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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

June 03, 2003

Syria Teaches Powell A Lesson

Remember Powell's trip to Syria, the one that we heard would spell the end for the terrorist headquarters in Damascus? Well Amir Taheri, an journalist of Iranian origins, has written a great column bringing to light the way the Syrian government sold the meeting to its public.

A couple of quotes:

"According to the American media Powell visited Syria to deliver a warning to Assad not to meddle in Iraq, not to support terrorists, not to develop weapons of mass destruction and not to try to sabotage the new "roadmap" for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

This was not how the Syrian media, owned and controlled by the state or the ruling Ba'ath party, presented the visit. To them Powell had gone to Damascus for " an audience" with Assad to hear the latter's admonitions and to apologise for " a campaign of denigration waged by Zionists against Syria."

This one is my favorite:

"Syria's radio and television covered Powell's visit in the style of the Arabian Nights: a distant and weak king (in this case George W) sending an envoy to a powerful ruler (Bashar al-Assad) to present gifts and demand pardon for unspecified sins. Syrians were told that the president lectured the American visitor for a full two hours. What an education!"

I hope the American administration will realize that this is not just "crazy talk." The doubletalk and fabrications are the underlying values that Syria will be bringing to the relationship, values that not a good partner make. Maybe we should have made that left turn at Baghdad.