US Jumps at Syria Implication

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Today is United Nations Day, marking the organization’s 60th anniversary. As New York and UN offices around the world celebrate and commemorate with parades and fairs, a potential storm is brewing amid US interests in the Middle East.

The stir is caused by the release of the Mehlis Report, a 54-page document that provides the findings of the UN investigation into the car bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in February. The latest controversy concerns Mehlis’ implication of high-ranking Syrian officials with involvement in the assassination plot, along with a subsequent call by the U.S. for international sanctions against Syria.

Although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denies any involvement in the bomb and the UN investigation has thus far not produced any proof that he had knowledge of a conspiracy, the report does name Assad’s brother-in-law, General Rustum Ghazali, the former Syrian intelligence chief in Beirut, as a co-conspirator.

In recent months, the Bush Administration has had particular trouble with what it sees as Assad’s refusal to assist counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq by stemming the flow of foreign fighters into the country. Der Spiegel describes the American contention “that Syria has assumed a role similar to that of Cambodia in the Vietnam War: It has become the staging ground for a shadow and proxy war” as incentive for the US to gain control of the Syrian front of the Iraq war.

The UN Summit in September resolved to consider the Secretary-General’s proposal for a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy in the coming year. But while the General Assembly pushes for consensus on a definition of terrorism, the UN Security Council is again being called to take immediate action with its stronger-armed tools. The State Department hopes the UN will hold a ministerial-level meeting on October 31st to decide what Security Council measures will be taken against Syria. Notably, France is also interested in getting tough on Syria. Tomorrow, the Security Council will discuss the Mehlis report tomorrow in New York.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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