by Barb Weir
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
I know you may find this hard to believe, but no matter how much you look, you will not find enemies of Syria. On 1 April, 2012, for example, the Friends of Syria held a conference in Istanbul, and you know how many countries were represented? Seventy! Of course, Syria was not one of the represented countries, and some skeptics may say that the date of the conference and the whoopee cushions on the delegates’ seats was suspicious. It is nevertheless astonishing to see how widely Syria is loved by persons for whom 1 April holds special significance.
The objective of the conference was to determine how best to assure Syrian democracy, human rights and independence, which is why the humanitarian democratic monarchies of Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were all represented, along with the anti-imperialist regimes of the U.S., Turkey, Britain and France. Conspicuously absent were Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. However, this reporter received assurances from the highest levels of these governments that they were not only friends but allies.
You would also be astonished at the nongovernmental organizations that are friends of Syria. As I reported on 10 July, al-Qaeda has re-joined hands with its erstwhile allies, the U.S., to help Syria. Similarly, I reported on 27 July that the U.S. Treasury has awarded a license to the nonprofit Syrian Support Group to provide a variety of services that would otherwise have been prohibited to Syria. In addition, the U.S.-supported Syrian Observatory has been supplying astronomical data for the large number of Syrian citizens that are making the journey to the heavens, with the assistance of the Friends of Syria and the Syrian government alike.
Of course, Syria’s oldest and most intractable enemy has been Israel, which was not present at the 1 April conference and which has remained relatively silent. However, I was astonished at the warm feelings expressed by none other than Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
“Of course we love Syria,” he said. “Why do you think we insisted on having a piece of it for ourselves? We count ourselves among the Friends of Syria, and let me assure you that we all have the same interests at heart.”