Oh, yes: "unilateral" popped up again. I'll get back to that.
Syrian seems to have chosen the story that Israelis bombed an "unused military facility."
Briefly, here's what seems to be going on:
- September 6, 2007: Israeli warplanes bomb a nuclear reactor that was within weeks of becoming operational
- September, 2007: Israel says nothing; Syria says Israeli warplanes bombed
- Empty sand
- An agricultural facility
- An unused military facility of some sort
- April, 2008: American intelligence reports to Congressional committees; some details come out, including a photo of a North Korean nuclear scientist talking to his Syrian counterpart
- April 26, 2008: same old, same old:
- Syria decides on their "unused military facility" story
- Israel blamed for taking unilateral action
- IAEA is upset that they didn't know about the reactor
- Not at Syria, which should have informed the IAEA
- At America - and Israel
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP)
- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
As for Israel, I think that critics have a point. This nation, surrounded by people and governments that made the slogan, "death to the Jews! Death to the great Satan America!" famous, might have noted that Syria was building a reactor - almost certainly for military purposes - and then:
- Asked to have the matter brought up in the next U.N. Security Council meeting (I believe that might be the appropriate body)
- Prepared speeches
- Addressed the U.N. Security Council, when an opening in the agenda became available
- Prepared responses to objections raised, and counter-claims from Syria
- Go To Step 3
As for the International Atomic Energy Agency, I think that the IAEA might be well advised to criticize Syria, which was obligated to report nuclear work like the "unused military facility" it was building. I'll admit to a bias.
I've been disturbed by a certain lack of fit between reality and the world that the IAEA lives in. For example, the glowing report the IAEA gave to the Chernobyl situation recently.
And, when it comes to matters involving Islamic enthusiasts and their stated goals of wiping out Israel and western culture, I have a niggling doubt that the IAEA Director-General, Mohamed El-Baradei, will be completely objective.
I know: it's unreasonable. But, I submit, no more unreasonable than a similar doubt as to the commitment of a (hypothetical) director of a Jewish civic rights oversight agency in 1938, whose name was something like Heinrich von Schwinghammer.
My concerns over the IAEA's seeming hesitancy to engage nations which are real threats may be no more than my view, as an outsider, of the delicate negotiations and sensitivity that must exist in such cases.
Syria's non-reactor, and related matters, in the news:
- "UN probes US Syria reactor claim"
"The UN's nuclear watchdog has said it will investigate US claims that Syria was building a secret nuclear reactor with North Korean help."
BBC (April 25, 2008)
- "Syrian Diplomat Says U.S. Fabricated Nuke Allegations"
"Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said Friday that the allegations that his country was building a nuclear reactor were fabricated and were driven by U.S. officials trying to torpedo Washington's nuclear deal with North Korea."
FOXNews (April 25, 2008)
- "IAEA raps U.S. over Syrian reactor"
"For not updating it over Pyongyang’s assistance"
The Hindu (April 26, 2008)
- "IAEA chastises U.S., Israel over Syrian reactor"
"Lack of information sharing, unilateral attack anger nuclear watchdog"
msnbc.com (April 25, 2008)
- "Syria history (GlobalSecurity.org)
- "Syrian Ambassador: Reactor? That's No Reactor"
(April 24, 2008)
- "Return of the Radioactive Kimchi!! North Korean Nuclear Reactor in Syria Back in the News"
( April 23, 2008)
- "Back to Syria's Mystery Building"
(October 29, 2007)
- "Satellite Images of Syrian Reactor / Warehouse"
(October 25, 2007)
- "Putin, Ahmadinejad, Iran, Syria, Israel: Here We Go Again?"
(October 18, 2007)
- " 'The Jews Blew Up Our Reactor (Which Does Not Exist)' "
(October 17, 2007)
- "In the News: Anxious Republicans, Castro and Chavez are Friends, and, oh, yes: Israel Destroyed Syrian Nuclear Reactor"
(October 14, 2007)
- "No Radioactive Kimchi: Israel Blew Up a Syrian Reactor"
(October 13, 2007)
- "Radioactive Kimchi, or Nuclear Bomb Material?"
(September 23, 2007)
- "Nuclear Materials from North Korea,
Sand, or Radioactive Kimchi?"
( September 18, 2007)
- "Nuclear Stockpile Bombed?"
(September 16, 2007)
1("Country Reports on Terrorism 2005" Chapter 6 -- State Sponsors of Terror Overview GlobalSecurity.org).