memri

October 21, 2004
Clip No.
300

Syrian Information Minister: Bush or Kerry, We Don't Care

The following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian Information Minister Mahdi Dakhlallah:

Minister Dakhlallh:Regarding Iraq, I believe the Syrian position was as follows:In Iraq there is an Iraqi resistance. Of course, I am not talking about terrorism and beheadings, which harm Iraq and the Iraqi resistance. I am talking about resisting the occupier. This is an Iraqi resistance. We cannot expect that a nation of 25 million – a proud nation that has been fighting imperialism for a long time – that they would fully accept the American occupation. This is illogical. If we believe that this resistance is Iraqi and has nothing to do with the neighboring countries, foreigners, or the likes – and I'm not talking about cases of terrorism, or pseudo-terrorism – then Syria is ready for any measure that would prove that the resistance is Iraqi and does not come from outside. This includes controlling the borders or anything else, because this will prove that the resistance is Iraqi. This resistance will not come to an end, as a result of these measures on the borders. In addition, Syria declared it supported the stability of Iraq, because this would mean stability for the region and an end to our current anarchy. This would also reassert Iraq's unity and its territorial integrity, because whether we like it or not, Iraq is under the threat of partition. The fear is that this partition would correspond, at some point, with the US and its positions and policies or those of other countries. In addition, there was some development in Iraq following the last Security Council resolution. There is a government that at least enjoys - quote unquote - "international legitimacy." The truth is that this legitimacy is lacking because it is not internal. Syria wants this deficient Iraqi sovereignty to be completed and that Iraq will stabilize because then it might be able to wipe off all the pretexts of the occupier that would, then, withdraw from Iraq. I believe that Syria and the Arabs in general don't care who wins the White House. There is no difference between the two in regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. On the contrary, they compete with each other. It is even possible that the purpose of the recent intensified pressure on Syria and Lebanon is for electoral gain. One of the aspects is that it is done for electoral gain. In order to please the Zionist lobby in the US, which is a very powerful and influential lobby. The question is not who will be president of the US. This isn't important. But how could the Arabs – and in this case, unfortunately, I cannot speak about the Arabs in general – how could Syria and Lebanon, two countries that are relatively stable, strong, and independent, apply counter pressure globally in order to bring about a relatively balanced policy. I'm not talking about a fair policy towards the Arabs, but at least there should be a relative balance. The current global policy does not understand justice. It understands power and the balance of power. If you are strong – we will give you accordingly. If you are weak, we will give you nothing regardless of your rights and regardless of what is just. These terms have unfortunately faded from the logic of international policy. Regardless of who the American president would be, if the Syrian–Lebanese relations would weaken and, as a result, the resistance would weaken, and I mean resistance in general, including the Palestinian resistance – then the Arabs will be weak and the new American president will find himself under total Israeli pressure. Whether it is Bush or Kerry, he will present the Israeli solutions and the Arabs will have to "take it or leave it."