[It appears as if the heavy-handed, Necon
approach of the Bush administration is wearing thin
on the world’s financial elites. FTW has previously
noted strong signals in the form of published remarks
by powerful figures such as Senator Jay Rockefeller
and news stories by media powerhouses such as James
Risen and Walter Pincus that quiet moves were underway
to remove the Bush administration from power. In a
harsh and stunning public statement to the BBC three
days ago, former Bush I Secretary of State and Henry Kissinger
business partner Lawrence Eagleburger smacked ol "W" right
between the eyes with a two-by-four. It’s the last
The very next day DoD Secretary Don Rumsfeld bluntly
stated at his daily press briefing that the U.S. had
no intentions of invading Syria next
or doing immediate battle anywhere else in the region.
In a separate story I will describe how Europe and
OPEC may be leaving Bush no other options. This warning
from Eagleburger is one of the harshest public rebukes
from a political ally I have ever seen. It is a reminder
that the real power is not - and never has been - in Washington. – MCR]
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Published on Monday, April 14, 2003 by the lndependent/UK
US Warns Syria Not to Provide Haven for Wanted Iraqis
by Ben Russell
renewed warnings from America not
to provide safe haven for senior figures in Saddam Hussein's
the Secretary of State, increased the diplomatic pressure
on Damascus while Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense,
extended his rhetoric against the Syrians, insisting
that "there's no question" that some senior
Iraqi leaders had fled to Syria. "We certainly are
hopeful Syria will
not become a haven for war criminals or terrorists," Mr
President George Bush added to the pressure, saying: "Syria
just needs to co-operate with the United States and our
coalition partners, not harbor any Baathists, any military
officials, any people who need to be held to account."
Speaking to reporters later, he appeared to threaten Syria with
possible military action, by pointedly saying that Damascus
held chemical weapons, and that the Iraq war
showed that "we're serious about stopping weapons
of mass destruction".
Asked by a reporter whether Syria could
face military action if it did not turn over Iraqi leaders,
Mr Bush said: "They just need to co-operate."
On Saturday a gunman who shot dead an American Marine
guarding a hospital in Baghdad was found to have a Syrian
identification card by US military officials. Marines
shot and killed him.
Dominique de Villepin, the French Foreign Minister,
who is visiting Lebanon,
said the international community should focus on rebuilding Iraq and
reviving Middle East peace efforts. Asked about American
accusations against Damascus, he said: "The time
is not correct. The time is to work together."
His comments coincided with visits by Jack Straw, the
Foreign Secretary, and Mike O'Brien, a Foreign Office
minister, to Iraq's
neighbors to discuss the future of the region.
Hawks in the Bush team have raised the prospect of action
Mr Rumsfeld warned that Syria would
be "held to account" if it provided military
equipment to Iraq.
General Powell, considered a moderate within the administration,
joined the chorus of disapproval despite concern over
deteriorating relations between Syria and
the West. He said: "We think it would be very unwise
... if suddenly Syria becomes a
haven for all these people who should be brought to justice
who are trying to get out of Baghdad ... nor do I know
why Syria would
become a place of haven for people who should be subject
to the justice of the Iraqi people."
General Powell told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost: "Syria has
been a concern for a long period of time. We have designated Syria for
years as a state that sponsors terrorism.
"We are concerned that materials have flowed through Syria to
the Iraqi regime over the years. We are making this point
clearly and in a very direct manner to the Syrians."
Mr O'Brien, who visited Tehran, the Iranian capital,
yesterday, will raise the Allies' concerns with the Syrian
authorities today. Mr Straw was visiting Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi
Arabia to discuss the reconstruction
Lawrence Eagleburger, who was US Secretary
of State under George Bush Sr., told the BBC: "If
George Bush [Jr.] decided he was going to turn the troops
loose on Syria and Iran after
that he would last in office for about 15 minutes. In
fact if President Bush were to try that now even I would
think that he ought to be impeached. You can't get away
with that sort of thing in this democracy."