Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 6, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SYRIA UPDATE....ABC News reports that the United States was initially opposed to an Israeli strike against a military base in northeast Syria:

In early July the Israelis presented the United States with satellite imagery that they said showed a nuclear facility in Syria. They had additional evidence that they said showed that some of the technology was supplied by North Korea.

One U.S. official told ABC's Martha Raddatz the material was "jaw dropping" because it raised questions as to why U.S. intelligence had not previously picked up on the facility.

....Initially, administration officials convinced the Israelis to call off the July strike. But in September the Israelis feared that news of the site was about to leak and went ahead with the strike despite U.S. concerns.

But was it really a nuclear site? Here's a hint from Aviation Week:

The big mystery of the strike is how did the non-stealthy F-15s and F-16s get through the Syrian air defense radars without being detected? Some U.S. officials say they have the answer.

U.S. aerospace industry and retired military officials indicated today that [the Israelis used] a technology like the U.S.-developed "Suter" airborne network attack system....The technology allows users to invade communications networks, see what enemy sensors see and even take over as systems administrator so sensors can be manipulated into positions so that approaching aircraft can't be seen, they say.

....A Kuwaiti newspaper wrote that "Russian experts are studying why the two state-of-the art Russian-built radar systems in Syria did not detect the Israeli jets entering Syrian territory. Iran reportedly has asked the same question, since it is buying the same systems and might have paid for the Syrian acquisitions."

Obviously I'm just playing amateur sleuth here, but it doesn't seem like you'd tip your hand about the capabilities of technology like this in order to destroy a bunch of rocket launchers and North Korean Scuds. The mission had to be important enough to make it worth letting the Syrians (and the Iranians and the Russians) know that their air defenses had been compromised. They might figure out how to fix it next time, after all. So maybe there was some North Korean nuclear technology there after all.

And is it a coincidence that within weeks North Korea suddenly decided to cut a deal with the U.S. to abandon its nuclear program? It might well be. But it is something of a coincidence, isn't it?

Kevin Drum 1:04 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (100)

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How about this angle: The Israelis hacked the Syrian radar defense and bombed some bogus site, to give the Iranians (who use the same system) a message that they could hack their system as well (and attack at will).

Posted by: absent observer on October 6, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

"....Initially, administration officials convinced the Israelis to call off the July strike. But in September the Israelis feared that news of the site was about to leak and went ahead with the strike despite U.S. concerns."

I don't understand why the possibility of this Syrian base becoming public necessitated an attack. Why did the Israelis fear the publicity of this secret site enough to bomb it without the U.S.'s okay?

Posted by: A different Matt on October 6, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

But it is something of a coincidence, isn't it?

Yes. Sort of like the coincidence that Israelis used "a technology like the US developed "Suter" airborne network attack system..." Fancy that.

Posted by: junebug on October 6, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh c'mon Kevin,

The biggest coincidence is that both the reports you cite are from anonymous US officials (aka Fourth Branch's minions) rather than Israeli ones or even - gasp, will we ever see the like - named officials.

You wanta coincidence? What a coincidence that within days of the attack, Syria became Co-chair of the IAEA Governing Council and allowed Egypt to put forward a resolution demanding that Isreal join the NPT and submit to IAEA inspections. A resolution that was expected to pass with only two "nay" votes - UK and US - In stead only just passed because everyone was talking about possible Syrian nukes.

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on October 6, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin again puts aside the liberal bias to come up with an honest and interesting post.

I also just read an interesting post at http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/
regarding torture and a historic, successful and "illegal" WWII interrogatation unit that opposes torture in today's war. It shows that conservative Morrisey is willing to truthfully present information, even if contrary to his views, the same as Kevin at times.

By the way, in my opinion, Hillary's apparent position (you never really know with her) that even in the ticking clock doomsday scenario she would not allow torture disqualifies her to be president. A person who would not authorize torture (or whatever it took to coerce information out of the terrorist) when it might mean saving the life of millions of Americans should not be elected president.

Posted by: brian on October 6, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

it doesn't seem like you'd tip your hand about the capabilities of technology like this in order to destroy a bunch of rocket launchers and North Korean Scuds.

Oh, yeah -- the Israelis are real big on protecting the integrity of US military assets....

Posted by: Disputo on October 6, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Israel wouldn't have tipped its hand on a threat down the road unless the immediate threat was significant enough. It's a country that follows the Fool's advice from Lear: Have more than you show, and speak less than you know.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 6, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

The biggest mystery of the strike is why didn't it create a global outrage against Israel's unprovoked attack. Of course, it does not compare to what Israel did last summer, but anything less than condemnation for what Israel did is a tacit approval for their rationale to wage 'preventive war.'

Israel and the US would not allow for any such preventive measures to be used against them without resorting to weapons of mass destruction. It is probably this self-knowledge that informs them to make unprovoked attacks against future threats to their plans of dominating the region. Possession of nuclear weapons prevents the invasions and occupations they are planning.

Posted by: Brojo on October 6, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

So maybe there was some North Korean nuclear technology there after all. And is it a coincidence that within weeks North Korea suddenly decided to cut a deal with the U.S. to abandon its nuclear program? It might well be. But it is something of a coincidence, isn\'t it? - Kevin Drum 1:04 PM


Better bet: Kevin Drum cannot and should be issued security clearances to sensitive areas essential to U.S. national security interests.

Because not only is Drum dumb, but credulously, risibly and dreadfully transparent.

DPRK \"agreed\" to abandon its nuke program more than 2 years ago. Ensuing \"deals\", posturing, exchanges related to sequences and sequencing have been ongoing for months.

Example: \"Concrete\" movement recently resumed when the U.S. released $25m in frozen DPRK funds last June which - serendipitously - dovetailed with the June DPRK invitation and July IAEA arrival of inspectors to monitor and verify.

Any suggestion the \"Syrian incident\" was, is or will be essential to further sequencing re DPRK disarmament confirms wishful thinking of the highest Podhoretz-Lieberman (delusional) disorder.

Posted by: Julius Rosenberg on October 6, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

What the Americanist said at 2:12 answers Brojo's question about the lack of global outrage at 2:17.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 6, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Remember Colin Powell's UN presentation, complete with bogus "labels" on all the blurry rectangles in the pictures?

The Israelis can slap a "nuclear facility" label on anything they want.

As for Kevin's question about what could make the mission important enough to let the Syrians know that their air defenses had been compromised: Olmert's standing in the polls makes George W. Bush wildly popular. Or, to be less cynical, it might serve Israel's interests to remind Syria of just how impotent their forces really are. Iran, however, is much tougher, and Iranian military technology gave the Israelis a few surprises when they expected to easily demolish Hezbollah.

Posted by: Joe Buck on October 6, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Been following this story since the attack itself. At the time, what seemed especially odd was the lack of comment from everyone. Syria was especially muted, the rest of the Arab world was silent, Israel & the US were silent, & North Korea - (NK? Why would they really care?) - condemned the attack. It was about a week later the first "leak" came out about a possible NK nuclear connection, followed within minutes by several other unnamed US sources, "It wasn't nuclear!" Since then, the Times (of London) has written more details about the NK/Syria connection & the attack. The only official word from anyone is, "There was an attack. period."

Like Kevin, I believe it was a nuclear target. So why isn't CheneyCorp jumping up & down, saying, "See! I tole ya there are loose nukes in the ME!"? Because to do so would expose their one foreign policy victory as a complete sham. Incidentally, this scenario would also explain why the US suddenly caved in to a nuke treaty with less than total verification that NK is giving us a complete list of all their nukes & destroying all of them.

Posted by: bob in fl on October 6, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Sort of like the coincidence that Israelis used "a technology like the US developed "Suter" airborne network attack system..." Fancy that.
Posted by: junebug on October 6, 2007 at 1:35 PM

According to the Times, Israel had assets on the ground who were able to obtain a sample & send it in for verification of its source. These assets, or others, took out the air defense systems with lasers immediately prior to the attack.

The Times are also using unnamed sources for their reporting, so who really knows if they are accurate with their reporting? However, it supports the argument that Israel wouldn't expose having those assets w/o very good reason, wouldn't you think?

Posted by: bob in fl on October 6, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Very interesting "suter" system... i've never hard fo it until now.

Posted by: MySpace Addons on October 6, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

It was scud missles and missle parts that were illegal for Syria to buy and NK to sell (remember the freighter off of Yemen?)

Look as this as part of a build-up to the bombing campaign against Iran.

It's first effect is to proove that the technology exists to evade the system.

The second effect is more calculating. Iran has the same radar system. What this penetration of the radar system in Syria means is that anyone with the same system must be ready to act with very little advance notice. This means that Iran, under the current escalation of words and definitions, must be placed on hair-trigger alert. The result is that even slight "head-fakes" by the US military may just provoke out-scale Iranian reaction and provide the justification for "retalitory" strikes. In this way, any US action will be seen as only a response, not an initiative. Much easier to sell.

It also doesn't hurt the Iran attack justification to have the whiff of WMD in the air again, especially when the already discredited Bush administration doesn't have to do the pumping.

Beware.

Posted by: Neal on October 6, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I think I remember something similar from the Vietnam years. I believe Nixon was denying something the Soviets were saying and to deny it he said something like "we know what was on their RADAR screens." This caused a lot of people to piss their pants. Anybody else recall this?

Posted by: CarlP on October 6, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Israel tipped their hand so that the US can't pressure them(it is to laugh) to do their own dirty work in Iran.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08 on October 6, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

It IS pretty weird, and must mean SOMETHING, that Syria hasn't protested more, leading the UN and assorted others to condemn Israel. I mean, it's not like getting up THAT posse is hard.

Contrast Osirak in 1983, when Israel was promptly and widely condemned... and it wasn't until much later that reasonable people realized: yanno, Saddam wanted nukes, tried to get 'em, and would've used 'em.

In 1983, Israel did the world a favor. Arguably,they did it again this time -- so you can leave that aside for a second, and note that it doesn't make Syria look innocent that last time, Saddam (who was guilty) hollered like a preacher caught with his pants down, while Syria has scarcely said a mumbling word, despite being attacked without warning. That usually sparks UN action -- hell, it's what the UN is FOR.

I dunno any reasonable way to read the available information except that Syria and North Korea were doing something very bad, got caught plain, and it is a mitzvah that Israel took 'em out.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 6, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

"The mission had to be important enough to make it worth letting the Syrians (and the Iranians and the Russians) know that their air defenses had been compromised."

Really? I'm not so sure. Armies tend to test out their weapons on unimportant targets before they have to use them in an important conflict. In a prelude to WWII, many European countries tested out their new weapons technologies and tactics in the Spanish Civil War. This is what the Israelis are doing. They want to know for sure they can knock out Iran's systems before they launch an attack. Syria has a similar system, but the consequences of a failure to defeat Syria's system are far less. So, they decided to do the test against Syria. There is a risk that the Russians may be able to upgrade Iran's system in time for a strike, but it's a small risk. The Germans tested out their "Blitzkrieg" tactics in Spain, yet the tactics proved to be effective even after other countries were aware of them. I would also add that hacking into military systems is not easy to prevent. Our own military is frequently the victim of amateur hackers. The Russian programmers will have to defeat professional hackers with the financial backing of the Israeli government. They face a more difficult task than the US military, and the US military still can't solve the problem.

Posted by: fostert on October 6, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Russian experts are studying why the two state-of-the art Russian-built radar systems in Syria did not detect the Israeli jets entering Syrian territory. Iran reportedly has asked the same question, since it is buying the same systems and might have paid for the Syrian acquisitions.

The answer to that question is, what Russian designer and military consultant sold the answers to the Israelis? The quickest way to get control of a command and control network for a SAM launcher is to have a way in, and someone probably raked in a little cash to give up that answer. You could use this so-called "Suter" system, but how would anyone know if it actually worked?

Osirisk (Osiraq) happened in 1981, and it was a strike against a light water nuclear reactor. Light water reactors aren't easily converted into a system that can weaponize material.

Because I get tired of people not knowing anything about this shit, here ya go:

====================================
From FAS.org
Osiraq / Tammuz I
33°12'30"N 44°31'30"E
Iraq established its nuclear program in the late 1960s when it acquired its first nuclear facilites. Later, in the 1970s, Iraq was unsuccessful in negotiations with France to purchase a plutonium production reactor similar to the one used in France's nuclear weapons program. In addition to the reactor, Iraq also wanted to purchase the reporcessing plant needed to recover the plutonium produced in the reactor. Even through these requests were denied, France agreed to build a research reactor along with associated laboratories. Iraq built the Osiraq 40 megawatt light-water nuclear reactor at the Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Center near Baghdad with French assistance. Approximately 27.5 pounds of 93% U-235 was supplied to Iraq by France for use in the Osiraq research reactor.

The reactor was a type of French reactor named after Osiris, the Egyptian God of the dead. The French renamed the one being built in Iraq, "Osiraq" to blend the name Osiris with that of the recipient state, Iraq. French orthography then made it "Osirak." Iraq called the reactor "Tammuz," after the month in the Arabic calendar when the Ba'th party came to power in a 1968 coup.

Iraq began to expand its nuclear sector in the 1970's, but made little progress in the early 1980's, when most of its energy and attention were focused on the war against Iran. In September 1980, at the onset of the Iran-Iraq War, the Israeli Chief of Army Intelligence urged the Iranians to bomb Osiraq. On 30 September 1980 a a pair of Iranian Phantom jets, part of a larger group of aircraft attacking a conventional electric power plant near Baghdad, also bombed the Osiraq reactor. Minor damage to the reactor was reported. No further Iranian air attacks against Iraqi nuclear facilities were identified during the rest of the seven-year war.

When Israeli intelligence confirmed Iraq's intention of producing weapons at Osiraq, the Israeli government decided to attack. According to some estimates, Iraq in 1981 was still as much as five to ten years away from the ability to build a nuclear weapon. Others estimated at that time that Iraq might get its first such weapon within a year or two. Prime Minister Menachem Begin felt military action was the only remedy. Begin feared that his party would lose the next election, and he feared that the opposition party would not preempt prior to the production of the first Iraqi nuclear bomb.

The raid would have to occur before its first fuel was to be loaded, before the reactor went "hot" so as not to endanger the surrounding community. The target was distant: 1,100 km from Israel. Preparations included building target mock-ups and flying full scale dress-rehearsal missions. The aircrews were selected from the cream of the IAFs fighter corps. The IDF Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen. Rafael (Raful) Eitan, briefed the pilots personally. Displaying unusual emotion, he told them: "The alternative is our destruction".

At 15:55 on 07 June 1981, the first F-15 and F-16's roared off the runway from Etzion Air Force Base in the south. Israeli air force planes flew over Jordanian, Saudi, and Iraqi airspace After a tense but uneventful low-level navigation route, the fighters reached their target. They popped up at 17:35 and quickly identified the dome gleaming in the late afternoon sunlight. Iraqi defenses were caught by surprise and opened fire too late. In one minute and twenty seconds, the reactor lay in ruins.

Baghdad reiterated a previous statement that the French atomic reactor was designed for research and for the eventual production of electricity. In a statement issued after the raid, the Israeli government stated that it had discovered from "sources of unquestioned reliability" that Iraq was producing nuclear bombs at the Osiraq plant, and, for this reason, Israel had initiated a preemptive strike.


The attack raised a number of questions of interpretation regarding international legal concepts. Those who approved of the raid argued that the Israelis had engaged in an act of legitimate self-defense justifiable under international law and under Article 51 of the charter of the United Nations (UN). Critics contended that the Israeli claims about Iraq's future capabilities were hasty and ill-considered and asserted that the idea of anticipatory self-defense was rejected by the community of states. In the midst of this controversy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) came under fire from individuals and from governments who complained that the Vienna-based UN agency had failed to alert the world to developments at Osiraq. IAEA officials denied these charges and reaffirmed their position on the Iraqi reactor, that is, that no weapons had been manufactured at Osiraq and that Iraqi officials had regularly cooperated with agency inspectors. They also pointed out that Iraq was a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (informally called the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT) and that Baghdad had complied with all IAEA guidelines. The Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona, it was pointed out, was not under IAEA safeguards, because Israel had not signed the NPT and had refused to open its facilities to UN inspections.
With the loss of this reactor, Baghdad apparently refocused its nuclear weapons effort on producing highly enriched uranium. Its interest in acquiring plutonium as fissile material for weapons continued, but at a lower priority.

After the raid, Baghdad announced that it planned to rebuild the destroyed facility. Although France agreed in principle to provide technical assistance, no definitive timetable was announced. Ultimately, France decided to forego commercially lucrative opportunities to repair the damaged Osirak reactor.

Project 182, relating to the construction of a research reactor, foresaw the construction of an indigenous research reactor to replace the capability that would have been provided by the Osirak (Tamuz-1) research reactor. This project originated in 1984/85 after the breakdown in Iraq's negotiations with France for the rebuilding of the Osirak reactor. The Project 182 reactor was intended to be a natural uranium - heavy water type, similar to the Canadian NRX reactor. When the project had become more defined, in 1987 and 1988, studies concentrated on the design of the reactor core. As this work progressed it was recognised that considerable IAEC and foreign resources would be needed to bring the project to fruition. In mid-1988, while still in the study phase, the project was allowed to lapse due to lack of available resources - a consequence of the higher priority given to the needs of the EMIS enrichment program.

After invading Kuwait, Iraq attempted to accelerate its program to develop a nuclear weapon by using radioactive fuel from the Osiraq reactor. It made a crash effort in September, 1990 to recover enriched fuel from this supposedly safe-guarded reactor, with the goal of produced a nuclear weapon by April, 1991. The program was only halted after Coalition air raid destroyed key facilities on 17 January 1991.

On the third day of the Desert Storm air campaign, a large conventional daylight strike by 56 F-16s with unguided bombs attacked the nuclear complex, which was one of the three most heavily defended areas in Iraq. The results were assessed as very poor. According to DIA, the nuclear research facility was not fully destroyed following the F-117 strikes on day 6 of the campaign. An additional 48 F-117s were tasked seven more times against the target over the next 32 days, dropping 66 more bombs. Moreover, on day 19 of the campaign, 17 F-111Fs were tasked to strike the site. On 26 February 1991, day 42 of the campaign, DIA concluded that the ability to conduct nuclear research or processing at the site was severely degraded.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

1983/1981... I was younger.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 6, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's sad how many people commenting so easily buy into the myth of Israeli Infallibility and frightening how many of you conclude from that that Syria had nukes.

You folks make the job of the neocons way to f-ing easy.

Posted by: Disputo on October 6, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's sad how many people commenting so easily buy into the myth of Israeli Infallibility and frightening how many of you conclude from that that Syria had nukes.

Israel's ability to root out Hezbollah from Southern Lebanon took a decisive hit when they ran up against the fortifications and the organization. The Israeli Army is still smarting from that encounter. No wonder this was an air force type operation.

Syria did not have nukes. Syria may have been advancing a program, based on a light water reactor, that was possibly beginning to weaponize material.

It's very hard to do; a light water reactor just doesn't lend itself to that kind of proliferation very easily. You have to watch when they start talking about heavy water reactors and it is in the best interest of the world to keep THAT technology away from people.

In and of itself, if they're using a light water reactor to produce electricity, it's not something to get upset about. IAEA inspections and monitoring can prevent the bastardization of light water reactors, so it's important to keep diplomacy working.

Unfortunately, we have the worst State Department ever, and we have the most inept Diplomacy in this nation's history right now. If someone wants to get serious about nuclear proliferation, start with the fact that our State Department is a red headed stepchild.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:
Well said.

Posted by: Rhetoric Buster on October 6, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider: Light water reactors aren't easily converted into a system that can weaponize material.

While maybe not as convenient as heavies, LWR's are still a too-convenient source of weapons-grade material.

See, e.g.: A Fresh Examination of the Proliferation Dangers of Light Water Reactors and An Evaluation of the Proliferation Resistant Characteristics of Light Water Reactor Fuel with the Potential for Recycle in the United States.

Thus the continuing need for strict IAEA safeguards.

Posted by: has407 on October 6, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, first link in previous post should be here.

Posted by: has407 on October 6, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Russian experts are studying why the two state-of-the art Russian-built radar systems in Syria did not detect the Israeli jets...

Russia supplies a lot for the Mideast people. And this is why I think Bush would be quite the fool to attack Iran. Cause I just can't see Russia or China sitting by, at least not without reaching out to accquire their own stake in Mideast oil by whatever means necessary.

It would be nice to think that the people of the Mideast controlled their own oil - and that nobody else did. It is better that Iran create their own nuclear power, weapons or otherwise, rather then the US attacking Iraq and Russian giving an angry Iran a bomb. I mean, of course oil is also Russia and China's national vital interest too. If we can lie about reason for war, Russia and China can too.


Posted by: Me_again on October 6, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Landis' SyriaComment links to a report from Trish Schuh, the only Western journalist to actually go to Deir al-Zur after the attack.

Here's the $$$ quote:
"...Several days ago, after the attack on Syria's "nuclear program", I spoke to western oil company officials in Deir Ez Zor.  One technician told me they routinely monitor radiation as part of the refining process. They registered no heightened levels of nuclear residue in the area as there would have been if the Israelis had hit a North Korean atomic stockpile. Operations and technical foremen put it this way: 'The nuclear claims against Syria are pure bullsh*t.' " 

Here's the link: http://joshualandis.com/blog/?p=371

Posted by: Ken's Kitchen on October 6, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

What if the undetected air strike, was undetected, due to the fact that it was ACTUALLY carried out by the ONLY TRULY stealthy aircraft in the world, that being US aircraft?

Posted by: Tim on October 6, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

I tend to listen to the www.armscontrolwonk.com people (Jeffrey Lewis) on these issues. Jeffrey is fairly sure this was a illegal Scud shipment. If the Israelis believe the Syrians chemical weapons, then Scuds would be believed to be an imminent threat.

The theory floated about the attack having the effect of forcing the Iranians to a dangerously twitchy alert level ... is disturbingly believable.

Posted by: Bill Arnold on October 6, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

Not sure what point you were trying to make with that extensive excerpt. Obviously, Saddam wanted an atomic weapon badly, and was willing to go through many different routes to eventually get one. Equally obviously, by your own quote, it's possible to enrich weapons material from Osirak's resources.

Without Israel's action, Saddam would probably have had a nuclear weapon before the invasion of Kuwait, and without the Gulf War's attacks, and the later uncovering of an unknown second weapons program, Saddam would have had nuclear weapons before 2001.

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

GEORGE W. BUSH, #1 PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY

Now with 49 strait months of job growth after he rescued the nation from the Clinton recession of 2000, having avoided FDR's failure as regards Hitler and conquered Iraq and Afghanistan despite their terrorist and suicide tactics losing only about the number of U.S. soldiers killed during the Carter Administration (Carter was not at war at all), having put North Korea in it's place, and having influenced France and Germany to make free-market reforms and install leaders more hardline toward Iran; we must all agree that George W. Bush is the greatest president in U.S. history!

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on October 6, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

"The big mystery of the strike is how did the non-stealthy F-15s and F-16s get through the Syrian air defense radars without being detected?"
------
What about the Turks? A couple of weeks ago somebody had a link showing the flight path and most of it was over Turkey, is that really true? If so, were the Turks aware of the incursion into their airspace, or could they possibly have been involved in some way? What was their reaction?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on October 6, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

has407--don't link to old articles from the NPEC and expect me to reconsider anything. This organization fronts for neocon interests and Republican Party interests. The article on having a new and irrational fear of proliferation from light water reactors is designed to get people to have a level of concern for this technology that simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Just a few of the members of the Board at the NPEC have neocon ties and/or ties to conservative groups like the American Enterprise Institute and the Federalist Society.

Sorry--I ain't buying anything from a group with THOSE kinds of ties, especially when it comes to a subject like nuclear proliferation.

NPEC staff:

Henry D. Sokolski is the Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), a Washington-based nonprofit organization founded in l994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. He served as Deputy for Nonproliferation Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and earlier in the Office of Net Assessment, during the first Bush admnistration. He also worked in the U.S. Senate as a nuclear energy assistant and a legislative military aide. Mr. Sokolski has authored and edited a number of works on proliferation related issues including, Best of Intentions: America´s Campaign Against Strategic Weapons Proliferation (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001).(For more information on Mr. Sokolski, click here.)

David Kay - Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and former International Atomic Energy Agency UN-Iraq Inspection Team Leader [convinced Iraq had WMD, resigned when it became apparent that he was dead wrong about everything.]

Morton Kondracke - Nationally syndicated columnist and Editor of Roll Call [and Fox News Analyst]

James R. Lilley - Director of Asian Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, former US Ambassador to China and South Korea, and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Gordon Oehler - Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency´s Nonproliferation Center

Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr. - President of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and Professor at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy [Articles published by the Federalist Society.]

David Rapoport - Editor, Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence; Professor, University of California at Los Angeles

Stephen Solarz - President of Solarz Associates and former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Asia and the Pacific. [And, on the occasion of his defeat, not only received praise from many Republicans but said this: Mr. Solarz said his major disappointment was that he was leaving office before President Hussein. "I suppose my deepest regret is that by the end of the year, when I'm out, Saddam Hussein will still be in," he said. "I hope somehow or other that can be corrected -- not so much by the miraculous resurrection of your humble servant but by the departure of Saddam from Baghdad."

Christopher A. Williams - Partner, Johnston & Associates, LLC

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to know what kind of "radiation monitoring" is part of the routine oil refining process. Technicians who X-ray welds need dosimeters, but that's all I've ever heard about.

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that the US missed this (if true). Could it be that the network run by a woman named Plame isn't producing information on weapons of mass destruction because her identity was compromised by Karl Rove???

Couldn't be..


Posted by: c. on October 6, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

...don't link to old articles from the NPEC and expect me to reconsider anything.

Now do his SECOND link on that post.

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that the US missed this (if true). Could it be that the network run by a woman named Plame isn't producing information on weapons of mass destruction because her identity was compromised by Karl Rove???

No, it couldn't. But you get points for the longest stretch since Reed Richards.

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Equally obviously, by your own quote, it's possible to enrich weapons material from Osirak's resources.

Yes it is--and if you looked up how incredibly difficult it is, how many resources are needed, and if you looked up whether Iraq had the capability, you'd see that the attack was justified. Complicated, but justified. However, light water reactors are a dime a dozen these days and lots of countries are either setting them up or using them to produce electricity. Should we panic? Should we bomb all of them? Should we collectively lose our minds and let the neocons call the shots? Or should we go back to using diplomacy?

Without Israel's action, Saddam would probably have had a nuclear weapon before the invasion of Kuwait, and without the Gulf War's attacks, and the later uncovering of an unknown second weapons program, Saddam would have had nuclear weapons before 2001.

It's highly unlikely that he would have had the resources. He was bankrupting his country in the war with Iran. He was more likely to rely on the conventional weapons and the biological weapons that he bought from western nations, like the US.

Virtually every country in the world has some vestige of a nuclear program; it takes a country with resources like India, Pakistan or even Brazil to actually realize the creation of a weapon.

Again--do you want to panic? Surrender to the judgement of the neocons? Or do you want to learn what you need to know? I arrived at the need to use diplomacy a long time ago because nation/states just don't roll over and let themselves be dominated or invaded anymore. They use Fourth Generation warfare to bloody the aggressors and do whatever it takes to survive.

The world of tomorrow is sure to be one where the diplomat is more effective than the bomber pilot, but don't quote me on that.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

No, it couldn't. But you get points for the longest stretch since Reed Richards.

Actually, the outing of Plame shut down a highly effective and critical anti-proliferation operation. Not the sort of thing a Republican should go around pooh-poohing.

Used to be, Republicans weren't such traitors. What happened?

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

RE: Harry, radiation and oil refining

It should be oil exploration:

CHAPTER 01 REGULATION FOR CONTROL OF RADIATION IN MISSISSIPPI
1400 Radiation Safety Requirements For Wireline Service Operations And Subsurface
Tracer Studies
1400.01 Purpose. The regulations in this section establish radiation safety requirements
for using sources of radiation for wireline service operations including mineral
logging, radioactive markers, and subsurface tracer studies.

Posted by: balMS on October 6, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

During World War Two, Britain and the United States used the existence of German traitors who provided us with Nazi secrets as cover for the fact that we were reading German codes, i.e. traitors were used as cover for electronic intelligence.

Consider that the converse might be true here; that electronic warfare is being used, to some unknown extent, as cover for treason by one or more Syrian officers.

Posted by: Tom Holsinger on October 6, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

today's feel-good item about solar power:

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Solar_Energy_System_For_Denver_International_Airport_999.html

2MW PV system for Denver International Airport. Lot s of open space at airports, partially answering the question: Where will they put all the PV farms?

That's only 1/500th of the output of a nuclear plant, and there is no plan in place for dealing with the toxic waste. But it is another step in the right direction. Two MW here, two MW there, and pretty soon you are talking about real power.

It is interesting that the Bush administration's distrust of the intelligence led them to recommend postponing the attack. And it is interesting that they supported the attack. Also interesting that the Syrian AA network was almost completely fooled. Lots of interesting details yet to be reported, don't you think so?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on October 6, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

I hardly know where to begin:

. Far from approaching bankruptcy, Saddam was rolling in dough due to the corruption in the UN administration of the Oil for Palaces program.

. "Fourth Generation warfare" sure worked well for Saddam, didn't it? Chairman Mao was right about one thing. Power does come from the barrel of a gun.

. The US is far down on the list of countries that supplied material to Iraq, and that was during the Iran - Iraq war.

. *Outing Plame (which apparently didn't happen since Fitzgerald did not indict Richard Armitage) shut down a highly effective and critical anti-proliferation operation.* ROFLMAO. And Tinkerbell tried to expose the aliens at Area 51, but Bush/Cheney have her shut up in a Mason jar.

. Russia would welcome the loss of Iran's oil on the world market, because that would enhance Russia's ability to sell Russian oil. As long as we can assure China a replacement for Iran's oil (Saudi Arabia has already said they could pump an extra couple million barrels if necessary), they will acquiesce in an attack on Iran. China is riding the tiger: They MUST continue to generate new jobs as their population migrates from the rural areas and the inefficient state enterprises are shut down. China cannot afford to piss us off and lose our market.

I'd suggest you not be sitting beside your diplomats when the bomber pilot blows the shit out of them.

Posted by: Jack Okie on October 6, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

If the US was truly convinced that Syria was developing or assembling nuclear weapons from North Korea at this site, why would they be initially reluctant to act? Why wouldn't they be flashing the satellite images around the world showing how justified they have been in excoriating the Syrians all of these years?

No, the truly most convincing explaination is clearing the decks for action in Iran by eliminating a nearby conventional weapons concentration that could reach Israel.

Allowing the rumor of nuclear weapons to hang in the air only serves the interests of the proponents of the Iran attack.

Posted by: Neal on October 6, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

another feelgood energy story:

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Technology_finance_combine_to_fuel_Asian_green_energy_hopes_999.html

At least if you feel good about renewable energy in South Asia.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on October 6, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

And, another argument against it truly being a nuclear site, think of the leverage on NK the US would have if it were true that NK was proliferating.

Posted by: Neal on October 6, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider -- Yes, some of the author's of the first reference invite skepticism. Nevertheless, LWR's in and of themselves do not substantively reduce risk; from the second reference, "...while there is not [a] technical fix, there are technical and institutional features that can increase proliferation resistance considerably...". We still need strong IAEA safeguards.

Posted by: has407 on October 6, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

However, light water reactors are a dime a dozen these days and lots of countries are either setting them up or using them to produce electricity. Should we panic? Should we bomb all of them? Should we collectively lose our minds and let the neocons call the shots? Or should we go back to using diplomacy?

Kind of depends on the country, doesn't it? France has many reactors, and nuclear weapons for that matter. I never lose any sleep over that. Iran with nuclear weapons might be a different matter, and I wish like hell Pakistan didn't have them.

It's highly unlikely that he would have had the resources. He was bankrupting his country in the war with Iran.

Saddam has always had plenty of money for the things he thought were important, like weapons, gigantic mosques, and palaces. North Korea is hardly a wealthy country, and for a time they seemed to be working up to a nuclear capability with few financial problems.

Diplomacy has its place, and at this point, it's a preferred course, even in Iran. But diplomacy is also used by tyrants to stall for time. You have to admit that in Iran, the U.N. and other diplomatic forces are not exactly racking up a string of successes in stopping Iran's nuclear program.

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

harry, you're not even on the same page. The world is acting through the auspices of the UN to limit Iran's nuclear program. Like it or not, the Russians are giving them Light Water reactor technology. Like it or not, they're going to use that technology.

Do you want to bomb them or talk to them? Which do you think will get you anywhere?

Poor Okie from Muskogee--how are things in Freeper town?

I hardly know where to begin:

Wingnuts never do.

. Far from approaching bankruptcy, Saddam was rolling in dough due to the corruption in the UN administration of the Oil for Palaces program.

You're conflating two events because you know nothing about the subject. I referenced the Saddam Hussein of 1981-1990 (pre-Gulf War I) and the years leading up to his ill-fated invasion of Kuwait. Oil for Food was a program initiated long after the first Gulf War. These are two distinctly separate things, and a wingnut ought to know better than to suggest the Oil for Food program took place during the time when Iraq and Iran were beating the hell out of each other.

. "Fourth Generation warfare" sure worked well for Saddam, didn't it? Chairman Mao was right about one thing. Power does come from the barrel of a gun.

What an ignorant sonofabitch you are. Last time I checked, Ba'athists instructed by Saddam Hussein were still operating in the Sunni regions of Iraq. Those are his officers leading the insurgency today. Those are his former supporters we're making deals with. They have bled us dry and now we're negotiating with them to get some relief. Sure was a stupid point for you to make, wasn't it? Mao used and exported Fourth Generation warfare to take over China and he helped equip proxies like Vietnam with what they needed, essentially advising Ho Chi Minh to fight irregular war against the Western Powers and Ho agreed. Remember that China and Vietnam only went to war AFTER Mao was dead. The barrel of a gun you worship is more effective in the hands of a guerrila against an occupying force.

. The US is far down on the list of countries that supplied material to Iraq, and that was during the Iran - Iraq war.

Uh, sorry dumbass. We flooded the region with shoulder fired SAMs, with chemical and biological weapons like Anthrax, bubonic plague, blister agents and components to make poisonous gas. We gave them the green light and the means by which they made daily chemical and biological attacks on the Iranians.

. *Outing Plame (which apparently didn't happen since Fitzgerald did not indict Richard Armitage) shut down a highly effective and critical anti-proliferation operation.* ROFLMAO. And Tinkerbell tried to expose the aliens at Area 51, but Bush/Cheney have her shut up in a Mason jar.

Tinkerbell? Wow, what a manly metaphor. Sorry--Armitage is guilty of being an old gossip, nothing more. Plame was working in the area of counterproliferation, a deadly serious area where destroying the people who know that subject makes no sense. She was highly regarded in her field, and was a great asset to the United States. She travelled overseas as a covert agent and put her life on the line many times--something your average Wingnut couldn't do if they were asked. People who actually do serve their country and put their lives at risk are always going to be torn down by the people who sit on their fat ass and snark and do nothing--that's the nature of the world we live in. The reality is, Plame's identity was leaked to discredit her husband on the orders of Dick Cheney. If you can't piece that together, you're not smart enough to walk upright.

Oh, and--what's the fallout from outing Plame? Are people stepping up, ready to put their lives on the line for this country, knowing there are partisan elements in the Office of the Vice President who will sell them down the river and get them killed if they once gave a hundred bucks to a Democrat? Do you think that it had a chilling effect on the intel community to know that the White House lied about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby's involvement in this? That Libby was let off the hook to keep him silent? You think people haven't figured that out yet?

. Russia would welcome the loss of Iran's oil on the world market, because that would enhance Russia's ability to sell Russian oil. As long as we can assure China a replacement for Iran's oil (Saudi Arabia has already said they could pump an extra couple million barrels if necessary), they will acquiesce in an attack on Iran. China is riding the tiger: They MUST continue to generate new jobs as their population migrates from the rural areas and the inefficient state enterprises are shut down. China cannot afford to piss us off and lose our market.

You have a third grader's grasp of the material. "China is riding the tiger" is what a moron says when they don't have a fucking clue what else to say. Here's a basic question, if you can put down your limp dick and quit beating off at the thought of bombing the capitals of the world--Why is oil more expensive? Because China, India and a host of other nations have exploded their industrial sectors. Are you regurgitating something your professor told you once? Because those "inefficient state enterprises" are putting shit on the shelves at Wal-Mart faster than you can say cheez-wiz. You obviously know nothing about peak oil, the entry of Venezuela and Nigeria into the mix, the ability to extract oil from other sources, and you have no idea what you're talking about, do you? Just 'fess up.

I'd suggest you not be sitting beside your diplomats when the bomber pilot blows the shit out of them.

"Shock and awe" has done what exactly to intimidate people in the Middle East?

Have you shit yourself yet? Seems to be the only thing you can do tonight.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting info from GlobalSecurity.org. Note particularly the author's criticism of Glenn Kessler's WP article on the evidence of Syrian nuclear activity.

"On 15 September 2007 Glenn Kessler reported in the Washington Post that American sources said that Israel had recently provided the US with evidence -- code named "Orchard" -- that the DPRK had been cooperating with Syria on a nuclear facility. "The evidence, said to come primarily from Israel, includes dramatic satellite imagery ... The new information, particularly images received in the past 30 days, has been restricted to a few senior officials ... " According to one source for this report, the 06 September 2007 air strike appeared to have been linked to the arrival at the Syrian port of Tartus on 03 September 2007 [three days prior to the strike], of a ship carrying material ["labeled as cement"] from North Korea. According to this source, the target of the attack was a Syrian facility "agricultural research center" located "on the Euphrates River, close to the Turkish border". Israel had reportedly been monitoring the facility in the belief that Syria was "using it to extract uranium from phosphates" at that location.


* "dramatic satellite imagery" - the types of activity associated with nuclear weapons development, particularly at the early stages of the program, are precisely the sorts of things that are not going to produce dramatic satellite imagery, which is why North Korea's uranium program is so vexing for the United States.

*"primarily from Israel" - the reliance on such liasion sourced intelligence that could not be independently verified was one of the central problems with the Iraq WMD intelligence failure, and either evidence is "primarily from Israel" [ie, HUMINT] or it is independtly knowable by the United States based on "dramatic satellite imagery" but it is difficult to comprehend how both statements could be true.

*"restricted to a few senior officials" - this part of the story is designed to explain to other reporters why their sources are unable to confirm any of the details of this report.

*"arrival at the Syrian port of Tartus" - this is not a large facility, and this news story would have us believe that Israeli intelligence has intimate knowledge of unloading activities at this port, a collection capability that was willingly compromised here

*"labeled as cement" -- cement is normally transported as a bulk powder, and less frequently in recent decades in bags -- neither form of transport would usefully conceal nuclear related components, and labeling some other means of transport [eg, standard 40-foot containters] as cement would be so patently false as to immediately draw suspicion to the shipment.

*"on the Euphrates River, close to the Turkish border" -- the implication, though not over assertion, is that over the course of three days Israeli intelligence was able to track the shipment as it travelled half-way across Syria, or that Israeli surveillance of Syria is so comprehensive that the shipment was detected upon arrival -- either of which is very impressive and hard to believe.

*"using it to extract uranium from phosphates" - Syria has a phosphate industry, which supports the production of fertilizer and phosphoric acid. Between 1996 and 2001 Syria operated a pilot plant at Homs for the purification of phosphoric acid, in order to remove the uranium contanmination so that the phosphoric acid could be used for food processing. This project was financed by the UN Developement Program, supported by the IAEA, and not bombed by Israel.

06 September 07 Airstrike

Posted by: nepeta on October 6, 2007 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

"And is it a coincidence that within weeks North Korea suddenly decided to cut a deal with the U.S. to abandon its nuclear program?"

According to what I've read, neocons in general, John Bolton in particular, were quite anxious for Israel to attack Syria, claiming a NK proliferation attempt as cause, in order to scuttle the US/NK negotiations which were heading towards agreement at the time. The last thing these neocons wanted was any sort of 'deal' with NK.

Posted by: nepeta on October 6, 2007 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

The world is acting through the auspices of the UN to limit Iran's nuclear program. Like it or not, the Russians are giving them Light Water reactor technology. Like it or not, they're going to use that technology.

Do you want to bomb them or talk to them? Which do you think will get you anywhere?

The U.N. approach isn't working. The U.N. is completely impotent. Iran is pounding ahead with its nuclear program.

We know from experience that bombing works if your objective is to stop such a program in its tracks. I'm definitely open for any other suggestions.

". The US is far down on the list of countries that supplied material to Iraq, and that was during the Iran - Iraq war."

Uh, sorry dumbass. We flooded the region with shoulder fired SAMs, with chemical and biological weapons like Anthrax, bubonic plague, blister agents and components to make poisonous gas. We gave them the green light and the means by which they made daily chemical and biological attacks on the Iranians.

This is crap. A list of weapons shipments to Iraq can be found here. It's painfully obvious who sent them the most weaponry over the years.

I've seen the shipping lists for biological materials, and know what chemicals were shipped to Iraq. The latter were what were called "dual use" chemicals. If you now classify these as WMD, then you must be aware of how many of these chemicals were found in Iraq when we invaded, often near munitions areas. If they were WMD then, they're WMD now. You pick.

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

harry, looking dumber every minute:

The U.N. approach isn't working. The U.N. is completely impotent. Iran is pounding ahead with its nuclear program.

The UN approach has at least gotten everyone working towards roughly the same goal, and even the US is letting the UN take the lead. The UN is helping us in Iraq, under the auspices of UNAMI, and no one talks about the work they're doing. This whole canard that the UN is impotent rises and falls with the paranoid twitching of John Bolton's pornstar moustache. The UN is not as effective as it should be under the pathetic Ban Ki Moon, but it's a helluva lot better at diplomacy than *Condoleeza Rice*, who will go down as the worst Secretary of State ever.

We know from experience that bombing works if your objective is to stop such a program in its tracks. I'm definitely open for any other suggestions.

Bombing works? That's a new one. What fucking part of "Shock and Awe" do you not get? Bombing North Korea sure worked, didn't it, dumbass...

This is crap. A list of weapons shipments to Iraq can be found here. It's painfully obvious who sent them the most weaponry over the years.

Wikipedia??? You're citing "WIKIPEDIA" as a resource?

How about simply looking at the receipts for the material the US gave Saddam Hussein? We propped him up because he was bloodying Iran, plain and simple. That was US policy, and we fed them all manner of sinister shit. George Shultz and Don Rumsfeld were up to their eyeballs in giving Saddam weapons to use against Iran. Get a clue.

I've seen the shipping lists for biological materials, and know what chemicals were shipped to Iraq. The latter were what were called "dual use" chemicals. If you now classify these as WMD, then you must be aware of how many of these chemicals were found in Iraq when we invaded, often near munitions areas. If they were WMD then, they're WMD now. You pick.

You couldn't read your way out of a damp, wet paper sack. You couldn't figure out the plot to yesterday's episode of Barney.

Do you know why there's a cholera pandemic in Iraq right now? Filthy water. Why is there filthy water? Because there's no chlorine to use in the facilities that would normally purify the goddamned water. Why? Because chlorine is the basic component of a whole host of weapons one of which is mustard gas.

So what dual use material are you confusing yourself with? Fertilizer components?

Better yet, quit helping that Okie beat off to the latest issue of Soldier of Fortune and get a clue--Wikipedia ain't exactly gonna prop up a wingnut argument on a Saturday night when there's good baseball being played in Denver.

I'm not even paying attention and you can't come up with better shit than this to throw at the wall? Nothing is sticking.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 6, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

The UN approach has at least gotten everyone working towards roughly the same goal.

That's nice. Not really stopping the program, though, is it? No doubt the U.N. will still be "working towards the goal" when Iran sets off their first warhead someday. It's not like anyone in the U.N. will lose their job, or even get a pay cut when it happens.

Bombing works? That's a new one. What fucking part of "Shock and Awe" do you not get?

You don't bomb facilities to "shock and awe" them. You bomb them to wreck them. The Israeli attack on Iraqi nuclear facilities worked. The Desert Storm attacks on Iraqi nuclear facilities worked. For that matter, bombing raids in any number of wars worked. Whether or not an attack on Iran's current hardened facilities (a sure sign of a civilian program, right?) would work now is a tactical decision, and needs more information than I've got. If an attack would work, it would wreck the facilities. Whether or not anyone is "awed" is kind of beside the point.

Wikipedia??? You're citing "WIKIPEDIA" as a resource?

Yes, I am. If you bothered to look, you would have found the original data source was a document from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The link to the chart itself is no longer working, but I downloaded the PDF file a long time ago. The Wikipedia table is an accurate depiction of it. If you still need more confirmation, you can go to the SIPRI tables generator, enter the names and dates, and read the output for yourself.

Obviously there's enough chlorine in Iraq for terrorists to swipe truckloads of it for bombs. Water problems are not due to lack of chlorine, but lack of facilities to use it.

The dual use materials I'm talking about are the types of chemicals normally used in pesticides.

The rest of your post is mostly gibbering. You seem to have no idea what you're talking about, and attempting to cover it up with obscenties, furious bluster, and insults. Do you do this in person?

Posted by: harry on October 6, 2007 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Wikipedia?

Wow, you're like, so smart and stuff.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

The link to the chart itself is no longer working, but I downloaded the PDF file a long time ago.

Anyone who downloads and saves a pdf file detailing the weapons Iraq used in the 1980s is not to be taken seriously.

Dude--go find a girlfriend. Talk to other people, not just the convenience store clerk selling you three burritos and a mountain dew.

Better yet--who are you shilling for?

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

This is crap. A list of weapons shipments to Iraq can be found here. It's painfully obvious who sent them the most weaponry over the years.

A) Who sent them the "most" isn't at issue; the question at hand is whether we armed them in a significant way and therefore possess moral culpability over Saddam's actions. We did and we do.

B) Reagan authorized arms sales to Iraq in 1982. What the wikipedia list doesn't capture is how many of those post-1982 sales from other countries were arranged by the CIA. The wiki list also doesn't enumerate the cluster bombs or armor piercing munitions or the billions in loans we secured for the purchase of weapons nor does it capture the weaponry provided by the spare parts program we ran for them.

While it may not have supplied the most weaponry, the Reagan administration took it upon itself to oversee the global project of arming Iraq from 1982-1988 in order to fight a proxy war with Iran.

Fortunately we have the testimony of the former NSC official in charge of Middle East and Political-Military Affairs during that time and others to fill in for where a context-free list falls short.

Posted by: trex on October 7, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

sometimes the comments here are completely risible. Consider this: "The UN approach has at least gotten everyone working towards roughly the same goal, and even the US is letting the UN take the lead. The UN is helping us in Iraq, under the auspices of UNAMI, and no one talks about the work they're doing. This whole canard that the UN is impotent rises and falls with the paranoid twitching of John Bolton's pornstar moustache."

the "sanctions" against Iraq, and the U.N. inspectors worked because the U.S. was enforcing the sanctions and had its army ready to invade. The U.N. is helping us in Iraq because our army invaded. On Iran, not quite "everyone" is working toward the same goal -- Iran, for instance, isn't working with the U.N. -- and the "work" isn't accomplishing much.

"Wikipedia??? You're citing "WIKIPEDIA" as a resource?"

Every tally of weapons sold and given to the Baathist regime shows that America's contribution was slight.

" "Shock and awe" has done what exactly to intimidate people in the Middle East?"

It was the press that called American bombing in the early stages of the Iraq invasion "shock and awe", quoting a paper that used the phrase in the abstract. What the U.S. bombing did was militarily effective, and reduced the ability of the Iraqi army to communicate, including coordinating its air defense systems and armor deployments. The goal wasn't to "intimidate" but to defeat, and it helped to achieve that goal. Some bombing is more effective than others: the bombing of the Taleban in Afghanistan was effective in 2001, and it continues to be; the Taleban are not intimidated, they are killed. Aerial bombing of the German cities in WWII didn't work that well (industrial productivity was somewhat impaired, but remained high), but the bombing of the Japanese aircraft carriers at Midway was a success.

In Iraq, and maybe Syria, bombing ended nuclear weapons programs. It may yet do the same in Iran, or it may not. A blanket statement that bombing can't work is risible. A stupid and unintentional joke, perhaps, but a joke.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on October 7, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone who downloads and saves a pdf file detailing the weapons Iraq used in the 1980s is not to be taken seriously.

I download a lot of information from databases and other sites. Information on science, political issues, and many other things. It's not as easy as pulling facts out of a hat, but real data is more effective at proving a point.

Dude--go find a girlfriend. Talk to other people, not just the convenience store clerk selling you three burritos and a mountain dew.

Been married for thirty years this year, and I prefer the Subway down the street. I don't know the clerk.

Better yet--who are you shilling for?

It's funny that when anyone whose IQ actually cracks three digits posts here in opposition, the suspicion that they're being paid keeps coming up. Is the bar really that low that anyone who sounds like they know what they're talking about must be a pro?

Do you realize how little effort this is?

I'm sure you're busting your hump trying to do some research to "top" me, but I've got real work to do.

I've also noticed that the idea of Syria behaving like Syria bothers the hell out of a lot of people here, and that great efforts are being made to come up with various theories on why Syria must be blameless. That's kind of funny, too.

Posted by: harry on October 7, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Count on Marler to come in and start talking about World War II as if it mattered. Yeah, they've been showing Midway on cable. Yeah, it's pretty funny when the wooden decks of those aircraft carriers burst into flame there in that swimming pool out on the studio back lot. Wow! It almost looks real, doesn't it, except for the fact that you can tell it's a model in a swimming pool.

Marler is the guy who obsessively paints the Japanese word for "toilet" inside of the model at approximately the point where the toilet on the second carrier sunk by the US would have been, and he remembers to use a shade of orange only available to Japanese ship builders in the 1930s when the carrier was launched.

As for sanctions, the UN and the big bad wolf knocking at the door--please. Do you know what used to give us legitimacy to use force? The UN. Who abused that? The Republicans. So if you're saying that using the UN works, but only works when we have our army ready to invade, you're missing the component that matters--the legitimate right to drop bombs and kill people. You get that from doing your homework by going to the UN. When you fail to practice basic statecraft and diplomacy, you get the nightmare we're living right now--160,000 or so US troops are caught in a civil war and wingnuts still think AQI and WMD and democracy in the region matters.

What an unbelievable pantload.

Harry--wow.

That girlfriend of yours probably has a moustache just like John Bolton.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

It's funny that when anyone whose IQ actually cracks three digits posts here in opposition, the suspicion that they're being paid keeps coming up. Is the bar really that low that anyone who sounds like they know what they're talking about must be a pro?

What's even funnier is when actual Pentagon shills are caught posting on blogs. Look it up sometime--there's actually a budget for it at the DoD. And, yes, there's actually a contract for it--to influence DoD related matters by going to various blogs and non-traditional news outlets to counter various efforts to expose the activities of the DoD.

But don't take my word for it. I only heard about it from...well, sorry, can't tell you that.

Does she have the whole beard? A van dyke?

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

A three digit IQ, by the way...

I guess we all just need to stand back and marvel at your ability to be so smart but still have to quote Wikipedia at us.

Have you and Marler painted the life vest on the plastic model of the guy who fell off the deck of the third carrier sunk when a gust of wind from the blast below decks caught him unawares and sent him into the ocean? Remember that, at that time, deck crew wore a life vest with an additional ringlet that allowed them to tether themselves to a rope that would keep them from losing their footing as an approaching plane would come in while the carrier was pitching on a rolling sea--that ringlet should be painted off grey, metallic.

Triple post--I'm out.

Ya'll have been a scream.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

[Exeunt Pale Rider, falling in flames from a Great Altitude, into the Sea.]

Posted by: harry on October 7, 2007 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think the only things we know for sure from the press about the Sept. 6th
bombing of Syria is that 1) Israel bombed Syria because there is a hole in the
desert and 2) Israel violated Turkish airspace to do so. That is it. The rest
is up for international spin. If you are short for time, skip to the next ***********************************************************

Here is a 9/27 reprint of the earliest article I could find 9/6
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=6734616f-74f7-4be3-abf6-05
887260480a

Things that may or may not have bearing on the subject:
Turkey is a NATO country with NATO radars that wants EU membership
The Jerusalem Post says the Kuwaitis are saying the Turkish gave Israel info.
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1189411398606&pagename=JPost%2FJPArti
cle%2FShowFull
There was the Minot AFB missing nukes 8/27
speculation that someone was going to false flag some nukes into Syria
The most reasonable seems to be
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1660477,00.html
""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." . . .
"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."

There were 30-50 (depends upon which source one favors) people killed in a
Syrian chemical plant in July.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/topstories/2007-07-26-1800700174_x.htm

Here is the WaPo with Stephen J. Hadley once again stovepipping info http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/12/AR2007091202430.
html

Here is a Bush 1 NSC saying 'no nukes' (he could be setting up Larisa Alexandrovna, hard
to tell) http://rawstory.com//news/2007/Intelligence_officials_say_Israel_received_flawed
_0924.html
*****************************************************************
********************************************
My guess, after reading more than 100 items on the subject , is that Israel
offed the chem plant (in July), the short range missiles, and tested the new
radar system as well. Nukes in most cases come up from articals that can be
traced back to Murdock sources. I have only conjucture about WHY Murdock would
inject nukes. The hole-in-the-desert worked on the Cheney level: it got China to
walk out of Condi's peace talks.

I think the purpose of the ABC news thing is to try to buy back the street creds
of our intelligence agencies, and to bring some credibility to the politicized,
Powell-essent, State Department. None of the admin sources are named, so I take
that for what it is worth.

Thanks for listening,
Sailmaker

Posted by: sailmaker on October 7, 2007 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

"If you bothered to look, you would have found the original data source was a document from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute." - Harry

And if you had bothered to 'read' you might have learned this:

"As a comment on these statistics, SIPRI's data are founded on open sources (newspapers, journals, declassified documents etc) which would tend to underestimate Western deliveries"

Newspapers and journals, declassified documents, Harry? Is that your idea of a complete record?
Read this:

" According to his (Teicher's) 1995 affidavit and other interviews with former Reagan and Bush administration officials, the Central Intelligence Agency secretly directed armaments and high-tech components to Iraq through false fronts and friendly third parties such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait, and they quietly encouraged rogue arms dealers and other Private military companies to do the same.

The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC files show or tend to show that the CIA knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, munitions and vehicles to Iraq."

The full extent of these hidden transfers is not yet known. Teicher's files on the subject are held securely at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and many other Reagan era documents that could help shine new light on the subject remain classified.

Sheesh, Harry. If you were trying to make a point about how little the US armed Iraq in the 80s compared to other countries, you sure failed. NO ONE knows, although many of us have a far greater understanding of the WMD transfer (biological and chemical) made by the US to Iraq in this time period than you do. It should be interesting when these documents in the Reagan library are made public, like in a hundred years.


Posted by: nepeta on October 7, 2007 at 5:18 AM | PERMALINK

What did I get shot down with? Facts? Wikipedia?

Don't think so.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

Objective Historian,

The Objective part of your name is a misnomer.

I would not consider Iraq or Afghanistan conquered.

As far as Bush's job growth numbers, consider this from the BLS web site:

Over the whole of the Clinton administration, the economy added 22.7 million jobs ? 237,000 per month.

Over the whole of the Bush administration to date, the economy added only 5.8 million jobs ? 72,000 per month.

George W. Bush is the worst.

He should be impeached.

Posted by: Mark on October 7, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

WTF are you folks arguing about? This makes no sense. Pale, et. al, argue like so much political Cialis, and evidently need the stimulation, God knws why. Why not just be clear?

Israel whacked Syria. It is reasonable to ask how come?

The most likely answer is that Syria's nuclear work crossed a threshold so Israel took it out. That fits the evidence. Nothing else does.

The public evidence supporting that includes the light reactors stuff (Pale is flat-out wrong, as well as argumentative over tertiary points), but particularly the peculiar lack of full-throated protests from folks who might reasonably have been expected to whoop it up, as happened over Osirak in... 1981, as Pale corrected me.

It seems sorta silly to argue that Israel was wrong to take out Osiraq. Why? After the invasion of Kuwait, ya can't argue that Saddam was benign.

If you want to argue that he never, ever wanted nor tried to get nuclear weapons, you don't know the facts.

So what are you left with? Arguing that a guy who attacked BOTH his neighbors, who tried to get nuclear weapons, shouldn't have had a whopping big nuclear reactor attacked? Seems sorta argumentative, that.

Just so with Syria. I like Holsinger's observation that it's likely some Syrian gave up the site, but at some point arguments about sources and methods are vaporware.

What we DO know is that Israel deserves the benefit of the lack of public data here: to a reasonable person looking from the perspective of actual history, Osiraq alone proves it.

Whacking a nuclear site in another country is simple. It's not like the necessarily complex occupation of the West Bank or Gaza, it's not like trying to deal with the catastrophic clusterfuck of southern Lebanon, where human folly has turned what oughta be the Middle East's Malibu into a Road Warrior movie -- complete with Mel Gibson's theology, btw.

I've always said that Iran itself ain't nuts, that her asshole leadership isn't suicidal nor particularly apocalyptic (and if they WERE apocalyptic, their enemy is the Saudis): Iran is better off as a NEARLY nuke power than provoking Israel.

The Syria raid is evidence on my side for that.

What else is there to say, and still be sensible?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist,

Didn't Iraq intensify its nuclear weapons' program after Osirak was hit in 1981?

Posted by: Mark on October 7, 2007 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, they did.

This is how the real world works, after all -- that they tried harder to get nukes faster after having been crippled, proves Israel was right to take out Osiraqkqkqkq first, cuz it shows that was Saddam's intent all along. (Unless you argue, I suppose, that it was the ferocious Israeli attack on Iraq that forced Saddam into hostile aggression like attacking Iran and ... oh, right: causes never come after effects.)

Still, arguing about how Iraq accelerated its nuke programs after having lost ground would lead to all the Iraq War issues like WMD and inspections and sanctions etc., except that the sequence was Saddam attacking Iran, the Israeli raid on Osiragh, Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and leaving him in power after the first Gulf War.

I think future historians are likely to lump the Iraq adventures of Bush I and Bush II together with 9-11 in between. I expect they will quote Keegan to the effect that it made NO frigging sense whatsoever to leave Saddam in power after the first war, and that defending the Sacred Cities with American troops was a direct motivator of 9-11. Even if you weakly 'explain' that folly, most historians are gonna conclude Bush the Younger was an astonishing knucklehead by any metric.

But I doubt any future historian is going to look at Israel's attack on Osiralisticexpialidocious as a mistake, which is likely to influence the lesson of the Syria raid. I doubt Syria is gonna go Saddam's direction, anyway: Israel was mostly reminding everybody, Iran especially, that crossing the nuke line triggers consequences.

Which is why I still say Iran understands it is better off as a nearly nuke power, all the more clearly after this Israeli raid.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Brojo makes an excellent point - why isn't the world outraged at Israel's "war of aggression" against Syria? This action was clearly a violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter. Israel and the United States are the most egregious violators of the Charter and clearly have become “rogue states”. That is why it is so false, ludicrous and completely disingenuous for George W. Bush to come before the UN General Assembly, as he did on September 25th, and speak of “human rights”, after his unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation (Iraq) slaughtered thousands of innocent human lives.

I ran across this article, entitled “Why Did Israel Attack Syria?”, that speculates it was a warning shot to Syria to not intervene when Israel and U.S. bomb Iran, as Dick Cheney is so hot to do. Comments?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 7, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder what it would take to move the Israel firsters to voice the tiniest quibble about their frequent ventures into other people's territory/airpsace. Perhaps if the IAF were to cluster bomb the Vatican Library?

When von Clausewitz said, "one nation's secure borders are by definition its nieghbors' insecure borders" we was anticipating the ongoing predatory hijinx of our special ally, the Prussia of the Middle East.

Posted by: ATS on October 7, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Curious how Brojo, the Deflator and ATS seem to have missed the whole Osiramalama discussion, not to mention North Korea, which speaks to and decisively refutes their shallow musing.

DO tell, guys: why do you reflexively dismiss what the evidence indicates, that Syria bought nuke tech from North Korea, which provoked Israel to take out the site? (Bonus questions: when was the last time North Korea played a leading role condemning ANYTHING in the Middle East? So, why this time?)

Face it: Israel was right. If you can't make a real argument with evidence (e.g., some fact in evidence it was NOT a North Korean supplied site intended to weaponize nukes for Syria, and your explanation would have to account for the curious silence from a wide range of interested parties), reasonable people would look elsewhere for your motivation to bitch about Israel.

Since Brojo has already established that he's a reflexively anti-American asshole, an extra step or two down the slippery slope seems like it'd be easy for him.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

It occurs to me to complete the thought: Maybe the Deflator, Brojo and their ilk WANT Syria and/or Iran, to get nuclear weapons. Why else would they ignore the evidence that the North Korea/Syria project provoked Israel? Simple explanations work best unless there is something else indicated -- and they cite nothing TO indicate anything else but the tired crap typical of anti-Semites. (I do not say that's what they are, I merely note that's how anti-Semites argue, e.g., the IAF clusterbombing the Vatican library. I expect the Vatican library contains a lot that would often Jews, but it's not a Syrian nuke site, now is it? If the Vatican's anti-Judaic essence -- not anti-Semitic, anti-Judaic, religions disagree -- could have eliminated Jews, it would have happened long ago, it's not like it hasn't been TRIED.)

So what ARE you guys thinking, if you're thinking at all?

If there were/are no consequences to developing weapons-capable nuke facilities (sanctions don't cut it, as Israel itself proves), then it would be much easier for regimes like Syria and Iran to take the short steps necessary. Right?

So you're left believing that Iran and Syria (and a lot of other countries) wouldn't want nukes, even if it was easy to get 'em: who WOULD believe that? Why? Is it the lesson of Britain, or Israel, or Pakistan, much less the 'stans?

So these guys skip the reality check. I think that indicates something:

Maybe what motivates 'em is the odd notion that Israel is too capable of defending itself, that having the regional nuke monopoly as well as its bad-ass military is unfair. It wouldn't be the first time that folks confused the ugly facts of dealing with large, hostile populations, like the shelling and rockets from Lebanon into Israel, with the larger and more clear issues of being able to defeat massed armies as in '67 and '73.

So I'm guessing what motivates Brojo and Deflator and ATS is the Notion that the world would be better off if Iran or Syria too, had nuclear weapons. That way, I'm guessing these guys figure, Israel wouldn't -- well, what? Be shelled from Lebanon? Israeli buses would stop blowing up? Pizza parlors? How exactly would a Syrian or Iranian nuclear weapon make the world safer?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

WTF are you folks arguing about? This makes no sense. Pale, et. al, argue like so much political Cialis, and evidently need the stimulation, God knws why. Why not just be clear?

Uh, Israel has a right to defend itself. I don't care how many times they bomb Syria, so long as they're willing to be clear and up front about it.

Overall, what I tried to point out is that Light Water Nuclear Reactor technology is spreading throughout the world, thanks to Russia, France and a whole host of countries that benefit peripherally from the spread of this technology. Its a way to produce electricity, and its the future. You can't stop the people who have the cash from buying this technology from the people who need to sell it.

This inevitability means we'd better be ready to use diplomacy to stop anyone from weaponizing material; you can't bomb every frickin' country in the world who is trying to use and acquire LWR technology. There is no correlation to WWII, Clausewitz, past history, the Pelopennesian War, et al. This is the spread of a technology for which there is no precedent. You cannot simply blow up every single reactor and centrifuge and storage facility and backup facility. The lesson of Osirisk is, yes--you were able to bomb the first one. The ones that come after have learned that lesson and will not be easily bombed and destroyed. It's the adaptation of tactics that we need to pay attention to, not whether Admiral Yamamoto and his aircraft carriers were sailing into the wind, planes armed with torpedoes not bombs.

If that's not clear enough, fuck off--for the hundredth time, fuck off.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

How exactly would a Syrian or Iranian nuclear weapon make the world safer?

The more immediate question is how does bombing Muslim countries by Israelis without warning, evidence, or authorization stop those buses and pizza parlors from blowing up? How does it not exacerbate the problem?

Other questions: are certain countries to be denied the use of fertilizer, chlorine for water and electricity from nuclear power simply by virtue of a subjective judgment that these countries are evil?

At what point in the misuse of American military power is the U.S. deemed evil enough to have to give up these same resources? Does it happen after invading a country on false premises, destroying its infrastructure and being responsible for setting in motion events that cause the death or wounding of over a million people?

Does it happen after U.S.-supported coups to install friendly dictators that oppress their own populations?

And are peace and nuclear disarmament ever possible if only countries other than the U.S. are held to a standard for their behavior on the world stage? Will it work out if one country is exempt from the rules?

Posted by: DM on October 7, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Americanist, you're missing the point of the argument. Many of us learned in the propaganda push to the invasion of Iraq that the US government is not to be believed. Add to that the British government and the Israeli government. Saddam had no extant WMD programs.To hear for the very first time about a possible Syrian nuke program associated with material being shipped from North Korea seems at best another fanciful yarn concocted for the gullible masses (see my post at 5:18 AM for an argument against such a scenario). Although Assad has made a protest to the UN about air space violations and bombing, I grant that the whole episode is mysterious. (I haven't checked out Mideast sources on this though. It's quite possible we're simply not hearing Syrian protest in US news media). I assume we'll find out more in time but I would argue you shouldn't rely on US media in any case. You have to dig for the truth these days on your own.

The same argument goes for Iran. No tangible proof of a nuclear weapons program exists, despite regular IAEA inspections. Of course it wouldn't be a good thing for Iran to have nuclear weapons. But the same can be said about any country. If I were Iranian I certainly wouldn't have great confidence that the US or Israel would not use their nukes on my country (despite the prevailing assumption of superior moral values in the West, a blatantly false assumption in my opinion) and therefore Iranians would gain by having a deterrent. Still, my hunch is that Iranian leaders are being truthful and no program exists. If you want me to believe otherwise, show me some proof.

Posted by: nepeta on October 7, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

(snort!) It'd help if you asked folks for proof of stuff they actually BELIEVE. I've said in damned near every post I've ever made on the subj. that I think Iran knows it is better off as a nearly nuke power, than provoking Israel by crossing the line. It is sorta silly to mis-state not only the facts, but what people have concluded from 'em, and then DEMAND proof... of what?

Good luck scouring the globe for absent evidence with those reading skills.

Then there is Pale:

Evidently he thinks that light water reactors are the future of electricity, so Israel will be attacking 'em everywhere. And he wonders why folks pat him on his pointy little head.

But DM takes the cake -- we're gonna deny nations the use of fertilizer, chlorine and electrity? News to me. It's as if you long so for the days of crappy propaganda that you have to make it up yourselves.

Calm down, folks. FOCUS.

Israel attacked Syria. There is an impressive official silence about WHY. But the available evidence is pretty solid that North Korea was providing 'em with something that provoked Israel.

And Pale (the Warren Buffett of Third World energy futures) notwithstanding, Israel's track record, viz., Osirigg, is pretty good.

Them's the facts, folks.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Americanist, a search took me about 3 seconds. This looks like a reliable site. For your reading pleasure:

Syria Comment

Why would Iran want to be a 'near-nuke' state? All that would bring is trouble without any gain.
What I want from the US administration and Israel is proof that Iran is enriching uranium in the quantities needed for nuclear weapons. So far their enrichment activities are in accordance with the legitimate right they have under the NPT to enrich uranium for civilian energy use. Listen to El Baradei for the truth.


Posted by: nepeta on October 7, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Evidently he thinks that light water reactors are the future of electricity, so Israel will be attacking 'em everywhere. And he wonders why folks pat him on his pointy little head.

And Pale (the Warren Buffett of Third World energy futures) notwithstanding, Israel's track record, viz., Osirigg, is pretty good.

The fact is, the Iranian oil industry is collapsing and then there is the issue of peak oil. To expect people in developing nations to live in the dark while Western nations drive cars in live in broadly lit expansive cities is ludicrous. Warfare cannot solve these issues. Bombs can't solve them anymore either. What's left?

Have you fucked off yet? Because it sure would do everyone a world of good.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

For about a third of the posters here, it's not so much the lack of information as the utter inability to think clearly, to sort out what's important from what's not, that causes 'em to think just incredibly stoooopid things.

Nepeta, f'r instance, cites an Assad interview THREE WEEKS AFTER the attack as proof that Assad spoke up -- not that his protest was transparently false (an empty building?), or that it came tellingly after weeks of silence.

And Pale wants to be sure everybody is thinking oh, so seriously about his prognostications about the future of energy development above the world's oil reserves, as opposed to, say, the point of the thread: why did Israel raid Syria?

Cuz if it was the harmless light water reactor tech that Pale thinks it was -- how come Assad claimed it was an empty building?

And, as noted, the Israeli record on Osiricalico shows that they are neither reckless nor hesitant.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

And, as noted, the Israeli record on Osiricalico shows that they are neither reckless nor hesitant.

Yeah, but then you think about Lebanon, and well, your theory is shot to shit.

It's nice that you think all of this is not related to energy development, but if you weren't so short sighted and foolish in your basic analysis, you'd see that the solution to a lot of these issues begins with finding ways to end our energy dependence on oil. It's a no brainer, and that's why you can't wrap your skull around it--figure out how to have clean, renewable energy that doesn't feed billions into the coffers of people who support terrorist organizations, and the dynamic of the situation changes. Find a way to get troops out of the Middle East and that puts to rest much of jihadist rhetoric.

Whatever the hell that boy Assad is up to is no good--he's ordered the killing of countless politicians in Lebanon and he certainly deserves whatever the Israelis can throw at him. That's a country-to-country dynamic that is part of an overall strategic vision of how to approach the issue of the Middle East. You can't do that with bombs, you can't do that until you figure out a new way to produce energy, and you can't fixate on small details. I don't favor nuclear energy, but in the short term, what is there? How does a country that is running out of the ability to produce energy from fuel burning plants replace that source of energy? What do you do when burning coal won't cut it anymore, because of the emissions? How do you expect people to live without something as basic as electricity--which is what we've got in Iraq.

That fixation on the wrong strategy and on dropping bombs on people is why we're in this mess.

Poor Americanist can't stand having his lack of skills exposed in public. He'll bluster some more, then slink away. He's quite charming in that respect--you can always count on him to have the wrong take on a subject. It's more reliable than the Atomic clock.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 7, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

What if the undetected air strike, was undetected, due to the fact that it was ACTUALLY carried out by the ONLY TRULY stealthy aircraft in the world, that being US aircraft? Posted by: Tim

Or if it never actually occured? Don't you think the Syrians might have gone to the UN over such an unprovoked attack?

Again, it went unmentioned in the Third World press, particularly in the Arab world suggesting that it never happened.

Posted by: JeffII on October 7, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

I noted waaaay upthread that Lebanon isn't much like Syria (nor Osirak), being as how both the Osirak and the recent raid on Syria were quick and clean (fly in, go boom!), where Lebanon is a clusterfuck.

The facts of life regarding Lebanon do not suggest Israel was unwise to take out nuclear facilities in Syria or Iraq -- or would be outa line to whack a similar site in Iran, for the matter, Hezbollah's principal sponsor.

So it isn't hard to recognize Pale's "thinking", such as it is. He wants to brag about what he "knows", and hopes the subject will change to accomodate him. He's like a guy I used to know, who wrote a paper once about Diego Garcia. It is truly impressive how many foreign policy or national security discussions can be guided in very few steps to be about Diego Garcia: the Kevin Bacon island of world affairs.

Just so with Pale's "expertise": he is the reasoning of his argument, a legend in his own mind.

To recap for clarity:

1) Israel took out a site in Syria. It took weeks for anybody to say bupkas about it -- and when anybody DID, it was left to, of all people, the North Koreans to take a leading role. Syria itself didn't leap up and holler.

What's that tell ya?

2) The last time Israel did anything like this, it was to take out the Osirak reactor in Iraq. Saddam's record, both before (the attack on Iran) and after (the attack on Kuwait) shows Israel was right to take out the site. On this planet, when a bad guy renews his efforts to get nukes AFTER his first try is crippled, that's proof you were right to cripple him.

3) So there really isn't much traction for the speculation that this was anything BUT what it appears to have been -- North Korea delivered something to Syria that crossed a line, provoking Israel to take out the site. QED.

Pale is welcome to pump his Brown and Root (or Halliburton) stock, and enlighten us all on the future of light water reactors, but it's beside the point. I've noticed this with the guy before, so there isn't much gainful in arguing with him about how great he is: pat him on the head, but leave the tin foil intact cuz, as he will shortly illustrate, he NEEDS it.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 7, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Senior Suter is a Big Safari-managed special access program. Big Safari itself is a shadowy Air Force unit that has developed small numbers of specialized reconnaissance systems, including drones, in what are often classified programs. The Suter technology was developed during the last several years by BAE Systems and involves invading enemy communications networks and computer systems, particularly those associated with integrated air defense systems (AW&ST Aug. 16, 2004, p. 24; Nov. 4, 2002, p. 30). Suter 1 allowed U.S. operators to monitor what enemy radars could see. The capability enables U.S. forces to assess the effectiveness of their stealth systems or terrain-masking tactics. Suter 2 permits U.S. operators to take control of enemy networks as system managers and actually manipulate the sensors, steering them away from penetrating U.S. aircraft. Suter 3 was tested last summer to add the ability to invade the links to time-critical targets, such as battlefield ballistic missile launchers or mobile surface-to-air missile launchers. Aircraft involved in the Suter programs include the EC-130 Compass Call, RC-135 Rivet Joint and F-16CJ strike aircraft specialized for suppression of enemy air defenses.

Posted by: majarosh on October 7, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Anti-American war policies, yes. The unprovoked attack on Syria will only add to the list of crimes both Israel and the US have committed in the Middle East. Being unwilling to play by the same rules as everyone else because of overwhelming fire power and possession of weapons of mass destruction and using that power to make unprovoked attacks, invasions and occupations, diminishes America's democratic prestige in the world and is rightfully compared to other oppressive military led regimes who have abused their power.

Posted by: Brojo on October 7, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo is so cute when he tries to seem reasonable.

Tell us would this have been an "unprovoked attack on Syria" IF, in fact, Syria had bought nuclear weapons technology?

Don't argue whether the site was, or was not, or tell us how much you mistrust the Israelis, or Bush, or how you learned at 18 months that Daddy was really Santa Claus.

Just say whether or not you believe that Israel, of all countries, should trust the UN, of all institutions, to protect it against that level of threat.

Or 'fess up: you DO think it's okay if the sponsors of terrorism get nukes.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 8, 2007 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

The US is the largest sponsor and perpetrator of terrorism in the world. It also has nukes and it also proliferates them. I, as a citizen, am against the US sponsorship of terrorism and its proliferation of nuclear technology.

To counter illegal US proliferation of nuclear weapons, most notably to Israel, I advocate the transfer of US nuclear weapons technology, by legal treaty, to Iran. Iran would save money otherwise spent on development, it would create tremendous goodwill and it would counter Israel's nuclear dominance of the Middle East. I think it might also reassure markets the US is not hell bent on a strategy of securing its rapturesqe predestination. That might not be able to be disapproved, as many Americans would like to take the world to its final reward as a proof of God's love. Have you been breeding a red calf?

Posted by: Brojo on October 8, 2007 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

"The Americanist"

Noted without further comment.

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 8, 2007 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, December 14, 2005: "They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets."

and on October 26, 2005: "(Ayatollah Khomeini) said that the occupying regime must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine....eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world."

Noted to Brojo and Pale, without further comment.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 8, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

OK, theAmericanist's politics are noted. They don't invalidate his claims (and Pale Rider should learn to be more polite) but they obviously distort his perceptions.

Israel bombed Syria. We don't know why. If there had been nuclear technology in the bombsights, that is working nuclear technology (a working reactor or an enrichment plant) the plume of radioactive waste would have been detected (as it was when the US bombed nuclear reactors in Iraq in 1991). No such plume detected. Ergo, no working nuclear technology.

Israel often attacks people without good cause because it can. Because it knows that the people it attacks cannot hit back. There is no reason for assuming that a bully beat up a much smaller person because that much smaller person posed a threat to him. Much more likely that the smaller person posed no such threat.

Of course, palerider's point is interesting; why didn't the Israelis talk about this? Best guess: because they want everyone to be confused and to hold the worst possible opinion of Syria, and to keep the Middle Eastern pot boiling until the US and Britain start bombing Iran.

Posted by: MFB on October 8, 2007 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Is it really so certain that bombing a nuke site has to leave a nuke plume? I didn't think so -- after all, you can destroy a submarine pen without necessarily destroying submarines, or make an airfield under construction unusable before aircraft land there to, um, use it.

Basically, the idea that Israel is reckless about an attack like this flies in the face of the Osirak history. Right?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 8, 2007 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Noted to Brojo and Pale, without further comment.

Hey that's my line. At least be honest when you're copying me. I should be flattered, but really, I'm just tired of you.

(and Pale Rider should learn to be more polite)

You really know nothing about the Americanist, don't you?

Posted by: Pale Rider on October 8, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, methinks you're just... tired, Pale.

When someone (like you) attempts to make a stooopid ad hominem point, as you did, and the reply merely makes relevant quotes available to prove the point you were disputing "without further comment": that's known as IRONY. It's not hard to use your words to make you look foolish, cuz you ARE foolish.

But like reason, irony is lost on you, apparently.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 8, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Now the London Times is jumping on the band wagon claiming Condi is the new voice of reason. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2604125.ece

Here is the London Times 9/16
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2461421.ece

By Sept 23rd the Times has Israeli commandos snatching nuclear material.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2512380.ece

Notice that no one is ready to go on record saying that there were nukes: one Bush 1 NSC is ready to go on record saying that there were NO nukes. I still stick with my radar test, and shortrange missile destruction theory. I will say that Condi has been getting alot of people to print her press releases, and I congradulate Stephen J. Hadley for managing to keep his job of stovepipping information.

Posted by: sailmaker on October 8, 2007 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

"I still stick with my radar test, and shortrange missile destruction theory."

You win the prize. As far as I can tell from reading various and sundry sources the Israeli strike had nothing to do with nukes. The strike was meant to hit (don't know whether it did) an experimental site where missiles (NK Nodongs) were being armed with chemical weapons.

Posted by: nepeta on October 8, 2007 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

In a world crammed with spys in the sky and every other kind of spy, the Syrians attempt to build a weapons oriented reactor that apparently looks like a reactor right in the middle of a barren plain. Get real.

Posted by: paul25 on October 26, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

the myth of Israeli Infallibility is caused by the fact that Allah the great has been on Israel"s side, since the Palestinians illegally occupied "al-Ard al-Muqaddasah(The land of Israel) Surah 15:21

Posted by: jochai on October 28, 2007 at 5:14 AM | PERMALINK

Surah 5:21 reads: "O my people, enter the holy land that GOD has decreed for you, and do not rebel, lest you become losers."

Posted by: jochai on November 1, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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