The Coming Summer Of War?

Michael Totten notes that Syrian troops are amassing on the Lebanese border. The Cedar Revolution was a rarity in Middle Eastern politics: a self-organized democratic popular revolution. The Syrians are deathly afraid that if Lebanon succeeds, their own people will be demanding the same, which is why they’ve been doing everything they can to prevent the Lebanese democratic experiment from succeeding.

A Syrian invasion of Lebanon is not out of the picture. Who would stop it? The US is stuck in Iraq, and the domestic opposition to any kind of engagement in the Middle East ties our hands. The Europeans are absolutely feckless and don’t have the military power to take on the Syrians even if they did have any desire to help. (Although, it should be noted that the French have actually been quite constructive in putting pressure on the Syrians over the assassination of Rafik Hariri.) The Syrians know that the UN can do nothing to stop them, and have been becoming increasingly bold in their actions against the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.

No one outside of Damascus seems to know exactly what is going on with Syria, but some kind of confrontation is inevitable, and with no one to stand on the side of the Lebanese people the idea of a return to a Syrian occupation of Lebanon is not unthinkable.

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