Press TV, 5/6/12:
Syrians have begun voting in the first parliamentary elections after a public referendum approved a new constitution.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Linh Dinh, a political analyst and writer from Pennsylvania about the response by the US and its allies to the reforms in Syria.
What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Our other guest Mr. Ibrahim said they are challenging the violence, but let's look at that with the US actually not particularly happy with this election and basically has supported, along with certain regional countries, armed groups.
How likely are we to see peaceful elections? How likely is it that perhaps those entities that are against seeing a democratic process going forward in Syria may try to cause some chaos on the ground?
Dinh: The view from the US is that NATO countries, the US and the Persian Gulf states are fighting for democracy against a dictator. This is inherently absurd because the Persian Gulf states don't have democratic governance either.
In essence the US is not interested in establishing democracy in Syria; it has been destabilizing and weakening Syria because it wants to take over. Israel is behind this also for regional interests.
Although the US claims to support democracy in Syria, that is not its aim at all. Although tomorrow would be a step forward for Syrian democracy, the US already pre-empted the results by saying that it is illegitimate because frankly the US is not interested in democracy in Syria.
I would like to quote al-Maliki, the prime minister in Iraq who asked hypothetically, since when did Saudi Arabia become interested in democracy?
Also, there are 250,000 Iraqi refugees living in Syria. So, just think about that for a second… They are living in Syria and they're not citizens, they don't have full citizenship, they don't have full rights they are living there as refugees and yet they prefer to live in Syria rather than in Iraq, which is a country that was taken over and destroyed by the US.
So, if the US has its way, Syria will become another Iraq and refugees will flee from Syria instead of trying to come into Syria.
Press TV: Usually in any country, they benefit if their neighbors are stable entities; however, in the situation with Syria we have some of their neighbors actually trying to support these armed gangs and to cause destabilization inside of the country.
Why are we seeing these continued efforts by these types of entities to destabilize Syria in the way that we're still witnessing?
Dinh: Syria has been an enemy of Israel for a long time so Israel has always been trying to destroy Syria. And then you have the Sunni Shiite divide, which is the Persian Gulf states involvement. And then the US is fighting on behalf of Israel and the US benefits from any war - any kind of warfare benefits the military industrial & banking complex that is the US.
So there are many reasons why so many countries are ganging up on Syria, it is incredible. You are basically seeing Libya all over again.
In spite of these enormous military and economic pressures - let's not forget the economic sanctions that have been applied on Syria that is making life very difficult for the average Syrian. In spite of all that, Syria is still intact.
Whatever gains that will be made tomorrow in the elections or in the days and months ahead I don't think it will satisfy these international bullies that are trying to destroy Syria…
Press TV: Let me just jump in here. What does that mean? Let's say the elections go well and there is a massive turnout… But you're saying it is not going to satisfy those entities whose interests are something else. What are you saying - What do you think will happen?
Dinh: They want a weak Syria because Syria is an ally of Iran. Syria is an ally of the Palestinian people. There are many reasons to weaken Syria and so they don't want stability in Syria; they want a weak and chaotic and undemocratic Syria. That is their aim.