Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I've been trying to puzzle out this story since yesterday. Syria announced that they would be recalling 4,000 out of the 20,000 troops occupying Lebanon. Why are they doing this? There hasn't been any undue pressure from restless Lebanese people. Some of the more outspoken politicians, looking for Lebanese independence, made Parlimentary gains last year. But, not enough to worry Damascus. Could it be need for troops to put down some internal unrest? I haven't seen any news that would indicate they are having security issues.

Some analysts apparently think it is a move to curry favor with the US. I don't buy it, we haven't been too outspoken about the issue. We would rather see them crack down on some of the terrorist groups headquartered in Damascus.

I can only think it has something to do with Iraq. First, Assad could be fearing a flood of refugees from a war against Iraq. Secondly, and probably more importantly for young Assad, there is the possibility of an influx of the wrong type of refugees. Republican Guard deserters, secret police and government officials fleeing the wrath of newly freed Iraqis and the like could make for some internal disruption in Syria. This could be a move to help secure Syria's border to keep out unwelcome elements.

Or it could be some other reason entirely.

< email | 2/19/2003 07:57:00 PM | link

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