German Paper Speculates About Syrian Nuclear Facilities

German Paper Speculates About Syrian Nuclear Facilities
BBC Monitor Euro
2008-05-31 12:45 (New York)

Text of report Clemens Wergin, "Even more secret nuclear facilities in Syria?", in right-of-centre daily German newspaper Die Welt on 30 May

Berlin: On 6 September 2007 Israeli fighter jets destroyed a lone building in northern Syria. According to the Israelis and the Americans, it housed a secret nuclear facility, which had been built with North Korean assistance and given the code name Al-Kibar by the Syrians. Die Welt has learned from Western security circles that this was not the only place where the Syrians carried out secret nuclear activities. Thus, US authorities apparently have information about two more nuclear facilities in Syria, about which they have also by now told the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]. This was also reported by the Washington Post yesterday.

IAEA Director Muhammad al-Baradi'i had long been accusing the Americans of not cooperating with the IAEA on Syria. This has by now changed. At the end of April Al-Baradi'i received relevant information about the Syrian nuclear programme from the United States. "According to this information, the reactor was not yet functioning and no nuclear material had yet been inserted," Al- Baradi'i said at the time. Apparently, however, the United States has also passed on information about other development facilities in Syria. Security circles say that, following information from the United States, at the
beginning of May the IAEA sent a letter to the Syrian leadership, asking them to allow the IAEA access to two additional facilities.

This reportedly caused great excitement among the Syrian leadership, who have been pretending the need for technical clarifications since then so as not to let the inspectors into the country, which they are obliged to do in line with the Non- proliferation Treaty, which Syria signed.

Already when the IAEA expressed interest in visiting Al-Kibar, Syria obviously sought advice from its Iranian allies, who have been stalling the IAEA for years when it comes to their nuclear activities.

According to information obtained by Die Welt, Iranian experts had lorry-loads of earth excavated at the site of the bombing and all remaining building evacuated so that potential samples would no longer show any traces of nuclear activities. New soil was then brought along and a new building the size of the destroyed one was built, which is now declared as a missile-defence base so as to limit access by IAEA inspectors. These activities have been documented and published by the Americans. However, so far it has not been publicly known that they seem to be based on suggestions by Iranian experts. Iran had taken similarly-radical measures at its own nuclear research facility in Lavizan so as not to permit the IAEA to make any conclusions as to nuclear tests carried out there.

Pictures released by the US administration seem to confirm that Al-Kibar was a plutonium reactor of the North Korean type. Security circles said that the timing of the Israeli attack was connected with intelligence service reports about a shipment of nuclear material from North Korea to Syria. As soon as a reactor is put into operation, it is too late to bomb it because its destruction would harbour the risk of nuclear contamination.

If the accusations are substantiated, the dimension of North Korean help for Syria would surpass even the nuclear smuggling network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who had delivered sensitive know-how to North Korea, Libya and Iran. It would be the first time that a country illegally sold technology for a complete military nuclear facility.

According to information obtained by Die Welt, the secret nuclear programme is known only to President Bashar al-Asad's closest circle and is headed by Ibrahim Uthman, director of the Syrian Nuclear Energy Commission.

Originally published by Die Welt, Berlin, in German 30 May 08.

WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) — U.S. officials asked U.N. inspectors to expand their search for secret nuclear plants in Syria, hinting Damascus may have a bigger program than once thought. U.S. officials have identified at least three possible sites and forwarded the information to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is negotiating with Syria for permission to conduct inspections, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Comments (69)


Alex said:

I love it how “which they are obliged to do in line with the Non- proliferation Treaty, which Syria signed.

Can Syria “un-sign”? … just like Israel which already has hundreds of nuclear weapons.

As I said few months ago, this administration will start a number of legal processes against Syria to ensure that the next administration will find it hard to talk to the Syrians… because after the expiry of the Hariri investigation (there is no evidence there) they need new charges to keep Syria “evil”

If and when Obama will try to visit Assad, then I can see how AIPAC and Murdoch will do their job in mobilizing all the garbage grade American and British journalists who will either believe everything they are fed, or will not bother annoying AIPAC. The same bunch that justified the Iraq war to the American people, and the same bunch that is working hard to justify war against Iran … and …

June 1st, 2008, 4:09 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

There is no way Syria has nuclear facilities. I’ve been assured by Alex and Professor Josh that this is pure propaganda.

Thank you Syria Comment for dispelling these ugly rumors.

June 1st, 2008, 6:32 pm

 

Alex said:

Akbar,

I never ASSURED anyone that Syria has no nuclear (research, energy, or military application) facilities.

All I was saying is that

1) If Syria did, then it is a good thing, because SOME Israelis and “friends of Israel” only support peace with Syria if there is something extra in it for them .. like a removal of a threat. it would have been much easier for everyone if Israelis simply respect international law.

2) What I read so far sounds like the new and improved 2008 version of the Neocons’ classic in 2003 about Iraq’s WMD’s … when the WSJ and other Murdoch owned media enthusiastically promote this story (with its so many wonderfully different versions so far) I get more convinced that this is probably more Neocon dirt.

But again … go back to all my comments and find me once ASSURING you that Syria does not have any nuclear research programs… all the major Arab countries (including Egypt and Jordan) already expressed their intentions to acquire nuclear technology .. and … the most outlaw nation on earth (Israel) has hundreds of such weapons… among all the countries in teh Middle East, it is Syria that can be trusted with Nuclear weapons (if they wished to have them) … no other country in that region has the discipline, restraint, and caution that Syria has.

One thing I can assure you of: Syria does not owe “Israel’s friends” any explanations. If the neocons and the Likudniks want to use this as a new tool to pressure Syria … THEY will suffer more and more losses in the Middle East.

The same way Israel learned to survive while surrounded by hostility, Syria learned to survive while “pressured” by the highly “moral” ones… Israel’s friends and America’s “moderate Arab” friends.

I am not worried about Syria’s standing in the region. It is the whole Middle East that will suffer again… until those of you who still think you can come up with more creative tools to pressure Syria understand the long-term futility of this strategy that started in 1977 when Syria opposed Camp David.

June 1st, 2008, 6:48 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex, AP,

I still don’t understand Syria. Why is it trying to adopt Israel’s ambiguous policy? Just as Imad Moustapha, Syria’s ambassador to the U.S. often refers to himself as “the only ambassador from the Axis-of-Evil in the U.S.”, why not have Syria’s minister of information come out, stating publicly and formally that “Not only does Syria indeed have nuclear reactors, and an active nuclear program but, in fact, it already has 149 nuclear warheads which, according to an ex-U.S. President, is still less than Israel has!…” What right does anyone on earth have, to demand Syrian transparency regarding its nuclear program, when Israel is not held to this standard. Don’t get me wrong – as an Israeli I would not feel safer knowing Syria has achieved military nuclear capabilities, and hence I’m not “for it”. But I also can’t continue to be a hypocrite and show how one nation (Syria) is trying to fool the entire world, while my own nation has successfully done so for 60 years.

June 1st, 2008, 7:04 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
The difference is simple. If you base your arguments for solutions on international law and you signed an international agreement not to develop nuclear weapons then you have a problem. You have turned out to be a hypocrite.

I have no problem with Syria trying to develop nuclear weapons. They should try developing them and Israel should try stopping them. But if Syrians want solutions based on international law, then they should have no problems with people pointing out that Syria has acted against international law and using this to pressure Syria. The Syrians should not have signed the NPT. Now it is too late. And in any case, first you need to unsign and then develop weapons, not unsign only when you are caught.

June 1st, 2008, 7:42 pm

 

Seeking the Truth said:

Shai,

Since Syria is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, it cannot simply do what you’re suggesting, without exposing itself to at least more economic sanctions to fess up. Israel on the other hand, is not a signatory.

June 1st, 2008, 7:43 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG, Seeking,

I think we’re playing games here. Suddenly we’re experts at international law? Suddenly we preach adherence to it? And joyfully point at Syria’s damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t position, because it was foolish enough to sign the NPT agreement BEFORE developing nukes, and not after? Come on, let’s cut the crap, let’s recognize that we, in Israel, have achieved far more, have twisted every law possible every which way, have in fact ignored international law endlessly throughout our history, and to now cry “Syrian Wolf” seems, at least to me, just a tiny bit hypocritical. I dunno, call me crazy…

June 1st, 2008, 7:51 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Why the threats to the whole middle east? I thought you were a fan of international law. Now even that cannot be applied to Syria?

It is true that the Syrian regime will do fine under the pressure and may even prosper. But what about the millions of Syrians not close to the regime? How will they do? Your reaction just proves that Asad does not care about them because their situation is not a pressure point for him. That is what I have been saying all along.

June 1st, 2008, 7:52 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
I have stated many times that I don’t give a damn about international law and the UN in which Mynamar, Zimbabwe and Syria have the same weight as Denmark, Finland and Sweden. It is all a farce. But if there is a way to get rid of the Syrian nuclear program without violence and using international law, why wouldn’t I use it? If I can use international law to weaken Hamas and Hizballah, why won’t I use it? My approach is very pragmatic.

June 1st, 2008, 7:57 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

I responded to the “happy mothers” comment in the earlier thread:
http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=725#comment-156122

June 1st, 2008, 7:57 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

Pragmatism should not be confused for Hypocrisy. I know we do it all the time, but we’re still hypocrites while doing so. I, personally, would rather fight Syria’s nuclear program with peace, than with my expert knowledge of international law.

By suggesting that on the one hand you don’t respect Int’l law, but on the other you’re perfectly willing to use it against your rivals, you are losing not only the respect and trust of those same rivals (with whom tomorrow you may be negotiating), but indeed also of those who may be your allies today, and might change their minds tomorrow.

June 1st, 2008, 8:00 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
Hypocrisy is preaching one thing and acting contrary to it.

Unlike you, I would fight Syria’s nuclear program will all means that I find morally acceptable, and I see no problem in taking advantage of international law. I did not put it in place and it is not me keeping it in place. If tomorrow all international law would be taken away I would not care.

By using all means at my disposal to act in the interests of Israelis, I am doing my duty. That is what you expect your government would do. That is why a government that uses all tools at its disposal has more respect than one that doesn’t.

And even if you support peace, then applying international pressure on Syria will only make the negotiations go faster. The Syrians react well to international pressure as for example the withdrawal from Lebanon shows. I would demand that Israel goes into negotiations with as much leverage as possible so as to reach the best possible result for Israel.

June 1st, 2008, 8:20 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

I can promise you one thing – if Israel goes into negotiations, hoping to use international law as pressure to try to get Syria to leave Iran/HA/Hamas, I don’t know which it’ll hear first, the Syrian negotiators laughter, or their slamming of the door for another 8 years. Come on, let’s not continue fooling ourselves. Can you imagine yourself sitting across Al-Taqi, suggesting that Syria cannot be trusted because it hasn’t fulfilled its entire obligations under 1559? And then, Al-Taqi pulls out a printed sheet that Alex emailed him the night before, with all the resolutions Israel has chosen to ignore? Israel can at best try to manipulate other nations into believing that we, unlike our rivals, abide by international law. But few will buy it.

June 1st, 2008, 8:30 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
No, but I can certainly see myself telling the Syrians that if they do not agree to our terms we will use all means at our disposal, including international law, to make sure they will be economically and politically isolated. They do care about that.

June 1st, 2008, 8:46 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG, indeed they certainly do. But with that attitude, I doubt negotiations will last long enough to reach lunchtime.

June 1st, 2008, 8:54 pm

 

sam said:

How is this for scary….. Isreal almost used Nukes in the 73′ war. They feared the destruction of the 3rd temple, which came out of the mouth of Moshe Dayan. He orderd ordinance with Nuke warheads loaded on Isreali war planes. I hate to say it, but thank god the Isreali reserves saved the day literaly for Egypt and Syria. The U.S. is the only counry in the world to use them, but I truly feel, that the only country to use them again is Isreal. If they are protected from Invasion, from the mear threat of U.S. military intervention, why do they need 150+ warheads?

June 1st, 2008, 9:04 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
Why? Because in your idea of negotiations it is fair to use Hizbollah and Hamas and it is not fair to use pressure through international law? The Syrians understand very well these kind of tactics. They have been using them for years. They will appreciate Israel even more for using them also and it will help the negotiations move forward.

June 1st, 2008, 9:12 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Are you back to the old tactics?

“threats”?! … did I threaten? why? do I look like I’m moving the troops?

What I am trying to say is simple:

You are protected by by the most advanced weapons, and by 150+ nuclear weapons. You are also protected by “monitoring” the media in the United States (thanks to the “accuracy”-obsessed camera.org) , or buy owning a large percentage of meda outlets in the US or in Europe, and by bullying/supporting American politicians … you are protected from real criticism … the type that would expose your failure to comply with tens of international laws.

Great … good for you. But after decades of pressure tactics, Syria knows how protect its own interests too. No need for ASPAC and no need for the fanciest F16 fighters.

Syria’s interests lie in settling the different conflicts in the Middle East according to UN resolutions that every single country on earth supported. If Israel is ready for peace, then great. If after a year of peace process Israel is still more stuck to your mentality (power decides everything), then future events will help Israel understand that the Middle East does not want to be held hostage to Israel’s selfishness and its lack of wisdom.

You can still send fighters to destroy empty buildings in Deir Ezzore if that makes you proud of your IDF. But Syria won’t attack Israel.

It wil be Israel that will react, or will take “pre-emptive measures” to various perceived and anticiated future threats … and Israel will fail again… whoever starts major hostilities will fail, Syria … Iran or Israel.

June 1st, 2008, 10:42 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
What future events “will help Israel understand that the Middle East does not want to be held hostage to Israel’s selfishness and its lack of wisdom”? Let’s say Israel decides not to sign a peace agreement with Syria, what will happen in the future?

And I agree that the Syrian regime knows how to protect its interests against all kinds of pressure. They have proved that over the last 40 years. But who will protect the Syrian people? There is an emerging agreement of different posters here that without peace with Israel, Syria will not be able to implement economic reforms.

June 1st, 2008, 10:49 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Alex said:

Akbar,

I never ASSURED anyone that Syria has no nuclear (research, energy, or military application) facilities.

Alex –

You sure seemed convinced of Bolton’s “bogus plots”…

Gee, and I thought only Zionists twisted the truth.

Comments (86)

Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh,

It looks like you and most of your pro-terrorist participants here have been making some pretty poor assessments regarding the Israeli bombing of the Syrian “WDM” facility.

I suggest that you and your flock not only continue reading the western and hebrew media, but also start to believe it too.

The Baathists and their Jihadist friends can’t be trusted with the truth. They can only be trusted to spread terror.

Joshua said:

I don’t think it is nuclear. Syria does not have the technology or economy to develop nuclear weapons. I think it is missiles, but not Iranian. This is a guess.

September 12th, 2007, 3:03 am
_________________

Alex said:

IDAF,

You would think that some stories are impossible to believe … but when reporters need to write a story and they don’t have access to real facts to write about, they are left to Bolton and friends who are relying on volume instead of quality in their bogus plots … all leading to perceptions of “something big happened in that raid”

: )

September 26th, 2007, 9:55 pm

June 2nd, 2008, 12:20 am

 

norman said:

Print this page

Nuclear Syria, why not?
http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/08/06/02/10217868.html

06/01/2008 11:35 PM | By Ahmad Mustafa, Special to Gulf News

In its May 29 issue, Washington Post carried two reports headlined: “Missile-related shipment to Syria stopped, US says” and “Search is urged for Syrian nuclear sites, US presses UN on 3 alleged facilities”. A few days after the visit of Syria’s Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani visit to Tehran and less than a fortnight after the news of Turkish sponsored Syrian-Israeli peace negotiations became public. That news coincides with a diplomatic activity, European and Arab, centred on or around Syria. Forget the daily killings of Iraqis, of Palestinians by American weapons in the hands of Israeli army, demolition of Palestinian houses and farms to expand Jewish settlements – Syria is now the main focus.

Fine then, and one really hopes that Syria can go nuclear and develop – with help of North Korea, Pakistan or Iran – a deterrent to the only nuclear power in the region; Israel. Unfortunately, it is too difficult to believe the US administration after all the lies about Iraq and other disasters it unleashed in our region. No assumption, though, that the Syrian regime is just an innocent lamb. We are not naive enough to swallow that the US is trying to stop Syria developing weapons in the fear of Damascus regime using it against its own people – US led a world siege that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from 1991 to 2003 in the name of freeing them from the tyranny of Saddam Hussain.

In the first report, the paper quotes a senior US official saying that four countries (in our region of course) last year prevented Syria from receiving equipment that could be used to test ballistic missile components. That official is the national security adviser Stephen Hadley, who is more Zionist than Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was talking in a conference marking the fifth anniversary of the Proliferation Security Initiative that comprises more than 90 nations cooperating with the US in the so-called “War on Terror”.

Attacked

The second report was about American pressures on inspector from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who might visit Syria to expand their search to many sites. Supposed aim of the visit, if it happened, is to inspect claims that a site attacked by the Israelis in September last year was a nuclear facility. Syria has denied the facility was a nuclear reactor, but in April this year “photos” were released by Washington suggesting it was a nuclear reactor built with the help of North Korea. Such “photos” were a funny reminder of the huge embarrassment suffered by ex-general and former US secretary of state Collin Powell when he was made to lie to the world live on TVs with fake “photos” about Iraqi mobile chemical weapons factories that never existed.

You might not also believe the Syrian regime, and suggest that it is not democratic and transparent and would conceal its intentions. OK; and why conceal? Every country has the right to arm itself and develop its own deterrent weapons – and spare us any hollow preaching about dangers of wars and benefits of peace at a time the preacher is the main aggressor, invader and occupier. The irony is that Syria is not going nuclear, and the Israeli attack was more or less a face-saving step to go over the humiliation Israeli army suffered in its war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, the summer before. The political use of it became clear when Israel called on Syria to cut its close relations with Iran, as part of the proposed peace between Damascus and Tel Aviv. It seems that Syria is not heading the call – at least up until now.

All this does not mean that the propaganda war might work, and even the Syrians might believe themselves and try to bluff. Libya did not really have any nuclear programme, but with the advice of Saudi Arabia and South Africa the Libyan regime announced dropping its nuclear ambitions for lifting sanctions and normalising relations with the West. The move was a nice tool in the time of the conquering Iraq and used by Washington and London to tell the world that we like those who abide and would punish who resist. Would a Syrian similar move help in taming Iran? Who knows!

In brief, the Syrian regime might not be democratic but the US is not caring more for the Syrian people. With its enemy, Israel, setting on a nuclear arsenal no one can ask Syria not to arm itself and expect to be considered less than an enemy. If war is a continuation of diplomacy, peace can not be just if not based on power – there is no place for good intentions and political promises in a struggle. If you got occupying armies, and a nuclear arsenal of arms in the region no one will listen to your peace preaching and the only effective dialogue with an aggressor is resistance. Even preying on Syria will not end the struggle, and most likely it would widen its scope and make it more protracted.

Dr Ahmad Mustafa is a London-based Arab writer.

June 2nd, 2008, 3:18 am

 

Alex said:

Akbar said:

Alex –

You sure seemed convinced of Bolton’s “bogus plots”…

Gee, and I thought only Zionists twisted the truth.

Akbar … habibi … I still believe Bolton and the neocons are in the business of routinely lying as a replacement for international diplomacy which they have no clue how to do…

Do you need me to remind you what McClellan said?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080527/pl_politico/10649

They started the Iraq war through pure propaganda!

Don’t mix my hesitation to believe any story that the neocons promote with my “assurance” that Syria does not have any nuclear activity.

Go back again and try to find a single comment I wrote where I said that I am SURE Syria does not have any nuclear activity! … I know they had a small research project for example, everyone knows about it, so I would never ASSURE you Syria does not have any nuclear activty.

You are mixing me with others ‘m sure.

June 2nd, 2008, 3:39 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
If the Bolton story is bogus, it means that Syria is not developing a nuclear weapon. So how can you be sure it is bogus as you imply to Idaf? If it is bogus you are assuring AP that Syria does not have a nuclear program.

But let’s forget the past, what is your position now: Is Syria developing a nuclear weapon? Was it developing a weapon until Israel bombed it? Was what was bombed in September a nuclear plant?

June 2nd, 2008, 4:01 am

 

Alex said:

AIG,

If I don’t believe Bolton and I have a tendency to not believe his exciting news stories that prove Syria is evil especially when Murdoch owned media promotes it with considerable enthusiasm, how can that imply I ASSURED anyone Syria has no nuclear programs?

I hope you realize that there is a reason why I never specifically stated (or “assured” anyone) that Syria has no nuclear activities… I do not KNOW!

I can only guess, like you can guess.

But at the time, I was arguing with you and Akbar because both of you were SURE … even when the story was changing through the first few “leaks” .. you were supporting all versions of that story.

I don’t wish to learn that Syria is seeking any military application for nuclear technology. Most observers assume that Syria has thousands of non conventional warheads… and they will never be used I hope. So why bother with nuclear weapons?!

June 2nd, 2008, 4:57 am

 

Shai said:

A story Al Jazeera recently covered: A few daring Israelis in Burma.

June 2nd, 2008, 7:31 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Do you need me to remind you what McClellan said?

Alex –

I’m sorry, did McClellan say that Syria was not building a nuclear reactor? Did McClellan say the UN didn’t pass 17 UNSC resolutions requiring Iraq and Saddam to comply with inspections. Or did McClellan say that Syria did not vote to pass UNSC resolution 1441?

It’s all so confusing.

June 2nd, 2008, 10:44 am

 

Alex said:

Akbar, … what are we discussing? .. the history of UN resolutions before Saddam complied with inspections, or the fact that when the Iraq war started, the Bush administration worked consciously to fabricate charges and evidence of WMD’s to justify that war?

McClellan said that the Bush administration lies … those lies led to hundreds of thousands of dead innocent Iraqis, and thousands of dead American troops, and tens of thousands of injured or traumatized American soldiers …

I know you still find them honorable.

And let me try to ease your confusion about Syria’s vote for 1441:

Syria voted to pass 1441 because the US administration at the time was out to get Syria next (you don’t need me to link that video of General Clark again) … so Syria was trying to not give them an excuse. If you remember at that time, administration officials started to say that if Syria is the only country to vote against the resolution that will prove that Syria is a state that operates outside international law, and they tried to portray Syria as an ally of Saddam Hussein trying to protect him personally … etc.

And it would not have made a difference … Syria has no veto.

It was a pragmatic decision.

June 2nd, 2008, 1:30 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

McClellan said that the Bush administration lies … those lies led to hundreds of thousands of dead innocent Iraqis, and thousands of dead American troops…

Alex –

I didn’t see quotes in your post above, so if it is not too much trouble, and in the interest of accuracy, can you please provide McClellan’s quotes showing what the Bush Administration lied about?

Thanks.

Also Iraq Body Count (anti-Bush website) doesn’t quite come up with even a hundred thousand Iraqi deaths caused by the war. Nor do they distiguish between those caused by American troops or jihadist terrorists.

Deja Vu:

In an unusually tough speech opening a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors, IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei said the intelligence remained a “matter of serious concern”.

Where’s McClellan when you need him?

June 2nd, 2008, 2:05 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Wait a moment, so Syria is allowed to abuse its vote in the UN for pragmatic reasons and Israel is not allowed to use international law in a pragmatic manner?

June 2nd, 2008, 2:48 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Eh … did you brand the thing as “abuse its UN vote”?? .. its useless UN vote when it has no veto power? .. when the US convinced everyone to vote anyway after Mr. Powell presented the false evidence at the UN?

And you want to compare that to Israel’s total and systematic lack of respect to UN resolutions?

I suggest you go back to the safety of your camera.org where anything goes.

June 2nd, 2008, 3:57 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
You either have a pragmatic approach to international law or a principled approach. If your approach is that international law is one tool to advance the interests of a country than I agree with you and let’s judge all countries according to this standard.

If on the other hand you believe that international law is above the interests of the country and should trump those interests then let us judge all countries according to this standard. So which is it? Is your approach to international law pragmatic or principled?

I hope it is not pragmatic when it comes to Syria but you demand a principled approach from Israel.

June 2nd, 2008, 4:06 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

You can try all the camera.org techniques you like in prolonging this discussion, but this is where I will leave it to the readers

1) Syria voted for UN resolution 1441 … and that vote did not change a thing.

2) Israel failed to respect all these (below), and that contributed a great deal to conflicts and violence int the Middle East for decades

1. Resolution 106: “… ‘Condemns’ Israel for Gaza raid”

2. Resolution 111: “…’condemns’ Israel for raid on Syria that killed fifty-six people”

3. Resolution 127: “…’recommends’ Israel suspend its ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem”

4. Resolution 162: “…’urges’ Israel to comply with UN decisions”

5. Resolution 171: “…determines flagrant violations’ by Israel in its attack on Syria”

6. Resolution 228: “…’censures’ Israel for its attack on Samu in the West Bank, then under Jordanian control”

7. Resolution 237: “…’urges’ Israel to allow return of new 1967 Palestinian refugees”

8. Resolution 248: “…’condemns’ Israel for its massive attack on Karameh in Jordan”

9. Resolution 250: “… ‘Calls’ on Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem”

10. Resolution 251: “… ‘Deeply deplores’ Israeli military parade in Jerusalem in defiance of Resolution 250”

11. Resolution 252: “…’declares invalid’ Israel’s acts to unify Jerusalem as Jewish capital”

12. Resolution 256: “… ‘Condemns’ Israeli raids on Jordan as ‘flagrant violation”

13. Resolution 259: “…’deplores’ Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation”

14. Resolution 262: “…’condemns’ Israel for attack on Beirut airport”

15. Resolution 265: “… ‘Condemns’ Israel for air attacks for Salt in Jordan”

16. Resolution 267: “…’censures’ Israel for administrative acts to change the status of Jerusalem”

17. Resolution 270: “…’condemns’ Israel for air attacks on villages in southern Lebanon”

18. Resolution 271: “…’condemns’ Israel’s failure to obey UN resolutions on Jerusalem”

19. Resolution 279: “…’demands’ withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon”

20. Resolution 280: “….’condemns’ Israeli’s attacks against Lebanon”

21. Resolution 285: “…’demands’ immediate Israeli withdrawal form Lebanon”

22. Resolution 298: “…’deplores’ Israel’s changing of the status of Jerusalem”

23. Resolution 313: “…’demands’ that Israel stop attacks against Lebanon”

24. Resolution 316: “…’condemns’ Israel for repeated attacks on Lebanon”

25. Resolution 317: “…’deplores’ Israel’s refusal to release Arabs abducted in Lebanon”

26. Resolution 332: “…’condemns’ Israel’s repeated attacks against Lebanon”

27. Resolution 337: “…’condemns’ Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty”
28. Resolution 347: “…’condemns’ Israeli attacks on Lebanon”

29. Resolution 425: “…’calls’ on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon”

30. Resolution 427: “…’calls’ on Israel to complete its withdrawal from Lebanon’

31. Resolution 444: “…’deplores’ Israel’s lack of cooperation with UN peacekeeping forces”

32. Resolution 446: “…’determines’ that Israeli settlements are a ‘serious obstruction’ to peace and calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”

33. Resolution 450: “…’calls’ on Israel to stop attacking Lebanon”

34. Resolution 452: “…’calls’ on Israel to cease building settlements in occupied territories”

35. Resolution 465: “…’deplores’ Israel’s settlements and asks all member states not to assist Israel’s settlements program”

36. Resolution 467: “…’strongly deplores’ Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon”

37. Resolution 468: “…’calls’ on Israel to rescind illegal expulsions of two Palestinian mayors and a judge and to facilitate their return”

38. Resolution 469: “…’strongly deplores’ Israel’s failure to observe the council’s order not to deport Palestinians” 39. Resolution 471: “… ‘Expresses deep concern’ at Israel’s failure to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention”

40. Resolution 476: “… ‘Reiterates’ that Israel’s claims to Jerusalem are ‘null and void’

41. Resolution 478: “…’censures (Israel) in the strongest terms’ for its claim to Jerusalem in its ‘Basic Law’

42. Resolution 484: “…’declares it imperative’ that Israel re-admit two deported Palestinian mayors”

43. Resolution 487: “…’strongly condemns’ Israel for its attack on Iraq’s nuclear facility”

44. Resolution 497: “…’decides’ that Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights is ‘null and void’ and demands that Israel rescind its decision forthwith”

45. Resolution 498: “…’calls’ on Israel to withdraw from Lebanon”

46. Resolution 501: “…’calls’ on Israel to stop attacks against Lebanon and withdraw its troops”

47. Resolution 509: “…’demands’ that Israel withdraw its forces forthwith and unconditionally from Lebanon”

48. Resolution 515: “…’demands’ that Israel lift its siege of Beirut and allow food supplies to be brought in”

49. Resolution 517: “…’censures’ Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demands that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon”

50. Resolution 518: “…’demands’ that Israel cooperate fully with UN forces in Lebanon”

51. Resolution 520: “…’condemns’ Israel’s attack into West Beirut”

52. Resolution 573: “…’condemns’ Israel ‘vigorously’ for bombing Tunisia in attack on PLO headquarters

53. Resolution 587: “…’takes note’ of previous calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon and urges all parties to withdraw”

54. Resolution 592: “…’strongly deplores’ the killing of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University by Israeli troops” 55. Resolution 605: “…’strongly deplores’ Israel’s policies and practices denying the human rights of Palestinians

56. Resolution 607: “…’calls’ on Israel not to deport Palestinians and strongly requests it to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention

57. Resolution 608: “…’deeply regrets’ that Israel has defied the United Nations and deported Palestinian civilians”

58. Resolution 636: “…’deeply regrets’ Israeli deportation of Palestinian civilians

59. Resolution 641: “…’deplores’ Israel’s continuing deportation of Palestinians

60. Resolution 672: “…’condemns’ Israel for violence against Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount

61. Resolution 673: “…’deplores’ Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations

62. Resolution 681: “…’deplores’ Israel’s resumption of the deportation of Palestinians

63. Resolution 694: “…’deplores’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians and calls on it to ensure their safe and immediate return

64. Resolution 726: “…’strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of Palestinians

65. Resolution 799: “…’strongly condemns’ Israel’s deportation of 413 Palestinians and calls for their immediate return.

June 2nd, 2008, 4:19 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
What CAMERA techniques? You are running away from giving an answer to a simple question: Is your position regarding international law pragmatic or principled? Why do you find it so hard to answer such a simple question?

My position is pragmatic. I think national interests trump international law and that international law is just one tool to advance a country’s interests. Do you agree with this position? If not, what is your position?

This is not a trick question and I don’t understand why you are viewing it as such. It is a fundamental question that is at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

June 2nd, 2008, 4:33 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

And by the way, your list is a good example of why Israelis in general think international law is a joke. During decades the Arabs used the automatic majority they could get in the UN General Assembly to pass one sided resolutions. For decades the Arabs abused their power over international law and now they make it their god. Sorry for not participating in this ridiculous game.

June 2nd, 2008, 4:52 pm

 

Alex said:

“ridiculous” ?? .. now we are imitating Netanyahu again?

Are you mixing the general assembly with UNSC resolutions? .. please check again with your CAMERA resources before you reply next time.

UN security council resolutions can be vetoed by your loyal ally the United States … when the Untied states does not veto resolutions, then that should tell you something

Here is one that the United States passed:

http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/73d6b4c70d1a92b7852560df0064f101!OpenDocument

Resolution 497 (1981)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 2319th meeting
on 17 December 1981

The Security Council,

Having considered the letter of 14 December 1981 from the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic contained in document S/14791,

Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, the principles of international law, and relevant Security Council resolutions,

1. Decides that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, should rescind forthwith its decision;

3. Determines that all the provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 continue to apply to the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since June 1967;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution within two weeks and decides that in the event of non-compliance by Israel, the Security Council would meet urgently, and not later than 5 January 1982, to consider taking appropriate measures in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

June 2nd, 2008, 5:18 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex,

If you don’t mind, may I print up that list of resolutions? Next time the tax authorities come knocking at my office door, I want to show them these… 🙂

June 2nd, 2008, 5:49 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
You still did not answer my simple question:
Is your position regarding international law pragmatic or principled?

And thank you for posting the UNSC resolution which proves that Israel does not control the US. Yes, the US and Israeli interests are not always the same. So what?

You are trying to use international law as a weapon against Israel but do not accept it when international law is used against Syria (you ask for example how Syria can unsign the NPT). Why should I play in your game? I would rather be honest and say that Israeli interests trump international law. Why can’t you be honest and say that Syrian interests trump international law instead of masquerading as the prophet of international law?

I know why, because then the whole reason for using international law as a basis for peace negotiations disappears. Correct me if I am wrong.

June 2nd, 2008, 5:57 pm

 

Nour said:

Alex,

We also should remind everyone that Syria voted for Res. 1441 precisely because it did not authorize the use of force against Iraq and had received assurances from France and the UK that the Resolution would not be used to justify an attack on Iraq. Yes, Syria was acting pragmatically, and I personally opposed the vote at the time, but Syria was also trying to find the best middle ground, whereby Iraq would still be given an opportunity to “comply” without having to resort to force.

June 2nd, 2008, 6:03 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

I won’t impede on your argument with Alex, but regarding using international law as a basis for peace negotiations, I strongly suggest they (the negotiators) use it for cracking jokes late in the evening, when all else fails…

Btw, I responded to our little “happy mothers” argument in that previous thread.

June 2nd, 2008, 6:04 pm

 

Alex said:

Nour,

Thanks. I forgot that part : )

I also wished Syria voted against the resolution. It was useless anyway … the Bush administration was not looking for gestures of moderation from Damascus as they claimed at the time. They were going to confront Syria anyway.

AIG,

My position regarding international law is 90% principled, 10% pragmatic AIG … yours is 90% pragmatic with 10% principled component (although I fail to see it)

The only time the UN asked Syria to take serious and well defined action was in UNSC resolution 1559 when they hinted (without naming) to Syria:

“Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon;

Syria withdrew promptly .. much faster than anyone expected.

And I was being sarcastic when I asked if Syria can un-sign the NPT … I think it is obvious that Syria will not ask that question!

June 2nd, 2008, 6:15 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

During decades the Arabs used the automatic majority they could get in the UN General Assembly to pass one sided resolutions.

AIG –

Fortunately, UNGA resolutions are non-binding.

June 2nd, 2008, 6:17 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Who decides when Syria should be pragmatic or principled? Syria of course meaning that you are 100% pragmatic. No problem, Israel also gets to decide when it is pragmatic or when it is principled.

In short your answer does not make sense. Either international law trumps national interests or it doesn’t. Make your choice, 90% and 10% just means you are pragmatic.

June 2nd, 2008, 6:22 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

And just to be extra clear, I am 100% pragmatic about international law because this is a black and white case. International law either trumps national interests or it doesn’t. So Alex, does international law trump national interests or not?

June 2nd, 2008, 6:25 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Alex might tell white lies (when it does not hurt anyone).
AIG lies 90% of the time for selfish purposes.

Therefore they are equal.

Besides, no one on earth never told a lie his whole life … therefore the least trustworthy person on earth is just as good as Mother Theresa.

Let me compare to you the difference between Syria and Israel:

1559:

“Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon”

Syria did not play games … we did not have our AIPAC lawyers argue and we did not have CAMERA feed CNN and Fox with press releases and directives to explain to them that the resolution did not name Syria and therefore Syria is not bound by it… we did not say that unless Israel withdraws from the occupied Shaba farms then we are not obliged to abde by 1550 …

in comparison, here is one of the tens of binding resolutions against Israel:

“Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, the principles of international law, and relevant Security Council resolutions,

1. Decides that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, should rescind forthwith its decision;”

Yet we have Mr. Israel (AIG) claiming that it is really optional, or that it is a matter of being pragmatic, or coming up with this invention: “Arabs abused their power over international law” … about the security council!

June 2nd, 2008, 6:31 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Wrong analogy. The analogy is the following: Is rule of law inside a country above personal interests? I believe so. This principle is correct 100% of the time because if we let individual people decide when the rule of law is applicable and when it is not, there will not be rule of law.

You are trying to act as though a principle should be pursued for Israel but Syria does not need to abide by this prinicple if it doesn’t want to and Syria decides when it wants to or not. We are not idiots. We will not be fooled and we are not trying to fool anybody. The rule of international law is not a principle for Israel and it is not a principle for Syria. Both countries act according to their interests and not according to international law.

And yes, the Arabs abused their power over international law in the General Assembly resolutions. Where did I write that they did so in the UNSC resolutions? Sorry, but following this misuse of international law, Israelis have zero trust for it.

During the cold war the Soviet Union protected Syria in the UNSC as did the US Israel. Now the Russian protection is not so automatic and the Syrians are sweating. Tough luck. You want to play the game of international law, be prepared for some hardball.

June 2nd, 2008, 6:50 pm

 

Alex said:

Syria allows IAEA to investigate reported secret nuclear site
By Reuters
Tags: U.N., Israel, Syria

A United Nations nuclear watchdog team will visit Syria from June 22-24 in order to pursue an investigation into U.S. intelligence alleging that Damascus secretly built an atomic reactor, the agency’s chief said on Monday.

The reported reactor site was destroyed in an Israeli air raid last September and Washington handed over intelligence to the International Atomic Energy Agency in April for verification purposes.

Syria has denied any covert nuclear arms project.
Advertisement
“It has now been agreed that an agency team will visit Syria during the period 22-24 of June. I look forward to Syria’s full cooperation in this matter,” IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told a meeting of the agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors.

June 2nd, 2008, 7:01 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Too little too late. The Syrians should have asked the IAEA to immediately inspect the site after the bombing and should not have waited until they had time to clean it up. They both lost their credibility and folded under international pressure. Now, if the IAEA does not find anything, it does not clear Syria.

June 2nd, 2008, 7:07 pm

 

Alex said:

For those who continue to talk about backward Syria, Forbes just gaveDamascus the number two position (worldwide) as

Where the royals roam
These holidays are fit for a king—literally

By Terry Ward
Forbes Traveler.com
updated 12:26 p.m. ET, Fri., May. 2, 2008

As befits the sultan of Brunei, if your digs were endowed with more than 1,700 rooms, merely venturing between wings could be considered a holiday of sorts. But your vacations are bound to get decadent when you can afford 531 Mercedes Benzes, 185 BMWs and a bevy of Lamborghinis in addition to your own private Boeing 747 decked out in gold-plated accoutrements. And that’s just a peek at the Sultan’s alleged material inventory.

As is the case with many a moneyed royal, the sultan’s private life is so secretive that it’s difficult to confirm where he unwinds when he’s not busy bulking up his multi-billion dollar automobile collection.

A good bet, however, is Rancho Santa Fe, California—one of America’s richest communities—where the sultan owns an abode. With a median home price of upwards of $2.5 million, the San Diego-area enclave is undeniably privileged. Crisscrossed with bridle paths, and home to six private golf courses and near perfect year-round weather, it’s one of those otherworldly locales reserved for the high-net-worth set. (America’s own royalty, Bill Gates, also has a Rancho Sante Fe address.)

According to Lisa Lindblad of Lisa Lindblad Travel Design, a luxury custom travel service based in New York City, royals don’t necessarily opt for out-of-reach destinations when it comes to where they vacation. “I don’t think royals are any different than anyone else, except that they need more security and more rooms for their retinue,” she says. “They will vacation in places like Greece and Argentina.”

Indeed, the entire Dutch royal family chose to ring in 2008 in Argentina’s sublimely beautiful Lake District. Princess Máxima, who married Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange in 2002, is originally from Buenos Aires.

“When [the Dutch royals] were down in Villa la Angostura near Bariloche, they were very relaxed and took over what they needed and had a good old time,” says Lindblad, who was visiting the area at the same time. ” In general, royals don’t stay any more high-end than my clients… What they do look for is security and privacy—and they seek places where they won’t be ogled and can proceed with their vacation with a certain amount of quiet.”

In Europe, Lindblad says, the attitude toward royals tends to be more relaxed than it is Stateside. “It’s not such a big deal in Europe,” she says, “You often see royals all over the place—I know that in Turkey, Princess Margaret used to come on a friend’s boat and they would lunch together. She loved it, in particular, because she wasn’t treated any differently.”

Still, we Yanks can’t help but get a bit starstruck at the idea of sharing a ski gondola or golf course with someone of princely ilk.

Not that skiing first tracks with Saudi royalty was ever a possibility in Jackson Hole, Wyo. in 2004, mind you, when the Four Seasons reportedly arranged private gondola service on the mountain for Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud and his entourage of 35. Reportedly, the prince never partook; the Wyoming winter was too nippy for his tastes.

Whether or not royals actually make it up the mountain, ski holidays figure big on their itineraries. Prince Charles and his boys regularly hit the mountain enclave of Klosters near Davos in the Swiss Alps (as did Greta Garbo in her day). And Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and his family also opted to do their schussing in Switzerland this year, in the posh Alpine burg of Verbier. Another Alpine locale big with royals is Lech, Austria, once frequented by Princess Diana and King Hussein of Jordan, is the preferred mountain address of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and other Dutch royalty.

For Saudi royalty, Lebanon and Syria are popular destinations due to the relatively freewheeling lifestyles they afford in comparison with life in the famously repressive kingdom. When fighting broke out between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Syria saw an even greater influx of Saudi Arabian royalty, who fled Beirut for Damascus.

But it’s not just the Saudis who are drawn to Damascus. “We get lots of other gulf state royals coming to Damascus during the summer from places like Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar,” says Julian Crane, director of marketing for the Four Seasons Hotel Damascus, which opened in 2006. “They go up into the mountains surrounding Damascus (the area is called Bloudan) for the cooler climate. It gets hot in Syria in the summer, but it’s not the same sort of humid heat you get in Saudi Arabia or Dubai.”

Of Damascus, Crane adds, “It’s no surprise why royalty would want to come here, but it’s also no surprise as to why anyone would want to come here… It’s only in the last seven years that the country has really opened up, and it’s such an unknown destination.” For one, the centuries-old souks, or markets, provide a refreshing alternative to the glamorous shopping malls that dominate so many other Middle Eastern cities.

“There’s this perception that Syria is a non-welcoming and highly religious country,” says Crane, “and it’s the complete opposite. Syrians are almost chivalrous in the way they treat foreigners.” Americans included.

As to whether Arab royals let loose when they leave the confines of their home countries, Crane demures slightly. “They can and they can’t let loose here,” he says, conceding that royals are free to behave however they like in Syria. “They can let loose in the hotel, sure, they can run off to the old city and to a restaurant… There are no restrictions in Syria.”

Another destination close to splashy Saudi hearts—and wallets—is the golf and sun seeker paradise of Marbella on the Costa del Sol in the South of Spain, where the House of Saud has been a permanent summer time institution since the Arab oil boom in the ’70s. King Fahd once installed himself in Marbella for the season with an entourage of more than 3,000 people, while shopkeepers foamed at the mouth at the promise of royal expenditures of upwards of $5 million per day.

King Juan Carlos of Spain was known to visit King Fahd in Marbella. But a favorite annual pilgrimage for the King of Spain is actually to neighboring Portugal and the fishing-village-turned-chichi-marina-town of Cascais, just outside of Lisbon. During the annual King Juan Carlos Cup sailing competition, the Spanish King is purported to bed down at the super plush Grande Real Villa Italia Hotel & Spa in Cascais.

“There’s a big link between old style Portuguese families and royalty in Spain and Italy,” says Frederico Champalimaud, director of golf at Oitavos Dunes Golf Course in Quinta da Marinha, a wealthy resort community near Cascais. “The King of Spain, being an avid sailor himself, comes down for regatta every year—there’s a close connection between yacht club members in Cascais and in Palma de Mallorca (in Spain).”

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24410251/

June 2nd, 2008, 7:20 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
I am sure the inspectors from the IAEA will be treated like royalty. I think they will have to vacation in Syria quite a lot in the next few months.

June 2nd, 2008, 7:39 pm

 

Nour said:

Well, this is what I actually hope. Although I don’t believe Syria has any nuclear program, I truly hope that they do have a secret nuclear program, that they develop nuclear weapons under the radar and that once they develop these weapons they come out and declare their withdrawal from the NPT. Fair enough?

June 2nd, 2008, 8:16 pm

 

Shai said:

Nour,

There is an Israeli professor (Van Krefeld) who claims that only if the entire Middle East went nuclear, and a multilateral detente would come into being, would we have a chance to reach peace. What do you think about that? Imagine… a nuclear Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Iran… Sounds like a safer ME? Hmmm… But you’re right, certainly if I was a Syrian, I’d feel the same way exactly. Which is why Israel is being hypocritical when trying to point to anything nuclear about Syria. And Syria is missing a perfect PR opportunity to put Israel in its place…

June 2nd, 2008, 8:22 pm

 

Nour said:

Shai,

Well certainly the best solution is no nuclear weapons in the Middle East. However, the problem is that you can’t make one side nuclear and expect the other side to just accept it and shut up. Again, I’m only expressing my hopes here. I don’t really believe Syria has a nuclear program.

June 2nd, 2008, 8:29 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
More than fair and it just drives home my point that your view about international law is not principled. So if you really don’t care about international law, stop using it as a criticism of Israel. Fair enough? Or do you care about international law only when it is in your favor?

June 2nd, 2008, 8:36 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
Why is Israel hypocritical in trying to stop the Syrians getting a bomb? If you were the Israeli prime minister would you give the Syrians our technology and some of our bombs?

June 2nd, 2008, 8:55 pm

 

Nour said:

AIG,

I never claimed to really care about International Law. I believe that International Law is only implemented on the weak by the strong. I believe that strength is the determining factor in affirming or denying national rights. The only time I argue international law is to demonstrate US and Israeli hypocricy when they use it. I have no problem with Syria obtaining nuclear technology for the purpose of building nuclear weapons, regardless of so-called international law. International law is good at being used to kill 2 million Iraqis, but it can never be enforced against the strong nations committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. I would have a favorable view of International Law if it could be implemented and applied equally across the board.

June 2nd, 2008, 10:15 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
At least we agree on something. I appreciate your honesty. I believe your view reflects that of most Syrians and that is why I believe that raising the issue of international law is disingenious. Maybe Alex and you should have a discussion on this issue.

June 2nd, 2008, 10:40 pm

 

Shai said:

Nour,

You’re absolutely right. I cannot expect any of our neighbors not to seek nuclear technology. That, unfortunately, is our reality.

AIG,

It is hypocritical to suggest Syria has no right to nuclear technology, or even to nuclear weapons. There is nothing hypocritical or not hypocritical about bombing Syria. That’s usually called “an act of war”, though our political leaders obviously didn’t consider that too much when they gambled once more with our present and future. Luckily, Syria didn’t retaliate. If it had, we’d have been in a large scale regional war already a year ago, probably including Syria, Iran, HA, and Hamas.

You know, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, most of JFK’s advisors were clearly for an invasion of Cuba, including all his chiefs of staff, military advisors, heads of intelligence, secretary of defense, national security advisors, even Bobby Kennedy. Only a former ambassador to Russia, a gentleman by the name of Llewellyn “Tommy” Thompson, was for a diplomatic solution and not a military one. He managed to convince JFK of his rationale. 30 years later, in 1992, Robert McNamara travelled to Cuba and met with many of his earlier adversaries, including Fidel Castro. He asked the Cuban leader if he knew at the time that there were 192 short and medium range nuclear weapons on the island, if he would have advised Khrushchev to use his nukes had the U.S. attacked, and what he thinks would have happened if Russia had attacked the U.S. Castro responded that he knew the weapons were there, that he in fact DID advise the Russians to respond in case of an attack, and that he knew had this happened, Cuba would have been completely destroyed.

When asked by McNamara how on earth Castro would consider this, bringing down the temple over his head, Castro responded that he (McNamara) too, as well as JFK, would have done the same, had they been in his shoes. You see, AIG, we often think we understand we understand the behavior of other leaders using our own rationale, and we’re wrong. You think there’s no way Assad would have retaliated over that Israeli attack, because he too would be bringing down the temple over his head. But he could have reacted like Castro was ready to (if the U.S. had attacked). And then what would you have said now? That he acted irrationally? But in the meantime, aside from such a wise conclusion, thousands would be dead in Israel? What kind of confidence building measure was that attack? What indication of peaceful intentions? What if that act would have buried the chance for peace with Syria for another two decades? Would it have been worth it? Of course, dealing in counterfactual history often seems to many to be a useless exercise. But I think we don’t engage in it enough. If we had, we might not be continuing to make endless mistakes, and will continue to do so.

June 3rd, 2008, 4:43 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Nour said:

I never claimed to really care about International Law. I believe that International Law is only implemented on the weak by the strong. I believe that strength is the determining factor in affirming or denying national rights. The only time I argue international law is to demonstrate US and Israeli hypocricy when they use it. I have no problem with Syria obtaining nuclear technology for the purpose of building nuclear weapons, regardless of so-called international law. International law is good at being used to kill 2 million Iraqis, but it can never be enforced against the strong nations committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Nour –

If “international law is good at being used to kill 2 million Iraqis”, how many Iraqis were killed by the local Iraqi government and local Arab insurgents?

Iraq Body Count shows just less than 100,000 Iraqi civilians were killed since the US invaded Iraq. Also Iraq Body Count does not distinguish between deaths caused by allied forces and those killed by insurgents/jihadists.

Who killed the other 1.9 million people?

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

June 3rd, 2008, 10:43 am

 

Nour said:

AP,

First, Iraq Body Count does not have an accurate estimate of total Iraqis killed by this latest war. Second, I was referring, in my number, to all Iraqis killed since sanctions were imposed on the country. In case you don’t remember, at least 1.5 million Iraqis died as a direct result of sanctions. Finally, regardless of whether criminal or terrorist groups within Iraq are directly involved in killing civilians, the US occupation is ultimately responsible. I cannot go to a country, invade it, destroy its entire infrastructure, dismantle and disassemble its entire security, police, and military network, thereby creating a security vacuum, and then claim innocence when lo and behold, widespread violence breaks out. I wonder what would happen if someone were to eliminate the entire US government, police, intelligence, and military forces. I would bet the US would descend into chaos.

June 3rd, 2008, 11:16 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
Well, your answer proves the point that Israel cannot allow an Iraninan bomb because we cannot count on their rationality. No? You were arguing the other side of this just a few days ago.

June 3rd, 2008, 12:29 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Finally, regardless of whether criminal or terrorist groups within Iraq are directly involved in killing civilians, the US occupation is ultimately responsible.

Nour,

Thank you for your answer. So basically you are saying that the international community is responsible for all deaths prior to the invasion (sanctions) and that the US and the international community is responsible for all deaths after the invasion.

Therefore (correct me if I am wrong) you are completely clearing the Baathist Iraqi government (Saddam Hussein), all the insurgents and jihadist terrorists, and any other local thug from:

1.) Complying with UNSC resolutions in order to erase sanctions
2.) Mass graves the Baathist government created to place any political/opposition they deemed necessary
3.) Residents of Halabja
4.) Bombings of markets and other public places, mosques, police stations, car bombs, etc.

Please let me know if I have drawn the correct conclusion. If not, please tell me what number of Iraqi civilians this group is responsible for.

Thanks.

AP

June 3rd, 2008, 2:29 pm

 

Alex said:

AP,

I see you are still motivated and satisfied by writing the perfect defensive reply to some “nour” on some blog called “Syria Comment”.

If you want to draw the correct conclusion, I will try to help you:

The Neocons, and their supporters in making a case for sanctions against Iraq, and then the Iraq war and all the stunning decisions (innocent mistakes?) to create total vacuum in Iraq … those responsible for this utterly criminal negligence (to give them the benefit of the doubt which they really don’t deserve) … those are first class criminals of our time.

And I’m sorry to tell you that your wonderful Israel lobby was a part of it … NOT American Jews as many Arabs claim…. American Jews were against the war more than other Americans.

Your neocons and your wonderful lobby should publicly admit to their own responsibility, and admitting that Amerian Jews which they supposedly represented, did not support this criminal war.

Akbar … because the faces behind the drive for the Iraq war (the neocons) were mostly Jewish, and were ALL strong friends of Israel, … it is understandable if people of the Middle East made the erroneous conclusion that American Jews in general selfishly drove their government to weaken Iraq (Israel’s enemy) at the expense of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis… Do you want Jews in general to be responsible for the death of this number of people?

How would you have felt if all the Syrian leaders supported Hitler at the time? .. to many Iraqis, Saddam was Hitler, and to many mre other Iraqis … guess who is a Hitler…. think of the two million Iraqi refugees who did not perish but .. many lost immediate relatives, and many others a daughter to prostitution who wanted to feed her hungry family…

Look at AIG … because in Aleppo in 1948 few Jews were attacked and their stores were burned (few, really few) … he generalized to incriminating large segments of the population (antisemites) … he did not forget a few in 1948 …

Same with Hama … until today there are many Syrians (and Sunni Arabs) who would love to take revenge for the over 10,000 people who died there 27 years ago.

The Iraq war will not be forgotten through your media connections … you might be able to convince people in Ohio that it was all Saddam’s fault, but to the millions of surviving Iraqis whose life was destroyed … to them, it is American Jews who made it happen.

Hizbollah (and Iran’s animosity towards Israel) are both largely influenced by Israel earlier criminal mistake of invading Lebanon in 1981 (17000 died) … you created powerful enemies that are still fighting you today.

Iraq was a huge mistake … it takes a huge effort on the part of your friends to undo it … today’s Iran and Hizbollah are nothing compared to what you will face from those in Iraq who will not forget.

And you start by making it clear that American Jews are against the Iraq war … instead of hiding behind them.

Then you do your best to reach a final settlement based on 242 … especially a settlement with the Palestinians.

June 3rd, 2008, 3:22 pm

 

Alex said:

Syria Says Wants Nuclear Energy Under Arab Umbrella
June 3, 2008

DUBAI (Reuters) – Syria is not seeking nuclear weapons but wants to have access to atomic energy for peaceful purposes through a collective Arab project, President Bashar al-Assad said in remarks published on Tuesday.

The Dubai-based Gulf News also quoted Assad as saying that the United States should have sought an investigation of a Syrian facility suspected of housing a secret nuclear plant before it was destroyed in an Israeli air raid last September.

“Acquiring nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is an international trend that all countries are rightfully pursuing. In Syria, we want this to be done within an Arab context, which was discussed and agreed during the Arab Summit in Riyadh,” he said during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Gulf Arabs have announced their own plans to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes following a 2007 Arab summit that called on Arabs to develop atomic power.

U.S. intelligence officials in April said they believed Syria had built the suspected reactor with the assistance of North Korea, which later also helped in cleaning up the site after the Israeli strike.

Syria has denied having any undeclared nuclear program. It has one old research reactor subject to monitoring by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.

“If anyone had a secret dossier on nuclear facilities in Syria with a Korean role, as they claim, then why did they wait for seven months before destroying a normal military facility by the Israeli raid?” Assad said. “Why did they not resort to the UN nuclear energy organization to carry out an inspection?”

June 3rd, 2008, 3:47 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Thank you for distorting my views.
First, most if not all the stores of the Jews in Aleppo were burned and all the synagouges and many Jews were murdered. That was not the really sad part. The really sad part and the true sign of antisemitism is that not ONE Arab made the effort to write down what happened and publish it. Not even ONE. And to this day it continues. Not ONE Arab intellectual (even in the US) is willing to research and find out exactly what happened in Aleppo in 1947. What lesson do you deduce from it?

Second, my view that most Syrians are antisemitic is based on a large amount of evidence. Do you want the links again? In fact, many Syrians admit that this is the case and that is a thing that needs to be changed in Syria.

Third, as for Iraq. The Kurds will be happy about the war, as will the Shias who could not stand Saddam. As for the Sunnis, with prespective they will see that it was their crazy insurgency that targeted mostly Iraqis and Iraqi infrastructure that caused all the mayhem in Iraq. It was not American Jews and the Sunnis who are not dumb, will figure it out.

Fourth, the Jews have given the ultimate example of how one can forgive, by forgiving the Germans. It can and should be done.

June 3rd, 2008, 4:57 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

No, my point was exactly the opposite. That while the army chiefs are pushing for a military “solution” to the problem, it is probably far too late (and hence, in that sense similar to the Cuban situation), and therefore a diplomatic solution is a safer bet. Not safer in the sense that it’ll necessarily eliminate Iran’s nuclear abilities or even nuclear weapons, but in the sense that it’s least likely to cause Iran to attack us if and when it achieves this capability. By not trying to force the Soviets to remove their nuclear capabilities just 90 miles off the Florida coast, and instead choosing a diplomatic route, we now know (since 1992) that JFK saved his nation from catastrophe. It is highly unlikely that Israel can destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Iran has learned the necessary lessons from 1981’s Osirak. There’s no reason whatsoever to think it didn’t. And if we do attack tomorrow morning, and temporarily delay the program, you can bet what kind of response we may get once the Islamic Republic has achieved its nuclear aspirations. Like with N. Korea, and Syria, instead of isolating Iran, now is the time to bring her closer to the West, not farther away. It is a myth that negative pressure will cause her to succumb. Look at Syria, as a good example.

June 3rd, 2008, 5:33 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

I have my grand mother who tells me that she did not hear of any Jews dying in Aleppo .. she lived very close to the Jewish neighborhood.

She told me that she knew that they burned many stores and a Synagogue.

You speak of the event as if YOU were there yourself. And you want to invent a story of large number of murdered Jews … which is not the case.

The number of those who died was comparable probably to those your IDF kills every week … therefore, if it was not extensively analyzed by Arab scholars one can ask the same question every week about why American Jewish scholars did not study and analyze every time teh Israelis destroy Palestinian properties and kill Palestinians under occupation.

For your information, I have donated many historic photos to the Ben-Zvi Institute (where they have the Aleppo Codex.

The Aleppo Codex was “taken” to Israel from Aleppo in 1958. I am certainly not happy that the synagogue in Aleppo that used to host it was attacked during the events of 1947… Aleppo should have still kept and guarded the Aleppo Codex. But perhaps those who burned the synagogue deserve to pay that price.

As for forgiving the Germans … t starts with the Germans removing hteir Hitler .. then the Germans fully realizing their country’s crimes … and many other steps on their side without which, I doubt you would have forgiven them.

That is what I was calling for … those who made the big mistake need to start by apologizing and admitting and … getting out of there forever.

Instead we hear the Neocons are still writing opinion pieces in the WSJ calling for the next president to continue on the same path … and we hear that the Neocon characters are lobbying for a war against Iran …

June 3rd, 2008, 5:34 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Your attempt to minimize the Aleppo pogrom is futile. At least 50% of the Jews of Aleppo left it for good after the pogrom after the Jews lived there for hundreds of years. That is ethinc cleansing. And many Jews were murdered. That is an event that should be researched and has not been because of antisemitism. The history of Jews and the violence against them in Syria is just not important enough to look into.

In contrast, the Israeli press and international press scrutinize every act of Israel against the Palestinians.

June 3rd, 2008, 5:44 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

As I told you many times before, speaking to you is useless.

I made may case to whoever wants to hear it.

Now let me help you go back to work, I’ll finish the rest of your assignment for today for you.

Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular

June 3rd, 2008, 5:51 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

[deleted by admin]

AIG .. we had this same conversation here a week or two ago. I am not interested in spending two more hours repeating the same thing with you.

Whoever wants to know more, all your comments and opinions are already on this blog. They can find it.

June 3rd, 2008, 6:35 pm

 

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