Saturday, April 19
Next stop Syria?

by Brendan O'Neill, Spiked Politics, April 17, 2003

Is Syria next on Washington's hit list? As coalition forces swept through Iraq and took Baghdad, Bush officials turned their war talk on Syria, accusing it of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and harbouring terrorists.

On 29 March, US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed that 'military supplies have been crossing the border from Syria into Iraq' (1). On 12 April, secretary of state Colin Powell warned Syria not to offer haven to fleeing Iraqi officials (2). On 15 April, the hawkish Richard Perle called on Congress to pass a Syrian Liberation Act, to help 'free Syria from the tyrannical rule of [President Bashir Assad's] Ba'ath Party' (3).

According to one liberal commentator, 'the Bushies clearly aim to retake the Middle East, in shameless acts of colonialism'. Pat Buchanan, a conservative American writer who opposes US intervention around the world, writes: 'This is the neocons' hour of power, and they do not intend to lose this chance to remake the Middle East in their own image....' (4)

So after Baghdad, are US forces on the road to Damascus, ready and willing to conquer the Arab world? Not quite. The tough talk over Syria seems ... [...]
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