Interestingly, here in Israel, while PM Sharon is hilariously riding his moral high hobby-horse demanding, along with Bush, that Syria fully end its 'occupation' of Lebanon immediately and unconditionally, some leaders of the Israeli military and intelligence 'community' have been warning that a Syrian redeployment could be destablizing to Lebanon and create heightened tension and cross-border violence on the northern front.
Then again, perhaps Sharon knows this and is hoping for something of this sort that would shift the domestic pressure off of him and move the Israeli collective mind from all the internal strife and possible explosion of Israeli against Israeli violence surrounding the proposed pullout from Gaza in the coming months, onto an external enemy that we can all join together again and hate in unison.
One of the problems with the political and military leadership in this country is it is always hard to discern if their machinations stem from conniving intelligence or brute and bumbling stupidity. Often the difference from the outside is impossible to percieve.
> John Lacny wrote:
>> Clearly the Lebanese events blow up the standard calculation that for
>> person who shows up at a demonstration, you have to assume that the
>> has ten or so active supporters. Even if we take the conservative
>> that half a million people showed up to the pro-Syria rally, the
>> of Lebanon is what, 4 million tops? (It's difficult to know for sure
>> the country hasn't had an official census since 1932 because of communal
>> tensions.) And other news services estimate the crowd to have been even
>> larger than that, maybe even a full million, which would be about 1
>> out of
>> every 4 Lebanese. And all of this over about 14,000 soldiers!
>> It seems like there's a real danger of the US helping re-spark the
>> civil war
>> if it continues in giving so much encouragement to one coalition in the
>> communal conflict.