March 1, 2005


The Dangerous Implications of the Hariri Assassination and the U.S. Response (Stephen Zunes, February 2005, Foreign Policy In Focus)

Despite the highly-questionable assertions which form the basis of the Bush administration’s antipathy toward Syria, there have essentially been no serious challenges to the Bush administration’s policy on Capitol Hill. Indeed, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid have strongly defended President George W. Bush’s policies toward Iraq and Lebanon and helped push through strict sanctions against Syria based upon these same exaggerations and double standards. During the 2004 election campaign, Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, criticized President Bush for not being anti-Syrian enough.

Among the few dissenters is Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who expressed his concern to Secretary of State Rice during recent hearings on Capitol Hill that the tough talk against Syria was remarkably similar to what was heard in regard to Iraq a few years earlier. One of only eight members of Congress to vote against the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act in the fall of 2003, he warned his fellow Senators that the language was broad enough that the administration might later claim it authorized military action against Syria.

As long as the vast majority of Democrats are afraid to appear “soft” toward the Syrian dictatorship and as long as so few progressive voices are willing to challenge the Democrats, President Bush appears to have few obstacles in his way should he once again choose to lead the country to war.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the current war is the fellows it's put in bed together in opposition.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2005 8:27 AM

Maybe Sen. Byrd can finish his political career similar to the way he started it, only in this case with a white burka over his head.

Posted by: John at March 1, 2005 12:58 PM