History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Friday, March 04, 2005

    May Deadline

    President Bush has given Assad until May to remove Syrian troops from Lebanon.

    US President George W. Bush said he wants all Syrian forces out by May, when Lebanon holds parliamentary elections, stepping up previous calls in which he set no deadline.

    "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 told the New York Post in an interview published Friday.

    "This is nonnegotiable. It is time to get out," he said. "I don't think you can have fair elections with Syrian troops there." Bush told the paper there was no threat of military action.

    "There's no half-measures allowed," Bush said regarding Syria's suggestion of a partial pullout, speaking in New Jersey Friday.

    Bush has been speaking more and more forcefully on this, and I think its safe to say that the pressure on Assad is only going to intensify. I suspect that the US has been looking for an opening like this for a while, and is intent to push it for all its worth. As for the bit about no military action planned, I suspect that is true. However, the US may try and control the situation so that the Syrian are forced to either crack down on protestors themselves, and thus open them to US attack, or leave the country. Syria is running out of time and options.

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