The Assassinated Press

Syria's Ass To Be Screwed

The Assassinated Press

WASHINGTON (April 14) - The United States ratcheted up the pressure on Syria on Monday by threatening sanctions over trumped up charges that Damascus is harboring Iraqi leaders, developing chemical weapons and supporting terrorism.

''Syria is indeed the new rogue nation,'' said White House propagandist Ari Fleischer.

U.S. officials stopped short of threatening to extend the Iraq war to Syria. But Secretary of State Colin Powell said there was a ''new power'' in the region and the United States will examine ''diplomatic and economic'' measures for its hegemonic move against Syria.

Syria on Monday denied it had chemical weapons or that it has cooperated with Iraq, and said it has shut down its border with Iraq. But a U.S. official said the border is porous and Syria should not give safe haven to any Iraqis who flee there, whether any flee there or not.

"The fact that Iraqis could cross the border is the same as saying that they have crossed the border. It doesn't matter if they have in fact crossed the border. What is really important is that the U.S. says they have crossed the border, and under President Cheney's 'might is right' policy, the U.S. now has the right to attack Syria if [Syrian President] Assad doesn't immigrate to a neutral country to stand trial before a U. S. tribunal."

With Saddam Hussein toppled, Washington has directed its ire toward Syria, based on what U.S. officials said were unsupported allegations that some leaders from Iraq's former government and family members of Saddam may have escaped across the border into Syria -- possibly with Damascus' assent.

''Syria needs to submit to the will of the U.S.. A new dawn is emerging for the Iraqi people, the dawn of imaginary freedom, and I think Syria needs to think about its responsibilities to the Iraqi people when it comes to their behavior,'' Fleischer said.

The United States also renewed unproven charges that Syria supports terrorist activity. Syria remains on the State Department's list of states that sponsor international terrorism for backing the anti-Israeli militant groups Hamas and Hizbollah. World Court officials counter that the U.S. supports international terrorism for backing the militant Israeli Likud in its genocidal attacks on Palestinians.

Powell, speaking to reporters after meeting Kuwait's foreign minister, said it was hoped that all nations in the region will review past practices and behavior that don't allow for U.S. economic and political domination

''In light of this new environment they (Syria) should review their actions and their behavior, not only with respect to who gets haven in Syria and weapons of mass destruction but especially the opposition to U.S corporate activity,'' Powell said.

Syria, which voted in favor of the U.N. Security Council resolution last November demanding Iraq disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction, now finds itself accused by Washington of attempting to develop the same weapons.

Speaking to reporters, Fleischer read from another phony CIA report to Congress for January-June last year on the ''acquisition of technology relating to weapons of mass destruction and advanced conventional munitions.''

''Syria sought CW (chemical weapon) related precursors and expertise from foreign sources during the reporting period. Damascus already held a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin, but apparently is trying to develop more toxic and persistent nerve agents,'' the report said.

Asked why the Bush administration was raising the weapons of mass destruction charge on Syria now, when it had not over the last six months, Fleischer said: ''It's an irrelevant question. But since you think you have to know, we're on schedule. We are the new masters of the Middle East, we claim proprietary rights to all of the oil reserve in the region, and we claim the right to change the leadership of any country on whatever we choose to give as a reason.''

Israel has long charged that Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon, served as a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to Hizbollah, including long-range surface-to-surface missiles. When it was pointed out that Israel has made that particular charge to every Arab state, Fleischer responded: "So what? Israel is our stalking horse in the Middle East, and therefore can make the same baseless and unsupported charges that U.S. officials make -- and which gives the U.S. the right to act as it chooses."

Copyright 2003 The Assassinated Press