Walid Moallim, the former Syrian ambassador in Washington says that he did not "threaten" Rafik Hariri a couple of weeks before Hariri was killed. He says that he had known and "worked with" Hariri for many years and thought of him as a friend. That could be since Rafik Hariri was variously a "friend" to Saudi Arabia, The CIA and the Baathist government in Damascus. He was also a friend to the Lebanese clique of his"friends" who together hold 75% of the country’s national debt, "a gift that keeps on giving." His many friends also included the Sunni zealots on behalf of whom Rafik spoke from the minbar of mosques in Lebanon claiming that he stood between the Sunni population and victimization by the rest of the Lebanese. Learning who it was who killed Hariri is a daunting task for a serious investigator. There are so many candidates for the blame.
Nevertheless, Fox News Sunday (FNS) has already "moved on" from assumption of official Syrian government guilt in this matter to beating the war drums along the Potomac in a "riff" identical to that played as overture to the opera now "on the boards" in Iraq.
Today, 23 October, 2005. Brit Hume and Bill Kristol substantially made the following statements on on FNS:
-Syria’s government is that of a band of "Gangsters." (arguably true)
-Syria’s government must be fragile and could easily be brought down.
-Syria’s government must have no popular support.
– There is a well organized and numerous Syrian exile opposition who could easily "take over." (Kristol says he has met the man. That’s interesting in itself)
-The destruction of the regime in syria would be the key to a general societal revolution whtroughout the Middle East.
What part of this does not sound familiar? I will give it as my considered opinion that an attempt to install an internationally "inspired" government in Damascus would lead to internal unrest throughout that country. Syria is made up of similar ethno-religious factions to the ones that have bedeviled our actions in Iraq. I will also forecast that the introduction of foreign troops into Lebanon or Syria would result in widespread guerrilla and terrorist resistance on the bases of outraged nationalism and Islamic perception of another "crusade."
The Jacobin neocons have learned nothing from the pain of the American people and therefore will be forced to repeat the Iraq disaster if they are allowed to have their wishes fulfilled.
How could the neocon Jacobins have learned anything yet? They have in no way been held accountable for what’s happened and happening in Iraq. Besides, in thier world, the uniformed military, professional national security establishment, CIA, State Dept, Congress, and the media (tak your picks) have made Iraq the mess that it is today – not them or their stupid nonsensical plans.
Nope, only an aggressive move by the people’s representatives in Congress will hold the Jacobins back. And if not Congress – then I guess the people will have to act (G-d knows it won’t be the senior general officers).
Whoa baby, this is big. (posted by a stanford faculty)
The neocons are really itching to complete their project. (This is going to be a long weekend argument between me and my wingnut friends. hah.)
National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley asked the Italians to help with regime change in Syria:
I have it on good authority that Steven Hadley, the director of the US National Security Council, called the President of the Italian senate to asked if he had a candidate to replace Bashar al-Asad as President of Syria. The Italians were horrified. Italy is one of Syria’s biggest trading partners so it seemed a reasonable place to ask! This is what Washington has been up to. — Joshua Landis
Iraq was just for practice.
I’m convinced the 49ers can kick the living bejeebus out of every team in the NFL and win another Superbowl this year, with a little planning and a few breaks. Sure, Clinton Prrtis has just scored his 3rd touchdown, and with the extra point the Redskins will be up… ARE up 42-7 in the 3rd quarter.
But I believe it can be done.
Well, moving into Syria would be a neat way to get our troops out of Iraq. Just move the “war on terror” to next door. Maybe in time for the ’06 elections?
Mr. Landis has his own blog.
Isn’t it the “natural” tendency of both third world countries and dictaterships to be held together precariously, often in a manner that weakens real internal cohesion?
I believe sometime back that a frequent “conservative” view of foreign policy was that this was so difficult to change that we should avoid utopian schemes and accept very imperfect (read often nasty) situations.
So finally the saner wing of high level diplomatic start to voice their concern in public. I hope the public is listening, cause if we really go to Syria we are really going to be in the middle of regional war.
Finally when Condi and Scowcroft did speak, it did not go well…
They also argued about Iraq. “She says we’re going to democratize Iraq, and I said, ‘Condi, you’re not going to democratize Iraq,’ and she said, ‘You know, you’re just stuck in the old days,’ and she comes back to this thing that we’ve tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth,” he said. Then a barely perceptible note of satisfaction entered his voice, and he said, “But we’ve had fifty years of peace.”
If we invade Syria does it mean we will get another tax break?
I remember the old joke about the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, who found themselves surrounded once by hostile North American aborigines.
Said the Lone Ranger: “It looks like we’re in big trouble now, Tonto.”
Said Tonto: “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”
I feel the same queasy feeling come over me when I hear American foreign policy principals speak of what “we” Americans will do in someone else’s country. Condoleeza Rice says “we” will “democratize” Iraq. Brent Scowcroft says “we” won’t do that — at least not right now. Neither of them seems particularly concerned with what the Iraqi people want for themselves.
In this obsession with “we,” Americans reveal their quintessentially arrogant assumption of absolute wisdom and power. It used to go under the heading of the Sparrow Theory of Omnipotence: namely, that not a sparrow falls to earth but that America either causes it to happen or, through willful inaction, allows it to happen. When inevitably frustrated by a world of uncooperative sparrows (who fall or fly for reasons of their own unconnected to anything America thinks or wants), this ludicrous assumption of god-like infallibility typically leads to “Who lost China!” bloodlettings in the American bureaucracy. China could care less, of course, having never considered itself the disposable — or lose-able — property of the United States.
I happen to think that Scowcroft has the better position vis-a-vis his former protege Condoleeza Rice, but his statements about fifty years of peace require two modifying prepositional phrases: “for America” and “in the Middle East.” Certainly, no one familiar with America’s historical meddling in Iran and Iraq — overthrowing popular governments in those two countries, installing puppet dictators, and then feeding weaponry to both sides in a terrible eight-year war, et cetera — could possibly think that Brent Scowcroft thinks of “peace” in any terms applicable to the victims of America’s incompetent interference. He only seems to feel aggrieved by the latest instance of bloody, incompetent American meddling, not necessarily its many historic predecessors.
Both Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell supposedly had good reasons for “opposing” Dimwit Dubya’s doomed crusade in the Holy Land, but neither of them bothered to make much of a fuss when it might have done some good. For the most part, they seem strangely like coopted court courtesans slavishly dependent on the monarchy and whatever inbred idiot mongoloid the corrupt system has placed on the family throne. I really wish I didn’t have to live in fear of supposed “wise men” proudly boasting of their personal loyalty to the Bush clan. After all, I thought we got rid of King George over two hundred years ago.
“….neither of them bothered to make much of a fuss when it might have done some good.”
Now is the time it can do some good. Now is when the Republican party repudiates George Bush and blames everything they’ve done in his terms entirely on him, and then goes about the next order of business — consolidating behind an electable replacement for him.
CLASSIC! TRADITIONAL! FRESH! NEWLY REHABBED! UNDISIMPROVED!
Comes with a certificate of authenticity.
The fact that Scowcroft would extol “50 years of piece” hints, I think, at why the Bush administration would shy away from his advice. I can imagine them saying that the old man “just doesn’t get it.” But clearly there needs to be some acknowledgement that a shift in US policy in the region is warranted. There’s a wide middle ground between “invade Iraq” and “autocracy in the ME is good for American interests.”