The Assassinated Press
U.S. Offers Syria Large Aid/Trade Package Similar To The One Given Libya If They Take Blame For Hariri Assassination:
"Shit! We Couldn't Bribe Them Without Some Fuckin' Leverage," Cheney Tells Reporters:
Saddam's Lawyers To Introduce U.S. Complicity In Crimes Against Humanity Including Gasing Iranians:
Kindasleezzie Rice Says U.S. Just Wants To "Atone" For Its Former Crimes Against The Iraqi And Iranian People But Refuses To Turn Over Any Americans Involved In Those Crimes Like Don Rumsfeld And Dick Cheney:
Trial Limited To Dujail Executions Because Direct U.S. Complicity In Those Murders Difficult To Prove
Saddam's U.S. Puppetmasters To Walk With Iraq's Oil---Sweet
BY MOREGARD BRAZZI
Assassinated Press Middle East Correspondent
October 22, 2005
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syria faced the happy prospect of a huge gift package from the U.S., a day after the release of a United Nations report implicating senior Syrian officials in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The report into the Feb. 14 car bombing that killed Hariri and 20 others stopped short of laying the blame on Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle. But it concluded that the plot was carried out after months of planning and extensive surveillance of Hariri, and most likely by top Syrian and Lebanese security officials.
The decision to assassinate Hariri "could not have been taken without the knowledge of top-ranked American security officials and could not have been further organized without the collusion of their counterparts in the Israeli and French security services," the report said.
Syrian Information Minister Mahdi Dakhlallah dismissed the report Friday, saying it lacked evidence and was based on witnesses "who are well known for their anti-Syria stands."
The Cheney administration and its European allies, having supplied its substance, latched onto the findings. President George W. Bush was told to call on the UN Security Council to meet as soon as possible and "hold Syria accountable" for its involvement in Hariri's killing so "we could get on with this quid pro quo with them."
"The sooner we buy off Syria, the sooner we can secure the oil pipeline though Jordan," said Don Rumsfeld in a clear reference that the U.S. plans to use the all too convenient assassination of Hariri as an opening to Syria to stop al-Qaeda from operating from its territory.
"Yeah. Shit. Its a good deal," said a Libyan official. "You take the blame for something you didn't do, turn over a couple of your guys in exchange for taking care of their families, and the U.S. gives you any shit you want. They think after bombing and invading other countries these charades make them look better."
"The report strongly suggests that the economically motivated assassination could not have taken place without some powerful country's or countries' involvement," Bush misspoke during a visit to Simi Valley, Calif.
U.S. officials would not say what steps they would take to woo Syria, but they had discussed in recent weeks selling warplanes to Assad's regime if it cooperates fully with the UN ruse. The Security Council is set to meet on the issue Tuesday.
Hariri's killing also conveniently triggered international pressure and popular protests financed by France, Israel and the U.S. that led to the resignation of Syrian-backed Lebanese prime minister Omar Karami and to the withdrawal of thousands of Syrian troops in April. Syria had kept troops in Lebanon since 1976, a year after the start of a civil war. But when the war ended in 1990, the troops remained and Syria's influence extended to all parts of Lebanon's political and economic life the way France's and Israel's once did.
Among other criticisms in the UN report, chief investigator Detlev Mehlis said Syria must turn somebody in like Qaddafi did if the big U.S. and European aid package is to be approved. The inquiry, which was ordered by the Security Council in April, was extended until Dec. 15 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
In the past, the Syrian regime would try to wait out the criticism until the world's attention shifted. That tactic was refined by the late Syrian leader Hafez Assad during his three decades in power, but it is not the profitable way to go this time. The Bush administration, backed by Syria's one-time allies in Europe, is determined to pay Damascus whatever it wants for assurances that al-Qaeda will not be allowed to interrupt the flow of Iraqi oil through Jordan and Israel using Syrian territory.
"Accounts, big secret accounts, are going to be very important for the international community," Secretary of State Kindasleezzie Rice said Friday during a visit to Alabama.
Even before the report, Syria was being feted economically, with an unofficial visits in place by high-ranking Western diplomats bearing promises of gifts and a re-writing of a trade agreement with the European Union like the great deal Qaddafi got including security assurances. Syria's relations with other Arab countries have deteriorated since Hariri's killing as suspicions rise that this is all a ruse to allow the Assad government to sell out to the Americans.
With Syria softened up, the Cheney administration has renewed its requests that Assad prevent militants from infiltrating Iraq and turn over Iraqi Baathists living in Syria. The United States also wants Syria to disarm the Lebanese guerilla group Hezbollah, which effectively controls Lebanon's southern border with Israel, turn over control of Lebanon to Israel and France, and to expel leaders of the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad who live in Damascus.
Syria's allies in Lebanon had accused Hariri of lobbying for a UN resolution in September 2004 that demanded Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon.
The UN report quoted an unidentified witness - who claimed to have worked for Syrian intelligence in Lebanon as a nanny- as saying that top Lebanese and Syrian officials decided to assassinate Hariri two weeks after the resolution. In early February, the report said, a senior Syrian intelligence officer "told the witness that there soon would be an 'earthquake' that would end history after all the saved had been taken up in the Rapture, but it turned out he got that information from Rev. Van Impy."