Thursday, April 24, 2008

Syrian Ambassador: Reactor? That's No Reactor

Western news media, at least, have taken to calling Syria's whatsit that Israel bombed last year a "reactor." I think they're right.

Once more, I have to point out that "Another War-on-Terror Blog" isn't political. But, politicians make decisions that affect war and peace. For that reason, politics has to be discussed. Particularly in an election year.

Although my favorite of the Syrian stories about what Israeli warplanes bombed on September 6, 2007, is that it was an agricultural facility, I must admit that evidence favored it being a nuclear reactor, nearly identical to one in North Korea.

I miss the radioactive kimchi scenario, though ("Radioactive Kimchi, or Nuclear Bomb Material?" (September 23, 2007).

Syria Says: Is Not!

The Syrian ambassador to the United Kingdom was much more eloquent than that, of course. Sami al-Khiyami Said that Syria and North Korea were being very nice: "This has nothing to do with North Korea and Syria. They [the Americans] just want to exert more pressure on North Korea. This is why they are coming up with this story," he told Reuters.

Member of Congress Says It's a Plot!

New York's own Representative Gary Ackerman, who had his own hearing about U.S. policy toward Syria, says that the White House didn't give everybody the same amount of information. He called that "bizarre behavior." "This is the selective control of information that led us to war in Iraq," Ackerman said.

He could be right, but I thought that some of what the CIA told a Congressional committee today was very, very secret: Not the sort of thing you want everyone to know.

Ackerman's not alone, though Michigan's Representative Pete Hoekstra, a leading member of the House Intelligence Committee, said: " 'I think many people believe that we were used today by the administration because — not because they felt they had to inform Congress because it was their legal obligation to do that, but because they had other agendas in mind,' he said.

With due respect to the representative from Michigan, that sounds an awful lot like 'it's some kinda plot.'

And, other members of Congress talked, too: Maine's Senator Susan Collins brought up a sensible point, that revealing this much information could compromise American intelligence sources.

As to that, it will help if members of Congress keep their collective yap shut.

Which, thankfully, they are: so far.

But tomorrow's another day.

Israeli Raid on Syrian Reactor in Today's News

  • "US video to link North Korea to Syrian nuclear reactor: reports"
    AFP (April 24, 2008)
    "WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US government on Thursday will show lawmakers a video linking North Korea to a Syrian nuclear reactor the Israelis bombed in September, leading US newspapers said Thursday.
    "The New York Times and The Washington Post, citing unnamed senior officials said the video showed North Koreans inside the secret Syrian facility code-named Al Kibar."
  • "Syria 'had covert nuclear scheme' "
    BBC (April 24, 2008)
    "The United States has accused North Korea of helping Syria build a nuclear reactor that 'was not intended for peaceful purposes'.
    "The site, said to be like one in North Korea, was bombed by Israel in 2007."
  • "Syria denies building nuclear reactor with N.Korea"
    International Herald Tribune (April 24, 2008)
    "LONDON: Syria on Thursday dismissed U.S. accusations that North Korea was helping it build a nuclear reactor that could produce plutonium.
    "Syria's ambassador to Britain, Sami al-Khiyami, told Reuters that the accusation, which President George W. Bush's administration was expected to lay out to lawmakers on Thursday, was to put pressure on North Korea in talks about Pyongyang's nuclear programme.
    " 'This has nothing to do with North Korea and Syria. They just want to exert more pressure on North Korea. This is why they are coming up with this story,' Khiyami said."
  • "Official: Syrian Nuclear Reactor Was Weeks From Functioning"
    FOXNews (April 24, 2008)
    "WASHINGTON — A Syrian nuclear reactor built with help from North Korea was weeks away from functioning, a top U.S. official said Thursday after lawmakers were briefed on the site destroyed last year by Israeli jets.
    "The official, who wanted anonymity, told The Associated Press that the facility was mostly completed but still needed significant testing before it could be declared operational."

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.