Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Bush is demanding that Syria withdraw from Lebanon. As Assad thinks about how to respond, he takes a look around the neighborhood, and what does he see? He sees Iran thumbing its nose at the United States over Iran's nuclear programs. He sees the United States doing nothing about that. He figures that Iran with nuclear weapons has got to be viewed as a bigger threat to regional stability than his being in Lebanon. Based on this, he figures that if the United States is unwilling to use its military to force Iranian compliance with US demands, then the United States is extremely unlikely to use its military to force Syria out of Lebanon.

As for Israel? The last time he checked, Israel was leaving Lebanon with its tail between its legs. He sees Israel leaving Gaza with its tail between its legs (no matter how the proponents of the 'peace process' dress up that dog, it's still a dog). He figures that Israel wants no part in going back into Lebanon. He figures Israel wants no part of attacking Syria proper in order to force Syria out of Lebanon.

And the Lebanese themselves? Let's not even bother going there. 20,000 protesters in the street doesn't topple a foreign occupier. Lebanon has no military that can be used to evict Syria. Heck, the terrorists probably have more of a military capability than does the Lebanese government.

So, what is Assad's reaction to Bush's demand? Is he thinking "or what?" or is he thinking "with what?".

When Bush was preparing to send the troops into Iraq, he spent a lot of time criticizing the United Nations - specifically that the UN had to be willing to back up its resolutions, back up its threats - or the world would laugh at them and the UN would become irrelevant. He was right then. How come he doesn't see that he's falling into the same trap now... lots of threats, lots of demands, nothing to back it up.