- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

On Sunday, the United States formally notified the United Nations Security Council that its counterterrorism military attacks may not be limited to Afghanistan. The legal document the United States sent to the U.N. Security Council asserted that the United States reserved its right to attack terrorist cells beyond Afghanistan, a senior administration official told the Associated Press. Clearly, one leading candidate for later attack is Syria, which has sponsored terrorism and harbored and protected terrorists for decades, including several groups operating in Lebanon, which Syria considers a province. Yesterday, the U.N. General Assembly elected Syria to one of the 10 rotating seats on the Security Council, a development that Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos rightly decried as a "mockery of the council's recent counterterrorism resolution."
Syria has remained a fixture on the State Department's list of states that sponsor terrorism since it became a charter member of the list in 1979. Demonstrating yet again that Orwellian doublespeak is an integral part of all totalitarian regimes, including Syria's, earlier this month Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Sharaa announced that Syria was "determined to help the international effort to combat terrorism." Syria's "help," however, was conditional. Alluding to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mr. Sharaa declared that terrorism could not be eliminated until its "roots and causes" were addressed, notably the Israeli occupation of Arab lands, which Mr. Sharaa called "the highest level of terrorism."
Never mind that the occupation to which Mr. Sharaa referred was the direct result of the 1967 Six Day War, which was precipitated by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser's expulsion of U.N. peacekeepers and Egyptian and Syrian mass military mobilizations. And never mind that Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in the historic 1979 land-for-peace agreement negotiated at Camp David. Regarding the Golan Heights, which Syria lost to Israel in 1967, it is worth recalling what happened following last year's negotiations in Shepherdstown, W. Va., between then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Mr. Sharaa himself. Less than three weeks later, Mr. Sharaa delivered a speech in Syria at the Arab Writers Association meeting. He was asked whether the recent land-for-peace negotiations indicated that Syria would be granting "the Zionists a right in Palestine." Mr. Sharaa confirmed what Israel had always feared was Syria's long-term strategy. "[R]estoring Palestine in its entirety is a long-term strategic goal that cannot be achieved in one stage," Mr. Sharaa declared. "The first stage is the stage of restoring the occupied lands of 1967." He left no doubt what stage two would be.
Indeed, the Syrians have rarely disguised their long-term objective of obliterating Israel. Terrorism and war are merely the means. For years Syria has provided a safe haven for some of the most extreme members of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It strongly supports Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
In short, Syria deserves to be in the crosshairs of the anti-terrorism campaign, not on the U.N. Security Council.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide