Syria and the New Axis of Evil

(Washington Times) - Editorial In recent testimony before the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton made it clear that President Bashar Assad's Ba'athist dictatorship is well on its way to attaining pariah status with the Bush administration - an unenviable position to be in, as his Ba'athist neighbor Saddam Hussein found out six months ago. Bolton listed Syria, along with North Korea, Iran, and Libya, among "rogue states" that pose "threats to our national security." Bolton said that Washington is determined to "roll back" and "ultimately eliminate such weapons from the arsenals of rogue states and ensure that the terrorist groups they sponsor do not acquire weapons of mass destruction." Unlike U.S. policy toward Iraq, there is strong, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for legislation to penalize Syrian misbehavior. Indeed, 272 House members and 75 senators have supported legislation to impose a sweeping set of economic sanctions to force Damascus to dramatically change its behavior. Should the administration eventually decide it is necessary to take decisive action against Assad's regime, it will begin with a surprisingly bipartisan, strong level of support in Congress.

2003-09-30 00:00:00

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