Stephen Zunes : Syria


Talking Points on Recent Concerns Raised by Bush Administration Officials Regarding Syria
14 April 2003

Recent statements by top Bush administration officials have accused the Syrian government of aiding senior Iraqi officials to escape, possessing chemical weapons, and committing “hostile acts” against the U.S. by allegedly supplying military equipment, such as night-vision goggles, to the Iraqis. On April 10th, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told Congress, “The Syrians are behaving badly. They need to be reminded of that, and if they continue, then we need to think about what our policy is with respect to a country that harbors terrorists or harbors war criminals, or was in recent times shipping things to Iraq.” People should keep in mind the following points in response to administration claims:


The U.S. and the Israeli-Syrian Peace Process
1 February 2000

For the past three decades, the United States has taken the primary facilitating role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, marginalizing the Russians, the European Union, and the United Nations. Washington has therefore had to balance its narrow strategic and economic interests in this important region with its efforts to appear as an honest broker. This often contradictory role has at times been problematic, as is evident in the U.S.-sponsored negotiations between Israel, an important pro-Western ally, and Syria, whose government has traditionally identified with a radical strain of Arab nationalism.


U.S. Policy Hampers Chances for Israeli-Syrian Peace
1 December 1999

There is little hope for real progress in the Israeli-Syrian peace talks unless the Clinton Administration is willing to uphold human rights and international law along with its commitment to Israel’s legitimate security needs. Since Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, these issues have been at the heart of the