Monday, December 31, 2007
News that France has suspended diplomatic relations with Syria to punish Damascus for interfering with Lebanese government affairs is like the having the police arrive at a hostage-taking 12 hours after it starts. All you'd be thinking is, 'Where have you been?' Syria occupied Lebanon military and controlled Lebanese politics for 30 years before a popular uprising drove them out, with Western nations choosing to abandon the mess and let Israel try to manage it. But France's pro-U.S. president Nicolas Sarkozy said today that France will not have any contact with Syria until it stops blocking progress towards agreement on a consensus candidate satisfactory to the pro- and anti-Syria factions that dominate Lebanese politics. France has tried to mediate the dispute and guide the factions to a compromise candidate. But where were these characters — and the entire European Union, for that matter — for the last three decades while Israel has been forced to fight the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group Hezbollah?