Freedom is on the march to Syria.

Disclaimer – I am not on Syria’s side if they did murder the Lebanese PM, but I find this all a little too convenient as a case for war by the neocons. Take it for what it is, but we seem to have heard all of this before.

… about 3 years ago actually.

President Bush said today that military action was a “last resort” in dealing with Syria if Damascus refused to co-operate with a United Nations investigation into the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

….

“A military (option) is always the last choice of a president,” Mr Bush told al-Arabiya television in an interview broadcast today. “I am hoping that they will cooperate. It is the last — very last option… I’ve worked hard for diplomacy and will continue to work the diplomatic angle on this issue.”

Could someone point me to where exactly Bush has been working hard on diplomacy with Syria these last 5 years? When did he stop beating the terrorism, aiding the insurgency & torturers (only when they’re doing it without the extraordinary renditions dropped in their laps by the US) drums long enough to try diplomacy?

“This is true confessions time now for the government of Syria,” Mr Bolton said. “No more obstruction. No more half measures. We want substantive cooperation and we want it immediately.”

Wow, I’m amazed that Bolton would be so honest about what the international community expects from America… oops, sorry, I forgot, Orwell lives.

In his interview with al-Arabiya, a transcript of which was obtained by Reuters, Mr Bush said Syria had to meet a set of demands from the international community, including expelling Palestinian militant groups, preventing insurgents from crossing its borders into Iraq to fight US forces, and ending Syrian interference in Lebanon.

“Nobody wants there to be a confrontation. On the other hand, there must be serious pressure applied,” he said.

“In other words, there are some clear demands by the world. And this report, as I say, had serious implications for Syria, and the Syrian government must take the demands of the free world very seriously.”

Nobody wanted to invade Iraq of course, it was totally a last resort… is history really repeating itself already? Are we going to allow the US populace to fall for it again? Is it now the US’s job to patrol the world and invade countries who aren’t following UN resolutions? When would you get the time?

Mr Bush would not be pinned down on what action Washington would take if Syria does not comply. “I certainly hope that people take a good look at the Mehlis report … there’s clear implications about Syrians’ involvement in the death of a foreign leader,” he said.

Really? Does this mean that he’s going to open the files on the US’s involvement in assassinations of foreign leaders (including the failed attempts on Chavez and Castro) so we can all take a good look and decide the best course of action to take to remedy this serious situation? Thought not. And people wonder why America is reviled in the third & second-world’s (and in a large portion of the “first” world to boot).

The funniest (in a dark sense) part of the article comes when Bush is asked if he will support international war crimes charges against those who killed Hariri as his son is calling for. Now, most peace-loving internationalists who weren’t looking to start a war would jump all over the chance to try these guys and show the world what justice and democracy is all about… but that ain’t our Bush… justice is never a clear cut way to go for him… unless he’s trying to suppress votes in Florida of course.

“Well, we want people to be held to account. And I’d be glad to talk to other leaders to determine whether or not that’s the best course of action. But certainly, people do need to be held to account. And the first course of action is to go the United Nations,”

I really didn’t think it would escalate this fast, but with the UN draft report released (yes, you heard that correctly, this report was just a draft, the investigation continues until Dec. 15th according to Annan), the US jumped. But the US doesn’t care about the wheels of justice and evidentiary procedures to determine culpability (damn that pesky Hans Blix). Bush wants to cut it short and move now.

The Bush Administration is talking about next Monday as a target date for a resolution.

Times Online

For additional background on how the US is setting up the Syrian campaign, see: SusanHu’s diary ~ NSC Chief Hadley asked Italy for a Bashar Replacement & an article Bri found ~ Syria Being Set Up to Fail

cross posted @ Jaded Reality & My Left Wing

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