Analysts Say Israel Bombed Legal Nuclear Project Inside Syria

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 — Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and American intelligence analysts judged was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel, according to American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports.

The description of the target addresses one of the central mysteries surrounding the Sept. 6 attack, and suggests that Israel carried out the raid to demonstrate its determination to snuff out even a nascent nuclear project in a neighboring state. The Bush administration was divided at the time about the wisdom of Israel’s strike, American officials said, and some senior policy makers still regard the attack as premature.

The attack on the reactor project has echoes of an Israeli raid more than a quarter century ago, in 1981, when Israel destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq shortly before it was to have begun operating. That attack was officially condemned by the Reagan administration, though Israelis consider it among their military’s finest moments. In the weeks before the Iraq war, Bush administration officials said they believed that the attack set back Iraq’s nuclear ambitions by many years.

By contrast, the facility that the Israelis struck in Syria appears to have been much further from completion, the American and foreign officials said. They said it would have been years before the Syrians could have used the reactor to produce the spent nuclear fuel that could, through a series of additional steps, be reprocessed into bomb-grade plutonium.

Many details remain unclear, most notably how much progress the Syrians had made in construction before the Israelis struck, the role of any assistance provided by North Korea, and whether the Syrians could make a plausible case that the reactor was intended to produce electricity. In Washington and Israel, information about the raid has been wrapped in extraordinary secrecy and restricted to just a handful of officials, while the Israeli press has been prohibited from publishing information about the attack.

The New York Times reported this week that a debate had begun within the Bush administration about whether the information secretly cited by Israel to justify its attack should be interpreted by the United States as reason to toughen its approach to Syria and North Korea. In later interviews, officials made clear that the disagreements within the administration began this summer, as a debate about whether an Israeli attack on the incomplete reactor was warranted then.

The officials did not say that the administration had ultimately opposed the Israeli strike, but that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates were particularly concerned about the ramifications of a pre-emptive strike in the absence of an urgent threat.

“There wasn’t a lot of debate about the evidence,” said one American official familiar with the intense discussions over the summer between Washington and the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. “There was a lot of debate about how to respond to it.”

Even though it has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Syria would not have been obligated to declare the existence of a reactor during the early phases of construction. It would have also had the legal right to complete construction of the reactor, as long as its purpose was to generate electricity.

In his only public comment on the raid, Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, acknowledged this month that Israeli jets dropped bombs on a building that he said was “related to the military” but which he insisted was “not used.”

A senior Israeli official, while declining to speak about the specific nature of the target, said the strike was intended to “re-establish the credibility of our deterrent power,” signaling that Israel meant to send a message to the Syrians that even the potential for a nuclear weapons program would not be permitted. But several American officials said the strike may also have been intended by Israel as a signal to Iran and its nuclear aspirations. Neither Iran nor any Arab government except for Syria has criticized the Israeli raid, suggesting that Israel is not the only country that would be disturbed by a nuclear Syria. North Korea did issue a protest.

The target of the Israeli raid and the American debate about the Syrian project were described by government officials and nongovernment experts interviewed in recent weeks in the United States and the Middle East. All insisted on anonymity because of rules that prohibit discussing classified information. The officials who described the target of the attack included some on each side of the debate about whether a partly constructed Syrian nuclear reactor should be seen as an urgent concern, as well as some who described themselves as neutral on the question.

The White House press secretary, Dana Perino, said Saturday that the administration would have no comment on the intelligence issues surrounding the Israeli strike. Israel has also refused to comment.

Nuclear reactors can be used for both peaceful and non-peaceful purposes. A reactor’s spent fuel can be reprocessed to extract plutonium, one of two paths to building a nuclear weapon. The other path — enriching uranium in centrifuges — is the method that Iran is accused of pursuing with an intent to build a weapon of its own.

Syria is known to have only one nuclear reactor, a small one built for research purposes. But in the past decade, Syria has several times sought unsuccessfully to buy one, first from Argentina, then from Russia. On those occasions, Israel reacted strongly but did not threaten military action. Earlier this year, Mr. Assad spoke publicly in general terms about Syria’s desire to develop nuclear power, but his government did not announce a plan to build a new reactor.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of Persian Gulf states, has also called for an expansion of nuclear power in the Middle East for energy purposes, but many experts have interpreted that statement as a response to Iran’s nuclear program. They have warned that the region may be poised for a wave of proliferation. Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed nation in the region.

The partly constructed Syrian reactor was detected earlier this year by satellite photographs, according to American officials. They suggested that the facility had been brought to American attention by the Israelis, but would not discuss why American spy agencies seemed to have missed the early phases of construction.

North Korea has long provided assistance to Syria on a ballistic missile program, but any assistance toward the construction of the reactor would have been the first clear evidence of ties between the two countries on a nuclear program. North Korea has successfully used its five-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex to reprocess nuclear fuel into bomb-grade material, a model that some American and Israeli officials believe Syria may have been trying to replicate.

The North conducted a partly successful test of a nuclear device a year ago, prompting renewed fears that the desperately poor country might seek to sell its nuclear technology. President Bush issued a specific warning to the North on Oct. 9, 2006, just hours after the test, noting that it was “leading proliferator of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria.” He went on to warn that “the transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable.”

While Bush administration officials have made clear in recent weeks that the target of the Israeli raid was linked to North Korea in some way, Mr. Bush has not repeated his warning since the attack. In fact, the administration has said very little about the country’s suspected role in the Syria case, apparently for fear of upending negotiations now under way in which North Korea has pledged to begin disabling its nuclear facilities.

While the partly constructed Syrian reactor appears to be based on North Korea’s design, the American and foreign officials would not say whether they believed the North Koreans sold or gave the plans to the Syrians, or whether the North’s own experts were there at the time of the attack. It is possible, some officials said, that the transfer of the technology occurred several years ago.

According to two senior administration officials, the subject was raised when the United States, North Korea and four other nations met in Beijing earlier this month.

Behind closed doors, however, Vice President Dick Cheney and other hawkish members of the administration have made the case that the same intelligence that prompted Israel to attack should lead the United States to reconsider delicate negotiations with North Korea over ending its nuclear program, as well as America’s diplomatic strategy toward Syria, which has been invited to join Middle East peace talks in Annapolis, Md., next month.

Mr. Cheney in particular, officials say, has also cited the indications that North Korea aided Syria to question the Bush administration’s agreement to supply the North with large amounts of fuel oil. During Mr. Bush’s first term, Mr. Cheney was among the advocates of a strategy to squeeze the North Korean government in hopes that it would collapse, and the administration cut off oil shipments set up under an agreement between North Korea and the Clinton administration, saying the North had cheated on that accord.

The new shipments, agreed to last February, are linked to North Korea’s carrying through on its pledge to disable its nuclear facilities by the end of the year. Nonetheless, Mr. Bush has approved going ahead with that agreement, even after he was aware of the Syrian program.

Nuclear experts say that North Korea’s main reactor, while small by international standards, is big enough to produce roughly one bomb’s worth of plutonium a year.

In an interview, Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker of Stanford University, a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said building a reactor based on North Korea’s design might take from three to six years.

Reporting was contributed by William J. Broad in New York, Helene Cooper in Washington and Steven Erlanger in Jerusalem.

Money in New York:  The Sy Empire
By ZEV CHAFETS, NYTimes Sunday MAGAZINE   | October 14, 2007

The Syrian Jews of Gravesend, Brooklyn, rear their children to marry other Syrian Jews and make a fortune (the boys, anyway).

World's oldest wall painting unearthed in Syria
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Thu Oct 11, 2007

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – French archaeologists have discovered an 11,000-year-old wall painting underground in northern Syria which they believe is the oldest in the world.

The 2 square-meter painting, in red, black and white, was found at the Neolithic settlement of Djade al-Mughara on the Euphrates, northeast of the city of Aleppo, team leader Eric Coqueugniot told Reuters.

"It looks like a modernist painting. Some of those who saw it have likened it to work by (Paul) Klee. Through carbon dating we established it is from around 9,000 B.C.," Coqueugniot said.

 

Comments (63)


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51. Alex said:

This is an amazing story from Ray Close (ex-CIA)

I recall when Prince Fahd bin Abdal Aziz called me to a meeting very late one evening in the early days of the 1973 war and asked me to send an urgent personal message from him to Richard Nixon informing the president that he had felt obliged to contribute a brigade of Saudi troops to the Golan front to support the Syrian offensive there, but that he had personally instructed the commander of the unit not to fire a single shot. That, Fahd told me with considerable emotion and obvious sincerity, was his solemn promise to his American friend.

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October 15th, 2007, 9:21 pm

 

52. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

SimoHurtta,

The raving Lutheran antisemite is back with the usual faulty logic and distortion.

1) The main evidence there was an attack on a nuclear facility is reporting by the New York Times. Not the North Korean or Syrian condemnation.

2) There is suspicion that North Korea transferred pultonium to Syria. That is why soil samples are very useful.

3) The Syrians in fact denied until now that anything important was hit and this abolished the need on their part to react immediately. You still believe that nothing important was hit so the strategy is working. If people like you believe the Syrians, they will not wonder why Syria is not hitting back. Why would it if nothing was hit? So Israel being quiet is working very well.

4) Osirak was different because Israel and Iraq don’t share a border and the attack could not have led to war anyway. In this case, the situation is more sensitive and Israel played its cards well and was able to bomb the nuclear plant without war erupting.

5) The diamond export is very little value added. Israel is only a way station for the diamonds. It is usually taken out of the account in reporting imports and exports of Israel because it doesn’t mean much and causes simpletons like you to be confused. Most of the Israeli diamond industry moved to India in the last 20 years.

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October 15th, 2007, 10:03 pm

 

53. why-discuss said:

AIG

Israel seems to be really desperate if they needed to attack military weak Syria instead of trying sonething against Iran to rehabilitate their IDF’s damaged reputation!

I expect that the Iranians will also do nothing, but I am prepared for the worst. Let the Iranians shoot their missiles at us. Our retaliation will be to take out their oil industry

You really think that after having fought a dirty war of 8 years against Saddam, helped by the Western biological weapons, having lost thousand of lives and people suffering of the poisonous gaz until now, the Iranians will stay put! Someone on CNN argued that Iran will not dare attack Israel because of the fear they may damage the holy sites, but they can very well attack many industrial areas and inflict huge damages. Iran is not the weak and pompous Irak of the Osirak. Their nuclear sites are numerous and well protected. They nationalism is very strong. Israel will commit a suicide in attacking Iran. Now maybe you prefer that than to negotiate the withdrawal of occupied lands.. I guess it is not Israeli’s most favorable choice! and that may explains the ridiculous and pathetic attack on a baby nuclear factory in Syria.

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October 15th, 2007, 10:14 pm

 

54. SimoHurtta said:

SimoHurtta,

The raving Lutheran antisemite is back with the usual faulty logic and distortion.

AIG you you are the last to critizize anybody’s religion. By the way Lutheranism is the main religion in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway (about 80 to 90 percent of the population). You certainly know perfectly well our less anti-Semitic history and present situation. That’s why we Nordic people with good conscience can critizize your miserable “Jewish democracy”. By the way Ben-Sasson drafts constitution – ‘Jewish,’ but not ‘equal’ A joke of a all constitutions…

To your previous comments to my mothers family murdering your family I wrote a lengthy answer to it, but as sometimes happens with this “forum” the system lost my post. So I did bother to rewrite an answer to your pathetic claims.

Your unbelievable comment of my mothers family murdering your family, show your own level. Nobody of my mothers relatives served in SS and in the concentration camps or were members of the Nazi party. They were normal industrial workers and farmers living in small villages. If I would use your tactics in discussing I could say that it is a know fact that Communism was created by Jews (Marx and Engels had Jewish background). Early Soviet Union had extremely many Jewish leaders (even by some sources, though rather disputable, Stalin was a Jew) so I could say that your family has murdered my both my fathers and mothers family members and stolen a huge junk of my fatherland. However I am not so pathetic as you so I do not make such rather far fetched link between you and me.

I have noticed your decline to the argumentation level to level of the mother of wisdom and knowledge, Akbar the Great Draft Dodger. When you started commenting you made some sense, but lately you have shown your real mental capacity. No wonder that both you and AP are nowadays constantly referring to each others comments. However 0 + 0 is still only zero.

By the way AIG are an Haredi? One of those moderate, secular, democratic Israelis?

5) The diamond export is very little value added. Israel is only a way station for the diamonds.

Really, you believe what you are saying? Well what if Israel buys the diamonds with one dollar plus 1000 Uzis from a war lord and then sells them with 10 million USD to USA. Good business in Israeli style. Why is Israel a way station of diamonds if you ship them to India (which means that there should not be any export of diamonds to USA and EU from Israel. The trade should be in India’s trade). Or do you mean that the diamonds go first to Israel then to India and back to Israel. Maybe this is to complicated to answer for you, who is studying Torah and not economical issues.

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October 15th, 2007, 10:55 pm

 

55. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

SimoHurtta,

I have no problems with Lutherans, just with raving antisemites Lutherans like you and Luther.

If you have proof the Israel deals with blood diamonds, bring it forth. The Israel Diamond Exchange is mostly for polished diamonds. The raw African diamonds go to Antwerp you moron. Perhaps you will have something nice to say about Belgium now.

Most Austrians were happy to accept Hitler. Were any of your family in the Wermacht? I am sure some were. If so they helped take over Poland and kill my family. They fought knowingly for a racist tyrant and obeyed his commands. Yes, there were some Jews in Stalin’s regime. They were a despicable lot. But 99.999% of Jews in the world were not communists or in the Stalin regime. Contrast this with the fact that most Austrians supported Hitler and served in his army, as your family did. So yes, your family killed my family. But I forgive you, and don’t want anything from you.

You are the classic modern European antisemite. You try to impose an impossible standard on Jews while never measuring yourself by this standard. All the time concealing your intentions as a liberal in support of peace. The example of Israel trading with Burma was just one such example.

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October 16th, 2007, 12:42 am

 

56. Enlightened said:

I Said:

AIG; given your feelings towards them ( they are blatantly racist, I think they picked marrying from within the community – a Arab trait ), then using your logic, is the concept of Zionism which equates to a Jews only ideal equally racist? The same logic would apply to Muslims only or Arabs only or Christians only?

Feel free to explain!

AIG responded;

Enlightened,

You are very confused about Zionism, it is simply the belief that Jews should have a homeland in Israel. Zionism is a secular movement, and is not related to Jewsih ideals. The moment the SY say that there is something better about someone born to a SY Jewish mother over a convert, they have crossed the line and become racists. Take a look at the book of Ruth in the bible to understand the Jewish philosophy about converts. It is completely different than what the SY believe. In fact, in my opinion, they are not Jews anymore if they keep their despicable “edict” just as Jews for Jesus are not Jews anymore.

AIG I think that you have have misinterpreted my question; if you read the question posed, my rhetoric indicates that ideals that are presented as Jews only, Muslims only, Christians only are all racist and exclusionary, in my earlier comments I said the Arabs made a huge mistake in letting the Sephardic Jews leave Arab lands through emigration whether forced or through pressure.

You state that as Jews are integrated into Israeli society, you are blending cultures into one, wow big deal, it does not alter the fact about my premise that an ideal based on the exclusion of another person because he is not Jewish/Christian/ or Muslim is not racist! It is racist in it its entirety, much the same way that Jews are excluded from attending Mecca, or Christians.

Akbar Pontificates’

Enlightened,

cc: AIG

I always finding amusing when Arab participants on ME websites tire of posting anti-Israel propaganda, so they write the next best thing: they try to build wedges between the Mizrachi/Sephardi and the Ashkenasi.

Akbar You are a moron of the highest degree, You have accused me of inciting and writing ant isreali propoganda before I challenge you as I did last time to show me the evidence!

Do not lump me with most Arab participants on ME websites, for every Anti Israeli propoganda we can highlight many Anti Arab propoganda as well.

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October 16th, 2007, 12:59 am

 

57. Akbar Palace said:

AIG,

cc: SimoHurtta

Please be kind to SimoHurtta. His participation on this website is of prime importance as we undercover the great attrocities the Zionist machine is guilty of.

The Zionist Entity refuses to roll over dead, and thus, the Zionist sin continues.

AIG, unfortunately you are part of the Zionist enterprise. Your have a large weight to bear for Zionist crimes against humanity and against the innocent Arabs and Muslims who have wanted to destroy your country for the past 60 years.

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October 16th, 2007, 1:24 am

 

58. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

AP,

Did you see this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections08/hillaryclinton/story/0,,2191830,00.html

It looks like the Iranians will have to deal with the US and Israel combined even if Clinton wins.

Why-Discuss would be pleased.

PS I am wondering whether your sarcasm is a little over the head of some of the “engineers” on this forum

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October 16th, 2007, 1:31 am

 

59. SimoHurtta said:

Most Austrians were happy to accept Hitler. Were any of your family in the Wermacht? I am sure some were.

Of course they were. Both in German and Finnish armies. Everybody in military age had to go. Like also in Israel you have to go. “Small” people in countries at war have to fight always in wars started by lunatics. They do not regrettably have much options in such situations. You AIG still have an possibility, use your other or third passport and ship your family to a safe place.

You are the classic modern European antisemite. You try to impose an impossible standard on Jews while never measuring yourself by this standard. All the time concealing your intentions as a liberal in support of peace. The example of Israel trading with Burma was just one such example.

Impossible standard for Jews, especially for Israeli Jews? Like what, treating others with respect and democratically. No illegal weapon trade, no drug smuggling, no selling bloody gemstones etc. Well certainly some Finns smuggle drugs but do we sell illegal arms and blood gemstones in huge quantity – no. Do we occupy neighbours land and treat the people of those regions like shit – no we don’t. Do we constantly pick up fight with others and bomb Russian and Swedish “nuclear reactors” – no, neither they ours. Do we steal our Jewish citizens land and demolish their houses – no, ask your Finnish bothers in faith.

What is your problem with Israel’s trading weapons to Burma? Do you claim it doesn’t exists? Well if Nokia sells some mobile telephones to Burma it only increases democracy, machine guns for dictators not. Is it anti-Semitic to say that?

If you have proof the Israel deals with blood diamonds, bring it forth. The Israel Diamond Exchange is mostly for polished diamonds. The raw African diamonds go to Antwerp you moron. Perhaps you will have something nice to say about Belgium now.

Look AIG at raving Catholics in Ireland demonstrating against blood diamonds and Israel.

Some proof you want between funding wars (= terrorism) and gemstone business. Well some from quotes from Christian Dietrich.

An Israeli firm, International Diamond Industries (IDI), headed by Dan Gertler, was awarded an 18-month monopoly on diamond exports from the DRC in July 2000 through the company’s subsidiary IDI-Congo, to take effect 30 days after signature. The contract was repealed in April 2001, although the company continues its purchasing operations. At the time of signing, the DRC minister of Mines, Bishikwabo Chubaka, defended the diamond monopoly:

“This is the optimum way for the Congo diamond production to be marketed in a transparent manner that will inspire trust and confidence in the country’s certificate of origin, which will accompany each and every parcel to be exported by IDI.”4

Nearly one year later, certificates of origin have yet to be instituted. Despite government officials defending the contract as a means to prevent the export of conflict diamonds and increase state revenue, the deal was in reality meant to provide cash for the war effort, as well as military assistance, presumably from the Israelis.5

Nkingi, one of the signatories of the contract, mentioned a possible venture with Israeli military specialists working in the DRC as part of the deal for the IDI-Congo contract. He alluded that the Israeli army would assist with training the police anti-smuggling unit and that this deal was one of the reasons why the company was chosen.23 This was denied by IDI-Congo, the Israeli Defence Ministry and the DRC government, with Nkingi later jailed for unspecified reasons. Chorev, IDI-Congo’s spokesperson, noted that IDI-Congo was “not directly involved in any military operation.”24

Copies of alleged correspondence between Dan Gertler Diamonds (DGD) and the DRC government show that Gertler had attempted to enter the country since early 1998, before IDI-Congo had been formed.25 One letter, dated 12 March 1998 in Kinshasa and addressed to the minister of Mines, Kibassa Maliba, noted that DGD is a capable diamond trading company. It refers to its activities in Russia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and states that the company “owns and operates its own mining, transportation and security equipment, and trains its own personnel.” It proposed a contract for the purchase US $2 billion in rough diamonds over a period of 24 months. A memorandum of intent, dated 12 March 1998, is allegedly part of the correspondence between Maliba and Gertler over the proposed contract.26 The last paragraph of the memorandum mentions a company named the Russian Military Brotherhood (RMB), created by presidential decree on 23 June 1995 in Russia, and refers to contracts concluded between RMB and DGD on 25 February 1998.

Diamond industry sources in Belgium allege that there could be a business relationship between Gertler and Lev Leviev, one of the principals in Angola’s diamond monopoly, with further allegations that Leviev had helped Gertler to secure the DRC monopoly and that the Angolan government had lobbied Kinshasa to continue the IDI-Congo contract. These unsubstantiated rumours led to suggestions of a common link between Israeli and Russian interests, and were further fuelled by reports that a Russian named Bill Davidson works for IDI-Congo, reportedly as the company’s representative.33 IDI-Congo indicated that he is a Russian, doing freelance work for many organisations.34

Despite the tenuous associations outlined thus far, an Israeli journalist remarked that it is:

“difficult to believe that Gertler would become involved in an arms deal in the Congo after he lost a considerable amount of money in Sierra Leone, and his mother and grand-father would not have allowed it in any case.”35

In September 1999, it was noted in the media that Gertler was linked to Dov Katz and Yair Klein in a programme of diamond purchases in exchange for military training and arms deliveries in Liberia and Sierra Leone in 1997.36 Katz was the link between Gertler, providing financing, and Klein, providing the training. The operation failed due to convoluted military and political developments in Sierra Leone that led to the lengthy imprisonment of Klein in Freetown under suspicion of arming the rebels. Klein had reportedly been involved in training for the Medellin drug cartel in Colombia in the 1980s.37 He was convicted in Israel of illegally exporting military equipment and has evaded a warrant for his arrest in the US for his activities in Colombia.38 IDI-Congo currently has a buying operation in Sierra Leone.39

etc.

AIG, the article doesn’t mention Syria, Iran or North Korea. Strange isn’t it? Seems that Israel is the “giant” Mafia state with the help of brothers in faith from Russia.

Now I also understand the real reason why Israel is selling weapons to Burma’s junta. Gemstones naturally for Israel. Hmmmm…

PS I am wondering whether your sarcasm is a little over the head of some of the “engineers” on this forum

Don’t worry AIG. You and Abkar are not masters of sarcasm. You are both rather one-ideaed simple spiritual Nazis.

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October 16th, 2007, 4:36 am

 

60. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,

Right, your family had no option. Of course they had, they could have refused to fight for Hitler and hidden or ran away. But they chose to do it. Shows you what your family really thought and it seems that by justifying them, you don’t think much differently. But we already know this.

Nokia is NOW selling the junta in Burma telecommunications equipment. And you want to say that this is helping the Burmese? Nokia is profiting from licenses granted by the junta. Try to digest that. And you compare it to a deal Elbit did 10 years ago? You really are shameless.

I asked you to give evidence that Israel was complicit in blood diamond trade. You dug up a site that shows that some Israelis were maybe complicit. So, do you still say that Israel as a state sanctions the trade in blood diamonds and participates in it? Or since you found no evidence for your blood libel, you are shifting the subject?

Let me explain to you again why you are an antisemite. You ask whether the Finns bombed a Swedish reactor. But have the Swedes, promised to attack Finland lately? Hussein promised to “liberate Palestine” and annihilate Israel and that is why Osirak was attacked. Yet you compare Sweden to the Baath regime in Iraq. That is so out of whack that it borders on lunacy. You judge Israel by a strange standard that says that Israel cannot react to threats against it. You try to portray Saddam as if he is the Swedish prime minister to make your point. You are a vile antisemite.

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October 16th, 2007, 5:02 am

 

61. Akbar Palace said:

SimoHurtta asks some simple questions:

Do we occupy neighbours land and treat the people of those regions like shit – no we don’t. Do we constantly pick up fight with others and bomb Russian and Swedish “nuclear reactors” – no, neither they ours. Do we steal our Jewish citizens land and demolish their houses – no, ask your Finnish bothers in faith.

Here are my simple answers (in typical Jewish “qusestion” form):

Has Finland been in a state of war since her creation (the past 60 years)? Has Finland had to live through 5 major wars and under a constant state of terrorism? Have numerous neighboring countries threatened to annihilate your country? Did some neighboring European country succeed in murdering 1/3 of your countrymen? Did the Finns steal their land from the Swedes or the Soviets? How many Finns died in their own little Civil War?

Who do we blame for these crimes against humanity?

SimoHurrta,

cc: AIG

My suggestion (and it is only a suggestion), is the following:

When you can say you’ve experienced the same attacks against your country (Finland) that Israel has had to endure since her independence, than you can “cry foul”. At this point, I would do considerably more listening than talking right now.
__________________

AIG,

Don’t get your hopes up with Hillary and her gang of two-faced politicos. As if Oslo and Camp David 2000 wasn’t enough of a farce, I would hope Israel woulnd make the same mistake twice.

The Clintons (if their 8 years of administration isn’t enough proof) will not commit the military to confront terrorism the way Bush, Cheney, Gates and Rice have. The Clintons and their wet-noodle advisors believe you can confront terrorism with pieces of paper and frequent-flyer miles.

You and I, I think, know what works best.

Beseder?

AP

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October 16th, 2007, 11:06 am

 

62. Friend in America said:

Good morning
Our extended dialogue has taken our attention away from the lead topic for this thread. I do not intend to demean that dialogue, it has been intense and revealing. Back to the topic –
– A collegue early in this thread asked if it takes several years to build a reactor, why the need act now, why the sense of emergency? Another asked where Syria planned to get the needed uranium if the reactor had been built. A third asked why the continued silence in the ME capitals.
– The second is easiest to answer, Iran. Possibly North Korea in the short term.
– As to the first and third, there seems to be no clear asnswer. A 3 to 5 year time line for constructing a reactor is inconsistent with an imminent sense of danger. The continued silence in the ME capitals signals the topic is so highly sensitive public discourse could lead to dangerous position taking (the Sarajavo effect), or an unwillingness to publically admit the strike by Israel removed a danger to their countries.
– Both inconsistencies support the conclusion there is more to this story to be revealed and those revelations will very discomforting. My hypothesis remains there was nuclear activity at that site, the activity was not enrichment, there was a genuine fear that the materials at that site might be used in the very near future and the activity was not financed by Syria
– One lesson Damascus learned, or should learn, is it is not wise to stick you finger in the eyes of your Arab neighbors – you may need their support.

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October 17th, 2007, 1:35 pm

 

63. Jonny Verdorben said:

Sy Hersh confirms: Syrian facility bombed by Israel was not nuclear

By David Edwards and Muriel Kane

Sunday February 3, 2008

After Israel bombed a Syrian military facility last September, the United States and Israel both claimed the target had been a Syrian nuclear facility under construction.

RAW STORY‘s Larisa Alexandrovna was alone at the time in reporting that the actual target was a cache of North Korean No-Dong missiles, dating back to the 1990’s, which Syria was converting for use as chemical warheads.

In a follow-up report, Alexandrovna added that Vice President Dick Cheney was suspected of being behind leaks to the press of misleading claims of a nuclear basis for the incident.

A third story in Alexandrovna’s series reported that the US and Israel were refusing to cooperate with an attempted investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but that the IAEA had concluded on the basis of satellite imagery that the target was unlikely to have been nuclear.

However, the US/Israeli version continued to dominate most accounts of the incident. As recently as December, the Sunday Times was still insisting that “Israel’s top-secret air raid on Syria in September destroyed a bomb factory assembling warheads fuelled by North Korean plutonium.”

Now veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has weighed in on the matter. Hersh appeared on CNN’s Late Edition on Sunday to discuss his upcoming article, “A Strike in the Dark,” which will appear in the Feb. 11 issue of the New Yorker.

Hersh writes in that article, “Whatever was under construction, with North Korean help, it apparently had little to do with agriculture — or with nuclear reactors — but much to do with Syria’s defense posture, and its military relationship with North Korea. And that, perhaps, was enough to silence the Syrian government after the September 6th bombing.”

“This is a wonderful sort of a complicated story,” Hersh told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Here Israel bombs another country, basically an act of war. … They don’t say anything publicly about it. The Israeli great ally, the United States, says nothing. Syria doesn’t say much about it. They complain, but they’re very muted too. … Nobody talks about it.”

Hersh went on to say that even though nobody was talking publicly, “there was tremendous sotto voce stuff. In other words, the Israeli government, the American government were leaking, telling newspaper people, particularly in America, but also in Europe, all sorts of wonderful, grandiose details about what happened.”

Hersh finally concluded as a result of his investigation that the claims that “when you began to look at each part… they sort of fall apart.” He is not even convinced the plant was a chemical warfare facility but believes it may have been a missile plant. “Israel may indeed have some evidence that’s overwhelming,” Hersh stated. “But without that sort of evidence, what they’ve done is, they’ve simply bombed another country.”

Hersh’s best guess as to the motivation of the bombing is that it was partly Israeli politics and partly “a message for the Iranians that we’re coming.”

[Note: I hardly think that’s likely. It was a demonstration of force intended to intimidate the Iranians but attacking a weapons warehouse in Syria is far less complicated and potentially dangerous than a direct attack on Iran. The Iranians know that and the Iranians know the isrealis know that as well. JV]

Story Here

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February 15th, 2008, 2:20 pm

 

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