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Is this what Israel bombed in Syria?

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Robin Lustig | 22:23 UK time, Saturday, 13 October 2007

The New York Times has what seems to be the most authoritative account of what Israel attacked last month in Syria. It quotes American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports as saying the Israeli target was "a partly constructed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel."

The full report is here.


  1. At 05:36 PM on 14 Oct 2007, Mark wrote:

    Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons in its insane messianic mission to "wipe Israel off the map" (the little Satan) and create a world without America (the great Satan) as a prelude to a worldwide Shia Caliphate is only equaled in its danger by al Qaeda which wants to do the same but under the aegis of a Suni Caliphate. Iran should be the top story in the news every single day being the single greatest threat to human life on earth, even more so than global warming. It has also been acquiring missile technology from China and North Korea. Syria's role is a supportive one as we see in Lebanon but it seems incongruous because Syria is largely a Suni state. Syria wants the Golan Heights back and wouldn't mind seeing Israel destroyed either. Syria's efforts to acquire WMDs is not news, many speculated that Iraq's chemical and biological weapons wound up in Syria "for safe keeping" just prior to the 2003 invasion. This would hardly be unprecedented as Iraq sent its remaining Migs and Mirages to Iran during the 1991 gulf war rather than see them destroyed by the Americans. There were brief reports in the press at the time that Israeli intelligence had discovered vast convoys of trucks leaving Iraq for Syria just prior to the 2003 invasion and it was suspected that's what they contained. Because the WMDs were never found in Iraq, much of the world now believes that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush lied about Iraq having them to justify the invasion but at the time, every major intelligence agency believed that Iraq had them and even Iraq's own generals believed it. If it was a bluff, it was one of the dumbest bluffs imaginable.

    A WMD attack by Syria on Israel would be an act of national suicide, no halfway measure to neutralize the continued threat of Syria would be acceptable to the Israeli body politic, only complete destruction of the country putting an end to its threat forever would be acceptable.

    The day approaches (we don't know when it will be but it is coming) that the governments of the US and Israel will believe Iran is on the verge of being able to build an atom bomb. We know that China and Russia are indifferent to this prospect and that Europe is utterly impotent to act (why should this be any different than anything else.) That leaves only the US and Israel which happens to be the two most likely targets for such weapons in Iran's hands. It now seems likely that the next US president will be far too weak to act, lacking the political will or understanding of what it at stake, let alone ready to initiate a war unilaterally without the UN's or anyone's else's sanctions possibly including Congresses'. That leaves two possibilities, the first being the US military acting on its own. There is precedent for this when dire threats to national security are immediately at hand. The example of the Cuban missile crisis as retold by many who were present has it that President Kennedy told Khrushchev that he didn't know how much longer he could control his generals. In fact, they were ready to act with or without him and there were no limits to the measures they would take including total war with the USSR. The end of the world was literally only hours away. The US has the capability to take out most or all of Iran's nuclear weapons research and production facilities with conventional weapons. Israel does not. If it must act because nobody else will, it has only one choice, a pre-emptive thermonuclear first strike. Because this would make it a pariah state even beyond the prejudice it already endures, there is no telling what other targets it would take out at the same time, feeling it has nothing to lose. Syria would definitely be at the top of the list but given the way Jews have been treated by Middle Eastern nations in the last 60 years and by Western civilization over the last thousand or more years, who knows what else they would strike. Saudi Arabia? Berlin? Moscow? Warsaw? It is believed that Israel has the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world, behind only the US and Russia. And like those countries, it's believed many of them are fusion weapons, far more powerful than the bombs which wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You have to wonder if the world would survive such a cataclysm

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