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by America First
Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003 at 10:30 PM
Award Winning Journalist Robert Fisk in California Tonight and Tomorrow
Award Winning Journalist Robert Fisk in California Tonight and Tomorrow:
Access this URL to find the address for Fisk's presentation in Palo Alto tonight (October 8th, 2003):
Additional information about Fisk's presentation tomorrow night is at this URL (October 9th, 2003):
Okay, so would you have Robert Fisk on "Hardball" as he writes for the London Independent newspaper and is speaking in Palo Alto (near Stanford University) tonight and tomorrow night in Berkeley as well (you will hear mention of JINSA/PNAC tomorrow night in Berkeley as we first learned about JINSA from Robert Fisk as you can read in the following article):
Here is the "Men from JINSA and CSP" article (by Jason Vest) which Fisk mentions in the above article (so why haven't we seen Jason Vest interviewed on "Hardball" as I have the contact information for him as well):
Here is more on Fisk:
US Gave Israel Greenlight for Attack
Raid on Syria is a Lethal Step Towards War
ISRAEL IS THE PROBLEM
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, and it looks like we may be in for a possible replay of that horrific disaster in which tens of thousands lost their lives. Yesterday, Israel bombed alleged "terrorist camps" in Syria. The excuse: yet another suicide bombing in Israel, this time taking 19 innocent lives, immediately claimed by Islamic Jihad (which denied having military bases in Syria). This was one of the deadliest suicide bombings since the beginning of the Intifada, but in principle no different from the dozens of other vicious acts of terror that are now a feature of daily life in Israel. What is different, however, is that Israel's strategic orientation has radically changed.
Whereas 30 years ago, Israel was on the defensive, and to a large degree dependent on the U.S., today they are clearly prepared to act on their own – without waiting for Washington's okay.
That is the chief result of the Iraq war – the unleashing of Israel. We are seeing the first fruits of our Pyrrhic "victory" in this latest foray by an emboldened Ariel Sharon, who clearly hopes that the stalemated outcome of the first Yom Kippur war can now be overturned.
Taken by surprise, in 1973, Israeli forces reeled from the combined Egyptian-Syrian sneak attack. Aided by "Operation Nickel Grass," an airlift of vital military supplies from the U.S., the Israelis held their positions and then started to push back – coming within 43 miles of Cairo and taking the Golan Heights before the UN called a halt. Today, it is the Syrians who have been taken by surprise, and, this time, the Israelis may not stop until they roll through the streets of Damascus. That, at least, is the threat implicit in their actions.
The Iraq war, as we are beginning to discover, had nothing to do with "weapons of mass destruction," zero to do with Al Qaeda, and zilch to do with implanting "democracy" in the inhospitable soil of Iraq. The first phase of the second Yom Kippur War is revealing, in action, the strategic doctrine at the heart of U.S. Middle Eastern policy: the installation of Israel as regional hegemon.
This doctrine was prefigured in a 1996 paper prepared for then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by a working group consisting of several individuals who are now in top spots in the Bush administration. "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" recommended that Israel set itself free from its embarrassing and debilitating dependence on U.S. military and diplomatic support: no matter how unconditional, this support constrained Israel and prevented it from pursuing its true interests. The paper, co-authored by Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr.,Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser, portrayed Syria as the main enemy of Israel, but maintained the road to Damascus had to first pass through Baghdad:
"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right – as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria's regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq."
Today, three of Netanyahu's advisors – Perle, Feith, and David Wurmser – occupy top spots in the foreign policy councils of the Bush administration, where their fulsome support for the Iraq war helped implement the first part of the plan. David Wurmser is chief aide to Undersecretary of Defense John Bolton, who, before a single shot was fired against Iraq, was already promising Sharon that Syria would be next. As Ha'aretz reported at the time (scroll down):
"U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials on Monday that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq, and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards."
In February, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was already demanding action against Syria. At a meeting with a delegation of U.S. congressmen, Sharon handed the Americans their marching orders:
"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. 'These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve,' Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen. Sharon told the congressmen that Israel was not involved in the war with Iraq 'but the American action is of vital importance.'"
But instead of being converted on the road to Damascus, the Americans were deterred from launching future wars by the unpleasant political and military blowback emanating from that deepening quagmire. Karl Rove's "no wars in '04" dictum threw a roadblock in the path of the pro-Israeli neoconservatives in the U.S. government, who are now under siege as a result of the Plame affair. The Israelis, enraged by this turn of events, are now playing their trump card.
The Israeli attack on Syria is a replication of the U.S. attack on Iraq: the claim of terrorist "links" is followed by unilateral military action – this time, however, in defiance of the whole world, including the U.S. rather than just the UN. The actors are different, but the principle is the same, a similarity Israel's American amen corner will no doubt raise in order to justify Sharon's reckless provocation. Israel, we are endlessly told, has the right to "defend" itself – even if it means conquering and occupying all of Palestine and driving the original inhabitants into Jordan. As "A Clean Break" projected the plan:
"Since Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly, it would be understandable that Israel has an interest in supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq."
Let's hand our Palestinian problem over to the Hashemites, say radical Likud hard-liners and their American supporters. There is no such people as the Palestinians, anyway, as Joan Peters and Alan Dershowitz aver: they are really just Jordanians. A Hashemite restoration in Iraq would pave the way for the creation of a Greater Israel, fulfilling God's promise to Abraham in the Bible:
"To your descendants I give this land from the River of Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates."
Israel, with its overweening military might, would dominate the Middle East. This is the goal of the Christian dispensationalist ministers, such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, who believe Israeli hegemony in the Middle East represents the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. But a prophecy, in their view, can be self-fulfilling: it is their Christian duty, they believe, to hurry it along.
The Christian apocalyptic vision of Armageddon in the Middle East – its inevitability and desirability as a portent of the Second Coming of Christ – is the key to understanding conservative Republican support for our war policy in Iraq. The fundies are perfectly aligned with neoconservative efforts to spread the conflict to Syria, Iran, and beyond, a development that would fulfill not only Biblical prophecy but also the direst predictions of anti-war advocates.
The recent report on Israel's growing military superiority out of Tel Aviv University's prestigious Jaffee Center led to widespread worries of Israeli "complacency," and, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:
"The Jaffee researchers acknowledge that some of Israel´s new strategic gains depend on whether the United States manages to stabilize the regime in Iraq or whether it gets bogged down. If the latter happens, some of Israel´s gains could be wiped out, they say."
The political and military bog in which George W. Bush is caught has him and his advisors, notably Rumslfeld, scrambling for an exit strategy. Before this can happen, Israel is seizing the moment to consolidate its gains. The attack on Syria comes just when Colin Powell has been raising more voluble objections to the odious "Wall of Separation" subsidized by U.S. tax dollars, and the threat to kill or exile Arafat is being taken seriously enough to raise serious concerns even among Israel's staunchest friends. Worse, from the Israeli perspective, is the news of secret peace talks between Washington and Tehran. Sharon, feeling betrayed, is saying: Expand the war, or I will.
Dependent on the Republican activist base of millions of dispensationalist Christians, who put Israeli interests first, the President of the United States is powerless to stop Sharon's rampage. With his "road map" derailed, and the neocons already turning on him (or threatening to), George W. Bush must be content to watch helplessly as Sharon, the main benefactor of the Iraq war, moves to harvest the fruits of the American victory – while the White House is stuck with an billion bill, rising casualties, and a simmering political scandal that threatens to unravel Bush's presidency.
This is the thanks Bush gets for going to war for Israel's sake. Let that be a lesson to him. Too bad it comes far too late in the day to save either his presidency or his place in history. But better late than never.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
Our Fall fundraising drive is a great success, and that is due to you, our faithful and heroic readers. As of this writing, we have received just over ,000. For that, I can't thank you enough. Your contributions are deeply appreciated: it's a feeling of tremendous validation to see that so many of our readers have stuck by us. The sheer number of contributions is overwhelming. I am so moved that words, uncharacteristically, fail me, so I'll just say this: we'll work day and night to deserve this wonderful vote of confidence.
– Justin Raimondo
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ISRAEL + US PREPARE TO ATTACK IRAN
GOAL IS FORCING CAPITULATION OR
RISKING REGIONAL WAR
"There could be very, very serious ramifications
in the wake of what's happened with this air
strike by the Israelis in Syrian territory."
Brent Sadler, CNN
“It could be a race who presses the button
first (to strike Iran) – us or the Americans”.
Israeli Mossad Official
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 6 October 2003: Before the Israelis bombed Syria for the first time in decades, MER warned over the past weekend that General Sharon - and what is essentially another military-Mossad government in Israel - was trying hard to provoke an "excuse" for a new regional war; much as has been done before, most recently in 1982 when Sharon, then Defense Minister, cleverly orchestrated the invasion of Lebanon in an attempt to install a 'new regime' in that country.
Indeed, it was that war which then led to the Hezbollah, the Intifada, Hamas, and the now-escalating phenomena of 'suicide bombers'...not to mention the effects Sharon's militarist and expansionist policies have had on events taking place in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and throughout the region.
Now Sharon and his warrior Generals are attempting to twist world affairs in a way that will allow them, always of course in intimate coordination with the US, to force Syria into fuller capitulation and to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities if the Iranians refuse compliance.
At this historical moment the Arabs are exceedingly weak, confused, co-opted and impotent. This is the result not only of decades of Israeli and U.S. policies to create just such a state of affairs, but of the gross incompetence and corruption of the key Arab regimes in Cairo, Riyadh, Damascus and Amman. All combined 'Arab world' military and economic power is but a small fraction of that of today's Israel backed by its superpower patron. As for pollitical power, overall the Arabs are treated with contempt and scorn by their enemies, and with pity and jokes by their friends.
It is Iran which Israel now has in the cross-hairs. Taking out Iran's growing military capabilities, especially its nuclear and missiles facilities, is at the top of the Israeli agenda and that of its many top-level fellow travelers in the American Pentagon and White House National Security Council. Indeed, a number of times in the past year, even in public, Ariel Sharon has telegraphed his blatant warnings - far more so in secret no doubt. Just before the American invasion/occupation of Iraq - and after holding numerous private meetings in Washington with President Bush and senior US officials - Sharon himself said quite clearly: "Right after Iraq must come Iran".
Now, with American forces occupying the heart of the Arab world, with most Arab regimes either infiltrated, co-opted, or cowering, the final stage is being set. Sharon will continue to do all he can to provoke more attacks against Israel's increasingly brutal occupation and then, when the political and 'public opionion' moment is right, Israel will strike - of course with considerable US help no matter what is said in public.
The first article that follows, dateline Washington, is not fully on target. After all this is hardly the 'first time', though it may very well prove to be the most significant time.
Israel had hoped the US could either topple the current Iranian regime, or somehow force an end to its nuclear programs. Having failed, including no doubt numerous CIA and Mossad operations, the option of military force is now more on the table than ever before. This is especially the case as the betting is the 'world community' will protest but not take any significant anti-Israel steps, and even if the UN tried the US would block with its veto, proven last month when the US used the 'veto' one more time to protect Israel with hardly anyone noticing.
ISRAEL WEIGHS STRIKE TO STOP IRAN'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM
TEL AVIV — For the first time, Israel's military has raised the prospect of an operation to destroy Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.
Israel's chief of staff, alarmed by the failure of the international community to move against Iran, has warned that Israel would consider unilateral action to stop the "nightmare scenario" of Teheran's development of nuclear weapons.
Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom demanded that the international community stop the program.
"Iran is fast approaching the point of no return in its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capability," Shalom said. "It's urgent that the international community act to ensure that this nightmare scenario is prevented."
Israel's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon took the rhetoric up a notch.
"At the moment there is continuing international diplomatic activity to deal with this threat, and it would be good if it succeeds," Ya'alon said. "But if that is not the case we would consider our options."
Israel has never specified what action it might take to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. But Israeli officials assert that the nation's deep-strike air capability has been vastly upgraded since Israeli F-16 multi-role fighters destroyed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak in 1981.
Officials said Israel has been dismayed by what they term the refusal by both the European Union and the United States to share the sense of urgency regarding Iran's nuclear program. Last week, Washington rejected an Israeli assessment that Iran could complete its first nuclear weapons by the end of 2004.
"The fact that a country like Iran, an enemy [of Israel] and which is particularly irresponsible, has equipped itself with nonconventional weapons is worrisome," Ya'alon said.
"The combination in this case of a nonconventional regime with nonconventional weapons is a concern."
The clearest warnings yet came on the eve of another effort by the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate suspected Iranian violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The suspected violations include the unauthorized enrichment of uranium.
Three leading EU states have offered to share nuclear technology with Iran if Teheran agrees to sign a protocol for tougher nuclear inspections. Britain, Germany and France sent a letter to Iran that offered nuclear technology in a bid to defuse the confrontation with the IAEA.
In early September, the IAEA voted to give Teheran until Oct. 31 to respond to all agency inquiries over Iran's nuclear program. An IAEA delegation was expected to arrive in Iran on Sunday to conduct additional environmental sampling of nuclear facilities to test for uranium enrichment Special To World Tribune - 25 Sept 2003.
PENTAGON MISSILE TARGETEERS LINE UP IRAN’S NUCLEAR FACILITIES
by Gordon Thomas*
The Pentagon’s forward planners have targeted two Iranian nuclear facilities after weapons-grade enriched uranium has been found in one by UN inspectors. A UN report published this week says the country could acquire a nuclear bomb within two years.
Particles of weapons-grade enriched uranium were discovered at Natanz. Iran claims the particles were from “contaminated components” it bought on the black market in the 1980s when it was trying to set up its “peaceful nuclear programme” – and could not find a supplier in the West ready to help.
But both the CIA and MI6, who have now each made intelligence gathering on Iran a priority, discount Iran’s claim of how it came to have sufficient enriched uranium to make an effective “dirty bomb”.
Neo-conservatives around Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld have not discounted a pre-emptive strike against the plants at Natanz and Arak. They are sited south of Tehran, in the remote fastness of central Iran.
Unlike the rift that developed over the war with Iraq between the United States and the European Union, there is a consensus that it is “essential and urgent” for Iran to stop arming itself with nuclear weapons.
Washington is supporting a UN resolution – sponsored by Britain, France and Germany – that Iran must stop its nuclear programme by the end of October. Implicit in the resolution is a warning the plants could be hit by missiles fired from US warships in the Gulf.
The plant at Natanz is far bigger than anything Iraq ever had. Natanz is guarded by a heavily patrolled thirty-mile deep perimeter within the featureless landscape.
The Tehran regime claims the Natanz plant is only working to develop the country’s peaceful nuclear energy programme to bring power, heat and electricity to its hundreds of small towns and villages.
But British and German intelligence agents have pinpointed an underground complex capable of holding 1,000 personnel.
UN inspectors, diverted from searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, have confirmed the existence of the complex.
Buried thirty-feet below ground, it has eight-feet thick walls to protect two large halls.
In a report last week to the 35-member board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, the inspectors told their closed meeting in Vienna they are certain the underground complex is designed to carry out the process of turning enriched uranium into weapons-grade material.
The report states: “there are 1,000 gas centrifuges and components for the manufacture of 50,000 further centrifuges”.
Highly enriched uranium is an essential element in producing a nuclear weapon.
Iran has two plants – one at Arkadan, east of Natanz, the other near the historic town of Isfahan – to convert uranium ore into yellowcake, a processed form of uranium. The yellowcake can be converted into enriched uranium as well as producing hexaflouride gas, essential to drive the centrifuges.
Russian engineers are helping Iran to build a heavy water plant at Arak. Iran again claims the plant will be used only for peaceful purposes. But the UN report states: “heavy water can also produce more plutonium than light water reactors, and therefore can produce significant quantities to be used in weapons”.
Kenneth Brill, the US ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna said last week that the evidence against Iran “already justifies an immediate non-compliance verdict”.
Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the UN Security Council could introduce crippling sanctions against Iran. That would most certainly place the United States on a collision course with one of the nations President Bush has named as being part of the “axis of evil”.
There is also a clear danger that Israel could act unilaterally and launch its own air strikes against Iran’s nuclear plants. It has done so before – when it destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor outside Baghdad in March, 1981.
“We will not stand by and allow the Iranians to use the same cat-and-mouse games over their nuclear plants that Saddam used over many years”, said a senior Israeli intelligence officer in Tel Aviv. “There is a need to take a touch line now. In two years time, it could be too late”.
The prospect of military action came that much closer after Hashemi-Rafsanjani, one of Iran’s most influential clerics and the country’s former president, called on Muslim states last December to use nuclear weapons against Israel.
Mossad analysts told Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, that the appeal was directed not only at Pakistan, the one Muslim nation known to have nuclear weapons, but also to Iran’s partner in the “axis of evil” – North Korea.
That possibility has led to the Pentagon forward planners continuing to prepare their own missile strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
As the Israeli intelligence officer said: “it could be a race who presses the button first – us or the Americans”. -30 Sept 2003.
* Gordon Thomas is a veteran Irish journalist known for his long-time connections with senior Israeli and British intelligence officials. He is the author of numerous books including Voyage of the Damned and a book about the history and exploits of the Israeli Mossad.
Subj: US GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZES/SUPPORTS SHARON'S EVIL DOINGS INSTEAD OF CARING FOR SOCIAL AND HUMAN NEEDS OF AMERICANS! by William Hughes NO COMMENTS!!!
Date: 10/6/03 8:27:50 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Published, Media Monitors Networks, Oct. 4, 2003, at: http://world.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/1282/>.
by William Hughes
Like an absolute monarch, Ariel Sharon does what he wants, when he wants to, and with full impunity, too. He also doesn’t give a good hoot what the White House, the Arab World or the UN think of his demented conduct. (By way of possible explanation for his bizarre behavior, see “Jewish History: Jewish Religion,” by Israel Shahak, for disturbing examples of anti-Christian, anti-Muslim bias still extant in Jewish religious literature.)
Sharon, the personification of hubris, is the Prime Minister of Zionist Israel. His death squad operate 24/7 in the occupied territories. He also continues to steal the land of the Palestinians, while regularly humiliating his supposed American allies by building more illegal settlements (604 new units are on the way).
The cunning Sharon is also constructing a monstrous Apartheid Wall, that stretches for hundreds of miles across the occupied territories, to permanently seal in the indigenous people. International law means absolutely nothing to him. Sharon is a law under himself. The UN, too, refuses to take him on for his criminal misdeeds. He belongs in the dock, next to Slobodan Milosevic, at The Hague, standing trial for War Crimes he has committed in Jordan, the occupied territories and Lebanon. Instead, he is invited to the White House for a photo op and tea.
The UN Security Council Resolutions condemning Israel are used as waste paper by Sharon. Detention of prisoners without trial and torture of detainees are endemic under the Sharon regime (Amnesty International Reports). It was also one of his bulldozer drivers, that viciously took the life of the young American activist, Rachel Corrie. His bulldozer operatives have leveled thousands of innocent Palestinian homes and vineyards.
For the latest example of a Sharon-inspired outrage, look to Rafah. On Oct. 1st, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) demolished 18 homes in that refugee camp, located in the Gaza Strip. This act of barbarism left 270 Palestinians, mostly children homeless. Washington failed to offer a word in protest to Tel Aviv about this act of gangsterism- - not one word!
All of the above, and much more, makes George W. Bush, Jr.’s hyped “Road Map” totally irrelevant to any possible peace settlement and leaves the U.S. president looking like a Zionist lapdog. It also, tragically, creates an environment of utter hopelessness among the beleaguered Palestinians, that has generated a lethal campaign of counter-violence.
Adding to the mix, on Oct. 3, 2002, Sharon told his cabinet of right wingers, War Hawks, Likudniks, Christian-bashers, Jonathan Pollard fans and Palestinian land grabbers: “I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it” (Israel Radio, “Kol Yisrael”).
It is a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution, and of the principles of the Republic itself, for any special interest clique to “control America.” Question: When, in the name of our revered Sons of Liberty, is the Justice Department going to take action against this coup de Sharon?
Also, it was Sharon, who loudly ranted for a U.S. led war against Iraq. He also wanted us to invade Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. His lackeys in this country, like Neocon, Richard Perle, regularly spit out the same hawkish line. Now, that Iraq war, besides making America more enemies in the Islamic World, (“U.S. Image Drops Among Muslims,” BBC News, 10/02/03), is creating a costly Vietnam War-like quagmire. This unjust conflict will also further destabilize this country, which will make it all the easier for the globalist-oriented wire pullers to manipulate us.
All of this costs big bucks, too. Zionist Israel has persisted in looting our Treasury in billions of direct freebies, since 1948, with consequential costs, estimated in the trillions of dollars (June, 2003, “WRMEA” magazine). Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is tanking and our once solid manufacturing jobs are fleeing the country faster than the ADL’s Abe Foxman can scream, “Anti-Semitism!” Fact: the U.S. is subsidizing Sharon’s evil doings instead of taking care of the social and human needs of its own people.
Sadly, history shows that American presidents are afraid to say “no” to any Israeli demand. No American chief executive, since John F. Kennedy, has dared to take on the Zionist Cartel. JFK had insisted that the Israelis not develop nuclear weapons (Rense.com, 09/28/03). Shortly after his protest, he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, supposedly by a “lone nut,” Lee Harvey “The Patsy” Oswald. Oswald, in turn, was quickly silenced by one Jacob Rubenstein, a/k/a Jack Ruby.
Ruby was a shady character, who shot Oswald to death allegedly because he wanted to save Jacqueline Kennedy from testifying in a murder trial. Now, if you believe that Ruby, the owner of a sleazy Dallas striptease joint, was concerned about the feelings of JFK’s widow, then there’s a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that you might also be interested in buying. Check out the intriguing, “Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy,” by Michael Collins Piper. It also has some shocking information on Sen. Arlen “Magic Bullet” Specter (R-PA).
In conclusion, if the deranged Sharon isn’t stopped soon, it will result in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people; as well as more terrorists attacks on the U.S.
© William Hughes 2003
Subj: U.S. blames Syria
Date: 10/5/03 5:26:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time
It doesn't matter if the entire world, including Great Britain, condemned Israel's attack on Syria today, the Bush Administration refuses to criticize Israel and instead blames the victim, Syria. What a spineless president we have.
U.S. Cites Syria As Sponsor of Terrorism
By BARRY SCHWEID
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States served notice Sunday that it considers Syria on the wrong side of the fight against terrorism and appealed for restraint in the Middle East after Israel struck inside its Arab neighbor's territory.
The Bush administration did not criticize Israel for the attack, which Israel said was directed at a training camp for Islamic Jihad, the group that claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that caused heavy casualties Saturday in Israel.
But the State Department said Syria ``must cease harboring terrorists and make a clean break from those responsible for planning and directing terrorist action from Syrian soil.''
Arab leaders warned that a ``circle of violence'' could encompass the region after Israeli warplanes attacked deep inside Syria for the first time in three decades.
The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss Syria's complaint to Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the strikes near Damascus, the capital.
President Bush telephoned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to offer condolences and condemnation for the Haifa bombing that killed 19 people.
The two agreed on a need to continue fighting terrorism and ``on the need to avoid heightened tension in the region at this time,'' said Ken Lesius, a White House spokesman.
Administration officials said Israel had not informed Washington in advance of its retaliatory strike nor indicated whether it intended any move against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to remove him from his West Bank headquarters.
The State Department has listed Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism since the list's inception three decades ago, and the department contends Syria offers sanctuary and political protection to
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