April 9, 2008 Special Dispatch No. 1834

Syrian Press Predicts Escalation in Resistance Operations, Attacks Arab League

April 9, 2008
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 1834

The Syrian government media is showing a toughening of its stance towards the situation in Lebanon and Gaza, stating that the Arab regimes had decided to attempt to eliminate the intifada leadership and threatening that the resistance in Lebanon has "begun to establish facts on the ground" and would thwart all attempts to crush it. Also published were attacks on the Arab League, criticizing League attempts to resolve the Lebanese presidency crisis and claiming that it favors the March 14 Forces and is pressuring Syria to curb the Lebanese opposition, in a bid to weaken the resistance - and stressing that Syria would never succumb to such pressure.

Such statements appeared in several articles in the Syrian government daily Teshreen, and in one by former Syrian industry minister Dr. Ghassan Tiara on, which is affiliated with the regime.

The following are excerpts from several of these articles:

Teshreen: "The Resistance Has Begun to Establish Facts on the Ground"

Teshreen columnist 'Izz Al-Din Al-Darwish wrote: "...The Arabs are divided as a result of American pressure, and are afraid to utter even one word of solidarity, which has led them to forfeit their joint role and to leave the issues - including the most crucial ones - in the hands of others... However, despite this bleak situation, an Arab resistance has begun to establish facts on the ground and to change the course of events. There is no doubt that the first real step towards active Arab solidarity will be able to turn things around - and [this step] will come sooner than the U.S. and Israel expect." [1]

"All Options Are Open to the Resistance in the Near Future"

In two front-page articles in Teshreen, columnist 'Abdullah Khaled threatened that the Lebanese resistance would not refrain from responding to the attempts to crush it. He also accused the Arab regimes of favoring the March 14 Forces and of capitulating to American pressures.

Khaled wrote: "Hizbullah's leaders take a serious view of leaked information [that] a decision had been made to eliminate the resistance leadership in Lebanon and [the leadership of] the intifada in Gaza. [This decision was an] executive order signed by [U.S. President George] Bush [himself], after it became clear how serious a threat this leadership poses to the U.S.-Zionist enterprise in the region.

"The decision was [also] in response to a request by Arab and Lebanese leaders, when it became clear that they could achieve not even one iota of victory as long as the resistance and intifada continued...

"The March 14 Forces began to leak to their people that salvation was soon to come: [Soon] the opposition would be eliminated and the resistance would be crushed. [They stressed] that this time, the American administration was serious about fulfilling its commitments.

"Although these leaks did not undermine the morale of the resistance, it did not take them lightly. [The resistance] knows that the balance of power is in its favor, and that all the American, international, and Arab support [to the March 14 Forces receive] can do nothing to change this [fact]....The resistance will not sit idly by while attempts are made to eliminate it - attempts that will come to the same end as the Zionist aggression of July [2006]." [2]

Arab Regimes are Hostage to the U.S. Government

'Abdullah Khaled further wrote: "The Arab League secretary-general's bias towards the March 14th Forces exposed the real position of the Arab regimes as well as their inability to take any initiative not been sanctioned by the U.S. - even if [such an initiative] is doomed to failure. Accordingly, the pressure that [Syria] is being asked to bring to bear on Lebanese opposition is of the kind that would weaken the resistance and the national independence line, which is incompatible with the U.S.-Zionist interests...

"Despite all the pressures to which Syria has been subjected... it has refused to pressure the opposition in Lebanon to declare that it accepts the conditions of the March 14th Forces - who wish to continue to rule over [Lebanon] and serve suspect American interests... As for the opposition, it had started seriously considering the possibility of embarking on a [resolute] course to compel the March 14th Forces to obey the will of the [Lebanese] people." [3]

"The Arab League - A Lame Horse that Should be Put Down"

Former Syrian industry mister Dr. Ghassan Tiara accused the Arab League of intentionally exacerbating the dispute between the opposition and the March 14th Forces in Lebanon. He wrote:

"Every Arab, from the [Persian] Gulf to the ocean, must realize that no human power on Earth can blackmail Syria by [threatening] to participate or not participate in the Arab League summit, which is set for late March 2008 in Damascus.

"Syria will not relinquish its principles - irrespective of the pressures that certain elements will attempt to bring to bear on it so as to compel it to accept what is not agreed upon by all the Lebanese people.

"As a Syrian Arab citizen, I demand that Syria withdraw from the Arab League, which I call 'a lame horse which has left the race and should be put down out of mercy' - [even though] it is clear that the Syrian political leadership will not agree with me [on this]." [4]

[1] Teshreen (Syria), January 28, 2008.

[2] Teshreen (Syria), January 24, 2008.

[3] Teshreen (Syria), January 21, 2008.

[4], January 26, 2008.

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