Saturday, 9 February 2008

When Night Suddenly Turned Into Day

"The attack was especially dramatic because the Israelis used bright magnesium illumination flares to light up the target before the bombing. Night suddenly turned into day." Seymour Hersh has given an interview to Al Jazeera about his investigation of the September 6, 2007 Israeli bombing of a Syrian site long suspected of being nuclear. On Monday next week, his article will be published in The New Yorker.

What was actually the meaning of that air strike doesn’t become clear at all. IAEA DG Mohamed ElBaradei expressed his frustration after the strike, saying:

“If a country has any information about a nuclear activity in another country, it should inform the I.A.E.A.—not bomb first and ask questions later.”

But there wasn’t a nuclear facility to be built. There wasn’t any construction site for producing chemical warfare. There were North Korean workers, but most probably they were engaged in constructing missiles. One possible reason for Bashar al-Assad better keeping pretty calm after the raid.

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was published three months later. According to Hersh, some reports about the forthcoming NIE and its general conclusion had already appeared at the time of the raid. Cheney’s office had resisted its implications for at least one year. It is Hersh’s speculation, but rear cover for the raid might have been given by Cheney himself, possibly even overriding the chain of command.

It is conceivable that the timely publication of the NIE has in fact prevented similar adventures regarding Iran. During his recent Middle East trip, Bush consistently stressed that the Iranian nuclear-weapons threat has not vanished from the scene. So, it is not over. Will it ever be?

See also this article in The Economist from January 31, 2008.

2 comments:

Lothar said...

I 100% agree what you write and the question behind your posting.
Cheney wants an attack against Iran and he is trying everything to get it, before he leaves his office.
No matter how.
That's not his first try, to go this way.
And i dont think, that's the last one.
The reason for that is the amount of oil and natural gas in Iran. You know, in the 60' the american oil trusts own most of the plants, Refineries in Iran. The Americans were thrown out of this country. And believe me, they want their money, or better they want the Iranian oil and gas fields back.
I have no idea, how that case can be handled. But i know one thing for sure. Both side have to talk about that. Otherwise we all get in trouble.

Fahad said...

Thanks a lot. It is very strange that the mysterious military attack is not investigated by the public, except again Sy Hersh. This might be an unmistakable sign for the seriousness of the matter. I remember, he was recently very pessimistic with regards to the upcoming new war with Iran.
That Assad didn't ask the UN for help after this bombardement is, of course, revealing, too. So all sides decided to keep quiet. Very strange.
We should keep watch especially when it comes to the preparations of a scenario in which Iran will be the next serious target. Bush and Cheney are still not out of office.