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Syria targeted next?

"There's got to be a change in Syria," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Syria sits smack in the middle of coalition leaders' radar screens and is next on the list of countries targeted for "regime change," followed by Iran and Libya, according to Bush administration officials.

The London Telegraph reported Syria was among the topics discussed by President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair during their summit in Belfast yesterday.

"There's got to be a change in Syria," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

His remark followed the March 29 threat by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during a Pentagon briefing.

"And to Iraq's neighbor, Syria: We have information that shipments of military supplies have been crossing the border from Syria into Iraq, including night-vision goggles. These deliveries pose a direct threat to the lives of coalition forces. We consider such trafficking as hostile acts and will hold the Syrian government accountable for such shipments," Rumsfeld said.

The recent statements confirm a report cited by WorldNetDaily in February that U.S. foreign policy plans call for regime change in Iran, Libya and Syria once Saddam Hussein is toppled.

"Change is needed in all those three countries, and a few others besides," Richard Perle, former chairman of the U.S. Defense Advisory Board, told the London-based author and analyst Amir Taheri.

Perle added that he felt U.S. intervention may only be necessary in Libya and that reform can come from within in Iran and Syria, but he would not elaborate on what U.S. intervention might entail.

Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin also reported in February that U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton made a pronouncement similar to Perle's. The intelligence newsletter reported that Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials that he had no doubt that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea after Iraq.

Regime change in Syria is not seen as requiring military action, and many within the State Department as well as their British counterparts are said to support treating Syria with the carrot rather than the stick, reported The Telegraph.

Although left out of Bush's "axis-of-evil" illustration of countries harboring or sponsoring terrorists, Syria has gained increased scrutiny amid suspicions it allowed Saddam Hussein to transfer weapons of mass destruction across its border, allegations it supplied Iraq with illegal arms which are currently being used against coalition forces, and charges it and Iran have dispatched thousands of terrorists and suicide bombers into Iraq for attacks against coalition forces.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Syria was fingered as the middle man that provided GPS-jamming equipment made by a Russian firm in cooperation with the Russian military.


Ha'aretz reports a large arms deal Syria recently made on behalf of the regime in Baghdad involved the acquisition from the Russian military of 500 laser-guided anti-tank missiles and their transfer to the Iraqis.

The paper reports the arms or equipment would be acquired by Syrian "businessman" at the Mediterranean port of Latakia and then offloaded onto trucks, which delivered the cargo to the Syrian-Iraqi border, and sent directly to the Iraqis.

Iraq's reported transfer of weapons of mass destruction to Syria dates back to late last year, after United Nations inspectors began their ill-fated effort to verify Iraq's disarmament under Resolution 1441.

"We are certain that Iraq has recently moved chemical or biological weapons into Syria," declared Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in December.

Yesterday, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dismissed the report cited by Sharon. Myers told reporters "there is no evidence" that weapons of mass destruction have been moved out of Iraq into another country.

But U.S. intelligence officials report spotting several large Iraqi trucks with guards heading to Syria, reported the Washington Post. The contents of their cargo is not known.

"Significant equipment, assets and perhaps even expertise was transferred, the first signs of which appeared in August or September 2002," a Bush administration official told The Telegraph. "It is quite possible that Iraqi nuclear scientists went to Syria and that Saddam's regime may retain part of its army there."

The Italian newspaper, il Foglio, reported in late March that Saddam Hussein signed an agreement in Damascus on Jan. 17 to move his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, along with his scientists and technicians into Syria. The paper reported that, as a sign of good will, Saddam sent Syrian President Bashar Assad samples of anthrax and botulinum spores, and detailed analyses of tests carried out with these poisons on human subjects in Iraqi prisons.

Subsequently three microbiologists, a small group of technicians and their families and a top nuclear physicist sneaked into Syria in late February and early March, according to the paper.

WorldNetDaily has reported that Saddam may have planned to escape to Syria. The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported he spirited his first wife, Sajida - mother of his heirs Uday and Qusay - into Damascus with three truckloads of possessions and 60 bodyguards days before the bombing began in Baghdad.

Saddam's former protocol minister, Haitham Rashid Wihaib, told newspapers in London that Hussein's family members are staying with Iraq's ambassador to Syria.

Bolton recently put Libya and Iran on notice in an interview with Radio Sawa, a U.S.-funded AM radio station whose broadcasts cover most of the Arab world.

"We are hoping that the elimination of the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and the elimination of all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction would be important lessons to other countries in the region, particularly Syria, Libya, and Iran, that the cost of their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is potentially quite high," he said.

Bolton cited "convincing evidence" that the government of Libya had stepped up efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction since 1999 when the Security Council suspended its sanctions imposed following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

homepage: homepage: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31940

Target: Syria 08.Apr.2003 15:18

Biking Jesus

I attended a lecture given by Mr. Wolfowitz back in 1998 when he dean of John Hopkins' SAIS. At the time, I remember being struck by two things. The first was his bloodthirst for Iraq. The second was his visceral disdain of Syria. It wouldn't shock me if he is working hard behind the scenes to line up an attack on Syria. In his convoluted mind, taking control of Syria will help solve the occupation in Palestine.

Syria 08.Apr.2003 15:28

Zak Attack

An attack of Syria would be the "official" start of WW3.

But we're not done with Axis of Evil #1 yet 08.Apr.2003 15:52

onionhead

Aren't we supposed to finish with Iran and North Korea before we move on to the Axis of Just as Evil?

 http://www.satirewire.com/news/jan02/axis.shtml

Nah, 08.Apr.2003 16:08

Zapatista

Nah, Iran and North Korea are gonna finish you, the Axis of Ultimate Evil. Start with Israel, move onto the England, and then come for the Great Satan itself--the USA.

More Fun Reasons to Invade Syria 08.Apr.2003 16:26

Richard Perle

In the pipeline: More regime change
By Hooman Peimani

04/05/03

An Israeli daily, Ha'aretz, has reported that Israel is seriously considering restarting a strategically important oil pipeline that once transferred oil from the Iraqi city of Mosul to Israel's northern port of Haifa. Given the Israeli claim of a positive US approach to the plan, the Israeli project provides grounds for a theory that the ongoing war against Iraq is in part a joint US, British and Israeli design for reshaping the Middle East to serve their particular interests, including their oil requirements.

According to the daily, Israeli National Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky considers the pipeline project as economically justifiable as it would reduce the country's cost of oil imports. This is currently very high, as Israel imports oil from Russia. There would also be a strategic justification for the project, as importing oil from an oil supplier in Israel's close proximity would increase its fuel security and would address its major handicap, that is, its total dependence on imported fuel from far-away suppliers. While living in the oil-rich Middle East, the Israelis cannot count on regional oil exporters because of the existing Arab-Israeli conflict. Prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran, which was on friendly terms with Israel, provided its oil requirements. That arrangement ended in 1979 when the new Iranian revolutionary regime cut ties with Israel.

Paritzky has requested an assessment of the Mosul-Haifa pipeline's current state, which ceased to operate in 1948. Presumably, the pipeline will require major repair and/or upgrading, if not an overhaul, as it has not been in use for more than half a century. However, its full operation, including the required repair work, needs the consent of Iraq, the would-be oil supplier, and Syria, a country neighboring both Iraq and Israel, through which the pipeline passes.

Iraqi consent will be out of the question as long as the current regime of Saddam Hussein is in power. As acknowledged by the Israeli minister, a prerequisite for the project is, therefore, a new regime in Baghdad with friendly ties with Israel. However, such a regime, if ever it comes to power, will still require Syria's consent to operationalize the pipeline. Given the overall political environment in the Middle East and Israel's continued occupation of Syria's Golan Heights, the existing Syrian regime will never grant its consent as long as the status quo prevails. As stated by the Iranian government, during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) when Iraq enjoyed cordial and close relations with Israel's mentor, the United States, Israel tried, but failed, to resume the oil flow through the pipeline. Syria, a friend of Iran and an enemy of Iraq, blocked the flow of Iraqi oil.

Hence, unless the pipeline were redirected through Jordan, another country bordering Israel and Iraq with normalized relations with Israel, the pipeline project will require a different regime in Syria. In other words, regime change in both Iraq and Syria is the prerequisite for the project. As Paritzky did not mention a redirecting option, it is safe to suggest that the Israelis are also optimistic about a regime change in Syria in the near future.

Oil pipelines are a highly vulnerable means of exporting oil, requiring a predictable long-term reliability of the countries through which they pass. Knowing this, the Israelis can only begin their technical assessment of the pipeline once they are convinced that the existing political barriers can be overcome. This requires new regimes in Baghdad and Damascus.

According to the Israeli minister, the United States will back his project since the pipeline would bring Iraqi oil directly from Iraq to the Mediterranean. In such a case, the Americans could bypass the Persian Gulf for their imported Iraqi oil, while having secured access to the world's second-largest oil reserves. Especially since the early 1990s, they have repeatedly expressed their concern about over-reliance on the Persian Gulf for their oil imports, which contains more than 60 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. Given the concentration of the major oil exporters in that region, its instability could interrupt or completely stop the flow of oil by oil tankers, with a consequent major impact on the US economy, as it is so dependent on oil.

To decrease their vulnerability to such a worst-case scenario, the Americans have sought to diversify their oil suppliers. Apart from the Caspian oil-exporters, they have resorted to non-OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) African countries (Chad and Angola), whose resources are also closer to the United States than those of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. However, these alternative suppliers could only allay the US fear for a while, given the small size of their oil deposits. Thus, in the long run, the US will have to import heavily from the Persian Gulf region, where existing oil reserves will outlast those of other regions, and while some of its oil-rich countries, such as Iran, keep finding new oilfields.

Given this situation, finding reliable alternative export routes and means to sea routes and oil tankers for Persian Gulf oil exports is the long-term solution for the Americans requiring an increasing amount of imported oil. In this regard, land-based pipelines to carry oil to easily accessible warm-water open seas such as the Mediterranean would be a suitable option. A fully operational Mosul-Haifa pipeline could address that US problem, while satisfying Israel's oil requirements at same time.

The Israeli oil pipeline plan, though, runs contrary to the stated US war objectives in Iraq. The two key members of the "coalition of the willing" - the United States and the United Kingdom - have rejected oil as a motivation for the war, a point not taken seriously by many all over the world. Nevertheless, the Israeli plan, the US-stated goal of securing Iraqi oilfields, including those of Mosul, and the declared US objective of a regime change in Iraq offer some evidence to the contrary.

Against this background, the US government's growing anti-Syrian rhetoric, including accusing Syria of supplying military equipment to Iraq, may well be the initial stage toward the expansion of the war to Syria. If this happens, it could lead to a regime change there to serve various purposes, including the cooperation of Syria in future oil exports via the Mosul-Haifa pipeline.

Dr Hooman Peimani works as an independent consultant with international organizations in Geneva and does research in international relations.

marching onwards 08.Apr.2003 17:36

business as usual

Thanks for the well documented information. What I have just read encourages me to trade in my old rusted one speed bicycle for some big polluting SUV.....and maybe once we control and rebuild the middle east we can retrain the citizens to manufacture gas guzzling cars for below minimum wage while their families die from depleted uranium toxicity. double mocha hazelnut no foam soy lattes w/a splash of vanilla from the drive through window. Americans, it is time to get a clue. W is the terrorist and laughing at you all the way to the bank. peace and resistance

finishing up 08.Apr.2003 23:49

Heimdallr

You'd think we would want to finish up in Afghanistan and Iraq first before start a whole new war. But what do I know?

df the dumb fuck 09.Apr.2003 14:12

Zapatista

"hey Zapatista,
I watched the video of a donkey fucking your mama... "

You're confused DF--Dumb Fuck, that video was of a donkey fucking YOUR OWN mother. Apparently, you are such dumb fuck, you don't even recognize your own mother when she is screaming and crying for more.

"if you think you can do Tonto, why don't you walk your little ass up here and do it then?"

I'll walk into your house and do your ass and your mother's lilly white ass any day of the week through the barrel of my gun, you little fuck.