Is there an echo in here?
The removal of the dictator could lead to sectarian violence and anarchy.
Sound familiar? No, the story isn't about Iraq. It's about Syria and Lebanon. Change the names, however, and the story could have been written a year ago or two years ago or three years ago.
A speedy Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon may fulfill the dreams of many Lebanese, but lifting the tight lid Syria has kept on its smaller neighbor carries risks: a security vacuum and possible return to sectarian disputes that bedeviled this country throughout its history.We hear this same song and dance over and over again.
The outgoing pro-Syrian premier even warned that the Lebanese military, built up by the Syrians, could again splinter into warring factions a comment that angered some Lebanese and prompted the army to insist it is capable of maintaining unity.
Another question is how Hezbollah, the anti-Israeli guerrilla movement based in southern Lebanon, would react to the withdrawal of Syria, one of its principal backers. The well-armed Shiite militia, which is also supported by Iran, has so far stayed out of the fray in Lebanon's political crisis — but could feel its position is threatened if Damascus pulls out.
The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a Muslim, has united Lebanese Christians and Muslims in grief and anger at Syria and its allied Lebanese government, which the opposition accuses of involvement in his killing.
Why should we believe it?