Morning Report: April 26, 2005

Syrian troops quit Lebanon. 'The soldiers looked like miserable dogs that had been kicked in the ribs with steel-toed boots,' writes Michael J. Totten from the front lines, as Syria officially ends its military presence in Lebanon. The Belmont Club believes the withdrawal 'probably is real because there is no point in dissimulation on this scale. Syria is withdrawing actual assets, that is to say the basis of its tangible strength from its former semi-colony.' The move, Wretchard says, has some benefits for Syria in terms of shorter supply lines and decreased strategic liabilities; but these will probably be outweighed by the cost to Syria in terms of lost revenue from Lebanese resources, upon which the Syrian economy had depended heavily. Debka adds: 'Monday, intelligence HQ quit Anjer in Lebanese Beqaa Valley.' (Michael J. Totten, Belmont Club)

Israeli students organize worldwide protests against Iran regime. The Student Solidarity Movement, a human-rights activist organization, is organizing protests in cities around the world this Wednesday to draw attention to the Iranian regime's continuing atrocities against Iranians and others: 'World powers continue to ignore Iran's aggressive policies, and violation of Human Rights. Students' Pro-democracy and human rights demonstrations in Iran have been violently brought down by authorities. We, as students in the "free" world, would like to help our peers "break the silence" concerning these violations of Human Rights in Iran, and remind the world of the trampling of Humans Rights taking place there every day.' According to the Jerusalem Post: 'An Israeli student group called the Student Solidarity Movement organized a series of protests – which drew more than 2,000 in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, France and the UK – to criticize the UN meeting in Geneva, which declined to condemn Iran for human-rights violation, and to call attention to cases of missing people in Iran, such as Ron Arad.' More information may be found at this thread at Free Iran. (SSM website, JPost, Free Iran)