Another Trojan Horse from the UN?
- From: "Zimbawi" <zimbawi@xxxxxx>
- Date: 1 Nov 2005 10:33:55 -0800
Another Trojan Horse from the UN?
By LINDA S. HEARD
It's happening all over again. This time Syria has received the kiss of
the White House don just as laid-out in the 1996 neo-con rule book
"Clean Break", conceived on the bidding of none other than the Israel
far-right's chief thug Benjamin Netanyahu.
The fact that the cabal is religiously sticking to its agenda is
predictable but it's, surely, shocking that world leaders seem bent on
bowing to the Bush bullies like a bunch of sycophantic schoolboys even
as the Italian premier Berlusconi is saying his mea culpas over Iraq.
On Monday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) voted on a resolution,
originally designed to threaten Syria with sanctions should it fail to
cooperate with the UN team investigating the assassination of Rafik
Hariri, headed by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis.
Ostensible Syrian allies Russia, China and Algeria managed to
water-down the draft removing references to sanctions before voting in
This amendment may sound hopeful but actually means little as the
resolution was unanimously passed under Chapter Seven, meaning it is
liable to being militarily enforced.
So once again, we have a Mid-East country on the US regime-change list
with a Damoclesian sword hanging over its head, should it shrink from
prostrating itself before the New World Order by handing over top
regime figures for what is referred to nowadays as "justice".
In this case, the suspects are the Syrian President's own brother and
brother-in-law having been fingered by a Syrian deserter and embezzler
who recently telephoned his elder brother from Paris with the words:
"I've become a millionaire", or so reports the German magazine Der
Further, the "Mehlis report" is drenched with bias from start to
finish, acknowledging the help investigators received from Lebanon and
other countries with no mention of Syria.
Moreover, in its "Executive Summary" it terms the assassination of
Hariri as "terrorist" but later goes on to suggest "fraud, corruption
and money-laundering could have been motives for individuals to
participate in the operation". In this case, his death would not fall
under the category of terrorism but criminality.
Indeed, during the UN's recent 60th anniversary summit, delegates
failed to agree on a definition of 'terrorism' so if the UN doesn't
recognize the meaning of that word, what is it doing coloring a
heavyweight UN report?
But let's not be too pedantic. Whether or not the higher echelons of
the Syrian government were involved in the killing of the former
Lebanese Prime Minister is a useful red herring in the great scheme of
Since when has the UN been involved with investigating the demise of
individuals, even ones as beloved as Hariri?
If that was ever its mandate, why didn't it dispatch its minions to
search out the killers of JFK, Salvadore Allende, Anwar Sadat or look
into the mysterious deaths of Gamal Abdul Nasser and Yasser Arafat?
Why didn't the UN delve into who poisoned Viktor Yushchenko? The answer
is simple. Doing so would not be politically expedient as the
investigation of Hariri's death so transparently is.
It's clear that Hariri's assassination is being trumped up as a
proverbial smoking gun and a handy emotive one at that - in the 'out to
get Syria' game, indicating that the White House is scraping the barrel
for a regime-change pretext.
Let's face it. Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad is no Saddam Hussein.
He hasn't been "gassing his own people" and neither has he invaded his
neighbor (he was invited in to Lebanon by the Lebanese government to
quell a civil war), nor has he begun a series of pre-emptive wars.
In fact, in the run-up to the Iraq war when Syria held a temporary seat
on the UNSC, Al-Assad and his British-born wife were given the red
carpet treatment by both Downing Street and Queen Elizabeth.
Unlike Saddam, a rough and ready rifle-wielding bandito-type, Bashar
Al-Assad is a soft-spoken eye-doctor unwillingly thrust into power when
his popular brother Basil died due to a road accident. And unlike
Saddam, Bashar has attempted to implement a series of political, social
and economic reforms against opposition from his father's old guard.
This is a cultured man with whom the West should be dialoguing not
demonizing. So where did Al-Assad go wrong and when did he become a
His greatest 'mistake' was being one of the few Arab leaders to speak
out against the invasion of Iraq and give public support to Palestinian
militant groups deemed 'terrorist' by the U.S.
His dressing down of Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair during the
latter's visit to Damascus in front of the cameras was the start of a
slippery slope. From then, he could do no right in spite of the fact
the vast majority of world nations were of like mind, including France,
Germany and Russia.
Since, Syria has been accused of harboring terrorists and allowing
insurgents and weapons to freely cross its borders into Iraq.
In answer to these charges, it closed down the Damascus offices of
Hamas and other groups and appealed for US assistance in sealing its
long porous borders. It also asked Britain to supply it with
night-vision goggles so as to police the border, which Britain agreed
to do before reneging on its promise.
When Western nations occupying Iraq began playing the tom-toms against
Syria's having over-stayed its welcome in Lebanon, Al-Assad responded
by withdrawing Syrian troops and dismantling its intelligence apparatus
there. A UN report signed off on Syria's exit.
So here was a country which does not have weapons of mass destruction,
was not threatening or occupying its neighbors, had cooperated with
Bush's war on terror and which has long been asking to return to the
peace table with Israel offering peace in exchange for occupied Syrian
territory including the strategically important Golan Heights. Ah! Here
we may be onto something.
A return to "Clean Break", whose authors are all current or former
members of the Bush administration and include Douglas Feith, Paul
Wolfowitz as well as David and Meyrav Wurmser, may give us a clue.
Given a hearty stamp of approval by Dick Cheney and Daniel Pipes, the
document calls for the overthrow of both the Syrian and Iranian regimes
in order to secure Israel as the dominant regional power, along with an
end to the 'land for peace' policy.
In light of the sheer ruthlessness of the above in pursuing their
Straussian goals, as evidenced by the recent CIA leak case, and their
need for a cassus belli to go after Syria, one must take their
crocodile tears over Hariri's death with a huge shovel of salt.
Lastly, I would like to leave you with some questions which deserve
Why would the Syrian government on the brink of quitting Lebanon and in
the knowledge that it was being squeezed by the White House and Downing
Street itching for a fight murder a Lebanese out-of-power politician
and with such dramatic fanfare entailing the use of elaborate planning
and sophisticated equipment?
The Mehlis report states both the Lebanese and Syrian secret services
were tapping Hariri's phone lines and knew his every movement in
advance. That said, wouldn't a single sniper's bullet have done the job
even more efficiently than a bomb? And, more importantly, fewer
individuals would have been involved and the evidentiary paper trail
Even if the Syrian regime was dumb enough to kill Hariri in the way
that it is alleged, there is a far bigger picture at play, which
unfortunately many Lebanese are unable to see.
This myopia is because many Lebanese are rightfully angry over Syria's
extended stay in their country and emotionally traumatized at the
passing of a true Lebanese patriot credited for returning parts of
Beirut to their pre-war magnificence.
Nevertheless, the Lebanese must realize that any attack on Syria is
ultimately an attack on them and with Hizbollah vowing to stand
shoulder to shoulder with Damascus yet another Lebanese internal
conflagration could be triggered.
Revenge may be sweet but the Lebanese should remember it is not only
fleeting it also has a nasty habit of boomeranging.
In this case, the way forward for everyone concerned should be a
process of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I can only hope that Lebanon won't allow itself to be used as a pawn in
a foreign power play destined to benefit Israeli expansionism and
neo-con hegemonic ambitions. And, even more importantly, I would urge
world leaders to look up the meaning of 'integrity' before locating
their missing cajones.
Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer and columnist on Mid-East affairs
based in Cairo.
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