There is an interesting piece in the Middle East Quarterly which analyzes the decline (yes, decline) of Syrian power in Lebanon. Syria has long been the patron of Hezbollah, but it appears as though the student is now surpassing the master, thanks in large part to the growing influence of Iran and the decline (or perceived decline) of American power in the region: http://www.meforum.org/article/1755.
Lest you think that this is a good thing, we should keep in mind that the Syrians, while ruthless and violent under Hafez Assad, were somewhat pragmatic. They are now much more unpredictable and confrontational under Basher Assad, a/k/a the Chinless Wonder. That makes them more likely to do something stupid, and their lack of control over Hezbollah may have played at least a part in last summer's war with Israel.