Israel hit Missiles - the US Pleased - Story Stinks - Syria Comment

Israel hit Missiles – the US Pleased – Story Stinks

The news of Israel's strike against Syria is beginning to come out fairly quickly now that the story has broken. CNN's reporting is confirming much of what has been rumored and what sources had suggested to me several days ago – that the operation was a military strike on arms and not a test of radar or road to Iran. We are still not sure what exactly was hit, but it does seem like missiles. Whether they were being transported or the site was a factory has yet to be cleared up.

Addendum: The CNN story still smells. So now we are told, through unnamed sources, that it was Iranian weapons heading to Hizbullah and clinching the evil axis of Iran-Syria-Hizbullah. 

But why would Iran be flying to the Lieberman-Damascus International airport only to be transported back to Deir al-Zur and then toted back to Lebanon? Or, Why would Iran be flying to Deir? It doesn't make sense.

The real reason this doesn't make sense is that if Israel had intelligence that Syria was violating UNCR 1701 and acted on it, they would have trumpeted the happy news to the world, rather than sit on it for a week.

Where are the family pictures? CNN would be treating us to endless loops of the camera footage from strike aircraft. They play it all the time when they WANT us to see what they hit.

There is still a final chapter here.

CNN: U.S. pleased by Israel's Syria flyover,

The United States reportedly is pleased by Israel's alleged incursion of Syria last week.

The report followed Syria's charge that Israeli warplanes invaded its airspace Sept. 6 and dropped ordnance — an allegation that Israeli and U.S. officials declined to confirm or deny.

According to CNN, the Americans believe that the operation may have involved Israeli ground troops as well as aircraft, and that the incursion may have targeted weapons supplied by Iran and passing through Syria en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

CNN quoted a U.S. source as saying the Israeli airstrike "left a big hole in the desert" in Syria.

Syria denies that IDF ground troops participated in overflight op. Jerusalem Post

CNN: writes:

Sources in the U.S. government and military confirmed to CNN's Barbara Starr that the airstrike did happen, and that they are happy to have Israel carry the message to both Syria and Iran that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.

Right now, diplomats in the region are trying to ensure the incident does not escalate.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, is serving as a conduit between Israeli and Syrian foreign ministers, urging both sides to allow cooler heads to prevail, Solana's office said.

Story Highlights

  • Syria calls incursion a "breach of airspace" in letter to U.N. — France, the current president of the Security Council, said it had received no letter from Syria.
  • Israeli airstrike last week may have targeted weapons stores, sources tell CNN
  • Operation may also have involved ground forces, U.S. and regional sources say
  • Israel Defense Forces has made no comment
  • The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday lashed out at Israel for intruding Syria's territorial air space last Thursday, the official news agency reported.

    The Best article by an Israeli is by Larry Derfner in the Jerusalem Post, copied below

    For once, Israelis seem to believe that Syria is telling the truth – that Israeli jets invaded Syria's airspace last Thursday, and that Syria fired at our jets but missed.

    The reason Israelis believe the Syrian story is because if it wasn't true, Israel would deny it. Why would Israel deny it? Because countries aren't supposed to fly their jets into another country's airspace without permission. It's considered an invasion. An act of aggression. It gives the invaded country a casus belli – a justification to strike back.

    In short, it's wrong. It's the sort of thing that starts wars, and countries are supposed to try to avoid wars, not start them.

    So Israeli leaders have nothing to say about the Syrian reports. This is the diplomatic equivalent of a wink. Everyone understands.

    What's hard to understand, though, is how the Israeli media can be so docile, so obedient, in the face of such a reckless Israeli act. I was watching Channel 2 Thursday night, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing, or rather not hearing.

    None of the journalists, who clearly assumed that this incident had really taken place, thought it worth mentioning that Israel had just risked starting a war with Syria. None of them challenged Israeli officials on the wisdom of this. All they talked about was what Syria might do now, whether Syria would go to war. That Israel had just provoked Syria, had just escalated the conflict, was the elephant in the newsroom that they pretended not to see.

    This has been the tenor of the coverage ever since – lots of speculation on what Israel was trying to achieve and how Syria might react, hardly a hint about the incredible risk Israel took, about the morality of tossing a lighted match in a dry forest as this country's leaders just did.

    It's almost surrealistic. It's like there's a conspiracy of silence. The people who are supposed to ask questions act as if they've been lobotomized. I feel a little bit like I'm living in a police state.

    What would have happened if Syria had shot down one of our jets? We would have been at war with a country on our northern border that has biological and chemical weapons as well as lots of missiles – and Israel would be guilty of having provoked the war.

    FOR MONTHS now, Israeli political and military leaders have been saying the danger on the border is not that Syria will invade, but that Syria is afraid we will invade, and that one thing will lead to another and a war will break out due to one side "miscalculating" the other's intentions. Implicit in this was that Israel would never invade Syria because Israel doesn't want war, Israel doesn't do things like that, so the real danger was Syria's paranoia.

    Evidently, Syria wasn't so paranoid.

    Since Thursday, spokesmen for this country have been trying to calm everyone down, assuring everyone that Israel doesn't want war.

    What a joke. If Israel wanted to calm things down with Syria, why did it fly its jets into Syrian airspace at a time like this? If Israel doesn't want war, why did it risk war?

    While I'm surprised the Israeli media are just falling quietly into line behind the government and the army, I'm not surprised the Israeli public is doing so. When it's Israel vs. the Arabs, there is no policy too belligerent or too dangerous for a majority of Israelis to support.

    They will accept any official explanation or non-explanation without question, they will put their children's lives at risk with trepidation but without protest – anything rather than wonder aloud whether Israel might be in the wrong this time and the Arab enemy in the right. As was the case on Thursday.

    IT TURNS OUT that nothing has changed since last summer's war in Lebanon. With rare exceptions, the Israeli media didn't ask any questions then, and they aren't asking any questions now. Same with the public. In fact, the situation seems to have gotten worse. Last summer's war was started, after all, by Hizbullah, so even Meretz, even I supported it at first. The failure by the media and the public came later, when they didn't ask what purpose Israel had in continuing the fighting indefinitely. Now we've got a situation where the country has gone mum after its leaders behaved recklessly not in self-defense, as in Lebanon, but in aggression.

    We've set up a strict double standard for ourselves and the Arabs. We believe Israel is entitled to breach Syrian airspace, or Lebanese airspace, because – well, because they're bad and we're good. But if they breach ours? If Syrian jets dared fly over Israeli territory, everybody knows what would happen – we'd shoot them down without a moment's hesitation. And afterward we'd complain to the whole world, we'd say, "You see? The Arabs are trying to kill us all, just like the Nazis." Yet if, on the other hand, Israeli jets fly over Syria – and get away with it? Wink, wink. The little country with the big heart has done it again. Damn, we're good.

    DESPITE WHAT some readers think, I'm not one of those people who blame Israel for all of the Middle East's troubles, who think the Arabs would leave Israel alone if we'd only leave them alone. That's a ridiculous idea. But it's no less ridiculous to claim that Israel wants peace with its whole being and it's only the Arabs who are preventing it. I think Thursday's incident showed otherwise.

    No, I'm one of those people who believe the Middle East is a bloody mess because both the Arabs and the Israelis are oriented to war. I like to think the Arabs are the bigger part of the problem, but even if that's true, we are no small part of it.

    By Larry Derfner

    Comments (69)


    Homo Sapiens said:

    A link to Dayr az-Zawr region:

    http://wikimapia.org/#lat=35.357696&lon=39.570007&z=10&l=0&m=a&v=2

    The cluster on the right is Dayr az-Zawr, the alleged AO.

    The rectangle on the left (Tall Ubaydh, edited two days ago) is described as a military facility. Using AppliedLanguage free translation, the description reads:

    “This area considers one the dangerous areas in Syria on Al-Hayat for presence nuclear garbage target in era President preservative of Al-Assad and children of slave accuse patient servants deputy of head of Al-Jomhuria in approached him in her”

    Not sure how much of this is true…

    September 12th, 2007, 12:43 am

     

    Enlightened said:

    “No, I’m one of those people who believe the Middle East is a bloody mess because both the Arabs and the Israelis are oriented to war. I like to think the Arabs are the bigger part of the problem, but even if that’s true, we are no small part of it.”

    Self actualization is a deadly disease in the Arab/Israeli conflict, I hope that it spreads like the Bubonic plague did in the past.

    Just when we all thought that the summer had passed without any incidents, and that the leaf disease affecting the olive trees this summer might force us to stop frying our Kibbe, and dousing our salads and tabbouleh and force us to eat them dry, we all thought that this might be a small sacrifice to pay so we dont have the specter of war, and mayhem. But how wrong we were!

    The silence on behalf of the Israelis is almost deafening and this can only mean one thing, The mission ( whatever it was )was a utter failure! Maybe there intelligence found an illegal olive oil convoy
    crossing into the Syrian interior and thought that dried Kibbe and dry salads should be the norm on Syrian pallates this year?

    This whole episode is pathetic in the extreme!

    September 12th, 2007, 12:53 am

     

    norman said:

    Reading in Arabic is better.

    نفايات عبد الحليم خدام

    تعتبر هذه المنطقة أحد أخطر المناطق في سوريا على الحياة لوجود نفايات نووية رميت في حقبة الرئيس حافظ الأسد وأتهم أولاد عبد الحليم خدام نائب رئيس الجمهورية في حينه بها

    September 12th, 2007, 1:44 am

     

    Akbar Palace said:

    Dear “Peace Studies” Professor Josh,

    You have now dedicated about 5 articles on the Syrian airspace issue.

    Yet, we don’t know the truth. The mystery continues. And I thought, as a “Shabbos Goy”, you would get the answers immediately! Oh well, I guess your Jewish employers are not paying you enough.

    Where can a nice, educated “Shabbos Goy” get the truth?

    Certainly not from the Baathist news media in-country.

    Try Debka Habibi;)

    September 12th, 2007, 2:01 am

     

    IsraeliGuy said:

    The Israeli media is starting to provide a few hints and so do various Israeli web forums.

    After connecting all the dots, I reached the conclusion (or may I say – calculated guess) that the target was some type of a North Korean nuclear facility.

    Can’t give you more details, because I don’t have them.
    I have no doubt that it wasn’t some sort of ordinary arms shipment to Hizbollah.

    Israel wouldn’t have taken the risk for a new middle eastern war for a shipment of 100, 1,000 or even 10,000 Katyusha rockets to Hizbollah (or even ‘heavier’ missiles).

    No wonder that the Syrians are not providing any details and don’t expect to see CNN filming crews on the site.
    It won’t happen.

    The Syrians will do anything to hide the true nature of their partnership with their North Korean friends.

    CNN had it (partly) wrong this time 🙂

    September 12th, 2007, 2:02 am

     

    norman said:

    Syria should do something before everybody forgets what happened , this is the chance for Syria to open the Golan front , On the other hand Israel might be trying to push Syria to do that so it will attack before Syria is ready with the new militery equepments. i do not wish myself in Syria’s shoes .

    September 12th, 2007, 2:02 am

     

    Cathy H. said:

    Agreed, Joshua, the story stinks. CNN is writing to inflame as opposed to inform.

    The continued silence from multiple states is telling.

    Personal Supposition: Key people in US, UK, France and other nations know. The US is dissembling, the UK and France are not saying anything…because they know. If they did not know, they would be demanding an explanation from Israel openly. They know; whatever case Israel laid before them, it was convincing and serious enough for them to remain mute.

    This collective behaviour points towards the possibility of a second strike or other further action.

    September 12th, 2007, 2:19 am

     

    Shadower said:

    Just a thought.

    But in the same week that there is talk in the media about the US wanting war with Iran but not been able to get one, this occurs?

    Doesn’t Syria have a military alliance with Iran? Would the US sit aside if Iran & Syria went to war with Israel?

    I doubt Syria or Iran would be stupid enough to fall into this trap, but I guess this is what happens when war mongers get desperate for war.

    September 12th, 2007, 2:41 am

     

    Nur al-Cubicle said:

    Perhaps Isreael was after its own citizens…Israeli Druze PM Saïd Naffaa and 500 other Druze are in Syria without permission. And it accuses former Druze PM Azmi Bechara, who is in Syria, of spying for Hezbollah.

    September 12th, 2007, 2:51 am

     

    norman said:

    If the target was a nuclear site and the mision a success , wouldn’t israel have been glad to tell the world about the WMD.

    September 12th, 2007, 2:54 am

     

    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

     

    Joe M. said:

    That looks like they went pretty deeply into Syrian territory for it to be an attack against missiles. I am sure Syria has missiles all over their country, in different facilities in different locations. Why would Israel be bombing them way out on the eastern edge of the country when it could bomb other missiles in other places? And obviously, as Landis says, they were not intended for Hizbullah of they would be near the Lebanese border. The only way it could be missiles would be if there was some seriously advanced or seriously unique type of missiles that Israel identified as a specific threat. But even then, why would Syria have so few of them that one small attack could take care of it, and why would they be way out there in the east? Why not near production facilities or near major airports where transportation would be easier to disguise? Plus, as Landis points out, why isn’t Israel bragging about how great they are for stopping smuggling or whatever? Israel is not tight-lipped about it’s ability to attack its neighbors, they have never been shy about showing in-flight video of their attacks…

    These questions lead me to strongly believe that there were other motives. As has been said before, the most likely scenarios seem like: a) either simply blunt testing of Syria’s air defenses because of recent reports about how Russia has armed them… b) a test run for a bombing raid on Iran… c) both choice a and b. It just doesn’t seem reasonable that Israel would take such a chance to go so deep into Syrian territory unless they had more strategic motivations then to destroy some missiles.

    September 12th, 2007, 3:18 am

     

    Nur al-Cubicle said:

    Hmmm….that’s strange, so close to Iraq!

    September 12th, 2007, 3:29 am

     

    Joshua said:

    My hunch is that there is a factory or development site that was the target. This was an attempt to stop production or development of a more sophisticated type of rocket.

    Testing flight patterns doesn’t make sense. They jettisoned fuel tanks much to early to make a run to Iran and back feasible. They were flying very low, which uses up more fuel than flying high, which explains the jettisoning of tanks early.

    This was a strike force. They would not risk going to war to strike at random rockets that can be hidden throughout Syria.

    This was to stop something Syria is developing in order to keep the country weak and unable to respond.

    September 12th, 2007, 3:41 am

     

    Nur al-Cubicle said:

    The US has so much equipment looking at the Syrian desert that it obviously collaborated in this raid and knows precisely what the target was.

    September 12th, 2007, 4:26 am

     

    offended said:

    Josh, how do you think they’ve acquired the intelligence needed for such an operation?

    Apart from the olive trees’ leaf mold (isn’t that what the folks at Langley call a planted spy?), I think there is more dangerous mold(s) within the Syrian military establishments…

    It’s time for a clean up…

    September 12th, 2007, 4:55 am

     

    Joe M. said:

    Professor Landis,
    Well, why wouldn’t Israel be public about an attack against some sophisticated missile factory that they destroyed, or even just lie and claim that they hit weapons intended for Hizbullah? And why all the talk about how they didn’t want to have war with Syria just before this? And the blunt media censorship/blackout? It seems to me like it was disinformation intended to test and see whether their media blackout was strong enough to silence criticism in case they were to do a more serious strike later, to see how much international criticism they would be subject to from this as a prelude to some future action.

    And how do you know that the fuel tanks were not dropped on the return flight? That would make more sense anyway, that they attacked some site in Syria and Syria tried to shoot them down upon their return to Israel, and in the process the jets dropped their fuel to be more agile and escape Syrian fire… My guess is that Syria didn’t even know the Israeli jets were over their territory until after they made their attack… Clearly, they would not have dropped anything on Turkish territory if they had the choice, so it must have been under fire when they dropped their tanks. But the location of the air strike is quite far from the location of the fuel tanks in Turkey… from that, it seems obvious that they were almost finished with their mission by the time they came under Syrian fire. So i don’t think that discredits the test flight scenario. Though, similarly, they probably would not fire weapons if they thought they could do the test flight scenario without getting spotted or fired at… hmmmm

    Maybe there was an attack against a specific sophisticated missile site, but how many of these sites does Syria have? why pick this one? if it was a sophisticated site, wouldn’t everyone know it was there? at the very least, it seems convenient that this attack was in the far east of the country. And again, the blackout seems to hint (at least) at greater motivation then just targeting a weapons factory or truck carrying weapons or something… Maybe it was both, using some missile site as an immediate excuse for an test flight. Does that seem likely?

    I just don’t get why they would take such direct action, risking war at a time of heightened readiness, against a missile site so deep in Syrian territory unless they were doing it for larger reasons than just getting some missiles, even if they were Syria’s most sophisticated. I mean, honestly, even Israel knows that destroying Syrian missiles would signal to Syria that Israel considers those missiles to be a threat, which would likely prompt Syria to increase production or procurement of said missiles… not even Israel is dumb enough to think they can end a missile program so easily…

    It just doesn’t make sense.

    September 12th, 2007, 5:09 am

     

    Joe M. said:

    for that matter, the timing is extremely strange. As I am sure you know, there has been lots of talk about a massive military escalation against Gaza, and it seems that they are planning to cut off Gaza’s electricity and food in the coming weeks. These have been in the plans for quite some time now. Equally, there is no way that this operation in Syria wasn’t planned to the most minute detail… Why would they risk escalation with Syria at the same time they are planning a huge escalation against Gaza? I mean, clearly Syria doesn’t have the ability to do anything militarily, but Israel must take even the slightest risk very seriously. Even if only the risk that Hizbullah makes a move as it did during the last major Gaza operation…

    September 12th, 2007, 5:21 am

     

    t_desco said:

    “One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea. The administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria.

    “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” the official said. He said it was unclear whether the Israeli strike had produced any evidence that might validate that belief.”
    U.S. Confirms Israeli Strikes Hit Syrian Target Last Week
    New York Times

    “Both the Syrian and the Israeli leadership have been extraordinarily silent about this. According to European diplomats, the Syrians have made it clear that Israeli silence over the incident is “worthy.”

    It is still difficult to assess what the ultimate response of the Syrians will be, at least on the basis of the statements being made these past six days. On the one hand, the Syrians warn of the consequences and are angry that no one seems interested in condemning Israel’s illegal raid. On the other hand, they are not talking about the “strategic” target that was bombed in their territory – according to Lebanese press. If they admit it, this would be a troubling sign that they are weighing a serious response.”
    ANALYSIS: The air strike in Syria is a secret that cannot be kept
    Haaretz

    September 12th, 2007, 5:24 am

     

    MSK said:

    Dear Josh-

    So far it’s not even clear that there has been a planned attack against a pre-selected target.

    What we know for sure is that the Israeli jets came under fire and THEN shot some air-to-ground missiles at targets on the ground. Those may very well have been anti-aircraft weapons – missiles or guns.

    Ya’nii – the “testing flight path scenario” is not ruled out at all.

    As for Iranian weapons going to Lebanon – neither you nor anyone here knows if Iranian weapons destined for Lebanon are flown via Damascus airport or via Deir el-Zor or via any other airport in Syria.

    As for “nuclear factory” – I highly doubt that Syria is doing nuclear weapons R&D. It’s too expensive, too cumbersome, and (politically) too dangerous. In short – for Syria it’s not worth the hassle.

    –MSK*

    PS: Azmi Bishara is a Christian Palestinian, not a Druze.

    September 12th, 2007, 6:45 am

     

    Alex said:

    Josh,

    The nuclear weapons story is the result of a few “might”s and a few other “possible”s and one or two “think”s

    read it again

    “One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea. The administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria.

    “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” the official said.

    Are we seriously discussing the possibility that John Bolton’s creative story is not pure fiction?

    Which stupid Syrian would build a visible factory of advanced nuclear missiles right next to US troops in Iraq?! … if Google Earth can see it and if any satellite can see it and if Mr. Bolton and his friends are waiting for any excuse to get the Syrians… would Syria hand this stunning evidence to them on a silver platter??

    If Hizbollah had their hideouts deep enough below ground and the Israelis could not get them despite 30 days of bombing …. will the Syrians build nuclear weapons factories over ground so that Israeli planes, flying at night, can destroy them in one attempt?

    The only scary part of this story is that it is starting to sound like Mehlis’s initial report … where Asef and Maher supposedly personally handed the bomb to the van driver who went to kill Hariri… adn since then most news reporters covering Lebanon still mention “Syria was implicated … the president’s family members are accused”.

    Similarly, based on the interview of this unknown Bush administration official in which he said that Syria is “possibly” developing nuclear weapons, for the next year we will be hearing and reading “Syria is accused of developing nuclear weapons” used casually in every story and opinion piece.

    September 12th, 2007, 7:16 am

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    Would Syria really build and/or keep active secret sites, especially “North Korean” nuclear (invest hundreds of millions dollars) so near the US-Iraq border? Rather unbelievable. In the present situation to build a secret nuclear site on Iraqi border is as clever as build it near Golan. On the other hand if the location of the secret nuclear site is the point JP’s map indicates, why did not US planes make the attack? The fly time from Iraq is only minutes. Why take a risk of being revealed by flying through most of Syria?

    If Israel / USA would have any real proof of a secret nuclear factory in Syria they would certainly not hesitate to make with that as much propaganda as possible. It would proof the Bush’s / Israel’s WMD theories. But now they are officially silent with it. Doesn’t make any sense. Israel has always glorified its successful “commando raids” and made them at once public. Why not this time?

    Probably the next Israeli / US explanation of “the secret site raid” is that Israel found the Saddam’s missing WMD’s, which were transported to Syria before occupation, and for the safety of western world Israel destroyed the evidence. 🙂

    September 12th, 2007, 7:47 am

     

    Frank al Irlandi said:

    It gets worse

    NY Times: IAF recently photographed nuclear facilities in Syria

    By Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents and News Agencies

    The New York Times on Wednesday quoted a Bush Administration official as saying Israel recently photographed possible nuclear installations in Syria.

    The comments come amid ongoing silence in Israel regarding Damascus’ allegations that the Israel Air Force fired missiles at ground targets deep in Syria during an overflight last week.

    “One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea,” the paper wrote. “The administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria”
    “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” the New York Times quoted the official as saying.

    September 12th, 2007, 7:53 am

     

    claeskrantz.com | Mer om Israel-Syrien said:

    […] SyriaComment – Syrian politics, history, and religion » Archives » Israel hit Missiles – the US Pleased – Story Stinks The news of Israel’s strike against Syria is beginning to come out fairly quickly now that the story has broken. CNN’s reporting is confirming much of what has been rumored and what sources had suggested to me several days ago – that the operation was a military strike on arms and not a test of radar or road to Iran. We are still not sure what exactly was hit, but it does seem like missiles. Whether they were being transported or the site was a factory has yet to be cleared up. […]

    September 12th, 2007, 7:55 am

     

    Richard Silverstein said:

    I still think that this is an opening salvo in the coming war against Iran. This is an Cheneyesque shout out to the mullahs letting them know what’s in store. I think we’re seeing the initial outline of a coordinated U.S.-Israeli military strategy that will further develop down the line. This attack tells us to expect military action against Iran; and to expect that it will either be done solely by Israel but with deep U.S. support. Or that it will be done by the U.S. and Israel with each taking a portion of the military operation.

    Condi Rice must be going absolutely apoplectic right about now. A week or so ago she’s touting a nuclear accord with North Korea. Then here comes Johnny Bolton and Dick Cheney pulling the rug right out from under her. She thought she was a good bureaucratic infighter. The neocons respond in true Jay Geils Band-fashion: “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, baby.” They’re out to make her look like an utter fool. And what does this say about the Bush Administration? It seems like a Roman gladiatorial ring with the neocons battling to the death against the moderates. I’d say in this sort of internal chaos some of the worst damage can happen in a presidential administration. Just watch out regarding Iran. This bodes ill.

    September 12th, 2007, 7:58 am

     

    Innocent_Criminal said:

    what is even more odd is the fact that Syrians are not demanding any type of action by the UN against Tel Aviv. They must have been caught doing something they do not want to advertise. if it was a “regular” defense misseles facility the Syrians would have been crying foul.

    September 12th, 2007, 8:18 am

     

    Alex said:

    IC, the Syrians know that the US will veto anything anti-Israel at the SC … why should Syria demand action from the UN that it knows will not materialize?

    September 12th, 2007, 8:29 am

     

    Milli Schmidt said:

    LATEST MEDIA WAR ESCALATION!! SEE BELOW:

    “IAF recently photographed nuclear facilities in Syria”

    w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

    ——————————————————————————–

    Last update – 10:38 12/09/2007

    NY Times: IAF recently photographed nuclear facilities in Syria

    By Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents and News Agencies

    The New York Times on Wednesday quoted a Bush Administration official as saying Israel recently photographed possible nuclear installations in Syria.

    The comments come amid ongoing silence in Israel regarding Damascus’ allegations that the Israel Air Force fired missiles at ground targets deep in Syria during an overflight last week.

    “One Bush administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea,” the paper wrote. “The administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria”

    “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” the New York Times quoted the official as saying.

    Despite Israel’s silence, media reports began surfacing Tuesday of U.S. officials confirming the IAF had indeed carried out an air strike.

    The New York Times quoted a Defense Department official as saying the IAF struck at least one target in northeastern Syria, but said it was unclear what the target was and what was the extent of the damage.

    Syria has also said nothing was hit and there was no damage. The CNN television network reported Tuesday, however, that the Israeli government is “very happy with the successful operation.”

    Senior correspondent Christian Amanpour, citing Middle Eastern and Washington sources, said aircraft and possibly even ground forces, which may have directed the planes to their target, took part in the operation.

    The attack left “a big hole in the desert,” the report said.

    CNN said U.S. government and military sources said they were “happy to have Israel convey to both Syria and Iran the message that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.”

    Israel possibly targeted weapons intended for delivery to Hezbollah inside Syria a week ago, CNN quoted the sources as saying.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s aides said they were not interested in commenting on the incident.

    Syria’s UN envoy: Our response has not yet come
    Meanwhile, Syria’s envoy to the United Nations said Wednesday that Damascus was reserving the right to determine the timing and manner of its response to the alleged air strike.

    “The Syrian response has not yet come,” said Bashar al-Jaafari, in an interview with BBC Arabic.

    On Tuesday, Syria complained to the UN about “aggression and violation of sovereignty,” al-Jaafari said.

    The ambassador said Damascus made its complaint in two letters to the UN secretary general and the president of the Security Council. The letters said the Israel Air Force action violated the 1974 disengagement agreement that was reached after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

    Al-Jaafari said Israel had violated Syrian air space and dropped munitions. But he denied that Israel had landed troops on the ground inside Syria.

    “This is absolutely not true,” he said, adding the reports were an attempt to show that Israel could land troops wherever it wants.

    The only countries that have expressed solidarity with Syria are Iran and North Korea. Russia issued a condemnation of sorts.

    September 12th, 2007, 8:55 am

     

    Danny said:

    Sounds to me like a typical media frenzy. There is no confirmation just a CNN report saying an anon US official says that Israel might have hit something, maybe to do with with Hizbollah, maybe to “prove” Israel can hit Iran at will – how this is “proven” is not clear – and post North Korean condemnation that now it is “nuclear facilities”.

    So far there is not a single credible source that a IAF plane was in Syrian airspace let alone some sort of strike. We have the Syrians claiming it happened backed up by the “Democratic” Republic of Korea. We have a report by CNN which simply doesn’t seem credible but yet is repeated over and over and not even an anon source in Israel talking about the strike, when did Israelis learn to keep their mouths shut, especially about military successes? Anyone willing to consider the possibility that the “airstrike” simply didn’t happen?

    PS violation of sovereignty, wasn’t this the Israeli excuse last summer?

    September 12th, 2007, 9:49 am

     

    abraham said:

    What the fuck is the “Lieberman-Damascus International airport”?

    September 12th, 2007, 10:53 am

     

    ausamaa said:

    Got it right:

    STORY STINCKS !!!!! Codename: “PSYOPS”

    A couple of “Tiger Cats” trying to create confusing action to appear as if they still have the CLWAS they once thought they had. Thinking this may somehow help them out with the coming Presidential selection in Lebanon and Dubbya’s so-called peace-get-together.

    At best, a Smoke Screen for continuous failures and frustrations.

    When all else fails, act as if Hope really springs eternal and try to convince people of this. Anyway you can.

    September 12th, 2007, 11:24 am

     

    abraham said:

    Alex said:

    Similarly, based on the interview of this unknown Bush administration official in which he said that Syria is “possibly” developing nuclear weapons, for the next year we will be hearing and reading “Syria is accused of developing nuclear weapons” used casually in every story and opinion piece.

    But why would they go through the trouble of carrying out a most idiotic airstrike to enter such slander into the public discourse? The Neocons are creative: I’m sure they could’ve come up with an accusation that didn’t require the risk of starting all out war (then again, these are the neocons we are talking about…)

    On a different note, it’s not surprising that the NY Times is taking the lead in pressing Bush administration propaganda (and look, the authors of that article are all Israels, how shocking).

    Note the headline: “IAF recently photographed nuclear facilities in Syria”

    And then in the actual story: “Israel recently photographed possible nuclear installations in Syria.”

    We went from a headline that exclaimed an ostensible fact to the story that introduces the proper nuance. Of course, it is the headline that carries the most impact.

    Fucking Zionists. To imagine that they control the media in the US is a conspiracy theory just like gravity is also a theory. But gravity is not a conspiracy, it’s been proven.

    September 12th, 2007, 11:25 am

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    what is even more odd is the fact that Syrians are not demanding any type of action by the UN against Tel Aviv. They must have been caught doing something they do not want to advertise. if it was a “regular” defense misseles facility the Syrians would have been crying foul.

    Syria has formally complained to UN.

    Interesting to see how USA succeeds in UNSC to “silence” this event and with what grounds if it goes to the Security Counsil. Veto because Israel has special rights (= ultra sovereign country or chosen people as some say) which others do not have or veto because Syria is a “bad” (= non sovereign) country.

    In a similar “strange attack” in Georgia USA was quick to show support and take side, the side of the weaker party.

    September 12th, 2007, 11:40 am

     

    Innocent_Criminal said:

    Simohurtta and Alex,

    I know the syrians have complained to the UNSC but what i said is that they have not requested any action against israel. here is the article though its in arabic http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/CD36698E-9A92-40B6-91A8-902F387B737C.htm

    Alex – Syria has always preferred to force the Americans to veto than to let it slide. At least that way the bias to Israel would be reinforced in the public’s eye ( a symbolic, though futile victory). I would have expected them to resort to the UNSC for action especially in the case of a blatant and unprovoked breach as Damascus claims. It’s this reservation that makes me wonder.

    September 12th, 2007, 12:29 pm

     

    majedkhaldoun said:

    Did we completely discarded the possibility that there was important meeting, where enemies of Israel met there, Israel got the news and decided to bomb them.this could mean there is a spy in Syria working for Israel, and he could be discovered.

    September 12th, 2007, 1:11 pm

     

    Sophia said:

    My guess is taht the US is trying hard to open another proxy war front with Iran. Iraq didn’t work the way they expected. Israel’s war against Hezbollah didn’t work the way they expected it. They tried sanctions on the nuclear program but to my knowledge Iran is coperating with the IAEA within international law and its right to the program. Moreover, Iranian politicians do not want this war, despite Ahmadi-nejad’s rethoric, and Iran is moving away from Ahmadi-Nejad’s provocations. The last chance for the US to attack Iran in a semblance of legitimacy is to open a front with Syria.

    Now they are trying to provoke Syria because they know very well that in the present climate Iran would rush to help and that would justify them attacking Iran while Israel would join in by battling on the Syrian front. The whole maneouvre is about the legitimacy of the war against Iran. The US is trying to build this legitimacy and to build it in a very short time…

    September 12th, 2007, 1:56 pm

     

    idaf said:

    This is way beyond a mere Israeli adventure. Eventually some parties knew about this beforehand (USA) and many came to know the details and coordinate later on (“moderate” Arabs). The firm order to keep everyone’s mouth shut on this even after it took place seems to have come from the US to its allies in the region. The synchronized silence by Saudi, Jordan, the gulf and Egypt and the fact that they did not utter a word of condemnation, solidarity, regret or even concern is indicative, but the most alerting issue here is the absolute silence of Saudi financed media in the region (ie. the majority of the Arab media). Take for example, Alarabiya, Al-Sharq Alawsat and even Future TV. Usually, these media outlets are the first to jump on any incident related to Syria and spin it in a way that Syria appears the guilty side. When it comes to incidents relates to Syria and Israel, these outlets tend to host an influx of analysts and talk shows gloating on how Syria is week and too close to Iran. This time, not a word!

    Given the coordinated Israeli-American-Saudi media black out, I’m reading this as a joint attempt to hide something that can be perceived by the Arab public as a failure on the US and moderate Arab side and might strengthen the Syrian (or Iranian) image. It can also be something that can cause an embarrassment to Arab “moderates”.

    All of the data so far are giving me the feeling that something wrong happened, a failure on the Israeli/American intelligence or military front.

    This said, we do not know if a “strike” took place or if it was just a failed attempt to strike. However in addition to the “testing new Syrian air defenses” and the “path to strike on Iran” theories, there’s another possible scenario for the record (although highly unlikely): Israel might’ve tried to assassinate someone of a high profile.. a bunch of Syrian rocket scientists, Hasan Nasrallah, Khaled Meshaal,.. etc.

    As I see it, the two theories of “targeting Hizballah bound weapons” and “targeting possible nuclear facilities” are both last minute PR attempts made by Israeli and American “sources” to patch the deafening lack of information from their side (something to throw to the media to get it off their backs and stop the flow of questions or redirect them).

    September 12th, 2007, 2:18 pm

     

    Danny said:

    Eh, Abraham here is the NYT article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/12/world/middleeast/12syria.html

    Care to read the headline? Sound like what you say it is? Care to read the article – it said it had **recently** photographed “POSSIBLE nuclear installations that Israeli officials BELIEVED MIGHT have been supplied with material from North Korea. The administration official said Israeli officials BELIEVED that North Korea MIGHT be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria.”. So much for NYT making claims… As for the journalists – Helene Cooper is from Liberia – and black – and Mark Mazzetti – not Jewish let alone Israeli but with a name like Mazzetti I see how you’d get confused….

    So far there is nothing except hearsay about this “attack”.

    September 12th, 2007, 2:57 pm

     

    Solomon2 said:

    Why would Israel deny it? Because countries aren’t supposed to fly their jets into another country’s airspace without permission.

    Maybe not. Under UNSC 1701 clause 15, states may use their flag ships and aircraft to interdict weapons shipments to Hezbollah, even if it isn’t on their territory.

    No state needs permission from Lebanon or Israel to do this because clause 15 is specifically worded to supersede Chapter 6 restrictions (“Decides further -“). No consent from a third-party state like Syria appears to be required under the resolution for a strike on its territory for this purpose.

    September 12th, 2007, 3:11 pm

     

    t_desco said:

    More than one strike?

    U.S. officials confirm Israel strike in Syria

    “The strike I can confirm. The target, I can’t,” said one U.S. official. The official said there was more than one strike. …
    Reuters

    September 12th, 2007, 3:59 pm

     

    t_desco said:

    More than one strike?

    U.S. officials confirm Israel strike in Syria

    “The strike I can confirm. The target, I can’t,” said one U.S. official. The official said there was more than one strike. …
    Reuters

    September 12th, 2007, 4:00 pm

     

    Akbar Palace said:

    Solomon2 –

    The assumption in the proud captials of Tehran, Damascus and pro-terror websites like this is that the US and Israel are out of steam.

    And you know what happens when you make assumptions, right?

    I also would not assume Hilary Clinton will be our next president.

    September 12th, 2007, 4:26 pm

     

    idaf said:

    Syria: ‘Wait for it’

    Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations warned Wednesday Israel has yet to hear Damascus’ answer to the “act of hostility” committed by the Israeli Air Force last week.
    “Our response has not yet come,” Bashar al-Jaafari told the BBC’s Arabic-language service.
    He accused Israel of “seeking military escalation,” but stressed that Damascus was “exerting efforts so that we don’t fall into this trap.”
    In fact, Syria is thought to be waging its diplomatic offensive in order to prepare the ground politically for a possible military attack on Israel.
    Damascus would want the international community to see any such action as a “justifiable” response to the Israeli “aggression.”
    In the event of a war erupting between Israel and Syria, the world’s position would then be that “Israel started it.”

    September 12th, 2007, 4:47 pm

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    Maybe not. Under UNSC 1701 clause 15, states may use their flag ships and aircraft to interdict weapons shipments to Hezbollah, even if it isn’t on their territory.

    UNSC 1701 clause 15 clearly states

    15. Decides further that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft:

    Only a desperate pro-Israeli extremist interprets this clause so that allows Israelis to use others airspace like their own. Naturally the clause demands that all states take care that their nationals do not sell weapons etc to Lebanon and that their OWN territories, flag vessels and aircraft are not used to the same purpose. No where is said that Israel is allowed to act as UN’s “police”.

    What have you Solomon2 to say to clause 18, which stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003.

    Why do you like clause 15 but certainly not clause 18? No need to tell. I know you do not like the old borders and empty swimming pools.

    Solomon2, you obviously not a great legal mind like your more famous ancestor Solomon 1.

    September 12th, 2007, 5:06 pm

     

    Atassi said:

    Was the intended targete the hideout of “Shaker el Abbsi” and the others escapee form Lebanon ? they got hit before crossing into Iraq !!!

    September 12th, 2007, 5:08 pm

     

    Danny said:

    IDAF, well that would add more weight to the “its all made up” hypothesis”. That said this story also doesn’t scan, since when did Arabs – or the world – care about “who started it”. They could attack Israel and then retroactively claim it was Israel who was the cause of the “aggression” – it worked for Hizbollah last year….

    It just seems highly unlikely that the IDF political hierarchy would not either be leaking about a success or sticking the knife in for a failure. All the “news” seems to be one reporter quoting another reporter. We have seen this sort of feeding frenzy before and it is a sign of a shortage of any facts or credible source.

    September 12th, 2007, 5:13 pm

     

    Solomon2 said:

    SIMOHURTTA, an extended discussion of the language and meaning of UNSC 1701 is available here.

    Re: clause 18: C18 is not a decision, so it is “important” but not a primary consideration of the rest of the document. C18’s purpose is to acknowledge that the situation in Lebanon is also part of overall regional tensions and does not authorize action. Primary cause for Lebanese-Israeli tension cited is the “abducted” Israeli soldiers, who under 1701 are to be returned immediately and unconditionally.

    In short, you can’t wave around clause 18 as a reason for States not to fulfill their obligations under 1701.

    September 12th, 2007, 5:35 pm

     

    Solomon2 said:

    But it’s no less ridiculous to claim that Israel wants peace with its whole being and it’s only the Arabs who are preventing it. I think Thursday’s incident showed otherwise.

    Not at all. While the Six-Day War is forcibly remembered in the Arab World as Israeli aggression, the truth of the matter is that the Arab armies were mobilizing and preparing for a united invasion against Israel within days, maybe hours, of Israel’s pre-emptive attack. The Soviet-style armored offensive would have been practically unstoppable once all Soviet and Arab units were in position and ready to go.

    The correct lesson is that Israel does not survive by allowing its hostile neighbors to build up their military strength to the point where Israel’s survival is at stake. That many Arabs choose instead to believe that Israel is inherently bent on conquest and is just too weak to attack leads to miscalculations and frustrations like Syria’s today and Hezbollah’s last year.

    September 12th, 2007, 6:04 pm

     

    Sophia said:

    To all,

    I have reasonable doubt about whether Solomon2 is a human. My assumption is that it is a computer program. Never discuss politics with a computer program.

    September 12th, 2007, 6:21 pm

     
     

    abraham said:

    Danny boy,

    I was referring to this article:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/903398.html

    Which apparently was titled “NY Times: IAF recently photographed nuclear facilities in Syria” and was written by “Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondents and News Agencies”.

    The title of the article has now changed mysteriously, but the headline was reported widely as a quick web search will demonstrate. Or perhaps thousands of people around the globe had a momentary spell of collective hallucination?

    Why is the only demockracy in the Middle East promoting false headlines in one of its flagship newspapers?

    Conspiracy? Noooooooo!

    P.S. Next time read more carefully.

    September 12th, 2007, 7:27 pm

     

    abraham said:

    Solomon2 brayed:

    Maybe not. Under UNSC 1701 clause 15, states may use their flag ships and aircraft to interdict weapons shipments to Hezbollah, even if it isn’t on their territory.

    No state needs permission from Lebanon or Israel to do this because clause 15 is specifically worded to supersede Chapter 6 restrictions (”Decides further -”). No consent from a third-party state like Syria appears to be required under the resolution for a strike on its territory for this purpose.

    Why would you write something so stupid? Unless…

    I’m not sure what passes for intelligence in whatever shit hole country you come from, but where I’m standing, such a remark would automatically earn you the title of Village Idiot.

    September 12th, 2007, 7:31 pm

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    SIMOHURTTA, an extended discussion of the language and meaning of UNSC 1701 is available here.

    The guy is refereeing to himself as “evidence”. Only village idiots do that.

    Let me ask you a simple question. Can Israel send its war planes over Finland and shoot missiles if some Finnish citizens have put weapons in a container for Hizbollah (or the other numerous armed militias in Lebanon)? With your “Solomon” interpretation you can.

    Do I need make other arguments? I suppose not.

    PS. Oil price hit today over 80 USD. What will it be after further Israeli “Solomon” interpretations of UNSC resolutions?

    September 12th, 2007, 8:00 pm

     

    Danny said:

    Er, yes I must read more carefully. Stupid me, when you said “it’s not surprising that the NY Times is taking the lead in pressing Bush administration propaganda”, I thought you were talking about the NY times when OBVIOUSLY you were talking about a totally unrelated Israeli newspaper – then why were you shocked, shocked, I tell you, to discover “the authors of that article are all Israels” at an Israeli newspaper? Could it be that you didn’t bother reading the original NYT report and that this is simply some BS you picked up on google? Surely not.

    September 12th, 2007, 8:07 pm

     

    eric said:

    …. and if you all are wrong ?

    remember the nice speed contest beween the hare and the porky-pic, which the porky pic always won to the surprise of the hare. The tric: at the one end of the track papa porky pic was starting the race with the hare and at the end of the track mama porky pic was waiting for the hare……….papa porky pic resting on the way

    if in the case, american figthers from iraq simulate an entry into Syria at the eastern side and israely figthers do the same from the western side ?

    Who knows with certainty that any of this planes overflew Syria

    how well can you distinguish between american and israeli figthers?

    not much better than betwenn mama and papa porky pic

    September 12th, 2007, 10:10 pm

     

    Akbar Palace said:

    Solomon2 –

    Welcome to the Syrian “Peace” forum!

    September 12th, 2007, 10:19 pm

     

    abraham said:

    Dan,

    WTF are you talking about? Your reading comprehension is apparently extraordinarily poor. The original article, as published by the zionist authors, had the headline I quoted, which was subsequently changed. According to them, the NY Times was pushing the meme that IAf photographed nuclear facilities in Syria, whereby the actual content of the article clarified the headline as being “possibly” nuclear facilities.

    It is also possible the zionist authors simply pulled the headline out of their collective asses, which for zionist journalists would not surprise me one bit.

    Don’t let me stop you from contributing something useful to this discussion.

    September 13th, 2007, 12:12 am

     

    Danny said:

    Dear Abraham, I’ll take your rant as a “Yes, I didn’t bother reading the original NYT article and now I feel a bit silly jumping up and down”.

    Dear anyone ELSE, do we have any hard evidence that there was any incursion at all? How do the Syrians know it was the Israelis if they failed to hit anything? How do they know the IAF flight path if they didn’t detect the IAF until is had reached deep into Syria?

    September 13th, 2007, 5:25 am

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    Dear anyone ELSE, do we have any hard evidence that there was any incursion at all? How do the Syrians know it was the Israelis if they failed to hit anything? How do they know the IAF flight path if they didn’t detect the IAF until is had reached deep into Syria?

    Come-on Danny, even USA has admitted that the incursion by Israelis happened. If it did not happen why doesn’t Israel say that it had nothing to do with that incursion?

    By the way how do you know that Syria did not detect the planes earlier? Maybe Syrians wanted to know where Israeli planes are going and decided to take action before the planes reached Iraq or the mysterious target.

    September 13th, 2007, 7:11 am

     

    Friend in America said:

    Question: In working on this murkey picture I found some third hand information that several years ago the Chinese sold the Syrians a “miniture” reactor and it is located at Dayr az Zawr. Does anyone have information of this question? If the reactor is not at Dayr, where is it?

    Reactors need a lot of water for steam and for cooling. For this reason the usually are found near rivers. Dayr az Zawr is on the Euphrates River. An analyist in Great Britain said the target could not be nuclear because Syria’s principal military installations are in the central desert. That analyst apparently is not aware a reactor needs water.

    September 14th, 2007, 1:22 am

     

    Friend in America said:

    In the 12 plus hours since the above comment correspondent reports in Washington, Rome, Cairo and Tokyo have been published focusing on a Syrian-North Korean link. They find it noteable that North Korea and Iran are the only countries that publically condemned the incursion. Although more verification is needed before there is certainty that the site bombed contained nuclear components, give thought to the possibility they were nuclear and that they were paid for by Iran under the recently signed “trade agreement.” But, why would Syria be involved in such high risk activity at this time?
    The weak Syrian economy could not bear the very expensive cost of a nuclear program so international economists claim. We should note Syria asked only that the report to the UN Security Council on Israel’s incursion be circulated – it did not ask for a Security Council hearing. Circulation is only eye dressing for domestic satisfaction. Also, Syria has not allowed the press to visit the site at last to date.
    We should be sensitive to several possibilities:
    1. If the nuclear materials were for Syria’s use, Israel will defend itself on a claim of self defense, as it did previously.
    If not for Syria’s almost dormant nuclear program, was Syria merely a deliverer?
    2. Intellegence reports increased activity in Dawr for the past 6 weeks. What was going on and by whom?
    3. If intended for Hezbollah, the provision in the UN Security Council resolution on banning weapons for Hezbollah gives Israel an out from international criticism .
    3. If the materials were intended for Iran to further its program and was Syrian to trans ship them to Iran?
    (imagine an international debate in which Syria denies the materials were for its own nuclear program and then asked for whose program was Syria to trans ship?) In any event, Damascus will have some difficult explaning why nuclear components were secretly shipped into Syria. Maybe for Damascus’s sake, the less said the better.
    The foregoing is only an assessment hypothesis. Future disclosures will determine its accuracy.

    September 14th, 2007, 8:18 pm

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    Friend in America do you believe the stories and findings. So far the only “evidence” of Syrian nuclear plans have come from some US guys, known in the past having an extreme vivid imagination, giving extremely foggy interviews. In style “May be” like Bolton said.

    Why on earth would North Korea transfer nuclear technology to Syria, which doesn’t have the needed basic industrial infrastructure, enough educated personnel and no money? Iran would be much a much more logical transfer target, because they have the needed industrial infrastructure, trained experienced personnel and money.

    Actually it is amusing how the western media works. First there is an attack. Then everybody assumes that there must be a real important target but nobody knows what. Then some “experienced” US Iraqi WMD hunters put around a rumour that North Koreans are building there a nuclear weapon factory. And puff that is becomes the official truth in the media (like it happened with Iraq).

    Nobody bothers to use their brains. How did North Koreans to manage to ship all the enormous amounts of machines, parts etc needed to build a nuclear reactor or nuclear weapon factory in Syria? In suitcases by a few alleged North Korean atom experts visiting Damascus – come-on. If it has taken for Iran decades to build a nuclear program, how could Syria manage in secret to build in a couple months / years to build a seriously taken nuclear weapon factory near Iraqi border under the US noses. USA can even calculate “exactly” 🙂 the amount of incoming foreign fighters. How could Syria hide a huge industrial complex been built near the border?

    What about adding three points to your list for possible motives

    4 the nuclear material was Saddam’s lost “WMD treasures” which Israel suddenly found 🙂
    5. Israel attacked to demolish the Arab peace plan, which had been extremely costly for Israel and caused severe internal problems and even the possibility to some level civil war.
    6. Israel attacked to make “ground” for a new war.

    Points 5 and 6 seem much more logical reasons than the wild speculations with North Korea. If Israel/US would have proof and the site is destroyed, why not tell the world in a more believable way than feeding second grade rumours (= some North Korean atom experts visited Syria) to the press. Now it is on the same level like the stories of the Saddam’s Al Qaida links.

    September 14th, 2007, 9:35 pm

     

    Friend in America said:

    The web site named nti.org has a map of all of Syria’s WMD activites. Dayr az Zawr is identified as a nuclear activity site.

    The commentary on this site states Syria’s activities (to date of the commentary) has been limited to producing isotobes for medical purposes and other limited non WMD uses. There is no comment on the heightened activities at Dayr az Zawr in the past 6 weeks and it offers nothing on why Israel decided this site was too dangerous to Israel’s security. So the commentary may not be current.

    September 14th, 2007, 9:50 pm

     

    Friend in America said:

    Correction: The site is nti (Nuclear Threat Initiative), a private non-profit organization organized by a former Democrat Senator and Ted Turner of Atlanta, GA, USA. It’s a good site worth reviewing.

    September 14th, 2007, 9:58 pm

     

    ausamaa said:

    Does this trust worthy site make any mention of Iraq’s WMD? Past or present? LOL/

    September 14th, 2007, 11:05 pm

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    Well I do not know how neutral NTI.ORG is

    Introductions from nti
    Israel:

    Forged by the experience of the Holocaust, and its geography defined within a hostile neighborhood, the modern state of Israel has developed a range of weapons systems to ensure its security. Based on the real or perceived threat from its Arab and Persian neighbors, Israel continues to maintain a highly advanced military, a nuclear weapons program, and offensive and defensive missiles. There are unconfirmed allegations that Israel has sought chemical and biological weapons as well.

    Syria:

    While constrained by limited resources, Syria has shown interest in and taken steps to develop and acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems, especially chemical weapons and ballistic missiles. Damascus has allegedly received direct assistance from Russia (and formerly the Soviet Union), Iran, and North Korea in developing its programs. Syria’s motivation to acquire WMD, and ballistic missiles in particular, appears to be a response to Israel’s superior conventional military capabilities. There are strong indications that Syria is pursuing nuclear weapons.

    Interesting. Syria has shown interest in developing Weapons of Mass Destruction. But Israel is because of Holocaust (which by the way happened in Europe) is building only defensive weapons. Strong indications with Syria and unconfirmed allegations with Israel. Same WMD’s are with Syria weapons of mass destruction and with Israel they are only weapons. Strange isn’t it.

    September 14th, 2007, 11:28 pm

     

    Friend in America said:

    Itr’s easy to post character smears. Far harder to post comments that advance ones understanding.

    September 15th, 2007, 1:53 am

     

    Friend in America said:

    Simohurtta –
    The interesting question is – why would Syria buy nuclear components from North Korea when it has so little money and such fragmentary nuclear facilities and risk an international crisis? What’s in it for Syria? Why North Korea would sell is easy – they want the money. A sale would recover some of its very expensive investment in nuclear weapons, which it is shutting down. North Korea is very poor. Some foreign currency would be very attractive (or did they sell for oil from Iran?).

    September 15th, 2007, 2:02 am

     

    SimoHurtta said:

    Simohurtta –
    The interesting question is – why would Syria buy nuclear components from North Korea when it has so little money and such fragmentary nuclear facilities and risk an international crisis? What’s in it for Syria? Why North Korea would sell is easy – they want the money. A sale would recover some of its very expensive investment in nuclear weapons, which it is shutting down. North Korea is very poor. Some foreign currency would be very attractive (or did they sell for oil from Iran?).

    Indeed the interesting question is – why would Syria. Don’t you Friend in America know that there is an UN resolution for North Korea transferring nuclear “knowhow”. That makes extremely difficult for North Korea to ship the the goods to the customer when US warships keep close look of outgoing goods. Do you really believe that the transfers of such facilities and the hundreds of foreign experts needed in building the new “systems” could be performed in total “darkness”.

    Of course North Korea wants money but so do others including USA and Israel. For North Korea to be “found” in this kind of illegal technology transfers would severely hurt its ability to earn in future much more cash than it ever could get from Syria. So your need cash motive is an extremely weak motive. Could I say that it is obvious that you sell heroin because you need money and the need of cash is proof enough? I doubt that.

    Use Friend in America your brains and first figure out how could NK manage to get the goods to Syria and then use a while for thinking how it would be possible for Syria to build in total secret an enormous industrial project. “May have” Bolton is not a creditable source.

    September 15th, 2007, 5:48 am

     

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