Israel: March 1, 2005


In Lebanon, days of anti-Syrian demonstrations caused the pro-Syrian government to resign. The composition of the new government makes a lot of Lebanese nervous. The Syrians originally came to Lebanon to keep the peace after a civil war. The factions remain in Lebanon, and many Lebanese fear that the civil war could return. Moreover, the years of Syrian domination have left the country with a culture of corruption and cronyism that is bad even by Middle Eastern standards. Syrian influence, especially in business deals and organized crime, is everywhere. This influence won't disappear with a change of government. The Syrians are feeling the pressure, and say they will get their 14,000 troops out within a few months. But a lot can happen, politically, in a few months, and  that's why Syria refuses to get out in a few weeks (which they could do). 

But Syria is under a lot of pressure, and has few friends. Only Iran is a reliable ally, and Iran is being hammered diplomatically because of its refusal to stop its nuclear weapons program. Syria is under fire from Israel, and Palestinians, for allowing Syrian based Palestinian terrorists to set off a bomb in Israel on February 25th. Iraq is furious at Syria for allowing pro-Saddam terrorists to operate out of Syria. Apparently, some Syrian leaders are realizing that this long time policy of using terrorist groups to interfere in the internal politics of neighboring countries, was not working any more. The Syrians were shocked by the extent of Lebanese popular opposition to Syrian interference. The January 30 elections in Iraq were another shock, as has been the fall of the corrupt Palestinian government of Yassir Arafat. In less than a month, everything Syria has depended on has fallen apart. So Syria is apparently serious about getting its troops (if not its influence and business interests) out of Lebanon, and shutting down pro-Saddam terrorist operations in Syria. It's still unclear if Syria will move against Palestinian terrorist organizations inside Syria. Israel says it may invade Syria if the terrorists are not shut down. 


Article Archive

Israel: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close