Across the Bay

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pathetic Little Lying Functionary

There are those who believe that Syria can be "pried away" from Iran and at times, when speaking to gullible Westerners, the Syrians encourage such fantasies. But here it is from the horse's mouth: Imad Moustapha, Syrian Ambassador, caricature-thug, compulsive liar.

Imad Moustapha, January 5, 2007: "The Syrian Iranian relation is not about Syria adopting positions proposed by Iran. It’s the other way around. Iran under the Shah cooperated with Israel. We have historical policies about Israel and the resistance that have not changed. It’s not like we were lured by Iran to support policies we had not supported before. We supported resistance before Hizballah existed. If God forbid Iran will change its position Syria will not."

Imad Moustapha, April 23, 2007: "Q. Some people hope engagement would be a way of wooing Syria away from its relationship with Iran? What are the chances?

A. It's bemusing to hear this…. While we are the best possible friends with Iran, we don't have the same policies as Iran. Iran has a well-publicized policy against Israel, but President Assad, at least once a month, has publicly invited the Israelis to peace talks in the last four years…. Iran is a friend to Syria. It is an ally on many issues. But we disagree with Iran on other issues."

Imad Moustapha: pathetic functionary of despotism.

Don't even bother to read the other garbage in the interview. It's all pathetic (and easily disproved) lies from a (hilariously bad) liar who's hired by a bunch of criminal thugs.

Addendum: There has been a pattern in Moustapha's interviews and statements that most certainly reflects an official memo from Damascus, and that is that in his hilariously revisionist narrative of US-Syrian relations, Lebanon is not to be mentioned at all, or it should be kept marginal. Moustapha did this in a recent piece that he published, which he sent out to the regime's flacks to be publicized. That piece is the blueprint for this lying revisionist narrative, and it, incredibly, fails to even mention UNSCR 1559, 1595, 1680 etc., let alone the assassinations in Lebanon and the international tribunal! We are asked to believe that these are not a factor in the deterioration of relations with the US and Europe!

There is a reason for this, of course, and it is part of a consistent Syrian policy to eliminate Lebanon -- and Syria's crimes there -- from the discussion completely in the hope that others will too. Unfortunately for Moustapha and his bosses however, the entire world (and that includes Saudi Arabia and Europe, not to mention the UNSC) treats Lebanon as the test case for any change towards Syria (and indeed as the test case for any change in Syrian behavior). The Syrians want to make it about Iraq and peace talks with Israel. Forget Lebanon. Leave that to us (as Landis and Moubayed explicitly said on behalf of the regime). But aside from the absurdity of this position, a recent EIU piece added the following caveat: "Mr Assad has dangled the incentives of co-operation in Iraq and commitment to peace talks with Israel, but has so far failed to convince either the US or the EU of his ability to deliver anything of substance on either issue."

Furthermore, not only does Moustapha "edit out" Lebanon from the Syrian regime's tone deaf fanciful revisionist narrative (typical style of the Syrians. This is what they famously did when UNSCR 1559 was passed), but I'm positive that Moustapha requests his interviewers not to ask sensitive questions about Lebanon. In this particular interview you'll note that not a single question was asked on arms smuggling, the assassinations, border demarcation, and of course, the international tribunal. Only one lame Lebanon question made it through, and here's Moustapha's (i.e. the regime's and its mouthpieces') Lebanon line in all its glory:

How do you respond to the U.S. assertion that Syria is undermining stability in Lebanon?

Today the Lebanese are divided half and half. The tension is very high and Lebanon can easily reach a tipping point after which, God forbid, a civil war might erupt. And there is a very keen initiative to try and convince the Lebanese to have a coalition of national unity. We are supporting this, the Saudis are supporting this, the United States is opposing this. Yet we are considered as negative and disruptive, and the United States considers itself the moderate player in the Middle East.

Readers of Syria-related outlets will immediately recognize that this is a blueprint, and one that was followed by the flacks as well. Needless to say, it's not only a lie, it's also a hilariously bad one. The problem is not with having a coalition. It's with giving Hezbollah veto power that would enable it to topple the government at any time, constitutionally, and thus kill the international tribunal, UNSCR 1701, 1559, 1680, etc.

Now, does Saudi Arabia support this?! Only in Syrian propaganda and Imad Moustapha's lying universe. Very obviously they don't. Neither do the Egyptians. Mubarak recently commented during his visit to France that there is only one workable proposal for the Lebanese crisis, and that is the one marketed by the Arab League's Amr Moussa which stipulates the ratification of the international tribunal in parliament concomitant with the creation of a new cabinet in which Hezbollah and its allies would not have veto power, but where the majority also wouldn't have 2/3rds of the cabinet to pass anything through a vote. This has been rejected by Hezbollah and the Syrians. This is precisely why Mubarak said that the only reason this hasn't been settled yet is because "the other party" hasn't reacted positively to this proposal.

So, the geniuszzz caricature-thug, geniuszzzly (and in line with the geniuszzz Syrian propaganda line that it's not Syria that's isolated, it's the US!) wants to show that Syria is in the Arab mainstream with Saudi Arabia, and it is the US who is disrupting everything! Of course, the Saudis and the Syrians are pursuing diametrically opposed policies, and the Syrians are actively trying to destroy the Saudi plan, and are trying to defeat its allies in Lebanon.

But wait, the geniuszzz Moustapha is not yet done being so clever and geniuszzz! Not only did he turn the tables on the US (who's isolated now, eh!?), but he deftly used a cunning linguistic trick, as only geniuszzzez do, and used the administration's terminology against it! It's now the US that's disruptive and Syria that's moderate! We should now call him "caricature-thug-geniuszzz."

Yes, Moustapha and his boss Bashar: killers of Lebanese politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and party leaders. Supporters of every terrorist group in the Middle East including al-Qaeda. Arms suppliers to Hezbollah and other proxies.

Truly, they are the moderate geniuszzzez of our era.