Kucinich's own campaign trumpets his visit to Syria with fulsome praise for the boy dictator as a visionary man of peace:
DAMASCUS, Syria, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a meeting today with Dennis Kucinich, US Democratic Presidential candidate, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that Syria would be willing to participate in a multinational conference and peacekeeping force to help Iraq to manage its transition from occupied country to sovereign nation.
Assad made these assurances and other observations in a two-hour meeting with Kucinich, who traveled to Syria to discuss a peace initiative which has arisen out of his anti-war work in the House of Representatives. President Assad agreed with Kucinich that various US demands for the privatization of Iraq's oil and partition of Iraq would mean a continuation of war.
"We must stand for strength through peace, for a sovereign and unified Iraq. President Assad is willing for Syria to play a significant role in assisting in the stabilization of Iraq," said Kucinich. "President Assad knows that an international peace keeping and security force must be organized and ready to deploy in order to facilitate the end of the occupation. He understands that the US cannot leave a vacuum in Iraq, but that at the present time the US occupation is fueling the insurgency. He is recommending a parallel political process involving an Iraqi national conference, the disarming of militias, and the building up of an Iraqi army which would eventually takeover from international peace keepers."
Kucinich said the fact that Syria, a nation of just 20 million people, has both welcomed and is providing free health care and education to the million and a half Iraqi refugees is evidence of Syria's vital role in the region. "The international community must recognize and appreciate that Syria has at its own great cost provided a lifeboat to millions who suffer from the humanitarian crisis which the war in Iraq has created."
Late last night Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth visited a neighborhood of Damascus which was teeming with Iraqi refugees. "People are desperate. They have lost loved ones in the war. They have nothing but the clothes on their back, but they have their lives, thanks to President Assad's willingness to open Syria to the Iraqi refugees. This is a profound humanitarian gesture, since it has significantly increased the population of Syria. Now we must help Syria provide for these refugees," Kucinich said.
Kucinich told President Assad that he will take up the refugee matter with the UN Secretary General and the US Congress.
Kucinich and Assad discussed a wide range of other matters including building relations between Syria and the United States, the role of the European community in negotiations between Syria and Israel, hopes for a national unity government in Lebanon, conditions affecting Pakistan and Assad's desire for a peace agreement with Israel hinging on resolution of matters relating to Golan.
After the meeting Mrs. Kucinich met with British born Mrs. Assad to discuss their mutual interests and work in community economic development, education and the welfare of refugees.
Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth visited the ancient holy site of Notre Dame de Saydanaya, where today fully veiled Muslim women worship together with Christians. "This is the one of the few places in the world that I have witnessed such profound coexistence, and harmony," Mrs. Kucinich said. "In this time of religious strife it is important to bear witness to places which show the way of peace."
This evening Kucinich spoke to over 150 academicians, journalists and politicians in Damascus where he presented his new security doctrine. "Strength through Peace turns the neoconservative doctrine of Peace through Strength on its head. The neo-cons' Peace through Strength, has led to unilateralism, military build up and illegal war." Kucinich told the packed audience, "Strength through Peace favors the upholding of international law, treaties and direct engagement, which is why I am here" Kucinich added.
"I believe that through direct communication there is new hope for peace," he said. "The world is ready to fall in love with America again. It is important that America reaches out to show our true values, our compassion and our willingness to work for peace."
The trip is continuing with a visit to Lebanon.
SOURCE Kucinich for President 2008
Kucinich politely doesn't mention that the reason Assad was able to open his country to so many Iraqi refugees is because he's opened his country to terrorists who infiltrated into Iraq and committed horrific acts that created the refugee crisis.
Kucinich is continuing his trip into Lebanon. One wonders what his Lebanese hosts will say to him about Syria's helpfulness in their country. If Kucinich talks to the Lebanese president, he'll get the pure pro-Syrian, pro-Hezbollah line; if he bothers to speak with the Lebansese prime minister, he may get an earful about the real intentions and actions of Syria.
Amazingly, even the People's Daily of Communist China has a more balanced report of the Syrian-Lebanese situation than Kucinich's press release:
Visiting U.S. Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich on Sunday underlined the important role of Syria in boosting security and stability in the region, the official SANA news agency said.
"My visit to Syria comes from my conviction that it plays an important and constructive role in the region," Kucinich was quoted as saying in a lecture at the al-Assad library in the Syrian capital.
"I believe in the necessity of holding direct contacts with Syria in order to realize peace," he added.
Kucinich, a U.S. presidential candidate, praised Syria's role to host more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees, calling upon the UN to help it in bearing part of the burdens resulted from such a situation.
Kucinich, currently on a fact-finding tour in the region, held talks earlier in the day with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said SANA.
U.S.-Syrian relations, strained since 2003 as the Arab country strongly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, witnessed a remarkable tension after the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri in Feb. 2005.
Washington has been accusing Damascus of doing little to stop alleged anti-U.S. militants and weapons from crossing into Iraq and of being involved in Hariri's killing, both of which are denied by Syria.
The United States, unilaterally imposing economic sanctions against Syria in 2004, withdrew its ambassador to Syria right after Hariri was killed, but still maintains a lower-level diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital.
The People's Daily story is confirmation that Kucinich believes that assassinations play an important and constructive role in the Middle East.