Although I disagree with many of the ideas expressed in this article (Hands Off Lebanon, Mr. Bush), the Arab American News provides an interesting perspective on the notion of free and fair elections in Lebanon. 

President George Bush is attempting to use this crisis to his advantage, claiming the opposition protests are a direct result of America’s so-called “democracy on the march” policy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lebanon has been holding democratic elections since the 1950s, every four years (with the exception of the civil war years). Lebanon’s May 2005 election has been planned for the last four years. All Lebanese would like to have a free and independent Lebanon. These beliefs are long standing and have nothing to do with President Bush.

As part and parcel of his overall strategy to render the Arab world irrelevant and subservient to American and Israeli interests, Bush has demanded that “all Syrian military forces and intelligence personnel must withdraw before the Lebanese elections for those elections to be free and fair.” He has also said “The elections in Lebanon must be fully and carefully monitored by international observers.” At the same time, the US army occupied Iraq during its elections, and the Israelis occupied Palestinian land during their elections. The enormous hypocrisy of this policy causes most Arabs not to trust anything Washington says.

I’ve found Bush’s propaganda to be rather annoying myself.  Nevertheless, Syria must go.