Things are moving fast....
With shouts of "Syria out!" 25,000 protesters massed outside Parliament in a dramatic display of defiance that forced out Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister and Cabinet Monday, two weeks after the assassination of a popular politician touched off increasing unrest.Whoever wrote that last paragraph has obviously failed to grasp what's going on in Lebanon. The likelihood of Syria doing anything violent in Lebanon in the present circumstances is almost nil. Why do you think the Lebanese are so emboldened? Precisely because they know that Assad is in the world spotlight right now and unlikely to do anything to exacerbate a situation that is already very uncomfortable for him.
Minutes after Prime Minister Omar Karami announced he was stepping down, jubilant demonstrators — shouting, waving flags and handing red roses to soldiers demanded that Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud bow out, too, and pressed on with their calls for Syria to withdraw its troops from the country.
Syria remained silent about the rapidly changing atmosphere in Beirut, where it ruled unopposed for years, even deciding on Lebanon's leaders, after deploying troops ostensibly as peacekeepers during the 1975-90 civil war.
But the dramatic developments reminiscent of Ukraine's peaceful "orange revolution" and broadcast live across the Arab world could provoke a strong response from Syria, which keeps 15,000 troops in Lebanon. It also could plunge this nation of 3.5 million back into a period of uncertainty, political vacuum or worse.