Student Association for Terrorism and Security Analysis (SATSA)
By Matt McNabb
Syracuse , NY
18 November 2005
First American Official Signals For Syrian Regime Change
"The Time has come for change in Syria .The Assad Baath is like the Saddam Baath"
Syracuse, New York- Speaking before a room full of students and faculty at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University last night, the Honorable Walid Maalouf, USAID's Director of Public Diplomacy for Middle Eastern and MEPI Affairs, became the first American official to publicly signal for regime change in Syria. In his capacity at USAID, Mr. Maalouf's speech seems to reflect an unambiguous escalation in the American position towards Syria and may prove indicative of an official policy towards a change in its regime. Following a thorough historical analysis provided by American Lebanese Coordination Council (ALCC) Secretary General Pierre A. Maroun, Mr. Maalouf constructed an early premise in the words of Thomas Paine that "no man or country can be really free unless all men and all countries are free." In FY2005, USAID alone is slated to have spent an estimated $3.7 billion in aid to the Middle East and North Africa, including just over $1.5 billion in Afghanistan , $531 million in Egypt , and $40 million in Lebanon , to further the aim of providing transparent, sustainable, democratic and humanitarian assistance to the broader Middle East .
Responding squarely to a speech delivered by Syrian President Assad to Damascus University exactly one week prior though, Mr. Maalouf noted that: "Instead of speaking about social and political reform in Syria and new economic opportunities for the Syrian people, 15 out of 18 pages of his speech were about regional politics and his interference in other countries' affairs.Today Syria's Baath is not a regional power and to our knowledge no one in Iraq, the Palestinian Territories, or Lebanon has appointed President Bashar Al-Assad as their spokesman." "The time has come for change in Syria ," Mr. Maalouf asserted. "There will be no stability in Iraq , Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories " he argued, "until Syria 's Baath is restrained by the international community from attempting to destabilize the region through the use of tactics that no one is buying anymore. The Assad Baath is like the Saddam Baath -enough is enough -freedom and democracy for the Syrian people from the Baath regime is a must."
Mr. Maalouf's comments come in the wake of successive attempts by the Syrian government to skirt the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, calling for a complete withdrawal of all foreign forces (i.e. Syria) from Lebanon, and in the midst of an ongoing UN investigation of Syrian involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri authorized under Security Council Resolutions 1595 and 1636. "It is particularly outrageous," he said, "to have the Syrian regime threaten the current Lebanese Prime Minister when it is accused in a United Nations report of possible involvement in the murder of a former Lebanese Prime Minister." The event, Pivot Point Beirut : Syria , Lebanon , and the Current Security Dilemma , was gathered by the Student Association for Terrorism and Security Analysis (SATSA) at 7:30pm within the Maxwell School .