Is Syria Next?

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s recent allegation that Syria is smuggling war materiale into Iraq raised the ominous prospect that Washington’s attention will turn toward Damascus, whenever it is finished with Baghdad.

Rumsfeld’s charge – vehemently denied by Syria – now tops the long list of unresolved issues in Syria’s relations with the United States: its open-ended military intervention in Lebanon; its continued support of Hizbollah there; its alleged involvement in the 1982 suicide attack against the Marines barrack in Beirut resulting in the death of 241 US soldiers; its continued support of various “outlawed” Palestinian groups; and Syria’s allegedly growing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.  Indeed, Syria has long been included on the State Department’s list of nations that support terrorism. Continue reading

Old guard faces crisis as heat turns on Syria

Quotes in The Guardian:

Before the war, Syria denied having extensive trade relations with Iraq, even though they were worth $2bn a year and factories had set up special production lines to cope with the extra demand.

It also denied receiving oil from Iraq worth $500m a year – or rather, said the pipeline was only being tested. Once the war came and the pipeline was cut off, Syria’s oil exports suddenly dropped by 100,000-150,000 barrels a day. Continue reading

Democratization American Style!

This article was commissioned by the Danish newspaper Politiken and appeared on Sunday, April 6, 2003.

A Lamentation

O Democracy, o new messianic prayer currently running on the lips of the multitudes invoked as some merciful deity to hasten the coming of some long-desired deliverance. O how quickly do words and notions, made holy and sacred, turn against their inventors. O how ironic and oft-recurring is the dream that turns into a nightmare, especially when you are an Arab.  Continue reading