Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bolton on Syria: We need to obtain Syrian cooperation

The UN Security Council meeting will be about steps to force Syria to cooperate with an international court.

MEDIA STAKEOUT WITH AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON
10/21/2005 3:21:41
MEDIA STAKEOUT WITH AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON, U.S. PERMANENT REP. TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON THE MEHLIS REPORT (AS RELEASED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT)OUTSIDE THE SECURITY COUNCIL, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21,2005

AMB. BOLTON: I just want to bring up to date on where the United Statesstands with respect to the Mehlis report, which was issued last night by theSecretariat. I met with Mr. Mehlis this morning at 7:30; we had a discussionfor over an hour about his report and what the next steps might be. He willbe meeting with the other permanent members of the Security Council and the President of the Security Council during the course of the day. Since theissuance of the report, I have already been in touch with the ambassadors of all the other permanent members to discuss what next steps might be.

This report is obviously very significant; it finds probable cause to believe that the assassination could not have been undertaken without the knowledge of senior figures in Syrian intelligence. It refers to lack of cooperation by Syria with the investigation, which is diplo-speak for obstruction of justice. It's a very hard-hitting report. Now, we are still studying it and I would expect there would be other announcements and statements from U.S. during the course of the day, especially as we go through our consultations with other Security Council members and other affected parties. Why don't I just take a couple of questions.

Q Did Mr. Mehlis tell you why he took names out of the report in the last 24hours? Are you satisfied that was the right thing to do?

AMB. BOLTON: Well, I'd rather not get into the specifics of the writing ofthe report. We had a very good discussion about his feelings about theevidence, and the strength of the evidence that supports the conclusions inthe report; we talked about the work that remains to be done that he was notable to complete because of Syrian obstruction. I'm very confident based onthe very quick review of the report we've been able to do and myconversation with Mr. Mehlis that it's supported by substantial evidence andthat more work remains to be done.

Q (Inaudible) - suggests that the edits were made in the presence of the Secretary General during his meeting with Mr. Mehlis or shortly after themeeting? The Secretary General had promised he would not interfere with thecontents of the report, do you feel he may have interfered with the contentsof the report by editing - (inaudible)?

AMB. BOLTON: I'm not going to get into a discussion as to what the Secretariat may or may not have done. I've seen several versions of thereport, I must say at the moment I don't understand why there are severalversions of the report because it was after all Mr. Mehlis the Council asked to report to it. But I want to withhold comment about the editing processuntil I can find out more about it. I think what is important to focus on isthe substance of the report, which is very dramatic news about the extent ofSyrian involvement and involvement by top officials in the Lebanese government in this assassination.

Q The report names Maher Assad, the brother of Bashar Assad, do you believe this information is substantial and implicates Bashar Assad in the murder of Rafik Hariri?

AMB. BOLTON: Well, I'm not going to comment on the specifics in the report,I think it's still something we're going to consider. But I don't thinkthere's any doubt that this is going to require a strong follow-up from the Security Council. And I think, as I said, there may be other comments we're making today. I'm going to take just one more question.

Q Would that strong response possibly include some sort of sanctions against Syria? nd is that something the United States is considering?

AMB. BOLTON: We're considering still a range of options. We're want to be infurther consultations with the other permanent members and other members ofthe Security Council. But I want to leave no doubt we consider this Mehlis report a historic document. Thank you very much.

Mr. Ambassador, because the report does mention such high-ranking Syrian government officials, does it imply that President Assad is involved?

AMB. BOLTON: Well, I don't think you need to get into the specifics, to show that the extent of the convergence of Syrian and Lebanese security agency involvement here shows a pattern that requires further investigation. That's why we believe the mandate should be extended and why we need to look at other steps to obtain Syrian cooperation. That's one of the things that we've been in consultation about and we'll continue to consult over the weekend.

Q How should the international community respond to this report?

AMB. BOLTON: I think that we should demand cooperation from Syria and we need to get to the bottom of the investigation. The Mehlis Commission has taken us a long way, but there's obviously still facts that need to be uncovered. I'll just take one more question here.

Q The Syrian ambassador just announced to us that Syria gave full cooperation that the report is not credible, and it is a political report. What is your answer?

AMB. BOLTON: I think that's ridiculous. Frankly, the report speaks for itself. It's backed by substantial evidence, lots of witnesses, thousands of pages of documentation, and the clear fact that numerous Syrian officials declined to be interviewed in circumstances where trustworthy testimony can be given. So, okay that's it. Thank you very much.

17 Comments:

At 10/22/2005 05:05:00 PM, Blogger Abhinav Aima said...

It might very well be that highly placed Syrian officials were involved in the murder of Rafik Hariri, but basing such findings, which might lead us into another war, on single witness accounts raises questions regarding the reliability of the information, the motives of the single witness and the need for corroborating evidence.

The U.S. government, of course, is not shy of basing policies on the basis of allegations made by one witness, as we have seen in the build up to the Iraq War.

And the American press is not shy of running with single source allegations either, as long as such allegations support the White House line on stated foreign policy goals.

 
At 10/22/2005 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

It is all about syphoning cash out of Assad's, weakening Syria and Lebanon, splitting the area according to the Petro-Zionist plan. They don’t giva a damm about Assad’s stopping Iraqi infiltrators or disarming Hizbullah. They are not even shy to publicly state info about using the PKK to take control of Syria's oil region.

It is all about cash and oil control. When we see the United States and the West actively organizing dissidents and opposition leaders, arming and financing them, giving them the political support they need by imposing conditions on Assad and his Baathist regime to comply with, conditions that permit the gradual transfer of power from sole Baathists hand to coalitions that can move Syria forward, will believe it when we see it.

Imposing sanctions on Syria and all those Iraqi styled scams, just hurt the people and not the Baathist or Assad’s and Company.

Those that are hoping that regime will collapse are fools. The ones pulling these racketeering and extortion ploys are sophisticated and not stupid not to know that the Baathists will not be moved an inch without the use of force.

What a scam, games nations play and people hurts.

Metaz K.M.Aldendeshe
Syrian Republican Party

 
At 10/22/2005 08:10:00 PM, Blogger Anton Efendi said...

Hilarious... both you guys slay me...

 
At 10/22/2005 08:18:00 PM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

It is the Iraq scenario all over again, and Syrians will be subject to the International torture Iraqis suffered for 13 years at the same time they were suffering from their dictator at home. Then came their glorious "liberation"...

I am pretty sure Hariri was assassinated by his best friends, and he was nothing but a pawn to use in this game!

All of a sudden, the world is interested in one assassination this regime commits in Lebanon, but what about the past 30 years of other assassinations and mass murders in Lebanon that the regime was a big part of it? Obviously it is as Coplain named it long ago: "the game of nations".

JAM

 
At 10/22/2005 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Fadi said...

Bolton, Bush, the Israelis and many Lebanese opportunists can masturbate all they want on the report.

But honestly, after reading the report in both English and Arabic (the "leaked" version and the official one), I am totally convinced now of the conspiracy theory!

Get this.. according to the many anonymous "witnesses" in the report, at least 25 persons knew about the assassination plan months before. Many of them are not officials.. just drivers or charity workers. What kind of secret plan is this?

You want more? the thriller-report has it all.. it suggests that the perpetrators (that's all the high officials in Lebanon and Syria.. ALL OF THEM!!) were using the good old mobile phone network in their planning phase for months! They are not just that stupid the report suggests, but they even did not bother deleting the call logs from the phone company's database, though the Syrian army/security were present in the country (with full access to everything for 2 full months after the assassination!). Now imagine this.. you have more than 10 top security officials in 2 countries planning to assassinate a prime minister and no one thought that using the mobile phone network might blow their plan!

Hold your breath.. here comes the funniest part.. according to the report. The investigators FOUND a tape that contains a recording of Rustum Ghazali talking to unnamed Lebanese official planning how to take Hariri out of office.. and where was this valuable tape found? A secret Lebanese agent infiltrating the Syrian intelligence? NOOO... An Israeli spying network in Damascus? wrong again... An American telecommunication intelligence satellite interception? not even close!!!
The report writers want us to believe that the Syrian intelligence left this tape in one of the security posts abandoned after they left Lebanon.. oh, hey guys look what I've found... how convenient!

Man... the Syrian security are no CIA.. but if you want to plan something bad wouldn't you use some kind of verbal or digital encryption while talking on the phone or at least do not do it using the phone? Furthermore you would never leave a implicating tape with your voice for the investigators to stumble upon, would you!?

I've seen several extremely low-budget movies with better scenarios. Nice try whoever is designing this plot! You've managed to convince me that it was anyone but the Syrians.

better luck in the next report!

A Lebanese looking for the REAL truth.

 
At 10/22/2005 10:01:00 PM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

The regime may buy its way out of this shit but they are going to pay something in exchange. And it's going to be very expensive.

You can see the video of Bolton here and here

 
At 10/22/2005 11:40:00 PM, Blogger madmax said...

an angry Lebanese

you know what?

People who leave comments saying that all this is America's fault crack me up.

I lived in Lebanon for 20 years.

1. The Syrian intelligence were a tyrannical armed mafia that scared the citizens with Mazzeh (their torture prison) and murder. If they did that to the citizens, why not do it to Hariri?

2. It's so damn obvious that the Syrians and Lebanese pawns did it. It neither takes a genius to figure it out nor increminating DNA evidence

3. The US has a responsibility to protect itself. And Syria has a responsibility to protect itself. And guess who effed up? The Syrians... by assassinating the wrong person at the wrong time

4. so let the arab people, for once, take responsibility for their actions and put these so mafias in prison.

5. even if Bush is a murderer, it doesn't mean that we should defend Bashar. Does the fact that there are so many criminals that we can't catch, prevent us from trying in court the ones who we can catch?

6. again, if you talk to any Lebanese who lived in Lebanon in the last 15 years, and you tell him that you need evidence that the Syrians did it, he'll set you straight, that the evidence he has is what he saw from stupidity, corruption, and criminal behavior of the Syrian security system.

7. if you're a non-Lebanese, you have no right to protect Assad, because then you'll be forfeiting us from getting a fair trial for the murderers of Hariri. So leave it to the international community to decide.

8. Mehlis is as unbiased as they come. UN. German. Even the German president Shroeder was defending Iran in the nuclear weapons issue.

9. read the report. I read all 60 pages. It has excrutiating detail.

 
At 10/23/2005 12:55:00 AM, Blogger Joe M. said...

I am Palestinian. And I agree with what madmax says generally, but what he doesn't understand is that it is not about lebanon right now. We all know the Syrians made Lebanon suffer for years. We feel for the Lebanese. But that is not the point now.

It will be a huge problem if Lebanon sees its chance to attack Syria and goes after it. If Lebanon continues to put pressure on Syria past the breaking point. Because, in effect, Lebanon will then be in its typical role of being used by everyone in the world and will become a battleground again. Of course Lebanon should want (and deserves) to be free of Syria, but that does not mean it should make itself a tool of the USA and Israel.

I realize that the Lebanese have suffered and want revenge and deserve justice, but I wish the Lebanese people (and the government) would understand that putting the dagger in the heart of Syria is just going to cause misery and suffering for everyone.

The need to back off and look at things on a larger scale. I mean, if i were sitting in Lebanon i would probably want to see the Syrians suffer too now, after all they have done. But putting more pressure on them could bring them endless war and death, as well as inflame the region (ie. if i were Syria and was going to get attacked and sanctioned, I would be sending weapons to Iraq on day one).

 
At 10/23/2005 01:37:00 AM, Blogger Syrian Republican Party said...

We got a fucking Lebanese and a Palestinian barking in here. Listen to this barking. Forgot you fuckers that it was you Lebanese that invited the Baathists in to come and save you! did not that scam artists who embezzled and corrupted Lebanon and Syria, this dead dude Hariri was for decades dealing with drugs and cash with the Baathist, so, that is what you get when you join and play with the Mafia, you step out of line with family, you get your ass killed. No sympathy on his corrupt soul. And for that dam Palestinian who destroyed the entire Middle East, especially Lebanon and Syria. That is one thing I will advise Syrians. Screw the Palestinian, we have already paid a heavy price for these unworthy bastards and their worthless cause. Give the Aqsa for the Jews or have those fuckers in Arabia fight for it. Anyone care about the suffering of the Syrians you bastards. Of course we do not support Assad and his Baathist regime, but we do care about the coming suffering of the people of Syria. We do not want to see million Syrian baby die for lack of medicines, we do not want to see the already bankrupt and impoverished Syrian economy go down the drain while the fuckers Arab build more skyscrapers for their fucking god AMEN. If you are a Lebanese or Palestinian, you have nothing to say about what Syrian say, better shut the fuck up or will give all of Palestine and Lebanon to the Israeli and American wild beasts to carnivore your ass and kick those million Palestinian to the sea or to that Ammonite fucker Abdl my ass in Jordan.

 
At 10/23/2005 01:59:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

I agree with madmax. There is no need for evidence.

This regime killed 30000 Syrians, and it obviously killed Hariri.

Even if it did not (probability less than 0.1%) who cares, they deserve to be punished and if Hariri will be just a symbol of all those who suffered by the regime, let us not stop at technicalities.

As for Syrian babies suffering from lack of medicine. The best way to help them is to accelerate the fall of this regime.

 
At 10/23/2005 02:01:00 AM, Blogger Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Actually, the guy above who is accusing Palestinians and Lebanese of being dogs is the one who think that Palestine and Lebanon are inhabited by Syrians. If Lebanese are dogs and , Lebanese are Syrians, well what does that makes you stupid? Once again, the lie of panarabism , pansyrianism or whatever frying pan you’re referring to is exposed.

SRP says that Palestinians are dogs, but he will not hesitate to say 'what about Palestine?' when he's faced with an embarrassing question about the regime. You're an embarrassment to yourself and your cause.

 
At 10/23/2005 02:04:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Message to Josh.
What you are telling us in your latest blogs is simply what we see by going to the Google new home page (I am unfortunately not affiliated with Google :))

What is the response in Syria? Are the Allawis rallying around Bashar or are they pissed off at his blunders? What about your shopkeepers, taxi drivers, mother in-law, and other assorted charachters in blogville.

Or is the situation so bad that fear is the only smell?

 
At 10/23/2005 02:09:00 AM, Blogger Nafdik said...

Vox I think the best response to SRP is to ignore him. I just wish he would not use the name of my country in his posts.

BTW isn't Joe Pace supposed to monitor the discussions. Can you turn this guy off when he starts his rants. You need a crash course at the moukhabarat ;)

 
At 10/23/2005 04:59:00 AM, Blogger adonis syria said...

Police Smash Terrorist Cell Recruited By Syria's Secret Service
Police have arrested four persons linked to the wave of terrorist bombings in Beirut and Lebanon's Christian heartland after Rafik Hariri's assassination through an identikit of May Chidiac's would-be assassin, the Beirut media reported on Sunday.
All four have confessed to being recruited for the terror campaign by Brig. Gen. Jameh Jameh, the Syrian officer formerly in charge of the security of Beirut's southern suburbs, the media reported.

One report said a Lebanese intelligence assistant of Jameh, identified only as Hassan M. 33, recruited the four at Jameh's orders to stage bombing attacks and start firefights in the Beirut and Mt. Lebanon provinces to avenge the March 14 uprising that eventually forced Syria to terminate its 3-decade hegemony over Lebanon.

Go-between Hassan M. remains at large, a police communiqué said.

"Prior to the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon and at the urging of an intelligence agent of non-Lebanese nationality, the fugitive Hassan M. hired several people to commit terrorist acts by throwing bombs and starting firefights in Beirut and its outskirts in order to sow unrest," the communiqué said.

It identified the terror recruits as Ahmed H., 25, Ali M., 25, and Malek M., 47 and said all three had confessed to being "recruited without proceeding to action."

Police said the trio had been detained as part of the investigation into a September 25 blast that maimed May Chidiac of the LBCI for life. A suspect resembling a police identikit, Imad H, was the one who revealed the identity of the three other recruits in the Syrian- sponsored terrorist cell.

An eyewitness who helped police draw the identikit testified that Imad resembled May's would be assassin 90 percent and could not be 100 percent certain of the identification, the communiqué said.

 
At 10/23/2005 05:15:00 AM, Blogger adonis syria said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10/23/2005 05:16:00 AM, Blogger adonis syria said...

No on syrian will accept sanctions in the iraqi way against our poor and persecuted people.
The sanctions should be limited to the regime.For example freeze their assets and speaking about human rights violations+international protection of the syrian people against any attempt of repression from these vampires.

 
At 10/23/2005 11:42:00 AM, Blogger Lebanon Divided said...

It is commendable how Syrians and Lebanese can still communicate after all the evil that has happened because of their 2 corrupt systems, but look at that SRP trashing his way around.

Good luck in circumventing your anger buddy!

 

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