All in the family: Liz Cheney demands regime change in Damascus

12 de abril de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>All in the family: Liz Cheney demands regime change in Damascus</h1><p>APRIL 12, (EIRNS)--The daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney penned a hysterical and fraudulent diatribe against Syria in today's Washington Post, demonstrating once again that, when it comes to the Cheney family, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Asserting Syria's responsibility for a series of unsolved political assassinations in Lebanon over the past two years, Liz Cheney, former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs (2005-2006), demanded the total isolation of the Bashar Assad regime, international sanctions, backing for the opposition, and European cooperation in a U.S. strategy tantamount to a full-scale drive for regime change. "Talking to the Syrians emboldens and rewards them at the expense of America and our allies in the Middle East... They are an outlaw regime and should be isolated." She attacked both recent Congressional delegations that visited Damascus and also called for the State Department to halt any diplomatic contact with Syria.</p><p>The wild rhetoric of Ms. Cheney stood in stark contrast with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and a panel of Syria experts who spoke on April 10 at a Middle East Policy Council forum on Capitol Hill. Among the speakers at the MEPC forum who spoke most aggressively in favor of diplomatic dialogue with Damascus were retired U.S. Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, former CIA intelligence analyst Martha Neff Kessler, and Dr. Murhaf Jouejati, professor of Near East and South Asia studies at the National Defense University.</p><p>In response to a question from Executive Intelligence Review's Michele Steinberg, the panelists confirmed, contrary to the Liz Cheney diatribe, that the investigation-to-date into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri had not definitively led to the doorstep of President Assad, that Syria had cooperated with the investigation, and had pulled all of its troops out of Lebanon.</p><p>Further buttressing the ISG argument for dialogue with Damascus, a noted Jewish-American scholar and peace activist, Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, traveled on March 16, 2007 to Damascus, where he held a two hour discussion with President Assad, arranged through the Syrian Ambassador in Washington, Dr. Imad Moustapha. Dr. Mezvinsky, a professor at Central Connecticut State University and a noted author in both the U.S. and Israel (he co-authored a book on Jewish fundamentalism with Israel Shahak), came out of the meeting convinced that the Assad regime was anxious to cooperate with the United States in pursuit of regional peace, stability in Iraq, and a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Dr. Mezvinsky reported on his trip to Damascus in an April 5, 2007 op-ed in the Hartford Courant, and in an interview the next day with the New Britain Herald, in which he sharply criticized the Bush Administration's policy of shunning any diplomatic talks with Damascus--precisely the policy demanded by Liz Cheney, Elliot Abrams and the Vice President.</p></div></body>