Iraq is, now, in total control of US-coalition command as claimed by US administration. It should not be a matter if the hospitals are being looted or Museums are being plundered or the shops are being robbed as the second phase of invasion is the reconstruction of Iraq, anyway. And the reconstruction has to be done from the scratch. So, was this all about for oil or eliminating terrorist network or wiping-out Saddam’s regime. Let’s see how the architectures are, now, shaping to this game. Well, there is one statement is common with many Ifs and buts that there is no list for the next and no plan to attack on Syria, at the present. However, in White House, at the press briefing, President Bush, responding to a question, did not rule out about the possibility of taking military action against Syria. He said, “First things first, we’re here in Iraq now; and the second thing about Syria is that we expect co-operation é and I’m hopeful we’ll get co-operation.” Replying to another question, He repeated the US assertions that Syria had chemical weapons.
Firstly, what sort of co-operation President Bush is expecting from Syria. Secondly, is this the offer for co-operation or is this the act of framing accusations for launching the plan into action. The US Secretary of State, Colin Powel, talking to the reporters, at the State Department said, “We will examine possible measures of a diplomatic, economic or other nature on Syria as we move forward“. Similarly, Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld said, in his recent statement, that US administration getting reports from CIA that Syria has possessed chemical weapons and sponsored anti-Israel terrorism for years. He said that Syria has conducted a chemical weapons test during the past 15 months. Similarly, the White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, in a press briefing labeled Syria ‘a terrorist state‘; he called on Damascus to turn away supporters of Saddam and to abandon an alleged stockpile of chemical arms. He said amid widespread speculation that swift success in the Iraq war was the opening shot of a wider campaign in the region. Last week, Vice-President Dick Cheney said that the demise of Hussein’s regime should serve as a clear warning to others of the determination and speed with which the US could achieve decisive victory.
The way, the entire infrastructure including the whole defense system of Iraq has been destroyed by the US-coalition forces; it is hard to believe that this invasion of Iraq was only to eliminate Saddam’s regime and his weapons of mass destruction or even to control the oil resources of Iraq. Furnishing accusations and launching reasons to take action on Syria by the hawks in Washington DC must open the eyes of those who still deny the unfolded fact that overthrow Saddam’s regime was just the first step in achieving the macro-plan of region’s transformation with the objectives to provide security to Israel, eliminate Islamic movements and total control on ME’s oil resources. The argument for reshaping the political landscape in the Middle East, has been pushed for years by the White House and Pentagon hawkish, is now being implemented.
There are reasons to understand why Syria as next in line after Iraq while Iran is still on the agenda as being in the list of axis of evil by Bush administration. Iraq has been the main financial devotee to the Palestinians’ freedom fighters. Syria, who had decisive war with Israel in the past, has been backing the Palestine freedom movements from the beginning. Iran is another strong supporter of Palestinian hardliners and extremist groups. It is logical to understand that after demolishing and controlling Iraq and isolating, at least if not occupying, Syria, it would be more leverage to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the US administration on US-Israeli requisites.
Now, the point is what is the choice for President Bashar Al-Assad to ignore the US advice for co-operation? The scenario is identical to what President Musharraf of Pakistan was facing when US planned to attack on Afghanistan after 9/11 incident. US charges and tone is almost same as had with Musharraf – decide whether you are with us or with terrorists? President Musharraf was asked to co-operate in capturing and handing over Osama Bin Ladin and his men while President Bashar is being asked to co-operate in capturing Saddam, if alive, and his men. Musharraf was a smart General, he didn’t have any choice to ignore except sacrifice his own seat or may be his life; so, he cooperated. In result, US agencies through Pakistani law enforcement agencies, on the charges of Al-Quaeda’s terrorists captured and isolated more than 500 men mostly yet unknown identities to Guatemala Bay and killed many in raids in different cities in Pakistan. Now, its President Bashar’s turn; US has already dropped the ball in his court for him to decide either he opens doors for US agencies to operate, freely, in Syria and catch those whom they want to or face an attack with US military might which now stand at Syria’s door.
The writer is a Sydney-based freelance journalist and a political analyst.