Syrian troops will begin pulling back to the Baaka Valley on Monday, following Assad’s speech to parliament yesterday. The U.S., France, and other allies, are sceptical and say that this isn’t enough. The pro-Syrian factions in Lebanon are closing ranks in support of Syria, as Hezbollah calls for "an urgent meeting" to plan their strategy. This
identifies a few of the key leaders in Lebanon. But Assad is rattled, and that may be good enough for now. He is learning that he lacks authority; if he is unwilling to kill people to stay in power, than it is only a question of time before he is gone.
In the meantime, Egypt’s upper house voted to allow multi-party elections. Also note this blogger from Egypt.
There are elections in Moldova today, and even before the election pro-Western sentiment (anti-Russian and anti-communist) is ruling.
Fareed Zakaria reflects on all this and the whole region, and concludes that perhaps it is the Arab rulers who are strange rather than those being ruled. Remember the Arab street concern of Chritiane Ammanpour, et al? It looks as though the Arab streets are anti-bad rulers more than they are anti-American. And he also says that the "noted political scientist who has been vindicated in recent weeks is George W. Bush." The Left’s chattering classes are now forced by events to ask the question, could Bush possibly have been right? The short answer is, yes, according to Zakaria. Bush is pushing for reform in the region, and it is working. While Zakaria is not without criticism of the Bush administration, his opinion reflects
more or less the establishment standard of the day, and is therefore important. Read it all.