Progress Pond

Syria Drama In the Making – the Bush and Obama Years 2005-2013

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In hindsight one of the best diaries that predicted the Neocon foreign policy, continued under Obama and Ms Clinton, to “democraticize” Syria and bring freedom to the Syrian people. A regional catastrophy in the making. Please let no one write the Obama administration isn’t culpable for the human suffering inside Syria and the six million displaced persons and refugees. Neocon Stephen Hadley had a position within USIP and making US foreign policy under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ms Clinton used her “knowledge” of Serbia and Kosovo and challenged the world community in Syria by-passing international law. What a quagmire in the new Middle-East. The year 2005 was marked by renewed upheaval in Lebanon, the assassination of Rafic Hariri while under occupation and rule by Syria. The European Union and the US were in talks with Bashar al-Assad for government reforms. New economic agreements and transformation were agreed upon and Israel held secret meetings to settle the Golan Heights issue.

Hadley asked Italy/Turkey/France for Regime Change in Syria (2005)

NSC Chief Hadley asked Italy for a Bashar Replacement and @EuroTrib   by susanhu on Oct. 23, 2005

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley asked the Italians to help with regime change in Syria:

I have it on good authority that Steven Hadley, the director of the US National Security Council, called the President of the Italian senate to asked if he had a candidate to replace Bashar al-Asad as President of Syria. The Italians were horrified. Italy is one of Syria’s biggest trading partners so it seemed a reasonable place to ask! This is what Washington has been up to.

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Heading for Damascus and the military option (Reuters)

[ADDED]
The new United Nations Mehlis report linking top Syrian officials, including Assad family members, [Is now known to be false – Oui] to the killing of Lebanon’s leading reformer eight months ago has sparked a “transformation” in how the world is willing to deal with Damascus, which Washington wants to cultivate, said a senior U.S. policymaker who spoke on the condition of anonymity because diplomacy is ongoing – Joshua Landis.

“Out of tragedy comes an extraordinary strategic opportunity,” the official said. “This murder changed everything.” Former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri was killed Feb. 14, 2005.

The long-term U.S. goal is to break the 35-year hold of the Assad family and allow Syrians to freely pick a new government. But in the short term, the administration is somewhat reluctantly opting to let the U.N. investigation and the subsequent judicial process, combined with punitive U.N. sanctions, erode Assad’s power — and see if he then changes Syrian practices in the region, U.S. officials said. — Joshua Landis

Let’s take this in. Hadley is calling the Italians, asking for a name as a replacement figurehead? Stunning.

Continued below the fold …

This Stephen Hadley? Whose ass is about to be indicted? Who was a member of the infamous WHIG group that sold the Iraq war? Who has his smudgy mitts all over the Niger forgery story and connived with Karl Rove to smear ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife?

Yup, that Stephen Hadley. In BooMan’s “Holy Crap: My Pre-Indictment Stress Syndrome is Acting Up ” he quotes Larry Johnson: “My friend told me that Hadley fully expects he will be indicted.”

Landis’s SyriaComment.com has become one of my must-reads. He writes well. He travels to Beirut regularly. He talks to international reporters daily. And Landis talks to Syrians on the streets of Damascus.

We’re not playing “DOOM” here, for chrissakes. You have to know the territory. As Patrick Lang — a former DIA Chief of the Middle East and Terrorism as well as first professor of Arabic Languages at West Point — pointed out last night here in “Syria and the Stone Wall“:  

    “The Syrian government has a long established and time tested methodology for dealing with external demands placed upon it. It ignores them.”

Further, as Joshua Landis logically notes, what can Syria possibly do to placate the Bush administration? “Bashar cannot possibly do what Washington is demanding of it — give family members to an international court. My guess is that the regime will stick together on this.”


Turkish Press reports that ”both Ankara and western capitals [are debating] by whom al-Assad can be replaced. This matter was also discussed during (U.S. President Bush’s national security adviser) Hadley’s visit to Ankara.”

Professor Landis has come into possession of a “most extraordinary letter from Syria’s Ambassador in Washington Imad Mustapha to Congresswoman Sue Kelly.” The letter from Rep. Kelly and 100 House members is highly critical of Syria. Prof. Landis has posted the ambassador’s reply, [editor’s note, by susanhu] [The ambassador’s reply letter to Congress is up now.] and makes some key observations.

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A Syrian refugee girl, with a poster of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, attends a protest against Bashar al-Assad at a refugee camp (Reuters)

 Turkey should have thought twice on Syria: analysts