Syria: Here we go again

The Pentagon said large-scale combat in Iraq is finished and some U.S. forces are headed home. This is good news.

U.S. officials said an Iraqi nuclear scientist surrendered to authorities in a Middle Eastern country and is being interviewed by American officials.

At the beginning of “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” the declared intent and justification of the war was to disarm Iraq of any weapons of mass destruction. So they say. Actually, the primary objective was to effect a regime change.

So where is Saddam Hussein and where are these weapons of mass destruction? U.S. commanders said Syrians were among the foreigners helping Iraqis resist American troops. So is Saddam in Syria?

CNN reported that 11 containers buried close to an artillery ammunition plant in southern Iraq were discovered by U.S. troops and could be dual-use chemical and biological laboratories. I take it these are the weapons of mass destruction.

It doesn’t matter anymore if the weapons are discovered, the chief objective of the war has been achieved.

All oil fields in Iraq now fall within areas controlled by the U.S. coalition. Yay for “Iraqi Freedom!” So what has the United States accomplished?

It seems to me the world is now searching for facts, and everyone has their version of what the facts are.

We were told it is a fact that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction that must be destroyed. Most of the nation accepts this as fact even though we have not seen any real proof. Will President Bush behave in a similar manner with Syria?

The Bush administration said it will consider diplomatic, economic and other steps against Syria because of concerns that they are harboring Iraqi fugitives and tested chemical weapons. Sounds very familiar to what was said about Saddam.

Now the cycle will start over with Syria. Imad Moustapha, Syrian deputy ambassador to the United States, said Syria is not only accepting any challenges from the United States, it is warmly welcoming them. So did Saddam.

“It’s our desire, our wish. Please help us free this region from all weapons of mass destruction. We will not only accept the most rigid inspection regime, but we will welcome it heartily,” Moustapha said. Déjà vu.

Bush’s response was typical. “I think that people have got to know that we are serious about stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and that each situation requires a different response,” said the gloating Texan.

Oh really?

This situation now breeds a potential war between the United States and Syria. Rumsfeld said, “I think we believe there are chemical weapons in Syria.” What?!

I guess we can look forward to another complete regime change in Syria. What does Syria have that the United States wants?

Kaye Dallas, 33, is a senior public relations student from Miami. She is the Copy Desk Chief for the Famuan. She can be reached at