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DECONSTRUCTING H.R. 3202: THE ISRAEL LOBBY’S PERSISTENT ROLE IN SANCTIONING SYRIA

 

Published: February 26, 2024 | Image removed.

 

 

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Source: Mint Press

 

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On February 13, the U.S. House of Representatives deliberated on Resolution 3202, the “Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023.” The following day, the House passed the bill with a 389 to 32 bipartisan majority. Now, the bill moves on to the Senate, where it will most likely pass with similar bipartisan support and a ringing endorsement from President Biden once it reaches his desk.

The bill was pushed with a veneer of Syrian support represented by the advocacy of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and the Syrian American Council (SAC) – Syrian opposition groups in the U.S. While its aims seem, at face value, to focus on humanitarian issues and a quest for accountability, the reality is much more complicated.

The Bill’s Stated Aims

The bill was presented to the public as a tool for accountability purely targeting the Assad-led government of Syria and any of its in-country partners. The bill purports to achieve this by “Prohibiting any U.S. official action to normalize relations with any Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad, “Strengthening the human rights sanctions levied on Syria,” and” Examining the Assad government’s manipulation of the United Nations.”

In keeping with the polite presentation of the bill, Moaz Moustafa, SETF Executive Director, said: “We are proud to see legislation that holds the Assad regime and those normalizing with war criminals accountable” as a response to the passage of the bill.

Similarly, on the House floor, House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Mike McCaul announced that “Congress is sending a message that it remains committed to justice for the Syrian people.”

The Bill’s True Aims

While the stated aims seem to be focused on accountability and human rights, the real thrust of the bill was conveniently left unmentioned in the SETF and house representatives’ celebratory posts on X (formerly Twitter).

One line, deep within the 22-page bill, reads: “Section 7438 of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 is amended by striking ‘the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act’ and inserting ‘December 31, 2032.'” This hidden line, left out of all the explainer content dished out by SETF and SAC, extends the Caesar Act, set to expire in 2024, for eight more years.

Claire's Observations:  So what this bill allows the US government and military to continue to do, is assassinate Syrian leaders, without actually declaring war against Syria ?!?  

Legally, in this country, only Congress can declare war, and this bill relieves Congress from any responsibility for these extra-judicial assassinations; how bloody convenient!!!