January 9, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 641

Syrian Parliament Chairman: U.S. Representatives Betray Their Country by Bowing to Zionists; The Time Has Come to Create An Arab Lobby in the U.S.

January 9, 2004
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 641

In an interview with the Syrian government daily Teshreen, Syrian Parliamentary Chairman Dr. Mahmoud Al-Abrash spoke on various issues, including the war in Iraq, Syria-Lebanon relations, the Syria Accountability Act, and Syrian-U.S. relations. The following are excerpts from the interview : [1]

What Happened in Iraq Cannot Happen Anywhere Else

"What happened in Iraq cannot recur in any other country. It is still too early to predict the end of the Iraqi mystery, [and there is no knowing whether it will turn out] according to the will of the present American policy. Throughout history there have been powers that disregarded the will and essence of the peoples [and their determination] on insisting upon [maintaining] their special characteristics [throughout] their history.

"Thus it was, for example, in Algeria and in Vietnam, and the result was always the victory of the will of the peoples, in contrast with the embarrassing losses sustained by the countries that occupied them and tried to impose their character and experience upon others.

"Lebanon appears to be a living example of this lesson: Despite its small area, it managed to defeat the Israeli occupation, and the world saw how the Israeli army left the land of the south hated and defeated by the free Lebanese will."

Lebanon – Syria's Strategic Waist; Syria – Lebanon's Strategic Depth

"The historical fraternal relations between Syria and Lebanon, the special geopolitical nature of both countries, and the national security doctrine, all transform Lebanon into the strategic waist of Syria, and Syria into the strategic depth of Lebanon. Every breach, whether in the waist or in the depth, will lead to another breach.

"If there are elements and circles that feel anger because Syria now enjoys stability, harmony, cohesiveness, and national unity … the American politicians must know that the Syrian and Lebanese stability serve security and peace in the world, [and] the mutual interests between them and American society…

"Israel is not impressed by this stability. Rather, it is perturbed by it. It is gambling on exporting its crises to within the Arab arena, primarily the Syrian and Lebanese [arena], and on spreading violence and anarchy, using every deceptive and misleading method to spark disputes between the Arabs and the U.N. and U.S."

'Should Syria Open its Heart, Mind, Airports, and Coasts to Coalition Forces So They Can Destroy What Remained of Iraq?'

"Israel does not care about the interests of the U.S., but only about its own interests and its imperialistic expansion plan. It always begins with the hostile view based on dismantling the Arab body, sowing hatred and civil war within it, and deepening the schism in Arab-U.S. relations. [The Americans] are mistaken in continuing to describe Israel as a reliable guard [of American interests] that must not be relinquished, because the peoples of the region appreciate the American people, and if there is anger, opposition, or loathing [towards the U.S.] it [is the result of] the American policy that is utterly biased towards the side of the Israeli occupiers.

"Syria wants dialogue with the U.S., and has in the past already cooperated with it in a positive way in the fight against terror – as some top officials in the American administration have noted. What crime has Syria committed that compels the Senate and Congress to pass the act demanding accountability from it? What do they want from Syria?

"They want, for example, for it to withdraw from Lebanon – and this is an Israeli demand, not an American demand. In 1976, Syria proved its ability to help and support Lebanese unity, at the request of the Lebanese regime and of all the party and political forces. Thus, Lebanon recovered, and it [now] successfully carries out its national and social function.

"What is the crime for which Syria is demanded to be accountable? Do they want it to turn its back on Lebanon and leave general anarchy that will eat and gnaw away at its geography and politics? Must it forget its principled stand on the Palestinian problem? Must it open its heart, its mind, its airports, and its coasts to the coalition forces, so they can destroy what remained of Iraq?

"There is no doubt that the so-called Syrian Accountability Act is a bad deal for the American politicians, who were pushed by the Zionist lobby, and it completely contradicts the interests of the American people. The Americans will not produce anything [by it] but hostility on the part of the peoples of the world…

"A healthy Lebanon serves the security of the region and of the world, and also the interests of the American people – which has no reason to pay a heavy price as a tax for the barbaric Israeli operations, and no reason for the American soldier to travel thousands of miles to die for a problem about which he knows nothing. [By the same token], the true interest of [the American people] is Iraqi stability under a free Iraqi will."

American Representatives Betray Their Country by Representing Zionism More than Democracy

"We know that the American regime is democratic – that is, elected by the American people in a transparent and free way – and that it necessarily reflects trends and interests [of the American people]. But most of the American representatives defend the spirit of Zionism more than … the spirit of democracy of the American people.

"Were they elected by the American people to represent it or to represent the aggressive policy of Israel? Sometimes observers are dumbstruck and shocked to see American politicians competing to provide service to Israel. Doubtless, among the American politicians are those of noble soul, who are not deluded by misleading or deception. But those who bow under the pressure of the Zionist lobby and its deceit-filled plans must know that they are betraying the mission for which they were elected, and that they are serving the interest of others and preferring it over the interest of their country.

"Why don't [the American politicians] understand our national aspirations…? How can logic and sense accept [the notion of] alliance with elements distant from each other in culture and origin, but reject a [political] formula of coordination and cooperation between Syria and Lebanon?

"The current American policy opposes all inter-Arab solidarity and sees the Iraqi matter as an American matter unconnected to the Arabs. But most representatives of the Iraqi people in the various movements, parties, and organizations, and the independent Iraqi elements, understand the essence of the Syrian national role for the past 40 years, and how Damascus opened its heart and its mind to the opponents of the previous Baghdad regime when no [other] country dared to adopt even one [such] opponent. Syria was the country that was damaged most severely by the regime of Saddam Hussein, who received aid from Western elements."

It's Time to Establish an Arab Lobby in the U.S.

"The time has come to establish an Arab 'lobby' in the U.S. This lobby need do nothing more than face the American people with the facts in the region. The American people pays the price for Israel, and this price is collected from the Arabs. [This] is a strange and amazing equation that the mind does not grasp. [The Americans] will discover that Sharon's policy will lead to damage and harm to the region and to the entire world, including the U.S., and in order to set the situation in the Middle East right there is no escape from a permanent Arab-American dialogue, as we are the right side and Israel is the wrong side. "

[1] Teshreen (Syria), December 29, 2003.

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