Across the Bay

Monday, April 25, 2005

Good Riddance

Within the next 24 hours, the 30-year old Syrian "presence" will be over.

The Lebanese are jubilant:

As soon as the truckloads of Syrian soldiers had left for home, Mariam Majzoub started dishing out paint to erase the last vestiges of their 29-year presence.

Her children, nephews, nieces and neighbors stuck Lebanese flags on top of the abandoned posts near her home in this tiny Bekaa Valley village, slapped whitewash on the walls and celebrated the departure date in green paint: "Independence 2005, Sunday, April 17."

"We started dancing in the street even before they turned the corner," said Majzoub, her plump face glowing with joy. "We could finally express ourselves, and there was nothing they could do about it."

Donna Abu Nasr can write whatever she wants, and indulge the humiliated Syrians, but the reality is, as Michael Young put it: "No doubt they will continue to try to play a role in Lebanon, but the structure of their system of authority in Lebanon has collapsed."

An important sign of this collapse is the resignation of the notorious security chief Jamil as-Sayyed. Another sign was the disarray in the carcass of the pro-Syrian gathering, which has already split, long before the much-maligned opposition did. Also, already the (Syrian-inspired) loopholes in the Taef Accord that lead to deadlock (which assured a Syrian interference) are being challenged, and a proper application of the consitution is being called for.

But Michael does remind people of an important caveat: the Lebanese prisoners in Syria. I've been collecting material on this story for a long time, but never got around to posting about it, so I'm glad that Michael put it out there. Needless to say, the sad angry clowns and experts of this world not only didn't mention Syria's departure, but they have yet to say anything about those prisoners.

A UN team will arrive in Lebanon to verify the Syrian withdrawal.

A new chapter begins.