"This is non-negotiable. It is time to get out . . . I think we've got a good chance to achieve that objective and to make sure that the May elections [in Lebanon] are fair. I don't think you can have fair elections with Syrian troops there," the president said in a wide-ranging Oval Office interview with The Post's editorial board.
Asked if there is a threat of military action as an "or else" if they don't, Bush replied, "No. The 'or else' is further isolation from the world. You know, the president should never take any options off the table, [but] my last choice is military."
...."When the United States says something, it must mean it. That's what I meant when I said, 'Remove all your troops,' not remove 94 percent of them," the president said.
"Totally out of Lebanon — and that's very important for [Syrian] President Assad to hear. And it's more than just troops. I keep emphasizing this, but it's important for the world to understand that a Lebanon that is able to express itself freely at the ballot box needs to have no Syrian secret service."