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  • The Syrian Army

    Now might be the time to brush up on Syria's miltary.

    Rather long article at

    http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2001/issue1/jv5n1a1.html

    I have not read it yet myself but it looks promising.
    http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

  • #2
    so you think Syria will be next on US-Americas list ?
    "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

    Henry Alfred Kissinger

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Syrian Army

      Originally posted by Wolfe Tone
      Now might be the time to brush up on Syria's miltary.

      Rather long article at

      http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2001/issue1/jv5n1a1.html

      I have not read it yet myself but it looks promising.
      Wolfe Tone,

      I've read most of it, and indeed, it does look very promising.

      It describes how Asad took control of the Syrian Army, and kept it at his arm's length all these times during his reign. He made sure the army was loyal to him, and in some ways allowed it to gain the needed experience and in-depth professionalism. A sort of line between a completely politicalized and professional army.

      Asad believed that the Israeli threat was very real, and that his army needed experience and professionalism if it was to achieve one of Asad's longtime goals -- eliminating Israel. Asad saw that unless his country had to pay a heavy price, Israel would always remain a lingering threat. To that end, Asad swallowed his pride and asked the Soviets for help during 1970s.

      Some people do view Asad as a puppet of the Soviets, but the others disagree, it's just a matter of political debate and analyzing history.

      Today, the modern Syrian Army is tasked with two crucial goals, 1.) protecting the current ruling family [ie. ensuring loyalty to Bathar], 2.) projecting its local regional power on the external fronts. Of two, it is clearly that Bather hoped to achieve the most in the number two.

      Though, the article doesn't say anything about this, but Syria is not just threatened by Israel, but also of Turkey and Iraq. Why? Both are controlling the Euphrates River, a crucial human resource to Syria, where a large precentage of fresh water comes from. If Turkey and Iraq were to develop a dam and shut off the flowing water, then it could jeopardize Syria's fragile economy.

      I predict in the not so distant future, the water issue is going to become the critical one because of many regional powers mismanaging the dwindling water resources, and not doing enough to find alternative sources of energy and water as well. Israel is only country that does not necessarily face this problem. It can afford to build purification water plants, though, in long-term, it might prove to be too expensive.

      Dan
      Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

      "Aim small, miss small."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kraut
        so you think Syria will be next on US-Americas list ?
        There are some people who want to take down Syria. It was a subject of some debate last year. Bush had several speeches to deliver to the UN. One did include a clause warning Sryia and Iran to halt WMD development or face action.

        Politically speaking, I don't think military action in Syria will achieve much. I want change, but war can't ensure it. I'm certain there are those drawing up military plans at FORSCOM. However, at least in the immediate future, the Syrians don't have too much to worry about.

        Alot of the tension centers on reports that high officials of the Baath Party have escaped into Syria and the fact that WMDs might have been from Iraq to that country.

        As I stated earlier, I doubt Syria would be so stupid as to allow Saddam to store WMDs in their country, particularly now.

        As for Baath Party members hiding in Syria, I really don't care. Saddam is out of power and can't return. If he does, it's his butt. Without his massive armies, and brutal tactics, Saddam is nothing mroe than a big mouth that's been dropped on the head one time too many. We offered to let Saddam and his people run before the war. They just took up that offer a little late. If the Iraqi people want Saddam to go on trial, we should support it. The new government can approach the UN and the Arab League to put pressure on Syria. This is not our fight.

        Bush and Rumsfield should back away some from the war crimes argument. The only people, at least in my mind, that should demand and expect justice is the Iraqi people. We can help, but it's a course they should lead. I'm confident Syria would have to give up Baath Party members once the Arab League and UN get involved.

        Here is the Syrian Order of Battle for it's army. The Air Force is also available. (It's for a ATF scenario I'm working on.)

        http://www.meib.org/articles/0108_s1.htm
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Deltapooh


          There are some people who want to take down Syria. It was a subject of some debate last year. Bush had several speeches to deliver to the UN. One did include a clause warning Sryia and Iran to halt WMD development or face action.

          Politically speaking, I don't think military action in Syria will achieve much. I want change, but war can't ensure it. I'm certain there are those drawing up military plans at FORSCOM. However, at least in the immediate future, the Syrians don't have too much to worry about.

          Alot of the tension centers on reports that high officials of the Baath Party have escaped into Syria and the fact that WMDs might have been from Iraq to that country.

          As I stated earlier, I doubt Syria would be so stupid as to allow Saddam to store WMDs in their country, particularly now.

          As for Baath Party members hiding in Syria, I really don't care. Saddam is out of power and can't return. If he does, it's his butt. Without his massive armies, and brutal tactics, Saddam is nothing mroe than a big mouth that's been dropped on the head one time too many. We offered to let Saddam and his people run before the war. They just took up that offer a little late. If the Iraqi people want Saddam to go on trial, we should support it. The new government can approach the UN and the Arab League to put pressure on Syria. This is not our fight.

          Bush and Rumsfield should back away some from the war crimes argument. The only people, at least in my mind, that should demand and expect justice is the Iraqi people. We can help, but it's a course they should lead. I'm confident Syria would have to give up Baath Party members once the Arab League and UN get involved.

          Here is the Syrian Order of Battle for it's army. The Air Force is also available. (It's for a ATF scenario I'm working on.)

          http://www.meib.org/articles/0108_s1.htm
          Lets not jump the gun. The Syrian thing will never happen. Firstly, the US does not have any where near enough a good reason to attack as was the case with Iraq, and that was dubious. Secondly, and most importanly - no other country would aid the US, maybe Israel, but that would start WWIII ! The UK currently has very good links with Syria and Iran. I beleive that Iraq was the last one - lets hope so anyway.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Marko


            Lets not jump the gun. The Syrian thing will never happen. Firstly, the US does not have any where near enough a good reason to attack as was the case with Iraq, and that was dubious. Secondly, and most importanly - no other country would aid the US, maybe Israel, but that would start WWIII ! The UK currently has very good links with Syria and Iran. I beleive that Iraq was the last one - lets hope so anyway.
            Don't right off what the US might be thinking. Again, certain people don't mind a conflict with Syria. The current crisis is not serious though. This is a diplomatic problem that can be resolved. I doubt Syria's loyalty to Saddam is enough to tolerate the economic sanctions that will likely be imposed on it should they harbor Baath Party members wanted for criminal acts.

            Rumsfield today discussed the "war crimes" issue. I really don't want to go that route. I don't believe we should prosecute these men. That should be the will of the Iraqi people. Bush really needs to back off. His personal quest for justice might end up saving Saddam's neck. If the Iraqi people request the UN investigate and, if credible evidence is found, charge Saddam and other Baath Party members, I'm confident Syria will give them up.

            This is a workable problem.
            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the preparatory rhetoric heralding the planned invasion of Syria is already beginning. GW Bush is accusing Syria of harboring chemical weapons. I would be remarkable if Franks was ordered to destroy the Syrian regime. Remarkable but not impossible under the circumstances.

              "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
              --Frederick II, King of Prussia

              Comment


              • #8
                The Syrian ambassador was just on CNBC getting hammered with all kinds of silly questions that I've accustomed to mainstream media...

                He did pretty well considering what he was being asked and understood fully that even in denying allegations he was giving credence to them in the eyes of the American public.

                It seems like the cycle we saw with Iraq is being repeated. Guess only time will tell.

                I have to say, though, that considering the US is Allied with and unlikely to attack the top three nations that are paramount to and the root of modern day Islamic fundamentalism: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen... I really get unsettling feelings when I start hearing about military action against other nations as some kind of solution to terrorism.

                It smacks of old-school realpolitik, rather than any kind of genuine concern for terrorism.
                "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

                – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeJ
                  The Syrian ambassador was just on CNBC getting hammered with all kinds of silly questions that I've accustomed to mainstream media...

                  He did pretty well considering what he was being asked and understood fully that even in denying allegations he was giving credence to them in the eyes of the American public.

                  It seems like the cycle we saw with Iraq is being repeated. Guess only time will tell.

                  I have to say, though, that considering the US is Allied with and unlikely to attack the top three nations that are paramount to and the root of modern day Islamic fundamentalism: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen... I really get unsettling feelings when I start hearing about military action against other nations as some kind of solution to terrorism.

                  It smacks of old-school realpolitik, rather than any kind of genuine concern for terrorism.
                  You're right MikeJ, military force is rarely effective against terrorism. I don't support war against Syria right now. I believe there are political solutions that must be exhausted.
                  "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deltapooh


                    You're right MikeJ, military force is rarely effective against terrorism. I don't support war against Syria right now. I believe there are political solutions that must be exhausted.
                    You see it is that line....'I don't support war against Syria right now '. There is absoulutely no way that the US could justify an attack on Syria. In theory the US would have numerous reasons to start military conflict with every nation on the planet. The high rate of taxation in Finland could be viewed as a sure path to communism, before you know it the A-10's are strafing buses in Helsniki. You may laugh and call me paranoid, but I ain't the one turning the tanks towards Syria - some paraniod dude is, but not me. Basically the way the rhetoric is going is that any nation that has the capabaility to defend itself is a danger to US interests. I would not be surprised if the Syrians had chemical weapons. But the plain truth is many nations have them and have had them and as we have seen with Iraq - they have not been used against the US or US interests.....ever. Unless of course we count WWI. By the way the Russians still have 95% of their chemical weapons - they take years to destroy. The Belgians have thousands of tonnes also, from WWI - still being destroyed to this day. So let's put this in perspective. The way i see it is the hawks view any nation that is not pro-US as anti-US and if you ask joe public on the streets of Damascus that just ain't the case. But I hardly expect the US to listen to anyone, aaprt from themselves that is.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marko


                      You see it is that line....'I don't support war against Syria right now '. There is absoulutely no way that the US could justify an attack on Syria. In theory the US would have numerous reasons to start military conflict with every nation on the planet. The high rate of taxation in Finland could be viewed as a sure path to communism, before you know it the A-10's are strafing buses in Helsniki. You may laugh and call me paranoid, but I ain't the one turning the tanks towards Syria - some paraniod dude is, but not me. Basically the way the rhetoric is going is that any nation that has the capabaility to defend itself is a danger to US interests. I would not be surprised if the Syrians had chemical weapons. But the plain truth is many nations have them and have had them and as we have seen with Iraq - they have not been used against the US or US interests.....ever. Unless of course we count WWI. By the way the Russians still have 95% of their chemical weapons - they take years to destroy. The Belgians have thousands of tonnes also, from WWI - still being destroyed to this day. So let's put this in perspective. The way i see it is the hawks view any nation that is not pro-US as anti-US and if you ask joe public on the streets of Damascus that just ain't the case. But I hardly expect the US to listen to anyone, aaprt from themselves that is.
                      The false perception of security is as fatal as any bullet. If credible evidence arise against Syria that proves it's a grave threat to the US, I would support military action. However, right now, such evidence doesn't exists. What threat Syria could pose right now could be neutralized or at least contained by a firm diplomatic effort.

                      Weapons of Mass Destruction are not a threat to the world. It's the people that use them that we should be concerned with. Belgian and Finland are not racist countries that spend their day looking for a reason to hate Americans. Arabs in the Middle East are misinformed and have no clue about the world around them. Their hate is generated not from experience, but the opinions of people who are more willing to maintain a lie than inform the people.

                      You might don't see Syria as a threat. However, I do. I believe the US should stand firm and tell Syria to change it's policies or become the next Iraq. As I've stated, the chances that Bush will act are unlikely. However, the Syrians don't know that. This is politics and diplomacy.

                      No one is invading Syria. Bush is warning them to improve their policy. This is the aggressive foriegn policy so many didn't want. I do. If the Arab world wants to continue their policies of hatred and terror, that's fine, but they must accept the risk. The US has great power projection capabilities, and it's high time we brought it to bear in this region.

                      If you think I want war, that's you. I don't want to, or have the intent to invade Syria. I'm not a moron who goes off killing people for nothing. We have plenty of options.

                      For decades, the world has kissed the corrupted Arab governments *sses out of fear. The fear to be seen as oppressors, the fear of terrorism, the fear of commitment drives the policies of the world toward the Middle East, and the corrupt governments are sliding on our blood all the way to the bank. Why do you think most Arab governments don't want close relations with the US? It's not just fear of occupation or religious beliefs. They don't want America close because the people will see we're not tyrannts that sacrifice to Moon Gods.

                      The Arab people are a proud people. Do you see Iraqis begging for a hand out? No. They ask for help, but also are eager to help themselves. Their governments have placed blinders on them so they can see only what they want. Not the way things are.

                      There are no plans to invade Syria Marko. It's the world's paranoia kicking in. I'm glad to say that hopefully my government is no longer going to pursue the policies that have allowed things to get into the mess we see today. Hopefully from here on in, the US will act with confidence and determination both to help ourselves and the give the people of the Middle East the real truth. The world can call us oppressors. Then again, we're not the ones who continue to ignore the situation in the Middle East.
                      Last edited by Deltapooh; 14 Apr 03, 11:36.
                      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Deltapooh


                        The false perception of security is as fatal as any bullet. If credible evidence arise against Syria that proves it's a grave threat to the US, I would support military action. However, right now, such evidence doesn't exists. What threat Syria could pose right now could be neutralized or at least contained by a firm diplomatic effort.

                        Weapons of Mass Destruction are not a threat to the world. It's the people that use them that we should be concerned with. Belgian and Finland are not racist countries that spend their day looking for a reason to hate Americans. Arabs in the Middle East are misinformed and have no clue about the world around them. Their hate is generated not from experience, but the opinions of people who are more willing to maintain a lie than inform the people.

                        You might don't see Syria as a threat. However, I do. I believe the US should stand firm and tell Syria to change it's policies or become the next Iraq. As I've stated, the chances that Bush will act are unlikely. However, the Syrians don't know that. This is politics and diplomacy.

                        No one is invading Syria. Bush is warning them to improve their policy. This is the aggressive foriegn policy so many didn't want. I do. If the Arab world wants to continue their policies of hatred and terror, that's fine, but they must accept the risk. The US has great power projection capabilities, and it's high time we brought it to bear in this region.

                        If you think I want war, that's you. I don't want to, or have the intent to invade Syria. I'm not a moron who goes off killing people for nothing. We have plenty of options.

                        For decades, the world has kissed the corrupted Arab governments *sses out of fear. The fear to be seen as oppressors, the fear of terrorism, the fear of commitment drives the policies of the world toward the Middle East, and the corrupt governments are sliding on our blood all the way to the bank. Why do you think most Arab governments don't want close relations with the US? It's not just fear of occupation or religious beliefs. They don't want America close because the people will see we're not tyrannts that sacrifice to Moon Gods.

                        The Arab people are a proud people. Do you see Iraqis begging for a hand out? No. They ask for help, but also are eager to help themselves. Their governments have placed blinders on them so they can see only what they want. Not the way things are.

                        There are no plans to invade Syria Marko. It's the world's paranoia kicking in. I'm glad to say that hopefully my government is no longer going to pursue the policies that have allowed things to get into the mess we see today. Hopefully from here on in, the US will act with confidence and determination both to help ourselves and the give the people of the Middle East the real truth. The world can call us oppressors. Then again, we're not the ones who continue to ignore the situation in the Middle East.
                        Some good valid points. However, the US power projections in the Middle East are not wanting by the Arabs and there is one reason for that and it is not anti-ameicanism, it is due to the pro-Israeli stance taken by the US. Now if the US is not wanted they should listen because it is that type of global expsansion that will cause more terrorism. You simple can't go expanding your dominance without it biting you in the ass, ask Britain, france, Portugal etc.

                        You mentioned that Syria does bother you, can you explain why please. I don't see any Syrians killing US people, have they ever ?

                        You mention diplomacy and diplomatic options - like threatening a nation to comply with US wishes and bending over backwards to be humilated by US mandate. Imagine you are the Syrian people being told you have to do as the US says or there will be war - pretty sickening stuff. US diplomacy is rubbish and the whole Turkey and UN debacle proved that. There will be one path for the US admin to take and eventually that will be the military one. And innocents will be slaughtered again - all under the scape goat of 9/11 - absolutely ridiculous. At this rate the whole world will be amercanised as to prevent another 9/11.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our support for Israel might be relevant in some respects, but it's not the complete problem. The Arab nations do want the US to deal with their country. Yet, they also want to limit our influence and use us as their scapegoat. These groups must demonize the Americans otherwise the people will desire the same freedoms and luxuries we have. I'm certain Arabs want modernization, but the degree to which that occurs is a source of bitter debate and conflict. The Middle East driven by the ancient teachings of Islam and the temptation of liberty and freedom are the problem. The US is just the convenient target.

                          The US didn't expand it's dominance in the Middle East Marko. If you would review history you'll find that America's level of activity, like most of the world, has been very limited. Our major crime was supporting corrupted governments. However, the people don't want anyone to remove it. Did the US save Israel in 1967, or in 1973. No. Did we march into Egypt after Sadat was killed? no. Our policy toward the Middle East focused around three words; "dealing with it." We simply accepted the situation and tried to make the best out of it.

                          Does that make us innocent? No. We should not support corrupted governments. Nor should we infringe on the right of the people. However, what right is that?

                          Whether you realize it or not, the Arab world in the Middle East is built on lies. The people don't know who is telling truth simply because they are not allowed the resources to help them find it. For years, we've just sat by and allowed disinformation to create bitter hatred and racism.

                          The problem with the West is that people are so frigthened of the region it is willing to suffer death rather than promote change. If Arabs want to hate Americans, that's fine with me, but let be an honest verdict, reached individually.

                          As for the present situation with Syria, I'm seeing alot of channels to words into mouths. Bush is not saying he will invade Syria. He is telling them not to support terrorism and turn over Baath Party members. I support ending their support of terrorism. Peace needs to be brought about between the Palestinians and Israelis. That can not occur as long as Syria and other nations support Palestinian terrorists. Should they not comply, the US should bring move to employ sanctions. If we don't get the Palestinians to back down first, Israel can not be urged to return to the peace table.

                          Beyond that, I'm not interested. I believe Baath Party members should not be turned over to the US for prosecution. This is a matter for the Iraqi people to solve. Once their government is in place, they should bring about the appropriate charges against Saddam's regime. They can make their case to the UN and Arab League. I'm confident both organizations would back them, and the leaders would be turned over. (If I were Saddam, I would ask the International Warcrimes tribunal to hear my case. I don't think Saddam can get a fair trial in Iraq. They'd just skin him on sight.)

                          I don't believe this is a matter for the United States. Even if finding some of these men would help our search for WMDs, I still don't believe we should push this issue. If Iraq has them, we'll find them. Saddam's greater crimes were against the Iraqi people. They, and they alone, should decide if Baath Party members should be prosecuted. We should only offer diplomatic support to help them achieve their goals.
                          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Our support for Israel might be relevant in some respects, but it's not the complete problem. The Arab nations do want the US to deal with their country. Yet, they also want to limit our influence and use us as their scapegoat. These groups must demonize the Americans otherwise the people will desire the same freedoms and luxuries we have. I'm certain Arabs want modernization, but the degree to which that occurs is a source of bitter debate and conflict. The Middle East driven by the ancient teachings of Islam and the temptation of liberty and freedom are the problem. The US is just the convenient target.
                            Chicken or the egg? It could easily be argued that the preachings of hate that are so widespread among the religious sects on the Arab world are a result of US policy.

                            The US was rather well liked in the Arab world in the 50s, particularly after Eisenhower smacked down the British and French during the Suez crisis. Ever since then, however, it's been nothing but a long string of mishaps in the region. It's been more than "dealing with it".

                            When the CIA deposes a ruler and imposes someone that decides that to cling to power he needs to slaughter some thousands of his own citizens (see Iraq, Iran), that tends not to endear people to you. Throw in support for Israel (which is hardly passive - the amount of US aid that is unofficially declared is staggering not to mention the US has used it's veto on behalf of Israel so many times I've lost count) and playing powerpolitics with the Soviet Union in the region and I'm finding it hard to buy into this "scapegoat" theory. I mean, we could argue forever about whether US policy predates the hatred or not, but it's clear that the entire Muslim world sees this something as a crusade - which drives them together and unifies them behind this banner of perceived prejudice. As a result, a siege mentality develops over time (and Bush's image doesn't help, either... big oil AND seen by many as a Christian fundamentalist). These days, any little thing will inflame them to hating the USA more, but that's natural. If you already can't stand someone, the slightest thing will aggravate you to no end.

                            I just find it impossible to buy into this whole scapegoat theory. It sounds like "I spilt the milk but need to blame it on anything but myself".

                            The problem is the US will never get out of the Middle East until the oil wells are dry. That being said, only by virtue of "might makes right" do I see the US justifying military interventions in the region to "protect itself".

                            Honesty and consistency would go a long way. The US has been anything but in the region. Forcing Israel to the table and getting something like the Taba negotiations on the plate would immensely help.

                            I mean, take one look at Israel. They can wipe out Hamas 15 times over and Hamas will continually rebuild with fresh recruits and fresh funds. They enjoy the support of the people and it is with this support that means they will always come back as strong as ever.

                            Terrorism will never stop completely, but it's completely unproductive to give these groups of extremists the popular support they need to thrive. Without that support, their capabilities diminish... and if all the terrorism we have to worry about is a handful of nutjobs (which exist everywhere and in every country - the recent sniper shootings - McVeigh - etc) - we've got it good.
                            Last edited by MikeJ; 14 Apr 03, 13:29.
                            "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

                            – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Deltapooh
                              Our support for Israel might be relevant in some respects, but it's not the complete problem. The Arab nations do want the US to deal with their country. Yet, they also want to limit our influence and use us as their scapegoat. These groups must demonize the Americans otherwise the people will desire the same freedoms and luxuries we have. I'm certain Arabs want modernization, but the degree to which that occurs is a source of bitter debate and conflict. The Middle East driven by the ancient teachings of Islam and the temptation of liberty and freedom are the problem. The US is just the convenient target.

                              The US didn't expand it's dominance in the Middle East Marko. If you would review history you'll find that America's level of activity, like most of the world, has been very limited. Our major crime was supporting corrupted governments. However, the people don't want anyone to remove it. Did the US save Israel in 1967, or in 1973. No. Did we march into Egypt after Sadat was killed? no. Our policy toward the Middle East focused around three words; "dealing with it." We simply accepted the situation and tried to make the best out of it.

                              Does that make us innocent? No. We should not support corrupted governments. Nor should we infringe on the right of the people. However, what right is that?

                              Whether you realize it or not, the Arab world in the Middle East is built on lies. The people don't know who is telling truth simply because they are not allowed the resources to help them find it. For years, we've just sat by and allowed disinformation to create bitter hatred and racism.

                              The problem with the West is that people are so frigthened of the region it is willing to suffer death rather than promote change. If Arabs want to hate Americans, that's fine with me, but let be an honest verdict, reached individually.

                              As for the present situation with Syria, I'm seeing alot of channels to words into mouths. Bush is not saying he will invade Syria. He is telling them not to support terrorism and turn over Baath Party members. I support ending their support of terrorism. Peace needs to be brought about between the Palestinians and Israelis. That can not occur as long as Syria and other nations support Palestinian terrorists. Should they not comply, the US should bring move to employ sanctions. If we don't get the Palestinians to back down first, Israel can not be urged to return to the peace table.

                              Beyond that, I'm not interested. I believe Baath Party members should not be turned over to the US for prosecution. This is a matter for the Iraqi people to solve. Once their government is in place, they should bring about the appropriate charges against Saddam's regime. They can make their case to the UN and Arab League. I'm confident both organizations would back them, and the leaders would be turned over. (If I were Saddam, I would ask the International Warcrimes tribunal to hear my case. I don't think Saddam can get a fair trial in Iraq. They'd just skin him on sight.)

                              I don't believe this is a matter for the United States. Even if finding some of these men would help our search for WMDs, I still don't believe we should push this issue. If Iraq has them, we'll find them. Saddam's greater crimes were against the Iraqi people. They, and they alone, should decide if Baath Party members should be prosecuted. We should only offer diplomatic support to help them achieve their goals.
                              I totally agree with you regarding terrorist involvement and the Baath party members being left to the Iraqi people. The US was supposed to invading Iraq for WMD's not for arresting and trying the Iraqi regime. Syria is undoubtedly linked to terrorism but then so are other countries including the US. In the eyes of an Arab - the Israeli's are terrorists - lets not forget the huge cultural differences we are dealing with.

                              However, Bush et al. are mumuring about WMD's and possible terrorist links. But it takes a really stupi country to pass WMD's onto terrorists, and if Iraq never did then I do not expect Syria to.

                              Syria should be allowed to possess WMD's - in order to ensure her right to second strike a pre-emptive first strike of the nuclear variety from Israel. We know that won't happen - but if it makes the Syrians feel better then so be it.

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