February 28, 2005

MORE ON LEBANON:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanese Prime Minister Omar Karami announced the resignation of his pro-Syrian government Monday, two weeks after the assassination of his predecessor, Rafik Hariri, triggered protests in the streets and calls for Syria to withdraw its thousands of troops. . . .

Karami made the announcement during a parliamentary debate called to discuss Hariri’s Feb. 14 assassination in a bomb blast that killed 16 others. The announcement prompted cheers from more than 25,000 flag-waving demonstrators protesting against the government and its Syrian backers outside.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey writes: “This is Assad’s worst nightmare come true. With the Syrians, especially the Kurds in the northeast, watching the Iraqis vote in the first free multi-party elections ever on their east and the Lebanese on their west showing how fragile the Syrian grip on power truly is, the Assad government may wind up facing similar demonstrations in the streets of Damascus, demanding free multi-party elections — which would end Assad’s grip on power, unless he got in front of the effort immediately.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Some analysis and predictions, from Joe Gandelman.