Tuesday, 25 October 2005

Syria is being Set Up to Fail

A Leaked Letter from Washington

Here is a most extraordinary letter from Syria's Ambassador in Washington Imad Mustapha to Congresswoman Sue Kelly, which has come into my possession. It explains how the American Administration has been stonewalling Syrian cooperation on a host of issues. It explains how Syria is being set up to fail so that the US can isolate it and carry out a process of regime-change at the expense of Iraqi stability and the lives of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. It explains how the US administration's policy of forcing regime change in Syria is trumping the need to save lives in Iraq.

I also have the letter written by Congresswoman Sue Kelly, and signed by 100 fellow congressmen, which was originally sent to Ambassador Mustapha on Sept. 30, 2005 and which elicited this reply. It is short and reiterates the usual administration complaints about the lack of Syrian cooperation with the war on terror and effort to stabilize Iraq. I have not had the time to type it in - but it is a demonstration of the US government's failure to appreciate how it is being railroaded by the administration into a confrontation with Syria. One must read Imad Mustapha's response, copied here, to appreciate just how the railroading is taking place.

For over a year Syria has been trying to cooperate with the West on the Iraq border, on the issue of terrorism finance, on the issue of stopping Jihadists from getting into Syria, on intelligence sharing, and on stabilizing Iraq.

Washington has consistently refused to take "Yes" as an answer. Why? The only credible reason is because Washington wants regime change in Syria. The US administration is sacrificing American soldiers in Iraq in order to carry out its program of "reforming the Greater Middle East." Two US policies are clashing head to head - the one is stabilizing Iraq and the other is the reform of the greater Middle East. President Bush is placing his democracy policy over his Iraq policy. This is costing American and Iraqi lives.

The world press has failed to get this story, although it has been staring them in the face for months. Human rights activists in Syria have documented for a long time how Syria is arresting Islamists, cracking down on Syrians who go to Iraq to fight by arresting their family members and jailing the fighters when they return from Iraq. Read Razan Zeitouneh's story about Syria's "Preemptive War" against Islamists here. The Syrian secret police have been terrorizing would be terrorists in Syria for many months now. The US has cut off all intelligence sharing with Syria despite repeated Syrian attempts to cooperate on this most important issue. Rumsfeld refused a Syria delegation of top border officials permission to meet with their Iraq and American counterparts just two months ago. Read the story here.

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