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memri
July 29, 2003 No.
543

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Al-Shar'a on the U.S. Government: 'The Most Violent and Stupid American Administration Ever' [1]

On July 27, 2003, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Al-Shar'a spoke to Syrian journalists, strongly criticizing the U.S. administration. While his statements were published in the London-based Arabic press, the majority did not appear in official Syrian government papers. The following are Al-Shar'a's statements as published in the London-based Arabic-language dailies Al-Hayat and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat:

'The U.S. is Impressed Only by Those Who Bow Down to Them'

"I do not express positions unacceptable to President Bashar Al-Assad and to the Syrian people. [The Americans] are impressed only by those who bow down before them. If you do not bow down before them, they dismiss you, and you are removed from the frame." [2]

On the Syria Accountability Act

"Pay attention to the name: The [ Syria ] Accountability Act . Had [this law] been issued by a divine power, it would have been more modest, as Allah is merciful and forgiving. The top American officials think any law issued by Congress is a law descended from the heavens. Washington recognizes only itself and ignores international legitimacy. The administration of President Bush is exceptional. Perhaps there have been similar administrations in the past, but never one at the same level of violence and stupidity. The disputes between the hawks and the doves [in Congress] do not reach the level of violence directed [towards Syria ]. Israel plays a central role in legislation connected to the Middle East and Syria ." [3]

"Time after time, the U.S. violates international legitimacy. As far as it is concerned, international legitimacy is the legitimacy of Congress and its decisions. Israel is the one who profits the most, if not the only one who profits, from these decisions. If the Syria Accountability Act is indeed ratified, the one who will be harmed by it is mostly the U.S. and American companies." [4]

On Syrian-U.S. Relations

"The external pressure applied to Syria is the heaviest it has ever faced, perhaps since the 16th century. The danger lies in the fact that those applying the pressure, among them Secretary of State aide [i.e. U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security] John Bolton, who tried to attack Syria with accusations including [possession of] weapons of mass destruction without knowing that Damascus had called for the [U.N.] Security Council to make the Middle East free of WMD, do not recognize the implications [of the pressure]. [5] It is the U.S. that is not interested in good relations with Syria , and this is because of Israeli pressure on the American administration. The heads of the American administration fear Israel , so how can they pressure it? [6]

On the Peace Process

"For the first time, the U.S. is trying to set conditions for Syria 's entrance into the peace process. This means that the U.S. does not want Syria in the process or that it wants to eliminate the Palestinian cause and does not want Syria to be a partner in it. All the rest is pretexts. Israel is fulfilling tenfold all the accusations directed at Syria , beginning with WMD and including terror." [7]

On Lebanon

"[The demand to] dismantle Hizbullah is aimed at arousing all the ethnic and religious instincts to the point of civil war, and at again opening the door to Israeli intervention in Lebanon . Sending the Lebanese army into southern Lebanon and the Hizbullah [problem] are [domestic] Lebanese problems. Hizbullah is part of the Lebanese fabric, and it has proven itself as a [national] organization with a developed sense of responsibility. The U.S. wants to create a conflict between Syria and Lebanon ." [8]

On the Iraqi Governing Council

"Syria's granting legitimacy to the temporary Governing Council in Iraq will be the greatest mistake in Syria's political history, as [the council] still has not earned popular Iraqi legitimacy. This does not mean that we will not cooperate with these people in the council, as cooperation is one thing and giving legitimacy is another." [9]


[1] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.

[2] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.

[3] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 28, 2003.

[5] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.

[6] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 28, 2003.

[7] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.

[8] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.

[9] Al-Hayat (London), July 28, 2003.