ALL EYEZ ON YOU: Assad says Syrian pullout soon

From a TIME interview [via Aljazeera], Bashar Al-Assad says he's going to pull-out of Lebanon in a few months. "The withdrawal should be very soon and maybe in the next few months. Not after that." Well, that's Bashar speaking. And I'm sorry, it's never been him that I'm concerned about. He's impotent compared to his father's unabashed brutality. His father was the truly sick dictator. Bashar's always been the awkward, shy, understated, educated and westernized son. It's the top-to-bottom strong mafia outfit his father left in his wake that are still the issue. The corruption and dirty quality of Syria's political landscape is unmatched in the region. Before the Gulf War of 1991, Saddam's dictatorship was a considerably clean one. Meaning, he only allowed a few people (his family usually) to have a monopoly on power. In Syria, it's the opposite. There is a very intricate web of people of all walks of life policing everybody on a daily basis there. And the people on the lowest rungs can knock off people on the highest rungs. Syria's like the Soprano's of the Near East. Anything can happen. The intelligence infrastructure is the most menacing aspect of Syrian society and has managed to maintain a strangle-hold on free-expression. Ironically, it is the safest safe-haven for Christians in all the near-east with some of the oldest and most important churches in my family's faith of Assyrian Orthodoxy. That aside, will those extremely corrupt figures forming a tight-noose around the fabric of civil life in Syria really let him issue a pull-out of Lebanon? I am skeptical. But let's see how this happens. A few months??? Well, they definitely have to leave now. But how? I really wonder what's going to happen next. It is make or break time for Lebanon. I am more positive than Angry Arab and less positive than those bloggers on the right singing the praises and only the praises of the Cedars Uprising. When people do not see the slightest possibility for something terrible to come out of this, then they are clueless. Because they don't know anything about Lebanon by this very amateur conclusion that this is only a good development. Of course it's good!!! IT'S AMAZING, in fact! But we need to be careful and not take this opportunity for granted. We must not allow Lebanon slip into mindless sectarian violence again. Any movement in a violent direction would be bad for everybody in the region and the world at large. I only hope this is how most of the important players see matters. Unfortunately, that's probably not the case. And it's precisely what I'm concerned about.


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