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Syria's role in the Mideast

July 03, 2007

Re "Losing Lebanon," editorial, June 28

Kudos on your strong yet measured stance calling on the United Nations and the West to prevent Syria's campaign of terror against Lebanon.

While a renewed Syrian plot to reoccupy Lebanon must be stopped, the reestablishment of a state-within-a-state by the terrorist group Hezbollah must also be prevented. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, passed last summer but yet to be implemented, calls on the Lebanese government to assert control over southern Lebanon and for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon to disarm militias in the region.

Unless the United Nations and the West act immediately, Syria's attempted coup, as carried out through its proxy agents and Hezbollah terrorists, will continue to undermine the sovereign government of Lebanon to the detriment of the whole Middle East and the prospects for peace.

SETH BRYSK

Executive Director

American Jewish

Committee

Los Angeles

*

What is called the "Syrian occupation of Lebanon" actually began when Lebanon invited Syrian forces to defend Lebanon's interest against further occupation of the Golan Heights where that area borders on Lebanon.

It may have appeared that Syria was forced to leave Lebanon, but in reality it did not until Israel ended its 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon.

Israel and the U.S. pressed for Syrian troops to leave Lebanon. I don't believe it was a small coincidence that soon thereafter Israel bombed the daylights out of a Lebanon pretty much devoid of military strength due to Syria's departure, and did so while the U.S. looked the other way.

The recently passed Iraq supplemental spending bill had $770 million for Lebanon, including nearly $300 million to buy the U.S. military aid that was delivered to Lebanon before the bill was even signed.

War is a racket, and rest assured that if the U.S. is intent on bombing a democratic path from Israel through Lebanon to Iraq, then most of what we hear about Syria's complicity in Lebanon's problems will probably prove to have as much substance as the insistence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

ROBERT H. MCELROY

Jensen Beach, Fla.

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