Posted by: Tony Carson | 23 September, 2007

Israel’s strike into Syria: do we have a right to know?

So what really happened in the Syrian desert on September 6? Are we ever going to find out?

Israel seems determined to accuse everyone of its neighbours of trying to make a nuclear bomb and in the process is reeking havoc across the Middle East.

The United States appears all too willing to get on board, indeed, the ‘world’s only superpower’ is behaving like a lackey to Israel while the UN Security Council sits on its collective hands.

So what really happened in the Syrian desert? In the absence of real information we are left to read the speculation in the press. This from Reuters Israeli commandos prepared Syria strike:

The Sunday Times said that, in order to win U.S. President George W. Bush’s support for the air raid in Syria’s Deir az-Zor region in the early hours of September 6, Israeli commandos earlier had seized “nuclear-related” material. Tests later indicated it had originated in North Korea, the newspaper said.

North Korea, which is negotiating with Washington to end its nuclear program, has dismissed as a “conspiracy” accusations that it may have sent nuclear material or technology to Syria, with which it has said lately it has strengthening ties.

Damascus called reports of nuclear deals a “fabrication.” Syria, a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, denies having illegal nuclear activities or nuclear links to North Korea.

U.S. official source has told Reuters that the area where Syria said Israeli aircraft dropped bombs — harmlessly in the desert by the Syrian statement — was a focus of suspicions of secret cooperation on nuclear arms with North Korea.

However, diplomats close to the International Atomic Energy Agency have said they are unaware of such concerns. And some analysts also question the theory, noting in some cases, the failure to find secret weapons in Iraq after Washington had used their supposed existence to justify toppling Saddam Hussein.



  1. Is it totally fair to accuse the U.N. Security Council of “sitting on its hands”???

    After all, Israel’s not talking (officially) and Syria has made no complaint to the Security Council. With no official complaint from Syria, and no official acknowledgment from Israel, I’m not sure it’s the Security Councils’ place to do much of anything (plus, there’s nothing in the UN Charter making aggression illegal. Maybe there should be, but there isn’t. Technically, no matter what Israel bombed, bombing it didn’t actually break international law).

  2. The point above is indeed interesting. I wonder why there is no official complain or a coherent theory of what has happened coming from the Syrian side? If they were attacked, they shouldn’t be silent…

    But the speculation is the most spectacular part of it. On the one hand there is no official information. On the other hand everybody is speculating quoting each other’s speculations. I find it an interesting dynamic teaching us more about the media than about the situation.

  3. That’s the thing. If all the anonymous source stuff coming out of Washington and Israel is true, then it makes perfect sense why the Israelis and Americans are keeping their mouths shut (and also, btw, why the Chinese would cancel talks with the U.S. and North Korea at the very last minute… negating the Americans’ first chance to privately confront the North Koreans with what was allegedly found by the Israelis).

    On the other hand, if the stories out of Syria are true, then it makes no sense whatsoever why Syria isn’t screaming to the hills (not to mention the other Arab states, who don’t shy away from opportunities to criticize Israel and yet have remained STUNNINGLY silent on this issue, dare I suggest because they’re not thrilled with the idea of a nuclear Syria either???).

    We may never have conclusive proof of what happened, but all the circumstantial evidence out there supports the Israeli/Washington spin, and contradicts the Syrian spin.

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