnically."
....Russia's announcement was in effect a message to Syria that Moscow would not exercise its veto against sanctions in the United Nations Security Council, he added. [NY Times]
Momentum has clearly taken on a life of its own and that is how it works best, but let us not forget the hand that pulled the starter cord.
Bush keeps up the pressure in a NY Post interview:
- "The subject that is most on my mind right now is getting Syria out of Lebanon, and I don't mean just the troops out of Lebanon, I mean all of them out of Lebanon, particularly the secret service out of Lebanon — the intelligence services," he said.