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JasonFromWaltham Donating Member (72 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-13-03 07:21 AM
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12. Kerry's Letter concerning this
One of the reasons I left the Kerry camp was because of this letter I got from his Senatorial office a few months ago in response to my concern over this bill. For my entier life Syria has been a problem. I do not see why we are poking them with a stick now.

Sorry to report this,
Jason

October 23, 2003


Dear Mr. Davis:

Thank you for your letter regarding the Syria Accountability Act. I
appreciate knowing your views on this important issue.

As you may know, Syria has an extensive history of human rights
violations, connections with terrorism, arms proliferation, previous
involvement in narcotics trafficking, and illegal occupation of
Lebanon.
The Syrian government has historically ruled by methods such as
torture,
arbitrary arrest and detention, prolonged detention without trial, and
limits on freedom of speech and the press. Since 1979, the State
Department has regularly placed Syria on the list of countries that
support international terrorism, and has also accused Syria of pursuing
a
nuclear weapons program.

I supported talks between Secretary of State Colin Powell and Syrian
President Bashar al-Asad, which took place on May 3, 2003. At this
time,
Secretary Powell iterated that Syria must stop supporting terrorist
organizations and harboring escapees from Iraq. Since the meeting,
Secretary Powell has said that Syria has taken some limited steps
towards
reform, but that these limited steps are not enough. Like Secretary
Powell, I am concerned that Syria is not whole-heartedly working
towards
meeting U.S. demands. We must ensure that Syria does not acquire and
distribute additional weapons thereby exasperating tensions in the
Middle
East, raising potential threats to Israel, and undermining arms
control.



I cosponsored the Syria Accountability Act to hold Syria responsible
for
its support for terrorism, occupation of Lebanon, and possible pursuit
of
weapons of mass destruction. I am hopeful
that substantial Congressional support for the Accountability Act will
influence Syria to meet the demands raised by Colin Powell in May in a
more timely and transparent manner. The Accountability Act includes
bans
on the export of military items and of dual use items to Syria, and
requires the president to impose at least two additional bans, chosen
from
the six included in the Accountability Act. The Accountability Act
does
not give the president the option of prohibiting the U.S. from
exporting
food and medicine to Syria.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your views with me on
this
important matter.


Sincerely,

John F. Kerry
United States Senator



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