Posted by: Tony Carson | 21 September, 2007

Israel (US) bomb Syria with ‘No Comment’

The US and Israel collude on an Israeli air strike on Syria on September 6 and refuse to talk about it.

“I’m not going to comment on the matter,” Bush said at a news conference yesterday, brushing aside several questions. See: Israel, U.S. shared data on suspected nuclear site: report

Will they not choose to comment when the drop bombs on Iran?

What do you mean “I’m not going to comment on the matter?” You just helped bomb another country. Shouldn’t you offer some explanation?

So how many countries has the US bombed since WW II? At least 22, now 23.

China 1945-46, 1950-53; Korea 1950-53; Guatemala 1954, 1960, 1967-69; Indonesia 1958; Cuba 1959-61; Congo 1964; Peru 1965; Laos 1964-73; Vietnam 1961-73; Cambodia 1969-70; Lebanon 1983-84; Grenada 1983; Libya 1986, El Salvador 1980s; Nicaragua 1980s; Panama 1989; Iraq 1991 to present day; Somalia 1993; Bosnia (Republic of Srpska) 1995; Sudan 1998; Yugoslavia 1999; and Afghanistan 1998, 2001-07, Syria 2007.



  1. Uhhhm, I don’t think this exactly counts as the U.S. bombing Syria. The article you cite doesn’t even state that the U.S. knew that Israel was going to bomb Syria. Hell, although it’s reasonably certain, it’s not even 100% confirmed that Israel DID bomb Syria (Syria certainly never admittted it, as they claimed their air force chased the Israeli planes away!). All the article says is that Israel shared some of their intelligence on the Syrians buying nuclear technology from the North Koreans with the U.S., and the U.S. probably shared whatever intelligence they had right back. I’m not particularly shocked that the U.S. isn’t commenting on the matter, any more than they’d comment on reports that any other ally had bombed another country.

    You seem to have taken a report that the U.S. was shown some Israeli intelligence on Syrian nuclear activity, and lept not only to the conclusion that the U.S. knew the Israelis wrere going to bomb the site (which isn’t a HUGE leap) to “the U.S. bombed Syria” which… what????

  2. See! The “No comment” works wonders: if I don’t say it, it didn’t happen.

    The Isaelis have been getting away with this strategy for years; the US strategy used to be “plausible denial,” but every since the Bush Administration and the jettisoning of the plausible for the improbable, the US has been struggling for an alternative. Lying has been the favoured choice for years, but now that they’ve become so untrustworthy the stategy doesn’t work any more. Thus, the new one: “No comment.”

    But do you really still have a democract when your leader says, quite boldly: None of your friggin business?

    Surely a democracy would demand that a leader answer a charge of being implicated in the bombing of another country.

    In the absence of a credible defense: guilt, every time.

  3. Actually, it appears the Syrians have changed their tune now, and are saying the Israelis DID drop bombs, on nothing, in the middle of the desert, while being chased away by the Syrian air force. So, even the worst the Syrians are accusing the Israelis of is violating their air space and then bombing a whole lot of nothing, in the middles of the desert, for no apparent reason. And if you buy that, would you be interested in this bridge…

    When the Israelis appear quietly pleased with the mission, and the Syrians claim the Israelis bombed NOTHING, in the MIDDLE OF THE DESERT it really makes me think that whatever the Israelis hit, I’m pretty happy they hit it!

  4. I’m not sure the democratic credibility of the Israeli parliament is called into question because they refuse to answer the questions of foreigners about a secret Israeli military strike. I CERTAINLY don’t think the Americans are obligated to answer questions about a secret Israeli military strike, or that a failure to answer questions about another country’s secret military operations calls the American leaders’ democratic bona fides into question.

    Now, to the extent that the Israeli people might want answers, THEN you’d have a bit of a democratic deficit in a refusal to answer your citizens questions. However, I doubt very much if the people of Israel are going to get all up-in-arms demanding a bunch of details of a secret military strike to take out North Korean nuclear technology in Syria. Perhaps if civilians had been harmed, or civilian infrastructure damaged there’d be an outcry, even in Israel. However Israelis aren’t dim. When they hear rumours that their air force took out a nuclear facility in Syria, and then they hear the Syrians claiming that the Israeli air force (one of the best and most battle-hardened air forces on the planet) dropped a bunch of bombs on NOTHING, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT, they come to the conclusion that they’re air force just took out a secret Syrian nuclear facility in the desert. Not only do I not think Israelis will have a problem with that, I don’t think they’ll have a problem with their government staying quiet about it either.

  5. Interestingly, this article in the Jerusalem Post gives another explanation that I hadn’t thought of for the silence over this issue; that being to keep the door to peace open to Syria. It’d be kinda tough to work towards peace with Syria if you’re out there in public explaining all the details of the nuclear weapons facility intended to threaten your country that you just bombed back to the stone age. You’d be forcing Syria to deny what you know to be true, and it would make it that much more difficult to talk to them about peace.

    Of course, the article also mentions speculation that this was a “dry run” for strikes against Iran. Which I certainly think would be lunacy. However, if that were the case I doubt the Israelis would have dropped actual bombs (and frankly, I doubt they’d fly a training run over Syrian airspace anyway, unless they wanted practice evading air defences, which seems an awful risk to take for a training excercise).

    I think the more plausible explanation is that Israel is quite satisfied with the message the bombing sent to Damascus, and doesn’t feel the need to paint the Syrians into a corner and embarass them further by laying out in public just how successful the bombing really was, and what it was they really hit. Better to let the Syrians have their moment of self righteousness than to lay out for the world what they were really up to.

  6. So if Canada dropped bombs on say, Chad, and our PM said, “No comment” you’d be fine with that. Wow.

    If you’re an American and your President said, “No comment” to a collusion to bombing Syria, you’d be OK with that.

    You’re an Israeli and your government bombs Syria with a “No comment” and you’re OK with that.

    Why bother with a parliament, a congress and knesset? They don’t matter, just bomb the bastards with no comment.

    Not in my democracy.

    As for the Israel airforce being the “most battle-hardened air forces on the planet” battle-hardened by whom? They bomb with impunity and without opposition, as the Syrian mission proved.

  7. If Chad was right next door to Canada, had twice tried to wipe Canada off the map, and the thing we bombed was almost certainly a nuclear facility with recently imported materials from North Korea intended to threaten the very existence of Canada? PLUS the government of Chad was claiming no one was hit, and that the Canadian Forces had bombed a whole lot of nothing in the middle of the desert? Then yes. I’d understand my government not wanting to further embarass the government of Chad by publicly laying out all they knew about the secret illegal nuclear facility we just destroyed. More importantly, I’d understand the importance of the Government of Chad not being able to read at a thorough accounting of all of the intelligence that the Canadian government had on their secret nuclear program designed to threaten my very existence.

    I’d be pretty OK with all of that.

    It’s not often that a government has to keep information from their citizens in order to keep their citizens safe, but I’m hard pressed to accept that the secret bombing of an adversarial neighbour’s secret nuclear facilities in the middle of an unpopulated desert isn’t one of those times!

  8. As to “Why bother with a parliament, a congress and knesset?” I’m not sure anyone’s claiming the Knesset wasn’t informed (or for that matter the Aremd Services or Intelligence Committees of the U.S. Congress, assuming we accept that the Americans knew what the Israelis were going to do). Just because the Prime Minister won’t go into detail on CNN for all the world to hear doesn’t mean the Knesset didn’t know what was happening.

    Given the Syrian response, I’m quite sure the Knesset (or at least those who needed to know within the Knesset) knew EXACTLY what the plan was, and signed off happily.

  9. So, Kitch, where’s all this info that Syria has a nuclear arsenal or is developing one?

    This isn’t about The Bomb it’s about Israel intimidating Syria as it intimidates Palestine and Lebanon and it’s so far unsuccessful attempts to get at Iran.

    The only thing that is threatening Israel is world opinion and the peace process. If it succeeds, the Israelis get screwed out of the West Bank and its water.

  10. Look, I’m just willing to take the Israelis at their word (they’re “anonymous sources” word, it’s true, but again, I don’t expect them to lay out the intelligence they have on their adversaries for all the world to see) that they have intelligence that the North Koreans were transfering nuclear technology to Syria, and they felt compelled to act; and you’re not convinced. Now, if I wasn’t convinced by the Israelis, I’d be convinced by the Syrians laughable story that the Israeli air force just bombed a whole lot of nothing, in the middle of the desert. Again, you’re not convinced and fair enough I suppose.

    Israel is surrounded by countries where public opinion polls show that the majoprity of people still do not believe that Israel has the right to exist. If the Israelis conduct bombing raids that kill or even just endanger civilian populations, I’ll get up the gumption to be upset and demand answers. As long as the Syrians are claiming they hit nothing but sand (which to me, SCREAMS “They hit our secret illegal nuclear facility”) then as far as I’m concerned, bombs away.

  11. I guess I should further clarify, given my thoughts on how insane attacking Iran would be, the seeming contradiction.

    I’m not philosophically opposed to bombing a country’s secret illegal nuclear facilities. I’m CERTAINLY not opposed to Israel bombing the secret illegal nuclear facilities of neighbouring countries whom I’m not certain would be deterred from nuking Israel by the potential of Israeli retaliation (I’m not at all convinced that some Iranian leaders wouldn’t be quite pleased to martyr themselves by nuking Israel off the map, if they had the opportunity, consequences be damned). I am opposed to ineffectual bombing of a country’s secret illegal nuclear facilities (or, hypothetically, the effective bombing of a country’s secret illegal nuclear facilitites that causes significant harm to said country’s civilian population). Especially if that country has the conventional forces to make things get really nasty, really fast! (as in the Iranian case).

    Cases like the recent activity in Syria, or the ’81 bombing of the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq really don’t bother me much.

  12. OK, one more clarification.

    On the tiny chance that the Israelis really did waste a bunch of bombs hitting nothing but sand in the middle of the desert, either just for training or for “intimidation”, then yes, THAT I would have a problem with (more with the training than the intimidation, but pretty equally with both). So if the Syrians could put forward credible evidence that nothing was hit, I’d join the indignation.

    As I’ve said though, I happen to belive that the Israelis did indeed hit something out there in the desert, so I doubt the Syrians will ever attempt to provide concrete “proof” that there was nothing there (as that would force the Israelis’ hands, and they surely have video of the bombing that can prove they blew the Hell out of something). I think the Syrians are quite happy with Israel’s silence, and we’ll see them make a bit of noise, and act all indignant, and then mysteriously hush up, lest the Israelis do what you recommend and start talking publicly about what they know.

  13. May I consult down? Of course, Miko.

  14. Чётко подмечено!

  15. Просто прекрастно написано

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