July 31, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1221

Syrian Government Media Response to the Proposed Multinational Force in Lebanon: We Are Armed With What is Needed to Hurt the Enemy and We Will Spring Surprises on Him That Will Complement What the Lebanese Resistance has Done; Israel is a Cat That was Struck by Hizbullah, and Will Soon Be Skinned

July 31, 2006
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 1221

Following international efforts to send a multinational force to Lebanon under the aegis of the U.N., the Syrian government press has published several articles expressing fierce opposition to the proposal and threatening to attack Israel and the multinational force.

The following are excerpts:

A Multinational Force Would Be an Occupation That Should Be Met With Resistance

An editorial in the Syrian government daily Al-Ba'th, titled "International Force or New Occupation?" read: "Whoever thinks that the presence of international forces on Lebanese soil is the solution is wrong - since these forces, in the eyes of the resistance fighters and in the nationalist and pan-Arab view, would be occupation forces, like the forces that have occupied Iraq and other places in the world.

"As long as [the international forces] are of this type, it will be necessary for the forces facing Israel in southern Lebanon, the Arab brothers, and those friends in the world who stand alongside the resistance to put up resistance against them and to clash with them, [and this will be done] through various means and methods. Whoever puts his trust in the [idea that] destruction, murder, and even occupation can impose solutions that violate sovereignty and national honor - he is wrong." [1]

In an editorial in the Teshreen daily, Izz Al-Din Darwish wrote: "What is the meaning of an international force? The meaning is the subjugation of Lebanon to Israel's will and placing it before the potential of a renewed civil war. [It would also mean] the removal of the reasons for living in southern Lebanon in which these forces would be stationed - this in light of the reports that are filtering in, according to which Israel is placing a condition that it be the one who will decide who will be allowed to live in the south and who will not. In addition, it is demanding that these international forces [be deployed] in the greater part of the southern territories, to a depth of 30 kilometers.

"These are the international forces that are being proposed by the U.S. and Israel, without any consideration of Lebanon's will and without asking the opinion of the Lebanese, as though Lebanon were public land [belonging] to the Israelis and their plans of aggression. The meaning of this is that the Lebanese will be forced to treat these international forces as occupation forces in their land..." [2]

The Purpose of the Multinational Force is to Wipe Out the Resistance

In an editorial in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, Issam Dari wrote: "[What Israel wants] is to put an end to the mission of the international emergency force [i.e. UNIFIL], so that Lebanon will be deserted up to the Litani, or even beyond that. This is in preparation for the scorched earth policy that Israel is planning to implement under the pretext of wiping out the resistance, and also in preparation for the deployment of international forces that Condoleezza Rice is proposing and which she imposed on the Rome summit.

"This force would occupy southern Lebanon, and it would be assigned the mission of wiping out the Lebanese national resistance, on Israel's behalf. Let us not forget that the current proposal says that the this force would be made up of NATO [forces]!... We hope that someone will understand the danger in what is going on now and will act to prevent [others] from being dragged into the American plot..." [3] Israel is a Cat That Will Soon Be Skinned

Fuad Sharbaji, former director of Syrian national television, wrote in an article in the Teshreen daily, titled "Hassan Nasrallah and Some Advice to Rice on Skinning the Cat": "...As Syrian Arabs, we stand before Rice and say to the entire world: We will never agree to any force that tries to take away our weapons of honor, and we will not allow Israel to achieve its goals through international forces or NATO forces or multinational forces.

"We in Syria not only stand by the resistance, but we are preparing for any unforeseen circumstance and for any event. We in Syria, with wise rationalism, are armed with honor in order to deal with any aggression, and we are armed with what is needed in order to hurt the enemy and to spring surprises on him that will complement what the Lebanese resistance has done.

"Finally, I propose to Condoleezza Rice that she listen to what Hassan Nasrallah said, and pay attention to Israel's current situation. [Israel] is now the cat that the resistance has struck, and it is likely that it will soon be skinned - and no force, no matter how many nations it includes, will be able to help it." [4]

[1] Al-Ba'th (Syria), July 27, 2006.

[2] Teshreen (Syria), July 30, 2006.

[3] Teshreen (Syria), July 29, 2006.

[4] Teshreen (Syria), July 30, 2006.

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