Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act — Operation Orchard — Haaretz — Terhan Times — WSJ — Hyscience — Christian Analysis of Obama’s Cairo Speech
(H.R.1828) An Act too halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, and stop its development of weapons of mass destruction, and by so doing hold Syria accountable for the serious international security problems it has caused in the Middle East, and for other purposes.
By Jack Khoury, 09/08/2009
The letter U.S. President Barack Obama sent to Syrian President Bashar Assad offered “cooperation and the opening of a new page between the two nations,” the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported over the weekend.
The letter was three pages long, according to a senior Lebanese diplomat who had visited Damascus. The diplomat said the letter referred to the situation in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the Syrians reacted positively and expressed a desire for cooperation with the U.S.
The report also said Obama was moving responsibility for diplomacy with Syria and Lebanon from the State Department (where pro-Israel influence is said to be greater) to the White House. Syrian sources said Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Muallem, and U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell have reached a mutual understanding on the situation in Iraq and in Lebanon, where a new government headed by prime minister-designate Saad Hariri is expected to be announced.
Another Lebanese daily, An-Nahar, quoting American sources, contrary to earlier reports, said no meeting between Obama and Assad was scheduled for the coming months.
In July, Obama sent long personal letters to the leaders of seven Arab states, in a bid to persuade them to begin normalizing relations with Israel. Arab reaction was lukewarm, with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal urging direct negotiations over the core issues.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The United States has alerted Syrian diplomats that America has decided to lift various embargos against Syria, with more suspensions of embargos on the way.
Dr. Imad Mustafa, Syria’s ambassador to Washington, told Syrian television that President Obama has suspended several articles of the U.S. sanction against Syria, with more suspensions to come, according to Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Syria may now participate in the market for civil aviation safety and plane components, and may purchase communications and information systems equipment and technology, such as software, hardware, and internet-related equipment.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security website lists the initiation of an embargo status against Syria as commencing in December 2003 under the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003.
Mustafa told Syrian television that Obama’s administration is “working on suspending articles one at a time until the law is void.”
The Syrian diplomat noted that Israel’s lobby isn’t as strong as America’s industrial and financial companies, which are harmed by the Syrian embargo. The Boeing Company, developers of aircraft technology, is particularly interested in nullifying the embargo, according to Mustafa.
Mustafa was present last week for a meeting between Syrian President Bashar Assad and U.S. special presidential envoy to the Mideast George Mitchell, in which the parties discussed a warming of relations between the countries. (Source: 5tjt.com)
By JAY SOLOMON, July 28, 2009
DAMASCUS — The Obama administration has told Syria that it will work to ease U.S. sanctions against Damascus, as Washington intensifies its pursuit of détente with a longtime Middle East rival.
The U.S. decision targets spare aircraft parts, information-technology products and telecommunications equipment, sales of which have been restricted by U.S. sanctions on Syria enacted in 2004. The step was conveyed Sunday by Washington’s special Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, to Syrian President Bashar Assad during an hour-long meeting in Damascus.
The move represents the latest action in a rapidly accelerating rapprochement between Washington and Damascus initiated after President Barack Obama took office this year, said officials from both countries.
Messrs. Mitchell and Assad also discussed Sunday the possibility of the Pentagon dispatching to Damascus its second delegation of officers from the U.S. Central Command to discuss greater cooperation in preventing the flow of al Qaeda militants and other foreign fighters into Iraq through Syrian soil, said Syrian officials.
The White House hopes to woo Mr. Assad away from his strategic alliance with Iran, in an effort to stabilize Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
For Syria, Mr. Obama’s decision could mean relief from pervasive sanctions that have crippled Syria’s airlines and slowed the Middle East nation’s entrance into the information age. Among the companies that could be affected are airplane maker Boeing Co.; software companies Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp.; and information-technology companies like Cisco Systems Inc.
“We received assurances that the relations between the two countries should resume on the basis of mutual interests and most importantly on the basis of mutual respect,” Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Fayssal Mekdad, said Monday in an interview. “We really welcome such a new approach.”
While significant, U.S. officials said Monday that Washington’s move doesn’t mark a formal lifting or easing of its sanctions on Damascus. President George W. Bush authorized the sanctions in 2004, under legislation known as the Syria Accountability Act, specifically because of Damascus’s support for the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, which are fighting Israeli forces from Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
Administration officials said Mr. Obama would seek to use his waiver authority under congressionally mandated sanctions to aid purchases of U.S. products deemed important to the welfare of the Syrian people.
The U.S. and Syria have clashed in recent years over allegations that Damascus was seeking to develop nuclear weapons and that it played a role in the 2005 murder of the former Lebanese President Rafik Hariri, both of which Mr. Assad’s government has denied. The U.S. believes Syria was attempting to build a nuclear reactor complex, which Israeli jets destroyed in late 2007.
Syria vocally opposed the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, despite Damascus’s long-running disputes with Saddam Hussein. Some Syrian officials even worried Mr. Bush’s government could seek to topple Mr. Assad’s government after occupying Baghdad. Today, Syrian officials say that President Obama’s announcement of a clear timetable for withdrawal has provided Damascus with new incentives to cooperate on Iraq.
“Now with a new administration, when we have assurances that the Unites States will withdraw from Iraq by 2011, then we do believe that full cooperation between Syria and the United States in different fields, not only security issues, will definitely be welcomed,” Mr. Mekdad said.
The Obama administration’s moves toward rapprochement with Mr. Assad, however, are raising concerns among some U.S. allies in the region, such as Israel and Egypt, as well as some Syrian democracy activists. They worry that relieving pressure on Damascus could lessen its willingness to cut ties to Hezbollah and Hamas and to open Syria politically.
“The regime feels very confident politically now,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian democracy activist based in Washington. “Damascus feels like it’s getting a lot without giving up anything.”…]
—Julien Barnes-Dacey contributed to this article.
February 3, 2009
…According to an article published on February 2nd, 2009, by Malkah Fleisher on Arutz Sheva – IsraelNational News.com, Jeffrey Boutwell, the Executive Director of the U.S. branch of the Pugwash Group – a Nobel Prize winning organization of scientists, has revealed that former Defense Secretary William Perry, who served on Obama’s election campaign, as well as other Obama campaign surrogates, had, quote: “…very, very high-level” contacts with Iranian leaders during Obama’s campaign, in direct, treasonous, contravention to the official State Department policy of President Bush,which had classified Iran, as well as it’s puppet state Syria, as “State Sponsors of Terrorism” for their unfettered continued arming, logistical support, and financing, of the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.
To these allegations by Mr. Boutwell, none other than Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad, affirmed the reports Monday that Obama officials had repeated contact with his country for some time prior to the U.S. elections. “Dialogue started some weeks ago in a serious manner through personalities who are close to [Obama] the administration and who were dispatched by [Obama] the administration.” This before Obama had even been elected!
“United States President Barack Obama employed representatives and experts to hold secret high-level talks with Iran and Syria months prior to his election as president, organizers of the meetings told Agence France Presse on Monday.”
“Over the past few months, Obama campaign and election officials, as well as nuclear non-proliferation experts, had several ‘very, very high-level’ contacts with Iranian leaders, according to Jeffrey Boutwell, executive director for the U.S. branch of the Pugwash group, a Nobel Prize-winning international organization of scientists. Former defense secretary William Perry, who served in Obama’s election campaign, also participated in some of the meetings, which included discussions on Iran’s nuclear program and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Though Boutwell refused to name other participants, he said they were senior figures in the Iranian and US governments.”
“The United States and Iran have had no official diplomatic relationship since the overthrow of the Shah and the institution of the Islamic Republic, 30 years ago. The U.S. accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons.”
In his first television interview as president, conducted by the Muslim Al-Arabiya television network, Obama called Iranians ‘a great people,’ adding ‘the U.S. has a stake in the well being of the Muslim world.’ “
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad affirmed the reports Monday that Obama officials had repeated contact with his country for some time prior to the U.S. elections. ‘Dialogue started some weeks ago in a serious manner through personalities who are close to the administration and who were dispatched by the administration,’ Assad said.”
“A group of experts, under the auspices of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) think tank, announced Thursday that they met for more than two hours in Damascus with President al-Assad. Obama transition team member and former Clinton White House adviser Ellen Laipson attended the meeting as well, they said.”
“The United States has accused Syria of protecting and aiding Hizbullah and Hamas terrorists, and of providing a channel for anti-U.S. Muslim militants to attack U.S. positions in Iraq.”
So, not only does it seem that Obama in his “Hubris of Destiny” all but assumed his victory on November 4th was a given and decided to enact his own Muslim-terrorist-appeasing Foreign Policy even while Bush was still in command and he, Obama , had not yet been elected – no doubt assured of this by all his lackeys at the MSM who so fawningly and feverishly travailed to get him elected at all costs in an unprecedented campaign of openly shameful media bias…
…To quote a song by the popular Roger Whittaker: “There are non so blind as those who will not see…”
OUT OF EGYPT: A Christian Analysis of Obama’s Cairo Speech
The last part of Obama’s Cairo address to the Muslim world, was a reference to the Koranic story of the Isra of Mohammed.
All of us have a responsibility to work for this day when the mothers of Israeli’s and Palestinians could, can see their children grow up without fear, when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be, when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews, Christians and Muslims and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra- as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Mohammed-peace be upon them- joined in prayer. (Obama speech)
Remember that Obama is simultaneously speaking to two completely different audiences in this unprecedented and in many respects groundbreaking speech, he is addressing the Muslim world, one billion people, literally spanning the globe. At the same time listening in is the western world, most of which definitely wants ‘peace and safety’ and cannot figure out why there is so much hostility and terrorism emanating from the world of Islam. Why do they hate us? What can we do to ‘fix this’?
Why did Obama refer to the Isra? Most westerners no doubt, have never heard of it, until this speech. But it sounds good, the vision of the three major monotheistic faiths praying together in peace and harmony in Jerusalem! Moses, representing the Jews, Jesus, the Christians, and Mohammed, the Muslims, all joining in prayer? What a vision of peace and ecumenical unity! It’s just the kind of vision the vaguely observant, post Christian, secularized west would embrace. Can’t we all just get along? Can’t the religions just start praying together and quit fighting? Most westerners unfortunately would be unable to perceive the blasphemy in the suggestion of Mohammed, Jesus and Moses praying together as equals because they aren’t religious anymore – they just want peace and safety.
But Obama’s speech was directed to the Muslim world. They know what the Isra is. Evidently, Mohammed is said to have been visited in the Kaaba in Mecca by Gabriel the angel. Gabriel brought him a winged steed named “Buraq” (amazing isn’t it, Buraq, Barrack?) Buraq supposedly carried Mohammed to the “furthest mosque” from Mecca; the Koran doesn’t state the location. The Buraq eventually takes Mohammed to heaven where he leads Moses and Jesus in prayer. Muslims would not see ecumenism in Mohammad, Jesus and Moses praying because they believe that all three are Muslim.
The Muslims claim that Jerusalem is their city, and preposterously that it has never been a possession of the Jews. Nowhere in the Koran is Jerusalem even mentioned. Where then, do the Muslims claim the right to the city of Jerusalem as their third holiest site? From the story of the Isra in which Muslim scholars have claimed that Jerusalem is the “furthest mosque” referred to – the same story Obama cites in his speech. Could this be Obama’s way of reinforcing to the Muslim world their claim to Jerusalem?
The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (Zechariah 12:3)
Written by Pastor Bill Randles
“I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
Related Previous Post:
The Independent: US troops ask Syria to thwart al-Qa’ida offensive
Al Jazeera (English): Iran in arms race with Israel, August 6, 2009
Washington Post: Start With Syria, November 26, 2008
Al Jazeera (English): Obama renews Syria sanctions, May 8, 2009
Times OnLine: Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’
Washington Post: Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site
New York Times: Israel Struck Syrian Nuclear Project, Analysts Say
Asia Times: The closing of the Christian womb
Updates: Updated/Corrected links. Shorten Selected Referenced Articles For Duplication/Brevity