You would think Assad was in a strong bargaining position by the way he’s currently acting. As reported by the LA Times:
Speaking to the Syrian parliament in Damascus, a defiant Assad seemed determined to display Syrian imperviousness to foreign pressure, refusing to say how soon the soldiers would pull out. The troops would first move to the Bekaa Valley, a strip of villages and farmland near the Syrian border, the president said. Then the Syrians and Lebanese would negotiate a move to the frontier between the two countries, but Assad didn’t say which side of the border they would occupy.
I like this quote from Assad:
“They may say this isn’t enough,” Assad told lawmakers. “But we say it’s enough.”
Really. I suggest Assad contact his real estate agent to start looking for a nice luxury spider hole because if Bush is willing to stand up to France, Germany, Russia (and a whole lot of other countries) to oust Saddam Hussein, he sure as heck isn’t going to back down against little Assad here, especially when Assad’s only backer appears to be our international darling Iran.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, a French commando supply ship has quietly slipped into the region. Hat tip Instapundit.