December 4, 2003 Special Dispatch No. 620

Editor of Kuwaiti Daily: Syria's Secret Service is Behind the 'Iraqi Resistance'

December 4, 2003
Syria, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 620

The November 1, 2003 conference of foreign ministers of the countries neighboring Iraq yielded numerous articles in the Arab press condemning Syria's pro-Saddam stance. Among the authors were editor of the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, Ahmad Al-Jarallah, and Iraqi opposition member and political commentator Dr. Riyadh Al-Amir. The following are excerpts from the articles:

Iraqi Resistance, Directed by Syria's Secret Service

In an article [1] published in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa titled "Syria is Committing Suicide in Baghdad, and No One Besides Her is Dying," Ahmad Al-Jarallah wrote: "On the face of it, Syria washes its hands, because it is Iraqis who are resisting the American occupation – even though suicide bombers possessing Syrian identity cards with serial numbers of the [Syrian] secret service have been apprehended… Even regimes like Fidel Castro's in Cuba… have renounced these hoary political games. [But in Syria] they are back, [with] a new hoax called 'the Iraqi opposition.'

"By receiving the delegation of Iraqi opposition leaders, Syrian President Dr. Bashar Al-Assad signaled a new era in the Syrian-led Iraqi struggle to drown the Americans in the Tigris and Euphrates, just as [Syria] threatened in the past to throw the Jews into the sea. The way the announcement of the reception was publicized [shows that it was] fabricated by the Syrian secret services… and that… Syria has learned nothing from its historical experience, from the vicissitudes of time, and from the changes in the regimes and countries [of the region]… This vulgar method… of inventing imaginary puppets used by Syria to defy the U.S. – the most recent puppet being the 'Iraqi opposition'… lures no one into this pathetic game, [attesting to Syria's] stagnant and good-for-nothing intellect that can generate nothing else…

"When, during Saddam's era, the Americans received members of the Iraqi opposition, the Arabs – led by Syria – claimed that this handful did not represent the Iraqi people and were nothing but political agents of the American foreign policy and intelligence services. It would be interesting to know whose agents the resistance members received by Bashar Al-Assad are, and whom they represent. Are they indeed Iraqis, or perhaps Syrians from the other bank of the Euphrates…? In the past, we watched festive Lebanese and Palestinian rallies… which turned out to be rallies by Syrian secret service regiments completely unconnected to the Lebanese or Palestinian people… It is altogether likely that this Iraqi resistance was created by the same false methods…"

Syria Must Realize Its Ephemeral Stature

"Syria's current [political] discourse is that of a superpower… But reality is different, and the best thing for the current Damascus regime to do is stop pretending to be a superpower and acknowledge its actual capabilities… Any deviation from this means a dangerous, disastrous path leading to self-destruction… Syria must acknowledge its status as a small state in the Arab region and an ephemeral country in the international arena that can easily be surrounded and altered… [Unlike] Iraq, Syria has never had financial power equal to Saddam Hussein's – which enabled him to buy the political conscience [of the world's statesmen]."

Syrian Foreign Policy: Parasitism, Anachronistic Calculations

In a follow-up article [2] titled "Another War of Liberation is Not Inconceivable," Al-Jarallah wrote: "The hope of the Syrian regime – [that is,] reactivating the principles of its policy… of interfering in other [Middle East countries'] business by means of a conference of foreign ministers of countries neighboring Iraq… has proved to be in vain… This is because the regional role so desired by the Syrian regime stems not from any real power or any centrality of its actions, but from an inherent parasitic tendency that has turned Damascus into a state living off others…

"The countries… that answered Syria's call [to convene] have shown greater [political] acumen than their host, managing to turn the tables on [Syria's] plan for a Syrian-led anti-American conference… They forced the Syrian regime to adopt a rational position, to grasp reality… and to realize that, given the current international reality, its political calculations are anachronistic… The Syrian regime's prediction that Congress's Syria Accountability Act had no chance of passage because it was inconceivable… was proved false, [because] it was based on erroneous calculations. The law was ratified… because today Syria is endangering American and global interests in the Middle East, particularly since maintaining the Syrian regime is no longer in anyone's interest…

"Through what [tools] does Syria try to confront the world as it [engages] in imaginary political calculations, as did Saddam Hussein in maintaining that a U.S. attack was inconceivable...? What regional role is Syria demanding for itself today – and wanting the U.S. and the world to welcome and entrust [Syria] with it… except for the role of parasite and controlling others – first Lebanon, and now Iraq…?"

The Syrian Regime: Losing Justification for its Existence

"The [current] Syrian regime has no place in a changing [reality]… Anyone who desires power… and regional status at the international level must [first] possess power at the domestic level. Is the Syrian regime strong in its own country? Tyranny and repression by police and the secret service are not considered signs of power. If Syria imagines that brutality and ruling by apparatuses and domestic terror qualify it to take on a regional role, [it is mistaken]. In this era of liberty… these are no longer recognized as qualifications for [legitimate rule]. Is the Syrian regime economically strong? Has it built a common denominator – even with a single Syrian citizen – such as creating employment opportunities or safeguarding human dignity…?

"These norms attest to the extreme weakness of the Syrian regime, and to its limited common interests with its citizens… and to the parasitic relations between them. How can the Syrian regime… with its [foreign-]credit-based parasitic economy that robs others of their power to produce, demand an international role, while within Syria itself it plays almost no role apart from the presence of secret services that use terror and death and have a great propensity for destruction. It is inconceivable for a regime so strongly based on this kind of power and lacking any plan for economic growth to be able to fight. In a case like this, its weapons will be like Don Quixote's wooden swords… and its fate like [the regime of] Saddam Hussein…"

Syria's Gamble on Iraqi Resistance is Doomed to Failure

In an article posted on the liberal Arabic website [3] titled "The Old and New Syrian Guard Are in the Same Pit," Dr. Riyadh Al-Amir wrote: "[When] Syrian Prime Minister Mustafa Miro gave Saddam Hussein a golden sword… did this express Syrian gratitude for Saddam's many abortive attempts to assassinate Hafez Al-Assad, or, perhaps, for transporting Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to Syria in trains and trucks just prior to the launch of [U.N.] searches? Maybe it was for transferring the plundered treasures of the Iraqi people… and depositing them in Syrian government banks to revive Syria's ailing economy…?

"The closing announcement [of the conference of foreign ministers of countries neighboring Iraq] looks today like a mad dash backwards… Where did the condemnation of the coalition's offensive disappear to – [the offensive] that liberated the Iraqi people from a deviant regime and an obviously rotten ideology…? Why didn't the communiqué mention the stance of the countries helping terrorist organizations infiltrate Iraq, while Iraqis now know that it is Syria overseeing the terrorist recruitment offices, with the aid of the remnants of Saddam's regime…?

"The Syrian foreign minister declared that his country could not prevent infiltrators from entering Iraq. How is it that the Syria-Israel border can be sealed?… And how is it that during Saddam's time Syria could seal its borders against the Iraqi opposition…? "All this is for what? To roll back the wheel of history [in Iraq], or to rebuild in it an Arab entity of the same failed Ba'athist model, or the one on the verge of collapse in Damascus…? Whence cometh this fear of the new Iraq? Are [Damascus's intervention attempts] aimed at preventing the exposure of the Ba'ath's ideological bankruptcy…? If it is for the sake of neighboring countries' national interests, then the distorted 'Syrian agenda' is evidence of its architect's ignorance and short-sightedness – even though he is an eye doctor… [Syria's old-new guard's] gamble [on the Iraqi resistance] is doomed to failure…"

[1] Al-Siyassa (Kuwait),November 5, 2003.

[2] Al-Siyassa (Kuwait),November 6, 2003.

[3], November 4, 2003.

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