Once again the Bush propaganda
machine has swung into action, inciting America to believe there’s a terrible
threat to the world’s future — a threat that must be destroyed, by force if
And that threat is Syria.
Syria has troops in Lebanon —
impeding the burning desire of the Lebanese people to be free. "Freedom is on
the march," thanks to all those people the U.S. military killed in Iraq, and
we must act now to be sure that nothing stops the great march.
According to the propaganda
machine, the Syrian troops in Lebanon are a threat to democracy, and so
Condoleezza Rice has said that Syria must withdraw its troops immediately.
Meanwhile, the pro-Syrian government in Lebanon has left office, and the
Lebanese people are cheering in the streets — demonstrating that they want
nothing to do with Syria — as well as
assassination of Hariri.
Condoleezza Rice says she has "firm evidence" that the Islamic Jihad
militant group in Syria helped plan the recent Tel Aviv suicide bombing. She
went even further: "There is firm evidence that Palestinian Islamic Jihad,
sitting in Damascus, not only knew about the attacks, but was involved in
the planning, . . . And so the Syrians have a lot to answer for."
Finally, the U.S. State Department just released its annual report on
human rights abuses in all the countries of the world (except the United
the story of torture and other crimes in Syria is a mile long.
The indictment of Syria is lengthy and frightening. Obviously, Syria is a
living hell, a threat to peace in the Middle East, and a rogue state that
So load your gun and let’s get ready to kill some more bad
If the mainstream press and TV news channels were to get
their information from somewhere other than the U.S. government, they might
help us to understand that the situation isn’t as black and white as the Bush
administration is trying to make it out to be.
Yesterday in my car I listened to National Public Radio, and
I heard the Syrian ambassador to the United States in an extraordinary
Here are some of the things he said . . .
Regarding Rice’s demand that Syrian troops leave Lebanon
anyone with a sense of fairness would look at the history of our presence in
Lebanon, you could easily tell that we had 42,000 troops in Lebanon 10 years
ago, and we started a series of withdrawals and redeployments. Today, we have
only 13,000 troops, and they — all of them are outside major Lebanese cities.
So we have done this in the past, and we have explicitly said that we will
continue doing this. . . .
And we have repeatedly said on the record in the past three
years, not because of this pressure now, the moment the Lebanese government
will ask us to leave, we will leave. And we are leaving, absolutely.
Regarding Rice’s statement that she had "firm evidence that
Palestinian Islamic Jihad sitting in Damascus not only knew about the attacks,
but was involved in the planning."
This is extremely
disappointing. First, let me say that we condemn what has happened. Second,
Syria is providing every possible political support to the Palestinian
president, Mahmoud Abbas, so that he can enhance the peace process. There is a
window of opportunity for peace in the Middle East. We are actually supporting
his efforts. Mahmoud Abbas has said something 180 percent contradictory to
what Secretary Rice has said. He said there is no evidence whatsoever linking
Syria to that attack.
disappointed because this is reminiscent to the series of accusations that
used to be leveled against Iraq before the invasion on Iraq.
As to terrorist groups based in Syria:
What we said to
the Americans in the past two years — and now I am repeating this, on the
record — is "The moment you bring us a shred of evidence that anybody, anybody
is doing this, we will act upon it." I will repeat: "We will act upon it."
But the problem is
they never come to us and tell us, "Look, this is what we have.’ They only go
to the media and say, "We think that this is happening," or "We believe that
this is happening out of Damascus." Now we do not allow this. We do not
believe this is happening, but we do not stop here. We tell our American
counterparts, "Whenever you want to really find a solution to this problem,
come and discuss it with us. Show us what evidence you have, and we will act
I must remind you that 90% of what we know about foreign
affairs is information that has come from the U.S. government. That’s where
CNN, Fox TV News, ABC, NBC, CBS, The Washington Post, The New York
Times, The Los Angeles Times, and almost all the rest of the
American media get their information. And we’ve seen plenty of evidence that
the Bush administration has no qualms whatsoever about spreading
disinformation to further its political programs.
So what do we really know about the march to freedom and the
1. There are 13,000 Syrian troops
in Lebanon. There are 150,000 American troops in Iraq. Which is more of an
invading, occupying army?
2. The Syrian troops in Lebanon
are all in the countryside — ready to help restore order if needed, but
generally out of sight of the Lebanese people. The American troops in Iraq
are all over the place — killing insurgents and civilians alike while
devastating cities like Fallujah.
3. There are no reports of
Lebanese insurgents fighting the Syrian troops, while there are daily
clashes between Iraqi insurgents and American troops.
4. As Pat Buchanan has pointed
out, it would make no sense for the Syrians to have assassinated the
Lebanese ex-Prime Minister — since they knew they would automatically become
the #1 suspect and bring the wrath of Bush down upon their heads.
5. Syrian troops first invaded
Lebanon at the time of the Gulf War. And while Syria was overrunning
Lebanon, President George H.W. Bush was proudly listing Syria as a member of
the coalition of nations fighting Saddam Hussein.
6. The Bush administration, as
usual, won’t negotiate anything with anyone. The Bushies prefer to make
accusations in the media, assert that they have evidence that no one ever
gets to see, and incite Americans to hate another nation of human beings.
7. The claims that recent
democratic developments in Arab countries prove that the Bush doctrine has
succeeded are as premature as the "Mission Accomplished" banner on the U.S.S.
Lincoln. I’m not aware of a single country in the Middle East in which the
citizens have one iota more liberty than they did a year ago. All we’ve seen
are tiny baby steps toward democracy — meaning that the some people might
get the opportunity to vote on who will officiate in their police states,
just as the citizens of Iraq got to vote under the Hussein regime.
The TV pictures of a Lebanese
crowd celebrating the fall of the pro-Syrian Lebanese government no more
demonstrate the attitudes of all Lebanese than do the TV pictures of U.S.
pro-abortion rallies demonstrate that all Americans (or even a majority)
Despite the State Department’s
report of torture and other ghastly conditions inside Syria, the U.S.
government has been sending some of its "War on Terror" prisoners to Syria
for interrogation — and, presumably, torture. And not one American
politician is embarrassed by the contradiction.
Once again, the Bush administration has cried "Havoc!" and
is gearing up to unleash the Dogs of War.
And if we’re smart, we won’t
believe a word of it.