- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

I will now quote you what President Bush said on Sept. 20, 2001, nine days after the Twin Towers disaster:

"Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

He also said America "will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbored them."

I will now quote from the State Department's report, "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001":

"The government of Syria has not been implicated directly in an act of terrorism since 1986, but it continued in 2001 to provide safe haven and logistics support to a number of terrorist groups."

The key word in the above paragraph is "directly." How about Syria being implicated "indirectly"? The State Department report, which says "Damascus is the primary transit point for the transfer of Iranian-supplied weapons to Hezbollah," gives an answer. Syria:

• Supports Ahmad Jabril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP GC).

• Supports Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

• Supports Abu Misa's Fatah-the-Intifada.

• Supports George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

• Supports HAMAS which maintains offices in Damascus.

• Supports Hezobollah, Hamas, PFLP-GC, PIJ and other terrorist organizations, which are provided refuge and basing privileges in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, under Syrian control.

The report exonerates Syria from direct terrorism because its leadership condemned the September 11 attacks and cooperated in investigating al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. And, says the report, Syria "continued to adhere to its longstanding policy of preventing any attacks against Israel or Western targets from Syrian territory or attacks against Western interests in Syria." But Syria is still listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Very well. Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell know something we don't know but there's the Syrian record I've just cited. So by the luck of the draw and the English alphabet, Syria has just assumed the presidency of the 15-member United Nations Security Council. The what? The United Nations has as president of the Security Council (c'mon, it's only for a month) Syria. It's like exonerating the "fence," the receiver of stolen goods, because it was not he who committed the burglary.

So while President Bush says you're with us or against us, and "no distinction will be made between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbored them" a state sponsor of terrorism sits at the head of the U.N. Security Council. a mere 3 miles away from the site of September 11's attacks on the World Trade Center.

Perhaps it wouldn't be quite so morally degrading to have Syria as president of the Security Council if all U.N. members had a chance at the council presidency. But of 189 U.N. member nations, only one is barred by the "laws" of the U.N. from ever even achieving nomination and election to the rotating Security Council memberships reserved for non-permanent members. Only one Israel, barred "legally."

Each of five regional blocs decides on which country of a given region will be nominated to serve on the Security Council and other U.N. commissions. Israel's geographic home is Asia but the Arab countries have prevented Israel's membership in the Asian bloc.

Thus Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism, can enjoy the privileges of Security Council leadership but the Jewish state is denied equal treatment. Israel is forever barred from membership on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, where sit such human-rights violators as China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe. And in the International Labor Organization sit such desecrators of free trade unionism as Communist China.

Israel has been allowed a temporary haven in a regional bloc, "Western European and Others" but that makeshift arrangement isn't going to get Israel treatment equal to other U.N. members.

So for the next 30 days we're going to have a state sponsor of terrorism president of the U.N. Security Council.


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