Thursday, March 03, 2005

Serious About Syria

"You get your troops and your secret services out of Lebanon so that good democracy has a chance to flourish."
-- President Bush (on Wednesday)

The Prez means business! OK, so he sounded more like a frazzled soccer mom scolding her kids for misbehaving in the minivan, but the point still stands. It turns out that the latest fad to hit the Middle East is--no, not John Mayer, though I wish we could get rid of him somehow--scaling back on repression. Elections in Saudi Arabia (however meaningless), the promise of elections in Egypt (Hosni, you know how to tease us), and now the resignation of the pro-Syrian puppet goverment in Lebanon. Wow, the only way this scene could be more riveting is the sudden discovery that the late Prime Minister Hariri was assasinated not in a bombing but by dioxin poisoning! Then we'd have ourselves a bona fide feel good story.

Folks, in a few months time we'll see jubilant Lebanese dancing in the streets, holding up purple-stained fingers in celebration of their vote. This momentous triumph of freedom will--ok, ok, slow down. I guess the feel-good moment is getting to me. Still, I'm interested in seeing what happens next. I always get this excited when I see freedom on the march bravely limping forward.

Who's going to come out on top in this one--Assad, Hezbollah, or Good Democracy? There's almost enough possible outcomes to start a "March Madness" bracket! Root for your favorite from the comfort of your own home. If you're a true fan of freedom, you'll hang this on your bedroom wall:

(Click to enlarge.)

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