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September 21, 2007


In addition to what the intelligence flow suggests (Bush 'blessed' the attack,) how about the 'revival' of the old timey tradition of Rudely Bombing another Country without global, public debate?

This is an ominous event, whatever the 'content' of the Intel was/is.

It has a strong 'This Could be You' written-in-craters feeling about it.

Gee, I wonder what they were thinking?

Hi EW,

Arms Control Wonk is sure it wasn't nukes, just spare parts for missiles.


So why now and why the nuke hype? Here's a hint:

"Arab and other Islamic nations, targeting Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal, pushed through a U.N. atomic watchdog resolution on Thursday calling on all Middle East nations to renounce atomic weapons.

...The decision was non-binding but symbolised tensions over Israel's presumed nuclear might and shunning of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and it frayed the traditional consensus culture of the Vienna-based IAEA.

Israel is widely assumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, though it has never confirmed or denied it.

A similar resolution urging all Middle East nations to adopt IAEA safeguards on nuclear work passed overwhelmingly at last year's IAEA general assembly, with only Israel and top ally the United States opposed, as they were again on Thursday."


The resolution had been known about months in advance by all parties - plenty of time to set up the counterstrike.

A nice convergence of an Israeli wish for a smoke and mirrors misdirection and a neocon wish to demonize the remaining "Axis of Evil" members in search of further war means the message machine was rolled out to push the "nuke" meme.

Regards, C

This is battlefield prep, count on it. Were it a strike on an actual nuclear site, it would have already been leaked and spun into the war-promotion. Israel is taking out something that is relevant not as much to Syria as to Iran. The Israeli government sees a war on Iran in the near term, fought by the U.S. if possible and Israel if necessary, and this strike was in preperation for that war. I wonder what sort of anti-aircraft stuff Syria has in cooperation with Iran in that general area.

lizard, there's some wiki info on air defense for both syria and Iran. Syria's stuff appears very dated, fwiw.

If I were going to try to manipulate an adversary to place their missile forces on a Launch On Warning release (hairtrigger status), this is how I would do it.

Next time, all it will take is an incursion by unidentified aircraft into Iranian airspace.

Someone desperately wants Iran to be the first to launch.

This is about as dangerous as it gets. Why is no one else pointing out the obvious?

it makes absolutely no sense to me that,

with israel as a next-door neighbor and with israeli's history re hussein's nuclear plant,

syria would even think of creating a nuclear bomb making or delivering facility.

in addition to the informative comments by cernig and lizard, i would suggest the conjoint possibility of israeli cooperation with the u.s. in psy ops to raise american public fears about nuclear this-and-that in the middle east,

in preparation for an american attack on iran.

relevant or not, five nuclear weapons were transferred "accidentally" to the american air base in louisiana which is a shipping point for the middle east conflict.

larry johnson had comments on this.

i almost cannot imagine that the u.s. would dare use nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, but....

orionATL - I agree about the psyops angle, but I think the primary target of such a stratefy of tension isn't the American public -- this story has been practically buried, and until now, no really reliable source has carried it. No, I think this is part of a longer-term escalating program to try to provoke Iran into shooting first.

The British Frigate incident last year was also an attempt to provoke the Iranians, particularly the Revoltionary Guards, to do something stupid. Same thing with the kidnappings of diplomats in Iraq and al Quuds commanders before that.

Let's hope that the Iranian brass continue to exercise restraint and discipline. This is only going to get worse.

o'AT: likely OT but complementary: There was a fairly elaborate article at Federation of American ScientistsBlog September 5, 2007 re August 8 transfer of nuclearToys from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on August 30.


That's what I'm inclined to believe. Though given Syria's silence, I do wonder if there isn't another wrinkle we're not seeing.


good point. and thanks for the informative background.

johnL -

thanks for the cite, i could not remember "minot".

Yes, I too believe this has something to do with the Minot/Barksdale nuke "incident." I don't believe it had anything to do with N. Korea and everything to do with Iran. A certain poster in FDL late night has some interesting insight into why Syria was not the actual target, but that Israel was going for Iran's nuke sites, with U.S. blessings of course, but that something happened to spook the Israeli pilot and they dumped in Syria instead. It makes sense as there is no way Syria would be building a nuke site that close to the Turkish border. It's not a practical location at all. Considering the lack of news on both incidents, something smells very fishy.

I thought Syria is predominantly Sunni and Iran, Shia. Are they really "closely linked"?

steve bennen at t the carpetbagger has a post on "israel, the u.s., and the attack on syria"

several commenters made points complementary to those e'wheel and commenters here have made:

dennis-sgmm (9:57a)

zeitgeist (10:55a)

calD (11:30a).

the last, cald, wrote that north korea is pretty good at making accurate medium range missiles (conventional) that could reach israeli cities.

The ruling clique in Syria is Shia, even though the Shia are 15% compared to the Sunni's 74%.


"Recent months have seen the crystallisation of an anti-Western alliance linking Iran, under the hardline President Ahmadinejad, some Shia factions in Iraq, Syria — which is ruled by the Alawites, a Shia splinter group — Hezbollah and the Damascus branch of the Hamas movement."


A possible inference of the bombing in Syria being: Bush isn't just signalling to Iran that he's unhappy about their "Nuclear Activities," he's signalling that he's fighting a Holy War against Shia Islam - the Islamo-Fascists.

And, he has the support of Israel, because the Islamo-Fascists want to 'exterminate' Israel, and the Jews, all over again.

This is how Ideologues 'make' Armageddon happen.

leveymg, I agree that the most likely reason is provocation. All the talk about Iran supplying weapons that are killing our troops is a back up position for their war plans, but their preferable situation is for Iran to be provoked into striking first. I believe that Cheney and Bush think they can evoke strong feelings of retaliation in this country again, a la 9/12.

Marcy, can you expand on your hunch about another player, e.g. China? There is definitely something strange about the silence on this. One can't exactly bomb another country in secret. So why the silence? Did something go seriously wrong in this mission? Has someone else jumped into the middle to try and prevent escalation? It's strange.

indie voter may have read the same FDL poster's comments about the Hunt pipeline project...the plan for which is believed to run from Turkish border of Iraq to port of Haifa, and might easily targeted along its length by Syrian-based weaponry.

Perhaps the whining about Iran is a shiny object, designed to explain why the pipeline doesn't run north-south to an Iraqi or Kuwaiti port (very close to Iran) rather than running to Israel.

I actually think the mystery party is Russia, although China could have their own piece of this puzzle.


I think I'm thinking along the same lines as you:

1) NK and Syria would have to be incredibly stupid to do this.
2) If Irsael had succeeded in taking out a nuclear site--or if it had real evidence of NK involvement it would be trumpeting that.
3) If Israel made a completely unprovoked attack on Syria, Syria would be trumpeting it.

So there must be some there there, but it probably doesn't have to do, primarily, with NK. I say China (though it could be Russia) because both have interests in making sure the US/Israel don't take out Syrian/Iran, yet both would want to hide they were there. It's really a WAG though.

Something's fishy for sure. Are there any on the ground reports? A nuke doesn't make sense and would be put out to support the culture of fear.

Anyone considered a human target, perhaps a foriegn advisor?

I need to ask the source what that northern pipeline is, depicted here.

And what impact this might have had on that pipeline.

It's not even like US Intelligence is particularly good on these matters! What would make our stuff "corroborrate" anything?

This is really still very stinky.

Marcy you are right this stinks to high heaven. David Gregory asked Bush questions about this issue two times during the press conference yesterday. "NO Comment" "no Comment" was Bush's reply.

Imagine if Syria, Iran or any other country in that neighborhood attacked Israel or flew into Israeli airspace. All hell would break lose.

Folks in that neighborhood have had it with the double standards.

marcy you might be interested in the interview with Kathleen and Bill Christison (both retired CIA analyst, whose articles are often at counterpunch)at Electronic Intifada about the middle east. Bill thinks the Bush administration is definitely going to Iran.

Here is a map of (known) Iranian nuclear installations

Here is a map of the route the "supersonic bombers'" allegedly took,

The Israelies have supersonic bombers (with nuclear capabilites but that is tangental right now) bought from France

The route map indicates that Turkey 'let' the Israelies into their airspace for a long time. Would this really happen? Would Turkey let Israel bomb either Syria or Iran? Maybe Turkey gave Syria a heads up as the Israelies were enroute to Iran?

My guess (and only a guess) is that Israel was going to provoke and/or bomb Iran, Turkey gave Syria a heads up, and Syria scared off the attackers. /guess

well, sailmaker turns things on their heads. very interesting.

several commenters at "political animal" (kevin drum, "the syria-north korea nuclear connection") provided info i found interesting,

in particular the observations of "flyonthewall" (at 12:02p and 12:23p).

We do what we must.

What is stinky about this is that it flies in the face of reality. What kind of a nuclear facility was this supposed to be exactly? No one says. I have said this before but a nuclear weapons program is not something you can run out of your garage. Our own Manhattan Project was one of the biggest industrial undertakings in our history. It had several components and most of them involved large industrial complexes. If the Syrians had a nuclear program, they too would need multiple sites and we would know about them. Yet even if they had such a program, would the Israelis really be content to lob a few bombs at one site and not go after the others? The obvious answer is they did not because there were no others. This rather implies that Syria did not have a significant nuclear program and certainly not a nuclear weapons program.

Perhaps the North Koreans were helping the Syrians build a small research reactor but there are problems with this scenario too. It is only a first step and a small one on the road to a nuclear weapon and by itself represented no nuclear threat at all. The Israelis could have struck it before it was loaded with nuclear material. This would explain why there were no reports of any radiation release associated with the Israeli bombing. If nuclear materials had been present, then there should have been a release of radioactivity and this should have been easily detectable by out of country monitors. But this rather begs an important question. Where were the Syrians expecting to get that nuclear material? Home grown, the North Koreans, the Iranians, the Pakistanis, or someone else? If home grown, they would need a plant for this, and so there would be two sites not just one for the Israelis to attack

This brings me to another scenario (and one for which I have very little information). It could be that the Syrians were interested in building a plant to extract uranium from local mineral deposits not primarily for themselves but for the Iranians. I have not heard that Syrian uranium sources have the same mineral contamination problems that most Iranian uranium ores seem to have. It might be that building such a plant was what sparked the Israeli raid. The North Koreans may have been delivering some equipment which would have helped in the processing and the Israelis struck before the plant became operational.

Sailmaker - A couple points that raise red flags:

* Intentional violation of Turkish airspace by Israel would be treated as a major international incident. The Turks are NATO, and they have modern airdefense radars and F-16 interceptors. There's no way Israeli warplanes went that route without Turkey knowing about it. It seems extremely unlikely the Turks permitted such a thing - recall they backed out of an agreement at the last moment to US to invade Iraq from their territory.

* It is unlikely that that the Israelis would choose a northern route to attack the most likely targets in Iran -- the uranium enrichment facility at Arak (central Iran) and the reactor construction site in Bushehr (south-western coast). A down the Red Sea and around-the-Arabian Penisula route is available for those targets that doesn't present third-country overflight problems. One might expect the IDF would also secure emergency landing fields mid-way, near Berbera, Northeast Somalia, if they were going to do this. Look at a larger map of the region.

* The IAF has an inventory of US-made F-16I AND F-15I fighter-bombers specially modified for long range missions aalong with in-flight aerial refueling aircraft.

* Finally, consider the source of that report: SkyNews is Rupert Murdoch. Flakey, at best.

- Regards

Sailmaker - A couple points that raise red flags:

* Intentional violation of Turkish airspace by Israel would be treated as a major international incident. The Turks are NATO, and they have modern airdefense radars and F-16 interceptors. There's no way Israeli warplanes went that route without Turkey knowing about it. It seems extremely unlikely the Turks permitted such a thing - recall they backed out of an agreement at the last moment to US to invade Iraq from their territory.

* It is unlikely that that the Israelis would choose a northern route to attack the most likely targets in Iran -- the uranium enrichment facility at Arak (central Iran) and the reactor construction site in Bushehr (south-western coast). A down the Red Sea and around-the-Arabian Penisula route is available for those targets that doesn't present third-country overflight problems. One might expect the IDF would also secure emergency landing fields mid-way, near Berbera, Northeast Somalia, if they were going to do this. Look at a larger map of the region.

* The IAF has an inventory of US-made F-16I AND F-15I fighter-bombers specially modified for long range missions aalong with in-flight aerial refueling aircraft.

* Finally, consider the source of that report: SkyNews is Rupert Murdoch. Flakey, at best.

- Regards

Hugh -

Your idea that Syria might be mining and refining yellowcake for shipment to Iran is creative, but not very likely. Uranium mining and initial refining in any useful quantities -- tonnes and tonnes are required for the next stage conversion into Uranium Hexafluoride gas -- is also a huge industrial undertaking and quite impossible to hide.

Next, what makes you think that Iran lacks sufficient quantities of usable domestic uranium ore? Yes, some of their deposits are laced with molybdenum, but that is hardly an insurmountable problem -- molybdenum is a key alloy in high-strength steel, and the technology to seperate it out is 100 years old. In fact, molybdenum along with nickel and chromium is an extremely valuable commodity, particularlily to any country that wants to manufacture its own high-strength steel.

P.S. - in my response above to sailmaker, I neglected to include the centrifuge facility at Natanz, central Iran, to the list of likely primary targets for any Israeli air raids.

We do what we must.

I am pretty sure that's a quote from Ted Bundy!! Oh wait, maybe that was Jeffrey Dahmer. Wait, no I think it was Hitler, that was it.

I know it was somebody with a compulsion.

As someone above posts, Al The Spook has some theory's about this all.

I quote loosely, with some of MY thougts interjected:

1) NO WAY Syria/N. Korea do any nuke foolishness close to the border, within easy reach of many folks. They'd put it in the desert, which Syria has plenty of. So that discounts any notion of N. Korea and Syria as the target.

2) Isreal gets its oil from? RUSSIA! The pipeline runs thru Turkey, and Turkey gets PAID for that. So Isreali overflight is a no brainer, for Turkey. If ANYONE tipped anyone, it was Russia.

3) Syria has a WHOLE new slew of SAM sites, scattered here and there, and certainly along the route the Isreali's were flying.

The Spook posits Syria's SAM sites opened up radar on the Isreali flight, a pilot carrying tactical low yield nukes paniced, and fired off convential weapons at the SAM site. The other SAM sites lit up, and the Isreali formation, A SIGNIFICANT AIR GROUP, abandonded its mission.

Said Mission? NATANZ, IRAN! A nuke site. Isreal was headed for Iran, with tactical nukes to drop.

Maybe Russia alerted Syrian SAM sites? Once again, Putin has saved the planet from a nuke demise.

Another scary scenerio?

We have a HUGE and INCREDIBLY dangerous division in our nation with Shooter/Vader opting to defy BoyKing and Fallon and the JCS with respect to use of nukes, by US, or Isreal.

Shooter/Vader ok'd or ORDERED the Isreal Ops, and our own military alerted Russia to alert Syria to back the ops off . . . If this ever came out to be vaguely true then look for Cheney to die a very sudden death soon . . (who ordered the nuke transfers from Minot to Barksdale, with BoyKings authority? Shooter was GIVEN all that authority back in '01, the Minot Ordeal was a black ops wherin USAF Fundie Loyalists to Shooter/Neocons changed the labeling on live nukes on the ACM's, to INERT status, and fooled everyone till the ID badges turned in from the move at Minot revealed that ONE of the badges belonged to an officer who was NOT part of the transition team as the ACM's were moved from below to the '52H).

The entire planet is REAL uneasy thinking there might be some kind of deep divide in our system, which could easliy lead to a pushed button, or a coup by either side . . . right now, it appears Fallon and the sanity of MOST of our military is in support of the masses . . . but there are deeply embedded elements in the USAF, that could go rogue if ordered to do so by Shooter And His Gang.

I'm beginning to LIKE that Russian Putin, though, a LOT . . . he's the ONLY thing, besides China, keeping USA (cept for Cheney/NeoCons) from nuking the planet to oblivion. Recall that Putin visited BoyKing just this last Spring. And BoyKing has been acknowledged to have taken NUKES off the table WRT Iran . . . but Shooter/Vader has not, and HIS battle with Condi's DIPLOMATIC roads for Iran are well chronicled.

Russia, savior of the world! Irony, my fav psyops flavor!

My we live in interesting times!

And The Spook Abides!

Keep checking his sites, he said he'd be posting updates on this all sometime today.

Mark G Levey -
I hadn't seen Sky News before, which is why I put in that 'purportedly' in front of citing the handy map. I think they were going after the plants in Tabritz and Bonab, northern Iran. Maybe not to bomb, although bombs were carried (which we know because of the hole in the desert).

Here is CommonDreams saying 8 bombers went over Turkey into Syria,

. . . but one thing was absolutely clear. Far from being a minor incursion, the Israeli overflight of Syrian airspace through its ally, Turkey, was a far more major affair involving as many as eight aircraft, including Israel’s most ultra-modern F-15s and F-16s equipped with Maverick missiles and 500lb bombs. Flying among the Israeli fighters at great height, The Observer can reveal, was an ELINT - an electronic intelligence gathering aircraft... .

Here is the Jerusalem Post saying the Kuwaitis are saying the Turkish gave Israel info in advance and the Post has the Turks demanding to know if the Israelies flew over their airspace because jettisoned gas tanks were found on the Turkish Syrian border.


The Eurasia Daily Monitor - Turkey . . . condemns

I can't tell the smoke from the mirrors - It makes sense that Turkey has NATO radar, but why would they pretend they didn't know, and decry 'alleged violations of airspace'? Maybe to avoid an international incident (in which case one wonders what the quid pro quo is - staying in NATO??).

Why would Turkey get involved if Israel went the long way around, over the Red sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Iraq, to Syria? Maybe Turkey said what it said as a cover for a test of the restraint on Iranian trigger fingers as the Israelies flew by? (Again, is the quid pro quo staying in NATO?)


sailmaker wrote,
"Here is a map of the route the "supersonic bombers'" allegedly took,

The Israelies have supersonic bombers (with nuclear capabilites but that is tangental right now) bought from France


My guess (and only a guess) is that Israel was going to provoke and/or bomb Iran, Turkey gave Syria a heads up, and Syria scared off the attackers. /guess"

Posted by: sailmaker


Do we know for certain just where the 'bombing' happened?

From the map shown it was very near the Syria-Iraq border. Were there US troops near that border in Iraq?

Could there have been an attempt to get US troops bombed while making it look like Syria had done it?

Why no comment? Maybe it was somewhat like the Minot nukes story and nobody wanted to say a word.

Incidentally, on the Minot nukes aftermath:

I haven't read these articles, so make of them what you will.

Larue, do you have a link?

Sailmaker - Maybe the Israelis dropped tanks to get the hell out of Turkish airspace, which could explain why this has been hushed-up. If the point of this demonstration (and I think that's all it was) was inside Syria, why penetrate Turkish airspace? That doesn't make much sense to me.

I also striongly doubt that the IAF was actually going after targets in nothern Iran. The facilities you mentioned just are not referenced in the literature as highest priority targets. An actual attack on Iran just wouldn't take that route, and it would involve far more than 8 aircraft.

It seems more likely that this was a demonstration exercise that got complicated along the border with Turkey, which was where the F-15 drop tanks were found. Where is the report that ordinance of a specific type was dropped? I didn't see it in WaPo, JPost or the SkyNews reports.

It appears from reports that indeed some sort of missile facility was hit in Syria, and it happened to be close to the border with Turkey and a bit more distant from the Iranian frontier. Inconveniently close to Turkey and conveniently within earshot of Iran. They made their point.

Gotta wonder what the next test of Iran's military command and control system will be? If next time Tehran manages to again keep its finger off the trigger, it passes part of the test for becoming a responsible member of the nuclear club. Failure isn't an option.

Sailmaker - One of the most striking things about this incident is that not one report that I've seen has specified exactly where along the Turkish border supposedly got "bombed" by the Israeli AF. Where in hell is this Syrian "military target"?

SkyNews has a map -- see sailmaker's post above -- but it's not exactly very detailed.

I went looking for potential target sites -- specifically what is described as WMD sites inside Syria -- and came up with three, but none of them are near the Turkish border. Here's a 2004 report in Debkafile, an Israeli source that must be taken with a pillar of salt: www.debka.com/article.php?aid=764

So, where the hell are we talking about, anyway?

At some of the web sites I've read about the incident, it wasn't that they were just SAM sites, but they were the latest SAM's from Russia, but weren't operational yet. That's why Israel took them out now.

They were apparently located in northern Syria. That area would be in the way of flight paths into Iran, if not for Israeli strike aircraft, then for U.S. warplanes launching from the carriers in the Med.

Remember, many of the targets the U.S. Military has targeted in Iran reportedly include many of Iran's military installations, not just "Nuke" sites. If the U.S. attacks, the plan is to take out as much of their military as possible with crippling air strikes that would be flown in from all over the region.

To me, this was just a pre-emptive strike to take out the latest SAM missiles before they could become active and do real harm if/when Bushco with IAF help go after Iran for the oil, er nukes.

Mark - It is the huge new joint Iranian/Syrian/North Korean/Dr. Evil/Blofeld/Boogeyman thermonuclear and burger joint. The only people knowing where it is have been killed. Who the fuck knows; but it sure would be nice if the Americans, Israelis and Russians could just keep their warplanes within their own territorial boundaries for a while, wouldn't it?


Just wandering back through. Iran has some but not large deposits of uranium and these are laced with molybdenum and other heavy metals and the Iranians have had problems removing these. The initial processing into a yellowcake could be done at a single site. It was this that I thought could be transferred to Iran. And yes, it could be tons and tons so what? Millions of tons of ores get transported around the world. What is a few hundred tons more? Nor did I ever say that Syria had plans to further refine and gasify the uranium into the hexafluoride. I agree that would take more large plants. That was rather my point. There seems to have been only one "nuclear" site and I can think of only two scenarios to explain this: a research reactor or a site for the early stages of uranium extraction and processing. If the second, the Iranians have the capacity to carry uranium processing forward from there.

Mark G. Levey - Ordinance refs
and http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/09/11/israel.syria/

"But the sources told CNN the military operation, which happened Wednesday into Thursday, may have also involved Israeli ground forces who directed the airstrike, which "left a big hole in the desert" in Syria."

Here is a ref to 'munitions' whatever that means - could be the fuel tanks

The Syrian Defense Minister says they 'dropped bombs'

That same site has a few interesting observations:
""There seems to be a consensus here that the Israelis were testing Syrian air defense systems," Andrew Tabler, Damascus-based editor of Syria Today, told TIME."

And more importantly:
"In August, Syria reportedly received from Russia the first batch of 50 Pantsyr S1E short-range air defense systems, part of an alleged sale worth almost $1 billion. The deal is said to have been financed by Iran, which reportedly will receive from Syria some of the Pantsyr units and deploy them to protect its nuclear facilities."

Another cite with the same idea (I believe this is the mouthpiece of Israel's military but could be wrong): http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=1301
"DEBKAfile’s military experts conclude from the way Damascus described the episode Wednesday, Sept. 6, that the Pantsyr-S1E missiles, purchased from Russia to repel air assailants, failed to down the Israeli jets accused of penetrating northern Syrian airspace from the Mediterranean the night before.
The new Pantsyr missiles therefore leave Syrian and Iranian airspace vulnerable to hostile intrusion"

I thought Russia was selling the short range air defense systems directly to Iran.
The stop in Syria on the way to Iran (above) makes sense more as anti Iran propaganda . (IMO)

i'm thinking of physical evidence at the moment

and trying to find a picture of the bomb site.

i recall a picture, maybe in nytimes or wapo, of a single large hole in the ground, but i can't find it now.

can anyone refer me to it?

Mark - "So, where the hell are we talking about, anyway?

My latest conjecture is that the Israelies came in via the Med, the hit was at Dayr az Zawr (possibly the air force base) near the Euphrates (spelling appears many ways), the hit may have taken out some non functional new short range missiles, something went wrong, they left, going near the Turkish border where they dumped their fuel tanks.

why carry fuel tanks for what seems, to me at least, short range stuff?

did the tanks have fuel in them when ditched?

orionATL - F15s have a range of 3400 miles with 3 fully loaded external fuel tanks. F-16s have a range of about 2000 miles.

Following are guestimations - say a F15 took off from mid Israel say somewhere around Tel Aviv, flew out over the Mediterranean to avoid detection in Lebanon/Jordan/Syria, to Dayr az Zawr - that would be at least 800. The way back, along the Turkish border ( we only know that from the fuel tanks) would be longer, and it would be useful to dump the empty fuel tanks to decrease drag.

Now that I think about it, maybe Israel flew along the Turkish border so that Syria would not risk shooting at them over Turkish territory. Syria was apparently used to Israel over flying for recon, after the hit, maybe Israel wanted the cover of Turkey.

>>The new information, particularly images received in the past 30 days, has been restricted to a few senior officials under the instructions of national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley<< hadley involved with this says it all... forget about neutrality or objectivity..

why is it okay for israel to bomb syria, but not okay for iran or any other country other then israel to have the bomb? based on israels track record they are the last ones who ought to be having the bomb... they are most likely to use it as this act demonstrates..

You know, that is an especially fantastic question in light of the fact that Israel is not a signatory to the treaty and is therefore prohibited by United Nations Rules and Charter framework from possessing nuclear weapons. But the US habitually gives both nukes and technology to Israel, the prohibited possessor. Kind of makes you wonder exactly on what authority it is that the US Government feels it is permitted to take out Iran's program when they ARE ostensibly working within the IAEA framework doesn't it?

There's another narrative that I've read at a couple of different sites which posits that this strike was a sham set-up by a few neocons in US and Israel to put North Korea in a bad light. They are horrified by the agreement the State Dept has reached with North Korea regarding its nuclear program and are hell-bent to derail it. Steve Clemens said on Scott Hortons radio show that he (Steve) had spoken with the former South Korean president in the last day or two who said he was certain that North Korea had absolutely nothing to do with the episode.

bmaz - another amazing thing is that as the american presidential wannabes line up to salute israel, or bow down, or whatever it is they do, the media regularly nourishes an ignorant attitude devoid of these type questions, but full of hostile rhetoric towards iran from these same presidential wannabes.. as it canadian, the usa looks to have gone to hell in a handbasket and lost its ability to recognize the level of hypocrisy it has adopted..

it - a

Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright are peddling garbage. There is absolutely no evidence of any nuclear program related activities, period. But their retailing of neocon-Netanyahu "intelligence" puts the word 'nuclear' right there on the front page of the Washington Post.

Read around: read Arms Control Wonk, read Joshua Landis' Syria blog. Kessler's line is that "no one has waved him off this story" (which is based entirely on sources with a track record of propagandistic, warmongering lies).

Robin Wright has spent the last six months highlighting human rights outrages by the Iranian government. U.S. provocations like the forcible kidnaping of five Iranians from Irbil in January? Not so much. Not a freaking word of where they're being held, whether they've been permitted to see representatives of their government or the Red Cross. Even if our ruling regime is not giving out that information, a reporter who was asking those questions could report that.

The Post is part of a campaign to gin up hostility toward Iran, to create a climate in which nothing Iran can do will prevent more punitive sanctions and threats. And to create a climate in which all "serious" people must take part in the two-minute hate in order to be listened to on the subject of foreign policy.

Kaspena - Hoo boy. Stands to reason with Stephen Hadley involved and Cheney's fingerprints all over Hadley.

Bmaz - Sometimes I think the powers that be in the US wants to corner the market on hypocrisy. We torture. We deny habeaus corpus. We warrentless wiretap even ourselves and data mine so that future 'evil doers' can twist the past. We have 'pre-emtive wars' at the expense of our blood and treasure. We have a state media that will not reveal the war record (or not) of our President nor the abuses of Abu Ghaarib. We have secret prisons in countries that torture. We have a faction that equates dissent with treason and has forgotten about freedom of speech (witness the Senate centuring a newspaper ad). We hire thugs to do our business (an amount of unaccountable Blackwater employees are in Iraq equaling our military numbers). All this because the bogey man of Al Qaeda has been sucessfully waved infront of us mostly sheep. Hypocrisy - in spades. Giving nukes to Israel or to Pakistan is a blip on the moral radar.

.... I don't know where in the Great White North you are, but I spent some time this summer in Vancouver and Victoria. It was wonderful, beautiful and, from all appearances, remarkably stable, clean and competently governed. It is hard for an outsider to pick up on undercurrents, but the surface sure as hell wasn't roiling like it is here. Very appealing.

oops; and Sailmaker, you got that right. It is almost hard to figure how we could be more hypocritical at this point.

Katie Jensen ,

I'm afraid you are stretched out too thin again, and are getting a bit chaotic.

You are associating that thought "We do what we must" with serial killers, cannibals, and meglomaniacs.

You can search on it and find it in songs, and elsewhere, but mainly most literate people associate it with Ralph Waldo Emerson

The full quote is: "We do what we must, and call it by the best names."

Relax a bit Katie. The world will keep turning.


This incident reminds me of last year when bonified-dyed-in-the-wool Iranian arms were presented as being proof that Iran was arming the Shia in Iraq (which we also were, coincidently). It was a no-no for Iran to arm the same people we were arming to be death squads. Only problem was the date on the lot was 5-31-06, an American civilan date format that not only no Farsi would use, no scientist would use. Forgery. I guess we have to thank the heavens that the Bush neocons are so bad at forgery/psych-ops.

hey jodi please refrain from making idiotic moronic comments.

we would all appreciate it very much if you would just stfu.


Just a couple of thoughts.

None of you mentioned ground troops. I saw reports that advance teams were on site.

Also relevant, details which were buried in press reports mentioned above, that Syrian radar did not pick them up the attack. Israel subsequently boasted that the attack was a surprise.

Another item not mentioned, was that to bomb Natanz, this northerly route would be dangerous. From the Indian Ocean up would be preferable, with refueling capability over open water.

One point that must always be considered: we do not need to sneak weaponry in if WE (the US) want to attack. We have it already in place, both on top, and underneath the Indian ocean.

In regards to "something stinks here," Peres said to reporters that Israel and Syria had things "patched up" as of the 18th. Quite bizarre.

As for the North Koreans, they are not yet technologically advanced to teach anyone about bomb building. The Soviets declared their underground nuclear blast to be a sham. No doubt it was a cache of old weaponry in need of disposal. Although our data confirmed the same, it politically expedient to rattle the drums.

Thought of another little detail to add to the mix.

While many of us were at YearlyKos, Bush signed an EO that said,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, determine that the actions of certain persons to undermine Lebanon’s legitimate and democratically elected government or democratic institutions, to contribute to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon, including through politically motivated violence and intimidation, to reassert Syrian control or contribute to Syrian interference in Lebanon, or to infringe upon or undermine Lebanese sovereignty contribute to political and economic instability in that country and the region and constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

Are they hiding a lot of decision making right now under the "national emergency" label? Is that what might have driven the business of nukes "accidentally" flown out of Minot?

There's also been an assassination this week of an anti-Syrian MP in Lebanon...how does this fit into the mix -- was this retaliation for whatever happened in the Syrian desert?

R'yne, EO13441 from which the cite is available at the university site in full text. Reading ew's opening article, I found images of the former vibrant Lebanon relevant, as well. I wonder how much the preponderant recent profitmaking by petrol extraction entities in other neighboring countries could help stabilize the perennially triune polity of Lebanon. There is some divisive wrangling about some strategic vineyard land producing cabernet in Lebanon, but that evidently has been in winegrape production for 6,000 years, since Phoenician viticulturists and enologists inhabited the region. Difficult to compare to a fuel economy, yet, perhaps a way to develop some amicable international commerce.

Another thought I remember from the first Gulf war is that the mountains on the west of Iran run NNW to SSE. Planes could fly down the valley for long distances below the mountain tops and not be detected by radar.

I have heard from someone in a position to know that the U. S. was involved in this Syria action, and that the intelligence committees on the Hill were briefed, and that Democrats saying in response to questions they know nothing about this raaid or about any U. S. involvement are lying/protecting classified information.

I thought there was a Post story saying that the Israelis came to the WH with this and the US provided supporting data -- maybe we've got a satellite that can ID enriched nuclear material? It certainly doesn't seem to be just an exercise to me, they weren't after a few centrifuges or poking at Syrian air defenses around the edges. I'd say the stinky bit Marcy's pointed at is something that came from North Korea on that ship (ignoring Bolton for the moment). But what do I know.

North Korea is supplying missiles to Syria, not nuclear materials.

This nukes business has a lot of the old familiar players involved in the disinfo campaign leading up to the Iraq war. That WP story stinks to high heaven with its tale of the oh so cautious Bush administration pursuing diplomacy and restraining the Israelis after they urged Israel to attack Syria during the Lebanese War.


I stand by my post from last Sunday - they wanted to test the new Soviet supplied air defense systems.

This incident reminds me of last year when ...

Posted by: sailmaker | September 22, 2007 at 02:01

I think you meant Nell, not Neil.
Do you sail? ..in the gulf?

Most people assume the fights are going to be the left versus the right, but it always is the reasonable versus the jerks.


i am on vancouver island - mid island... i consider myself very lucky... glad you enjoyed your time up here.

Kavips -
Agence France-Presse is reporting today that there were Israeli ground troops in Syria, who obtained nuclear material prior to the Israeli bombing. The nuclear material was traced to North Korea.

"An unidentified senior American source quoted by The Sunday Times added that the US government sought proof of nuclear-related activities before allowing the air strike by F-151 warplanes to go ahead."

Elsewhere in the story is mention that some people think it is likely that North Korea was supplying missile technology rather than nukes.


My current conjecture: Israel bombed some missiles - probably from Russia.

I don't know about the nuke stuff - so many times there has been dis-info about WMDs that even with a country outside the US and Israel reporting the incident, I find the nuke mentions needing more stubstantiation.

Whatever it was, nuclear is the least plausible possibility.
Nuclear is for prestige and only for domestic reasons. Any country truly serious about weapons for utility purposes would search for ready made stuff, although maybe not on Ebay.

Conventional missiles? With North Korea maybe, however the story just sounds as a red herring something. My guess is most likely an assassination attempt gone wrong (or right)

FYI, NK nuke material 'said seized:'


Problem with the press is not that they lie, but that many times (sufficient number of times) they are fooled or just pass on leaks and disinformation without the ability to check. (Niger docs, Rathergate docs, Lynch tapes, whole of reporting regarding Saddam's weapons etc etc) Even when they can physically examine, they and consequently we are fooled by fake video and documents. This story sounds phony on the face of it.
What else do we have stuff like Iran aiding the Taliban and being responsible for IED's. (an oxymoron if there was one - improvised or manufactured?)

Maybe I should have done the legwork I usually do...what outlet first released information about this incident?

There was a story last month about illegal weapons that when followed all the way back, had been released in balkans outlet, and in a european language. When deciphered, that first piece was actually a press release.

Not news.

The nature of the first coverage will tell us something about the situation.

Please keep in mind that Osama et al are followers of islams big daddy"mo", they are doing what he did, they are not radicals they are true believers.The koran tells the believer to make the world in their image and are doing their very best to "get r done. 90 % muslims of the world wide are what I call xmas and easter muslims, they show up for prayers but are not at this point commited to doing what is called for in the koran, at least not at this point in time, but that to will change, just give it a little more time.
A parting thought the Imam's goal is to distroy first Isreal then the US, they believe if they can put a Nuke on Jerusalam that will distroy Judisim and Christianity, they also know that a pound or 2 of c4 on the kabah will force musims to convert to Judisisim or Christianity.

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