The NSC versus Rice and the Syria Strike

Is Rice or Cheney on first base? It is hard to tell. I had given up on the MEPP (Middle East Peace Process). The Sept. 6 strike on Syria seemed to be confirmation to me that the Washington hawks had won the struggle over how to deal with Syria – a key player if any real peace process is to emerge. Rice reportedly did not want it bombed. The fellows at the National Security Council did. The bombing has set back the chances of the MEPP developing any momentum.

Eliott Abrams and Hadley have been insisting that the MEPP is all process, meant only to provide cover for Saudi Arabia and "moderate" Arab states to back US policy toward Iraq and Iran. This summer, Cheney had been telling Arab leaders not to take Rice's MEPP seriously. We were also told that the Israeli intelligence on Syria's alleged nuclear plant was not shared with the State Department but was held by the NSC. This makes one wonder if the raid was meant to scuttle Rice's MEPP as much as it was meant to scuttle the North Korean deal that President Bush was signing onto, but which upset his hawkish advisers.

Here is what Abrams told Republican Jews not long ago:

| Forward, Fri. May 11, 2007

At a regular gathering of Jewish Republicans, sources said, Abrams described President Bush as an “emergency brake” who would prevent Israel from being pressed into a deal; during the breakfast gathering, the White House official also said that a lot of what is done during Rice’s frequent trips to the region is “just process” — steps needed in order to keep the Europeans and moderate Arab countries “on the team” and to make sure they feel that the United States is promoting peace in the Middle East…

Nationally syndicated columnist Robert Novak accused Abrams of preventing the administration from having a “coherent Middle East policy” which would engage Iran and Syria in an attempt to stabilize Iraq. “I do know that there are a number of Israelis who would like to engage Syria,” Hagel told Novak. “They have said that Elliott Abrams keeps pushing them back.”

Foreign ministers, ambassadors and former Americans officials as saying they believe Abrams “is making policy in the Middle East.” Israel, according to sources close to decision-makers in Jerusalem, also sees Abrams as the leading policy figure in the administration on Middle East issues, a status that has led Olmert to keep an open channel of communications with Bush’s senior adviser. According to the sources, Abrams is also a leading voice in trying to convince American Jews to be more supportive of the war in Iraq….

But this morning I was given a boost by Rice's statement that President Bush is fully behind her drive to make something real out of the MEPP.

Ms Rice said President Bush planned to focus his efforts on achieving a resolution to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict at a news conference with Mr Abbas,

"The president has decided to make this one of the highest priorities of his administration and of his time in office," she said. "It means he is absolutely serious about moving this issue forward and moving it as rapidly as possible to conclusion."

She said the peace conference planned to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, should be "serious and substantive". (BBC)

News Analysis
By DAVID E. SANGER

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 — It was President Bush who, a year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, rewrote America’s national security strategy to warn any nation that might be thinking of trying to develop atomic weapons that it could find itself the target of a pre-emptive military strike.

But that was the fall of 2002, when the world looked very different from how it does in the fall of 2007. Now, the case of Syria, which Israeli and American analysts suspect was trying to build a nuclear reactor, has become a prime example of what can happen when Mr. Bush’s first-term instincts run headlong into second-term realities.

Five years later, dealing with nations that may have nuclear weapons ambitions — but are also staying within the letter of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty — looks a lot more complicated than it once did.

This time it was the Israelis who invoked Mr. Bush’s doctrine, determining that what they believed was a nascent Syrian effort to build a nuclear reactor could not be tolerated.

In a curious role reversal, some of Mr. Bush’s own top advisers were urging restraint before Israel bombed the site on Sept. 6, raising questions about whether the threat was too murky and too distant to warrant military action. Those are precisely the kinds of questions Mr. Bush’s critics say should have been raised about Iraq.

It may be months or years before all the mysteries surrounding the attack on Syria become clear. The silence of the Middle Eastern countries that would normally condemn an Israeli attack suggested that they, too, were worried about what was happening in the Syrian desert. Then there is the question of whether, and how, North Korea may have been involved, since the reactor project seemed similar to the one Kim Jong-il’s government had designed to generate plutonium for a small but potent nuclear arsenal.

What has become clear is that the risks of taking pre-emptive action now look a lot greater to Mr. Bush than they did in 2003, when he declared that Iraq’s efforts to build weapons of mass destruction — weapons that famously turned out not to exist — justified military action. In the Syrian case he has steadfastly refused to say anything. In the case of Iran, which has defied the United Nations for a year while it builds a nuclear infrastructure that Washington believes is designed to give it the ability to make bomb fuel, Mr. Bush publicly insists there is still plenty of time for diplomacy.

Michael Green, a former director for Asia at the National Security Council and now a professor at Georgetown University, suggested that Mr. Bush was acutely conscious that he had 15 months left, little time for accomplishments that could counterbalance Iraq. Israel’s pre-emptive strike, he said, “could get in the way of his two biggest projects — getting on a path to stabilizing the Middle East, and getting North Korea to give up its weapons.”

By contrast, Mr. Green said, the Israelis are thinking five or 10 years ahead. They saw a chance to thwart the Syrians and to fire a warning shot that the Iranians could not fail to notice.

“If you are Israel and you are looking at this, the value of striking Syria is that it sends a signal, including to the Iranians,” Mr. Green said. “This follows the Chinese proverb that sometimes you have to kill the chicken to scare the monkey.”

That, of course, was part of the logic of Iraq in early 2003. In those days, Mr. Bush’s aides talked about how 9/11 had reduced America’s willingness to tolerate the risk that a hostile state would gain weapons of mass destruction. They spoke of the “demonstration effect” that toppling Saddam Hussein would have around the world. Under this theory, the North Koreans and the Iranians, among others, would see what happened in Iraq and reconsider their nuclear ambitions.

It did not turn out that way. North Korea evicted international inspectors after the Bush administration charged Mr. Kim’s government with cheating on a Clinton-era nuclear accord, and then raced to produce enough fuel for eight to a dozen nuclear weapons. The North Koreans conducted a nuclear test, with limited success, a year ago. Whether they also sold designs or parts of their nuclear infrastructure remains the subject of investigation and debate because of the Syria project.

Iran raced ahead, too, building centrifuges that can enrich uranium, even though the United Nations Security Council has imposed some sanctions and threatened more.

While those sanctions have failed, any rumors in Washington about a strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities are greeted by senior administration officials with some version of the question, “Then what?” Iran, they say, has too many ways to strike back at American interests — in Iraq, in the oil markets and throughout the Middle East.

With the American military stretched in Iraq, the credibility of any American threat to take pre-emptive action elsewhere in the Middle East — and to deal with the consequences — is questionable. Moreover, Mr. Bush has made no secret of his desire to leave office with some diplomatic victories.

Already, that has muted the talk about pre-emptive strikes; the president who five years ago talked constantly about the dangers of “the world’s worst weapons” in Saddam Hussein’s hands has been far more measured about Iran and Syria.

Getting a deal with North Korea to disgorge its own nuclear fuel and weapons may require looking past whatever North Korea might have sold to another country. And it may mean engaging the Syrians, even before they answer the question of what, exactly, they were building in the desert.

Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2007

On Sunday, some Israeli analysts expressed skepticism that the target was a nuclear reactor. The reported site of the strike, far from the center of Syria near the borders with Turkey and Iraq, would seem an unlikely venue for a project of such significance, said Efraim Inbar, a weapons expert who directs the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

"The location of such a site I don't think would be the best place. It's too close to Turkey and Iraq," Inbar said. "I have my doubts."

Syria has carried out an ambitious chemical weapons program, but Inbar said Syria was not known to have pursued nuclear capabilities.

"They have wanted strategic parity for years with Israel," Inbar said. "But so far, they went with the cheapest and easiest way, which was chemical weapons."

Eyal Zisser, a Syria expert who directs the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, agreed it would be surprising if Syria had made progress on a nuclear program.

But he said Syrian President Bashar Assad feels isolated and threatened by the Bush administration and may have sought a measure of security by trying to develop a nuclear program with the help of North Korea, with which Syria has forged ties.

"It was not on the agenda before these reports, but this is very logical from the point of view of Syria," Zisser said.

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog did not know about any undeclared atomic plant in Syria and has asked Damascus about information that such a site was targeted by an Israeli air strike, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

Citing unidentified U.S. and foreign officials with access to intelligence reports, the New York Times said on Sunday the nuclear reactor was partially built and apparently modeled on one in North Korea used for stockpiling atomic bomb fuel. Israel confirmed earlier this month that it had carried out a September 6 air strike on Syria but has not described the target. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said the target was an unused military building.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency is in contact with the Syrian authorities to verify the authenticity of these reports," said IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

"The IAEA has no information about any undeclared nuclear facility in Syria and no information about recent reports," she said in a statement issued from the IAEA's Vienna headquarters.

Comments (80)


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51. Alex said:

AIG,

Yes, I absolutely criticize the regime’s internet strategy. You can see here and in Creative Syria that i welcome discussing anything with any regime critic.

Most of the sites they block are full of lies and exaggerations. But I would allow them not block them.

And I also criticized the arrests of Michel Kilo and Aref Dalilah

Besides, you are mixing between me and the regime.

And you are mixing between Bashar and the rest of the regime.

Overall, Bashar is doing a very good job .. not perfect, very good.

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October 16th, 2007, 8:55 pm

 

52. Jamal said:

Frank,

I agreed with your post about nuclear issues and energy and economic development. Well said.

But why can’t the idiots representing Iran and Syria make that case themselves?

Iran kind of does, but in a weird and unconvincing way. Plus you have the spectacle of the Iranian regime being pathetically incompetent in running its own oil industry despite urgent internal economic problems. Iran’s oil production is currently well below its potential with a worsening shambles in its petroleum refining and distribution facilities.

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October 16th, 2007, 8:58 pm

 

53. Alex said:

But a good point to note is the blocking of Alakhar which is friendly to Syria but is recently suggesting that Muslim extremists killed hariri, and jailing two Internet webmasters who criticized Saudi Arabia!

If I was in Syria I would be in jail too : )

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October 16th, 2007, 9:00 pm

 

54. Nour said:

AIG,

We all criticize Bashar all the time and we criticize the Syrian government for a lot of mistakes and ineffective policies. We do not have to report to you everytime we criticize Bashar and the Syrian government. I have yet to see you criticize the Israeli government once here. So does that mean you are an Israeli regime tool? This is the type of attitude you bring to this debate.

As for Israel funding factional groups, they have done so several times in Lebanon and Iraq. You sit here and try to convince everyone of your moral superiority while conveniently ignoring facts on the ground. The fact is that Israel has armed and trained Kurds in norther Iraq. It has armed Druze and Christians in Lebanon and sent them to fight each other. Saudi Arabia has indeed funded and supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. Let’s not forget that Hamas itself was created with Israeli support, as Israel wished to put a thorn in the side of Fateh. So please spare us your lectures.

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October 16th, 2007, 9:06 pm

 

55. SimoHurtta said:

No, Sim is an antisemite because of the many other reasons we already discussed.

In this particular case he is just moronic:
1) The article is in an Israeli newspaper proving how robust freedom of press in Israel
2) The soldiers showed a strong solidarity towards each other proving how strong the unit spirit is in the IDF
3) The soldiers did not follow orders blindly and were not afraid to address their commanders when they thought something bad was done. This show that the IDF is truly a citizen army in which people do not follow orders automatically.
4) After a discussion with their commanders the soldiers returned to duty.

So, Sim has just shown how formidable and democratic Israel and the IDF are. You might say therefore that he is a philosemite. I think he is just a bad antisemite.

Well if you can call me an anti-Semite then you certainly are not offended when I call you and people like you modern time Nazis. You believe in religious/racial supremacy, you support occupation and the bad treatment of the slave races etc. Just like Nazis did. What is the difference in creating ghetto to Warsaw or to Gaza and West Bank? Nothing.

Luckily I know perfectly well that AIG and Akbar represent the worst kind of Jews, who make “limited anti-Semitism” justifiable. However there are millions of Jews who do not support AIG’s and Akbar’s national religious (notice AIG the irony, almost like national socialism, well original Zionists were both nationalistic and socialists and well less religious) views. I respect enormously those Jews opinions who prefer a real democratic coexistence in the modern world. If I would be real anti-Semite I would not listen to Finkelstein’s, Chomsky’s etc lectures or follow with great interest the discussion around Israel.

What comes to that article I linked about to mutiny by Israeli paratroopers. Such an event would have been impossible in Finnish army and I suppose in most armies. When I went to army we were not allowed to sing while eating, discussion was OK, not to throw food on fellow soldiers, not mention rocks or smoke grenades. The punishment would have been severe and the whole battalion would have lost their leaves for months and would have been cleaning toilets for weeks. And if we had demonstrated by not obeying orders and piled our weapons in front of the commanders office, we all would have faced military court and prison. We would have not only the laughingstock of the army, we would have been the laughing stock of the whole nation. Not heroes of “democracy”.

The Hizbollah guys and Syrian soldiers must be rolling on the floor with laughter when they read how their “democratic” enemies behave. By the way AIG do you often vote in your IDF or follow orders by the command chain. Is 890th battalion a rule of the present IDF or an exception? If is a rule G-d (as you seem to express that authority) help you. When IDF is throwing tomatoes and rocks on each others and piling their weapons on stairs of the defence ministry a tiny Hams group can occupy whole Israel. :) :) :)

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October 16th, 2007, 9:13 pm

 

56. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,

What is the difference between Bashar and the regime?
So how does this work, Bashar wanted an open internet policy but the “regime” stopped him? Who is the regime and what is it? Who are the people that make it up and how is Bashar not one of them if not the main person? How is Bashar as the head of state not responsible for all government policies???

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October 16th, 2007, 9:30 pm

 

57. ausamaa said:

Ehsani2,

With all due respect, why dont to stick to economics, monitary, and financial matters, in that area at least, most commentators leave you alone to impart your wisdom without seriously contesting and refuting your opnions maybe because -to me at least- they seem as a mere theoretical excersise. But are you now becoming a military historian and a military expert and an informed analyst on how strong Syria is or is not militarily?

Habibi, putting it in the simplest possible terms; if Israel thought that it could WIN a war against Syria, it would not hesitate for a minute. If a “strategic” military victory was in Israel sight, Israel would go for it at whatever cost. Simply, because Israel views Syria as a srtategic EXISTENIONAL threat, not only a security matter where a cost-benifit type of analysis applies.

Have you not figured that one out yet?

So please..!!!

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October 16th, 2007, 9:31 pm

 

58. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim wrote:
“What is the difference in creating ghetto to Warsaw or to Gaza and West Bank? Nothing.”

Therefore Sim is an antiemite. Thank you for proving again and again how sick you are. You really disgust me.

Population in west bank and gaza grow sat over 3% annually. Among the fastest growth rates in the world.
Until the first intifada economic growth in the West bank and Gaza was higher than all countries in the Arab world.

The population in the Warsaw ghetto went down 100% in 2 years mostly because your mother’s family and other “liberal” and “tolerant” people knowingly helped Hitler subdue Poland. Probably your relatives were even patrolling in the Warsaw ghetto and helped put down the revolt there. You are shameless.

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October 16th, 2007, 9:42 pm

 

59. Jamal said:

Still thinking about Iran.

Imagine: Iran’s oil industry producing to its full capacity(especially at today’s prices), efficient domestic oil refining and distribution systems keeping the economy buzzing and its considerable human resources being allowed to operate to full potential.

No confused hallucinatry little militia men in charge, no religious thuggism, no world record rate of drug addiction…

Under good management Iran could be dominating the region and a significant world player without a whiff of weaponry. Israel would be eating Iran’s dust.

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October 16th, 2007, 9:43 pm

 

60. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
In Israel we criticize the government by voting against it in elections and writing in an open press. And believe me, next time I will vote against Olmert. I much prefer Netanyahu.

How do you exactly criticize Bashar? By elections? Or in free newspapers that don’t exist? You think he reads this blog?
You support the regime by defending it on forums like this and attempting to make it look good to Americans and others!

Has anybody done what Syria has done with Hizballah? Has Israel smuggled weapons into Syria and created a militia there? Has Israel ever given weapons to Hamas to fight Fatah? You know, the more I read this blog and listen to Alex and you, the more I realize that the only solution for Syria is to create a militia like Hizballah but targeted at the Asad regime. I am not quite there yet, but I am slowly being convinced.

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October 16th, 2007, 9:53 pm

 

61. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Jamal,

I totally agree with your vision. Of course Iran would dominate the mid east if it were an open society. It has many more resources, human and others than Israel. I wish all the others on this forum would have your deep understanding.

And I am totally not being sarcastic. It is what I firmly believe.

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October 16th, 2007, 9:57 pm

 
 

63. offended said:

and jailing two Internet webmasters who criticized Saudi Arabia!
If I was in Syria I would be in jail too : )

Alex, I think the two guys you are referring to, have mocked the Islamic stature of Saudi Arabia (as country that holds a place for Islamic shrines), what you are doing is entirely different, it is a political critique.

I hope my speculation and my conclusion are right…

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October 16th, 2007, 10:26 pm

 

64. majedkhaldoun said:

to AP and IG and AIG,antisemitic is antizionist, but they are ashamed to be clear,even God is antisemitic to them

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October 16th, 2007, 11:02 pm

 

65. Nour said:

AIG,

You’re hillarious. You’re in a complete state of denial. Israel has on several occasions armed groups and encouraged them to fight other groups. Yes, Hamas WAS armed by Israel. The PSP and the LF in Lebanon were both armed by Israel. Israel has also helped arm and train the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq. You act like you don’t play this game, when you are masters at it.

As for us criticizing Bashar, I wasn’t insinuating that there’s a free press in Syria or that Syria is not ruled by a dictatorship, but you were directing your comment at me and Alex specifically, and at Syrians in general, implying that we do not criticize our government as if we are oblivious to what goes on there or simply don’t care. We do indeed criticize the government and we do not approve of all its policies. As for having elections and free press, yes these are things we have to work to achieve, but that is OUR business not yours. We will deal with our situation as we see fit and we don’t need people giving us lectures and lessons on how to properly run a government. At least Syria is not based on a racist, exclusivist ideology that promotes the idea of a “chosen people” and works to establish a state solely for a particular group excluding others from it. And at least Syria does not engage in widespread home demolitions, land confiscations, killing, maiming, raping civilians and uprooting their trees and orchards to deny them sustenance. So before you give us any lessons, go look at your own brutal, oppressive, racist regime.

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October 16th, 2007, 11:05 pm

 

66. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,

Israel never armed Hamas. You are plain lying.

Give YOU advice? Why does Asad listen to you? It seems that you are part of the regime. The Syrian on the street cannot do anything about Asad. How will you deal with the situation? You and Alex see the dictatorship staying for 200 years. You are just a front for keeping tyrants in power.

Syria has been raping its own people for 60 years. You are just blind. And by the way, we can’t know exactly what Asad has been doing because the regime oppresses all information. Why is it so afraid? Probably there are a few massacres like Hama that we don’t know about. I wonder how many mass graves there are in Syria.

Syria is the ultimate apartheid state. The 15% Alawites control the rest. Yet you have the nerve to criticize the only true democracy in the middle east.

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October 16th, 2007, 11:22 pm

 

67. Nour said:

AIG,

Israel is a joke of a democracy. A so-called democracy for Jews only. You sit here and pass judgment on other countries and peoples while your own country has been responsible for one of the greatest crimes in history. Uprooting an entire population from their land and replacing the with your own kind. Why? Because you believe Yahweh granted you that right and gave the authority, as his chosen people, to “utterly destroy” all those around you.

You have never been to Syria to know anything about it. All these hypotheticals about the Syrian regime killing, raping, and massacring people is pure nonsense. In Syria there is no discrimination between one group and another, so this whole “Alawi” nonsense you’re trying to spew is ridiculous. Alawis do not enjoy a different stature then any other Syrians. Assad did not bring Alawis from all over the world and forcefully expel all other Syrians so that he can make a state exclusively for Alawis. Apartheid state? What a joke. ALL Syrians enjoy the same rights and priveleges, no group is isolated from the other, no walls are built to separate one “superior” group from another “inferior” group, no home demolitions and land confiscations are practiced. Go sell your propaganda elsewhere.

As for Israel arming Hamas against Fateh, this is a fact, just as it is now arming Dahlan and his gang against Hamas. Do you deny that Israel armed the PSP and LF in Lebanon? Do you deny that it arms and trains the Kurdish Peshmerga in Iraq? Look at yourself in the mirror before judging others.

The Syrian regime and how we deal with it is none of your business. This is our country and we will deal with our own problems. We don’t need any lessons from anyone; just leave us alone to tend to our matters. But the nature of Israel (an expansionist, racist, oppressive, criminal state) does not allow for that as it has to maintain instability around it in order for it to survive.

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October 16th, 2007, 11:36 pm

 

68. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,

In Syria there is no discrimination because except for the elite, no one has rights. That is the nature of oppressive dictatorial regimes.

Why is Syria ostracized by the US, Europe and most of the world? Why is it a pariah state? Because the Syrian regime oppresses its people and exports instability to its neighbors.

All I have to do is read what the brave Syrians who are willing to face the truth write on blogs. The true nature of the evil Syrian regime emerges.

You are using the oldest Asad trick in the book. You demonize Israel in order to give excuses for Asad staying in power.

The Arabs citizens of Israel are 6 times richer and have much more rights than the average Syrian. All your lies and demonizing cannot change that. And now Israel is in discussions with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and hopefully they will have a state soon.

Anyone can visit Israel and see for himself what is happening. Can you say the same for Syria? No. Why? Because Asad is hiding untold atrocities and massacres. Let the foreign press free range in Syria and then we will know what the situation really is.

In the end, why should I care? I live in a thriving democracy. It is my interest that Asad stay in power and be weak and keep Syria weak and powerless. But that is against my core beliefs. I believe that every person has the right to be free and to prosper. And therefore I believe that Syria must democratize, whatever the costs to Israel.

People like you with a slave mentality that are willing to kowtow to tyrants and even justify them, are to me worse than the dictators themselves. I think you need to read Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Unless of course you are part of the regime and then I fully understand your position.

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October 16th, 2007, 11:59 pm

 

69. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

And about dealing with your problems, you haven’t been able to deal with them in the last 60 years and have now resigned to another 200 years of tyranny. It is certainly the case that someone else needs to help you democratize because you have proven unable to do anything about it by yourself.

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October 17th, 2007, 12:01 am

 

70. Abraham said:

Nour, you keep on stating that Israel is arming Kurds in Iraq like that is a bad thing.

We have a right to help other oppressed people in the world, especially in this region were we lack friendly neighbors.

And yes we did arm the LF in Lebanon, what were we supposed to do, allow the Palestinian and Lebanese Leftist to take over the country and continue their attacks on us?

Let us be realistic here, Israel has to look out for her own interests, if that means we have to arm some groups than that is what we will do.

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October 17th, 2007, 12:04 am

 

71. Nour said:

AIG,

If you want to criticize something, at least know what you’re talking about. To say that no one has rights in Syria is not based in reality. We do not deny that the Syrian system is oppressive and dictatorial, but that doesn’t mean that no one has any rights. Syrians have rights and carryon their lives like all other normal human beings. Anyone who has been to Syria will tell you that life is abolutely normal there.

Syria is “ostracized” by the US for one reason and one reason only: ISRAEL. Why isn’t Saudi Arabia ostracized? Why isn’t Egypt ostracized? They both are highly oppressive regimes, even worse than Syria, and also help destabilize their neighbors. So what’s the secret? The answer is that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to be tools of the US and to keep from opposing and resisting Israel. As such, they are rewarded and allowed to join the “club”.

I don’t need to demonize Israel, Israel has done a good job of that on its own. However, my posts specifically were in response to you, who comes here and glorifies Israel every chance you get and makes it your point to show how superior Israel is to Syria. I was merely telling you to look in your own backyard before attacking others.

The “Arab” citizens of Israel do not enjoy more rights than Syrian citizens. But regardless, that is not the point, the point is that Israel does not recognize the right of the indigenous people of that land to live on that land. So just because it gave a few Palestinians Israeli citizenship, does not change the fact that Israel is intended to be a state exclusively for Jews. The Palestinians are treated as subhumans, they are denied their right to live, their homes are demolished, their lands confiscated, their trees and orchards uprooted, and they are systematically killed, tortured, raped, maimed, etc.

Anyone can visit Syria also and see for themselves. I have never known a westerner who visited Syria who didn’t find it a fabulous country. There are no hidden massacres as you claim. The one massacre that is known to all is the Hama massacre, which was a crime that we do not deny, but that resulted after the Muslim Brotherhood, supported by the US and KSA, had killed thousands of Syrians in terror attacks over a period of 3 years. However, with respect to Israel not hiding anything, is that why they prohibited reporters from entering Jenin? And they refused to allow UN investigators to know what took place there? This is your history and you have to deal with it. At least we are sensible enough to admit when the Syrian government has committed crimes.

Please do not patronize us by pretending like you care about Syrian citizens, for you surely don’t. You simply want to see Syria submit to Israeli hegemony and just accept that fate. Do you criticize Jordan for oppressing its people and carry a campaign against it? Do you do the same for Egypt? No, and the only reason why is that those two countries have accepted Israeli hegemony.

As for your last degrading comments, I shall ignore them. However, let me just clarify that the only ones with a slave mentality are those that happily become servants of Israel and the US at the expense of their country and their people, and which you pretend to admire.

Finally, about dealing with our problems, 60 years is nothing relative to the history of the world. How long did it take Europe to come out of the dark ages? We had been subdued by the Ottomans for 400 years only to come out of it and find ourselves in the hands of European colonists, who then brought foreigners to our land and established a state for them there, which has consistently led a campaign of wars and destabilization since its inception.

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October 17th, 2007, 12:27 am

 

72. Akbar Palace said:

Alex said:

AIG,

Sim is not a bad antisemite, YOU are a bad Jew.

Thou shalt not murder
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

Alex,

cc: SimoHurtta

Congratulations on the near total breakdown of this fine website. The owner of this website and Co-director of the Centre of Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma would be, er, proud.

Just for yuks, if “Sim is not a bad antisemite”, does that mean he is a “good” one? Or maybe is he’s just a mediocre anti-semite. I guess with everything, there are different shades of gray.

And as far as your charges against AIG with respect to the Ten Commandments, I would say that you have no proof that AIG has coveted a neighbors house, murdered anyone, or stolen anything from anyone.

If you have information to the contrary, once again please post a link or point us in the right direction.

Alex stated further:

Kissinger visited Damascus 21 times those days. Read his book and you will understand what was going on in 73.

I understand that visiting Syria is a major part of Syrian foreign policy. This custom reminds me very much of a dominatiing mother-in-law, where, if your forget to call or visit, you must be prepared for the “serious consequences” that will follow. Needless to say, Warren Christopher, James Baker, Madeline Albright were all very aware of this custom and they were all happy to visit the Assad family on a regular basis.

Without sounding like a broken record again, after 9-11, the US decided business could not continue as usual. The custom was broken off with those tiny few remaining countries who support terrorism. As strange as it may seem, I believe this to be the correct policy. I believed it on 9-11, and I believe it now in October 2007.

Here are two different American points-of-view on this subject for your entertainment pleasure:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/27/AR2006072701420.html

http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.11210/pub_detail.asp

Jamal chimes in:

Under good management Iran could be dominating the region and a significant world player without a whiff of weaponry. Israel would be eating Iran’s dust.

“Good Management” and Theocracy seem to me to be two opposing forces. Praying 5x/day (not including lunch hour) may erode worker efficiency.

Your second comment about Israel “eating Iran’s dust” is more typical of the “peace promoters” here who are planning for Israel’s destruction in so many varied ways. However, I have dreams where Israel as well as the whole Middle East (including Iran) is working together in an atmosphere of peace, tolerance and mutual understanding. Although the sensitivities are heightened in these precarious times, I have no desire to see any Arab or Muslim country wallow in poverty and hardship. I hope one day my dream will be fullfilled. I think it will.

majedkhaldoun said:

to AP and IG and AIG,antisemitic is antizionist, but they are ashamed to be clear,even God is antisemitic to them

Usually those who are consistently anti-zionist and who hold the State of Israel to a higher standard than Israel’s neighbors are anti-semitic.

Nour adds:

As for having elections and free press, yes these are things we have to work to achieve, but that is OUR business not yours.

Agreed. Best of luck to you.

Conversely, when Iran threatens to “Wipe Israel off the Map”, and when Syria and Iran arm a militia on Israel’s border, this is ISREAL’S business. I know no other country has threatened to “Wipe out Syria” or arm a anti-Syrian militia who has lobed thousands of missiles into Syrian population centers, so I would imagine it would be difficult for you to mind your own business if this was an actual fact.

We will deal with our situation as we see fit and we don’t need people giving us lectures and lessons on how to properly run a government.

These are just friendly suggestions. I trust you will do what is best for Syria.

At least Syria is not based on a racist, exclusivist ideology that promotes the idea of a “chosen people” and works to establish a state solely for a particular group excluding others from it.

You’re right about that. There are no “chosen people” in Syria. I read that on the Syrian Government website.

And at least Syria does not engage in widespread home demolitions, land confiscations, killing, maiming, raping civilians and uprooting their trees and orchards to deny them sustenance.

This could stop if terrorism ceased or if a peace treaty were possible.

So before you give us any lessons, go look at your own brutal, oppressive, racist regime.

I looked at it several times and I was impressed by how well Israeli Arab live in Israel. To be honest, I almost “coveted” their homes (I stopped before I broke any laws). And with all those Arab Knesset members, I could see how difficult it was to be an Arab- Israeli.

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October 17th, 2007, 12:40 am

 

73. Alex said:

Akbar,

again, please read carefully and you will not have a problem with my comments;

you complained about the expression “bad antisemite”

I hate to tell you that I was simply commenting myself on your friend AIG who said it himself … check above his comments and you will see it.

So I was simply rejecting HIS use of “bad antisemite” just like you are.

As for Kissinger\s frequent visits to Damascus … that peiece of information was meant to explain to AIG that Syria was not about to lose the 73 war … when Egyptian army was surrounded, Kissinger did not need to spend much time in Egypt to negotiate the Egyptian Israeli cease fire agreement.

But this is too complicated for you probably.

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October 17th, 2007, 1:56 am

 

74. Alex said:

Here is AIG’s comment .. read the last paragraph

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,

No, Sim is an antisemite because of the many other reasons we already discussed.

In this particular case he is just moronic:
1) The article is in an Israeli newspaper proving how robust freedom of press in Israel
2) The soldiers showed a strong solidarity towards each other proving how strong the unit spirit is in the IDF
3) The soldiers did not follow orders blindly and were not afraid to address their commanders when they thought something bad was done. This show that the IDF is truly a citizen army in which people do not follow orders automatically.
4) After a discussion with their commanders the soldiers returned to duty.

So, Sim has just shown how formidable and democratic Israel and the IDF are. You might say therefore that he is a philosemite. I think he is just a bad antisemite.

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October 17th, 2007, 1:57 am

 

75. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Right Alex, because you think he is not an antisemite at all which makes you just a plain racist or an ignoramus. I think I might start using Sim’s methods to show you how disgusting this is but instead of Jews, use Arabs. I’ll start quoting Osama Bin Laden and many Arab leaders and I will post all the racist and antisemtic cartoons and articles from the Arab press and then I will attribute this to Arabs in general and make the case that they are basically all racist.

We will then go to the wide support of Arabs for honor killings, women circumcision and their consistent gay bashing and murder. We can then all deduce what a despicable person you are for being an Arab. What do you say, you think it makes sense?

Then let’s discuss what Arabs say about countries they live in such as the UK and the US and deduce that like you, they are traitors to the US, Canada and the UK.

Do you think such a strategy will be justified? It seems so since you support Sim’s methods.

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October 17th, 2007, 2:32 am

 

76. Akbar Palace said:

Alex, SimoHurtta -

cc: AIG

Here’s what I think is an interesting clip from Iranian government controlled (could it be somethng else) TV.

After seeing these clips, do you think Ahmadinejad is an anti-semite?

Why or why not?

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1558.htm

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October 17th, 2007, 2:36 am

 

77. Akbar Palace said:

AIG -

cc: Alex

On the topic of “racism”, Alex has made it clear to us on this forum that he is a supporter of Hamas.

Therefore, it is clear that Alex supports some racists and anti-semites. I can only conclude that Alex supports racists and anti-semites if they embrace the notion of defeating Israel.

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October 17th, 2007, 11:59 am

 

78. ausamaa said:

Akbar Palce,

I guess we have to take your word on the subject of Racisim, after all Isarel is THE living example of all the ugly that Racist socities reprsent. NOt only Racist, but Ethnic-Racist society. And in the twenty first century!

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October 17th, 2007, 8:03 pm

 

79. Friend in America said:

From Global Security Newswire:

Russia Made Secret Nuclear Proposal, Iran Says

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei received an offer of an unknown nature regarding his nation’s nuclear program this week during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, Oct. 16).

Iranian sources said they believed the proposal involved a “time out” on U.N. sanctions in exchange for Iran’s suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

“The main reason for Putin’s visit to Iran was to convey this message personally to the ultimate power in Iran,” said one of the two Iranian officials.

“We will ponder your words and proposal,” Iran’s state media quoted Khamenei as saying. The report said that Iran’s highest leader would give the proposal serious consideration before making a decision (Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press I/Google News, Oct. 17).
End of exerpt.

If this news leak from Teheran is accurate, the ME will experience a cooling off period.

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October 17th, 2007, 9:01 pm

 

80. Damascus » Blog Archives » A turkish coffee for Bashar al-Asad said:

[...] The NSC versus Rice and the Syria Strike atomic plant in Syria and has asked Damascus about information that such a site was targeted by an [...]

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October 18th, 2007, 10:25 am

 

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