Friday, March 25, 2005

Syria, what's not to like?

Syria: LATIMES gives space to Bouthaina Shaaban, minister for emigrant affairs.

"DAMASCUS, Syria — I recently picked up a newspaper and saw the following headline: "Rice Promises That Washington Will Build a Different Kind of Middle East." Unsure what this could possibly mean, I looked closer at Condoleezza Rice's remarks to U.S. troops in Kabul, Afghanistan, to see if I could learn what this new Middle East was going to be. A different kind of broader Middle East that's going to be stable and democratic," was what she described that day, "where our children will one day not have to worry about the kind of ideologies of hatred that led those people to fly those airplanes into those buildings on September 11th." So let me get this straight. Rice believes that our region harbors "ideologies of hatred" and that it is populated by "those people." Those terrorists."

In related news.

"UNITED NATIONS, March 24 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri with "physical harm" last summer if Hariri challenged Assad's dominance over Lebanese political life, contributing to a climate of violence that led to the Feb. 14 slayings of Hariri and 19 others, according to testimony in a report released Thursday by a U.N. fact-finding team. The report, which calls for an international investigation into Hariri's death, describes an August meeting in Damascus at which Assad ordered the Lebanese billionaire to support amending Lebanon's constitution, according to testimony from "various" sources who discussed the meeting with Hariri. The amendment, approved Sept. 3, allowed Emile Lahoud, the Syrian-backed Lebanese president, to remain in office for three more years."

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