Muslim Nations Play Game of "I Hate Israel More Than You"
by Jim Kouri, CPP
To many Middle East observers, there appears to be an intense competition to see who can be the most vitriolic and threatening national leader towards Israel.
First it was the Iranian President who shocked the world with statements regarding the total destruction of Israel and casting doubt on the Jewish genocide during the Holocaust. Now Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has outraged many by accusing Israel of assassinating the former Palestinian leader and terrorist Yasser Arafat at a time when the terrorist group Hamas is gaining political support in the upcoming Palestinian elections.
Assad took the opportunity to denigrate Israelis during a speech that was supposed to address Syria's plans for democratic reform. The Syrian leader accused Israel of a "methodical and organized" assassination.
President Assad, who's faced his own controversy in the killing of the Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, told his supporters, "Of the many assassinations that Israel carried out in a methodical and organized way, the most dangerous thing that Israel did was the assassination of President Yasser Arafat."
The accusation is totally absurd since Arafat died of health-related causes while surrounded by his closest supporters and bodyguards.
Assad told his audience and the news media, "This was under the world's gaze and its silence, and not one state dared to issue a statement or stance towards this, as though nothing happened."
Arafat's actual cause of death, originally thought to be a brain hemorrhage that lead to coma in 2004, has never been made public. Israel has always maintained it had nothing to do with the PLO leader's death.
"When the Syrian president thinks up this sort of delusional accusation one has to wonder what is going on behind the scenes in Damascus," said Israel's foreign ministry spokesman Mark Ragev.
"We have said on more than one occasion that we are for a full public disclosure of Mr. Arafat's medical documentation. We have nothing to fear from full transparency."
This latest verbal attack on Israel is part and parcel of a number other grievances voiced by Assad. A member of the same political as Saddam Hussein -- the Ba'ath Party, a fascist-socialist dictatorship -- Assad left behind his own mass graves when his troops and intelligence agents were ordered to withdraw from Lebanon.
Last week this writer reported that Assad had shown signs of easing his iron grip on the country's politics by releasing five political prisoners at the urging of United States officials.
Besides his reign of terror in Syria and Lebanon, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is believed to have secretly incited Iraq's top Shia leader to declare holy war against US and British forces, according to Washington's former administrator in the country. In his new book, My Year in Iraq, Paul Bremer claims he was privy to the intelligence in October 2003 while tensions between factions increased throughout the Iraq after the US-lead ouster of the Butcher of Baghdad.
The original intelligence report came from a super-senior player in Iraqi politics, the top leader of the majority Shia community, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
According to Bremer, the information was revealed to him by Mowaffak al-Rubaie, a senior Shia politician involved in negotiations with the ayatollah. The Syrian leader had apparently recalled the history of the Shia-led uprising against the British military forces in 1920 and urged the Shia to repeat history.The report greatly disturbed and angered US civilian and military leaders based in Iraq.
"This was an act of extraordinary irresponsibility from Syria's president," Mr. Bremer writes.
"We had good intelligence showing that many insurgents and terrorists were coming into Iraq through Syria."
US leaders credit this message from Assad with inciting the Shia rebellion. If he had succeeded, the coalition would have faced an extremely bloody two-front uprising, costing thousands of lives.
Syria's President trying to increase an armed conflict inside Iraq explains Washington's visible hostility towards the Assad-Ba'ath Party regime. The members of the European Union view Assad as a leader with an almost obsessive desire to stand up to Israel and stay in power. On the other hand, within the Bush Administration, he is viewed as a far more dangerous figure.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.