SURPRISE - SYRIA DISCOVERED TO BE A ROGUE TERRORIST NATION
by Emanuel A. Winston
Middle East analyst & commentator
Why, all of a sudden, has this Bush Administration decided to lift the veil of secrecy regarding Syria's role as another epi-center of Terror? It's been long in coming and Bush is to be congratulated for exposing Syria's role in building an advanced Chemical Missile system which is a major WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction). But, the veil has only been partially lifted, so let's take a look at some of the other components and connect the dots.
Under President Hafez al Assad, Syria had been building its chemical and missile capability for over 30 years - with no objection from the U.N., E.U., U.S. - until now. Israeli Intelligence had long ago penetrated Syria's manufacturing capabilities in producing chemicals which kill as well as its collaboration with North Korea, China and Russia to extend the range of chemically loaded missiles.
All of this information was repeatedly reported to America's CIA, State Department and numerous Presidents. This Intelligence was disregarded by all the above.
Syria's accumulation of WMD (Weapons of Mass Death) was well known by world Intel agencies, particularly those of France, Germany and England, in addition to Russia, China and North Korea, who also acted as Syria's suppliers of materiéls, technology and scientists, etc. Syria's weapons' building program was well known so, why now the 'miraculous' discovery of Syria's deadly capability?
The old adage of "It depends upon whose ox is being gored" seems applicable.
Let us continue to connect those elusive dots:
It would appear that Syria came into focus when they began accepting Saddam's weapons for safe-keeping and later offering refuge to escaping Saddam's Ba'athist cohorts.
Syria's choice of being a haven for War Criminals and Terrorists is similarly well-known. Even as far back as the end of WWII, escaping high level Nazi war criminals found Syria an excellent safe haven. Some may recall Alois Bruner, the Nazi war criminal responsible for the deaths of many Jews who was well-received in Syria and may very well still be alive and living there safely. Others, like Abu Nidal, arch terrorist was similarly welcomed, although later expelled to Bagdad as a P.R. bone thrown to the White House.
Syria was and is the host to at least 10 major Terrorist organizations such as Hezb'Allah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, among many others. There they not only could operate safely but they received money, training, weapons and shared intelligence between Syria's Secret Services and Iran. Because of the solid bases offered by Hafez al Assad, these Terrorist organizations could and did outreach to Europe, America and, of course, Israel. Terrorists are far more effective when they have stable bases from which to operate. Keep that thought as President Bush offers the PLO a whole state of their own to operate from.
Syria could task these hydra-headed Terror Organizations with missions against Israel and Americans as a reciprocal payback for services mutually rendered. Syria was identified as having been the source of the 1983 truck bomb massacre against the American Marine Barracks in Lebanon which killed 241 Marines. The order to retaliate was given by then President Ronald Reagan but, was rescinded by then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger - "for political reasons". Syria had deep connections within the U.S. State Department and in Washington generally. We may never know the reasons unless we take over the Syrian Intelligence Headquarters as we did in Iraq.
James Baker, III, Secretary of State under Father Bush also visited Assad in Syria repeatedly, trying to bring Assad into line with America's plans and policies - to no avail. It was reported that Baker shared sensitive intelligence given to him by Israel from her own agents under deep cover in Syria. It was said that he was trying to improve his credibility with Assad. This allowed Assad to roll up Israel's Humint (Human Intelligence) network and those agents of Israel were back-tracked and killed. Of course, Baker denied that he had exposed the Israeli cell. Some may recall Baker's attitude about Jews when he was reported to have said: "F..k the Jews; they don't vote for us anyhow."
During Bill Clinton's term in office an effort was made to broker a peace favorable to Syria in a rather peculiar way. Israel was to withdraw from her excellent military position on the high ground of the Golan Heights, recovered from Syria after years of Syria's forces shelling the Jews on the plain beneath the Golan Heights.
Israel was to receive off-setting dollars and special equipment to compensate for her loss of direct electronic surveillance into Damascus - a military position which has prevented Syria from attacking Israel since 1973. Israel was to degrade her security, based on promises, much the same as is being offered in the so-called "Road Map" of today.
Syria couldn't start up a tank engine without Israel instantly knowing. The Clinton deal would then take Syria off of the U.S. State Department's list of Terrorist Nations. Some may recall the 27 official visits to Hafez al Assad by Clinton's Secretary of State Warren Christopher, pleading for Syria to lower her profile on supporting Terrorism so she could be taken off of the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism and initiate the process of receiving military and other aid. This would then allow American "defense" industries to sell or rather "gift" Syria from $20 to $40 Billion in tanks, aircraft, missiles, electronics - all paid for by U.S. tax-payers.
The transfer of 'free' military equipment was a well-developed scheme of political diplomacy, refined through Egypt who has received at least $2 Billion annually since 1979 - so far. American tax-dollars were defined as "grants" so the money went directly from the American Treasury to the American manufacturers. It was not a 'sale' requiring Congressional oversight because Egypt never had to pay for what by now may amount to at least $48 Billion dollars of American tax-payers' money. The clever idea was to buy Egypt's loyalty and create a country who would protect American interests in the region. That investment of $48 Billion plus, seems however, NOT to bind Egypt to America's wishes.
Syria was slated to receive the same 'free' package, courtesy of the American tax-payers. This is a dirty political trick that numerous presidential administrations have used making U.S. citizens into suckers. In any case, the deal at that time didn't go through because Assad could not bring himself to make any deal with the Israelis.
But, and it's a big BUT, that deal may be resurrected with U.S. Defense industries lobbying for another sweetheart deal for both Syria and Iraq.
On approximately March 25,(1) President Bush asked the Congress to allow him to sell American weapons and other defensive equipment to Iraq. There is a companion request that would repeal the Iraqi Sanctions Act of 1990. This would also allow Allies to sell military equipment to Iraq, "IF" it was in their national interests to do so. The game plan is to by-pass Congressional oversight plus provide lobbying Defense Industries with a windfall opportunity to sell weapons to Iraq, no doubt under a grant, so the American tax-payers would again subsidize these sales. As the Shi'ites of Iraq rise up with prodding by the Shi'ites of Iran, I wonder if the President still wishes to sell arms to the new Iraq under Shi'ite influence.
I have an uncomfortable feeling that the present P.R. attack against Syria is a two-edged sword. One 'edge' is realistic pressure by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the President to halt Syria's assistance to Iraqi Ba'ath Party (Saddam's political power base) by President Bashar Assad. Ba'ath Party officials have been receiving sanctuary in Syria.
The other 'edge' is, after Syria's Bashar Assad makes certain efforts to placate the Bush Administration, there will be a push to take Syria off of the U.S. State Department's list of Terrorist nations opening up the doors for massive sales of armaments to Syria, all under the Sweetheart Plan enjoyed by Egypt for the 24 years.
To accomplish the feat of magic, the Bush Administration must return to the plan to force Israel off the Golan Heights, followed by the pretense that President of Syria, Bashar Assad, is seeking peace and, thus, can be taken off this list of Terrorist-Sponsoring Nations.
Presumably, this will be an extension of the Bush-Powell "Road (Rogue) Map" plan.
In the end, it will be Israel who will pay an extraordinarily heavy price having been forced into accepting another Arab Palestinian Terror State in her heartland and being pushed off of the Golan in the North, with hostile Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian troops poised over her head - plus a few Al Qaeda Terrorists who already have sanctuary in Syria and Iraq.
Naturally, Israel will receive the usual promises by the co-signers - none of which will be kept. This is only a partial glimpse into what's going on behind the scenes for Israel's future.
1. "Bush Seeks More Control Over Arms Exports" by Amy Svitak U.S. DEFENSE NEWS March 31, 2003
PART 2: SYRIA'S HISTORY AS A TERROR NATION
Syria, like Iraq, was ruled by a Ba'athist minority. The Assads were from the Alawite sect - a Muslim minority, while the majority of Syrians are Sunni Muslims. Former President Hafez al Assad and his generals ruled Syria with brutal repression. Hafez all Assad, knowing he would soon be dead of cancer, had hoped his first son would take the reins of power but, he was assassinated so Hafez had to switch the line of succession to Bashar, the weaker son and an unlikely leader. Hafez instructed his generals to keep Bashar as figurehead but to run the country in the same brutal fashion from behind the throne.
Even if Hafez had not given these instructions, the generals had to maintain the same grip lest the Sunni majority rise up and kill them all. (Note! The same thing is happening in Iraq as the Shi'ite majority is fast finding its strength, no doubt, urged on by Iran and will or already has started to take revenge against Saddam's brutal dictatorship.) The Alawite military in Syria had prepared Latakia, a city on the coast of the Mediterranean with the best armaments as a refuge, just as Saddam had prepared Takrit as his retreat.
Bashar has been greatly influenced by the Secretary General of Hezb'Allah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, a radical Shi'ite Islamist. President Bush has yet to face the reality of the cruelty inherent in Shi'ite Islam. Watch what happens during the Shi'ites first religious pilgrimage to Karbala when the participants beat and cut themselves with whips, swords and razors. They even hold their babies up to receive the splashes of blood. Watch what happens in Iraq as the Shi'ites build to their full power.
Syria was carved out of the Ottoman Empire by the French in 1920 and it became a Republic in 1946. Syria lost the Golan Heights in 1967 to Israel after the Syrians and Egyptians' planned and publicized their attack (which Jordan joined) against the Jewish State.
Syria was always Israel's most dedicated enemy but became even more so after their humiliating defeat in the battle for the Golan Heights. Hafez al Assad hated the Jewish State and swore he would maintain a war footing until Israel was destroyed. Syria was perhaps the leader in establishing a school curricula which taught Syrian children to hate and kill Jews from kindergarten through university. This same curricula was instituted by Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, resulting in several generations of Muslim children primed to hate and kill Jews.
Saudi Arabia, the Arab Palestinians, Iraq, Iran all followed suit, in effect establishing an irredentist mind-set to hate Jews and to dedicate their mature years to effectively destroy the Jewish nation. Syria, indeed, is a rogue nation but, no less than those other nations mentioned.
This Bush Administration has the belief that Israel could make sufficient gestures by giving away land won from the Arab nations in 6 wars of Arab aggression. Then the Arab nations would forgive the Jews for defeating them on the field of battle and forget their humiliations. That is just plain naive for the President of America but suicidal for Israel to believe in pacification of unremitting enemies via the spurious concept of Land for Peace. There are those nations who already know this and operate on the assumption that, if they can get Israel to cooperate in its own destruction - then the Arabs will settle down.
I see George W. Bush as a decent man, trapped in the tangle of his own government. Regrettably, as the President of the most powerful nation on this planet, he commits others to extinction 'merely' by mistakenly expressing himself in a June 2002 speech in favor of another Arab Palestinian State west of the Jordan River.
With dismay, we observe Bush include a statement of the Saudi Prince Abdullah in his so-called "Road Map" which seemed to have originated within the U.S. State Department and transferred by Tom Friedman to Abdullah. To accept anything the Saudis offer is astonishing, given what we have learned about Saudi Arabia - especially since 9/11 when 15 of the Terrorists bombing America were Saudis and 4 were Egyptian.
This nation, besides being the incubator for Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 Terrorists, has funded radical Muslim clerics to teach Muslim children in America to hate America.
We know that Syria has been a Terrorist nation and has been building chemical and perhaps biological WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) for over 20 years. Yet, there are plans afoot to take Syria off the State Department List of Terrorist Nations and then pressure Israel to move off of the Golan Heights. America expects Israel to trust the signatures of assurance by the so-called "Quartet" (the U.S. State Department, the U.N., the E.U., and Russia) and the 'good will' of Syria.
We know Iran, as a radical Shi'ite nation, has been building WMD (Weapons of Mass Death) - particularly nuclear - and continues to pledge that Islam will be the final religion for the Planet Earth. This same goal is that of Saudi Arabia through their Wahabbi form of Islam.
As for the mix of Arabs self-dubbed "Palestinians", they will continue to reflect the teachings of Yassir Arafat and the goals of the nations mentioned above to ultimately occupy all of Israel with Jerusalem as the capital of the new Arab State of Palestine - regardless of any pledge of peace.
Let us hope that President Bush does not end up in the history books along with Pope Pius XII.
President Bush has been informed that Syria was a repository for WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) produced by Iraq and transferred in the mid 1990s. Syria has been a close operational associate of Saddam, now accepting Saddam's war criminals, seeking refuge, some coming with hundreds of millions of dollars stolen from their own people.
Perhaps this has been a wake-up call for the President as he takes another look at the Arab nations of Syria, Iran, Egypt - with respect to what they are really developing. In addition, to Iraq's hidden WMD development programs, each of the above nations have huge weapons' programs. Each of the above countries has extended range missiles, capable of carrying chemical and biological warheads.
Yes, even our "almost" ally Egypt who, with our free aid, has accumulated $48 Billion from American tax-payers which bought weapons, in addition to missiles from North Korea. Israel considers Egypt a great danger and not to be relied upon as a stable peace partner.
In Iran, their nuclear program has been in progress for years and is quite advanced.
Israel has deep experience in observing these Arab nations develop their weapons' programs and expect that they plan to use them. Israel knew long before all others and now President Bush, along with the American Congress and the American people have the opportunity to see Arab nations with clarity.