Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

JONATHAN COOK: Why Did Israel Attack Syria?

Expand Messages
  • World View
    Hillary Clinton yet again supports bombing, this time of Syria. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/907662.html === An Opening Shot for War on Iran? Why Did
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Hillary Clinton yet again supports bombing, this time of Syria.

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/907662.html

      ===


      An Opening Shot for War on Iran?
      Why Did Israel Attack Syria?
      By JONATHAN COOK, Nazareth
      http://www.counterpunch.org/cook09272007.html


      Israel's air strike on northern Syria earlier this month should be
      understood in the context of events unfolding since its assault last
      summer on neighboring Lebanon.
      From the leaks so far, it seems that more than half a dozen Israeli
      warplanes violated Syrian airspace to drop munitions on a site close
      to the border with Turkey. We also know from the US media that the
      raid occurred in close coordination with the White House. But what was
      the purpose and significance of the attack?

      It is worth recalling that, in the wake of Israel's month-long war
      against Lebanon a year ago, a prominent American neoconservative,
      Meyrav Wurmser, wife of Vice-President Dick Cheney's recently departed
      Middle East adviser, explained that the war had dragged on because the
      White House delayed in imposing a ceasefire. The neocons, she said,
      wanted to give Israel the time and space to expand the attack to Damascus.

      The reasoning was simple: before an attack on Iran could be
      countenanced, Hizbullah in Lebanon had to be destroyed and Syria at
      the very least cowed. The plan was to isolate Tehran on these two
      other hostile fronts before going in for the kill.

      But faced with constant rocket fire from Hizbullah last summer,
      Israel's public and military nerves frayed at the first hurdle.
      Instead Israel and the US were forced to settle for a Security Council
      resolution rather than a decisive military victory.

      The immediate fallout of the failed attack was an apparent waning of
      neocon influence. The group's program of "creative destruction" in the
      Middle East -- the encouragement of regional civil war and the
      partition of large states that threaten Israel -- was at risk of being
      shunted aside.

      Instead the "pragmatists" in the Bush Administration, led by Secretary
      of State Condoleezza Rice and the new Defense Secretary Robert Gates,
      demanded a change of tack. The standoff reached a head in late 2006
      when oilman James Baker and his Iraq Study Group began lobbying for a
      gradual withdrawal from Iraq -- presumably only after a dictator, this
      one more reliable, had again been installed in Baghdad. It looked as
      if the neocons' day in the sun had finally passed.

      Israel's leadership understood the gravity of the moment. In January
      2007 the Herzliya conference, an annual festival of strategy-making,
      invited no less than 40 Washington opinion-formers to join the usual
      throng of Israeli politicians, generals, journalists and academics.
      For a week the Israeli and American delegates spoke as one: Iran and
      its presumed proxy, Hizbullah, were bent on the genocidal destruction
      of Israel. Tehran's development of a nuclear program -- whether for
      civilian use, as Iran argues, or for military use, as the US and
      Israel claim -- had to be stopped at all costs.

      While the White House turned uncharacteristically quiet all spring and
      summer about what it planned to do next, rumors that Israel was
      pondering a go-it-alone strike against Iran grew noisier by the day.
      Ex-Mossad officers warned of an inevitable third world war, Israeli
      military intelligence advised that Iran was only months away from the
      point of no return on developing a nuclear warhead, prominent leaks in
      sympathetic media revealed bombing runs to Gibraltar, and Israel
      started upping the pressure on several tens of thousands of Jews in
      Tehran to flee their homes and come to Israel.

      While Western analysts opined that an attack on Iran was growing
      unlikely, Israel's neighbors watched nervously through the first half
      of the year as the vague impression of a regional war came ever more
      sharply into focus. In particular Syria, after witnessing the
      whirlwind of savagery unleashed against Lebanon last summer, feared it
      was next in line in the US-Israeli campaign to break Tehran's network
      of regional alliances. It deduced, probably correctly, that neither
      the US nor Israel would dare attack Iran without first clobbering
      Hizbullah and Damascus.

      For some time Syria had been left in no doubt of the mood in
      Washington. It failed to end its pariah status in the post-9/11
      period, despite helping the CIA with intelligence on al-Qaeda and
      secretly trying to make peace with Israel over the running sore of the
      occupied Golan Heights. It was rebuffed at every turn.

      So as the clouds of war grew darker in the spring, Syria responded as
      might be expected. It went to the arms market in Moscow and bought up
      the displays of anti-aircraft missiles as well as anti-tank weapons of
      the kind Hizbullah demonstrated last summer were so effective at
      repelling Israel's planned ground invasion of south Lebanon.

      As the Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld reluctantly
      conceded earlier this year, US policy was forcing Damascus to remain
      within Iran's uncomfortable embrace: "Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
      finds himself more dependent on his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud
      Ahmadinejad, than perhaps he would like."

      Israel, never missing an opportunity to wilfully misrepresent the
      behavior of an enemy, called the Syrian military build-up proof of
      Damascus' appetite for war. Apparently fearful that Syria might
      initiate a war by mistaking the signals from Israel as evidence of
      aggressive intentions, the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, urged
      Syria to avoid a "miscalculation". The Israeli public spent the summer
      braced for a far more dangerous repeat of last summer's war along the
      northern border.

      It was at this point -- with tensions simmeringly hot -- that Israel
      launched its strike, sending several fighter planes into Syria on a
      lightning mission to hit a site near Dayr a-Zawr. As Syria itself
      broke the news of the attack, Israeli generals were shown on TV
      toasting in the Jewish new year but refusing to comment.

      Details have remained thin on the ground ever since: Israel imposed a
      news blackout that has been strictly enforced by the country's
      military censor. Instead it has been left to the Western media to
      speculate on what occurred.

      One point that none of the pundits and analysts have noted was that,
      in attacking Syria, Israel committed a blatant act of aggression
      against its northern neighbor of the kind denounced as the "supreme
      international crime" by the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal.

      Also, no one pointed out the obvious double standard applied to
      Israel's attack on Syria compared to the far less significant
      violation of Israeli sovereignty by Hizbullah a year earlier, when the
      Shia militia captured two Israel soldiers at a border post and killed
      three more. Hizbullah's act was widely accepted as justification for
      the bombardment and destruction of much of Lebanon, even if a few
      sensitive souls agonized over whether Israel's response was
      "disproportionate". Would these commentators now approve of similar
      retaliation by Syria?

      The question was doubtless considered unimportant because it was clear
      from Western coverage that no one -- including the Israeli leadership
      -- believed Syria was in a position to respond militarily to Israel's
      attack. Olmert's fear of a Syrian "miscalculation" evaporated the
      moment Israel did the maths for Damascus.

      So what did Israel hope to achieve with its aerial strike?

      The stories emerging from the less gagged American media suggest two
      scenarios. The first is that Israel targeted Iranian supplies passing
      through Syria on their way to Hizbullah; the second that Israel struck
      at a fledgling Syrian nuclear plant where materials from North Korea
      were being offloaded, possibly as part of a joint nuclear effort by
      Damascus and Tehran.

      (Speculation that Israel was testing Syria's anti-aircraft defences in
      preparation for an attack on Iran ignores the fact that the Israeli
      air force would almost certainly choose a flightpath through
      friendlier Jordanian airspace.)

      How credible are these two scenarios?

      The nuclear claims against Damascus were discounted so quickly by
      experts of the region that Washington was soon downgrading the
      accusation to claims that Syria was only hiding the material on North
      Korea's behalf. But why would Syria, already hounded by Israel and the
      US, provide such a readymade pretext for still harsher treatment? Why,
      equally, would North Korea undermine its hard-won disarmament deal
      with the US? And why, if Syria were covertly engaging in nuclear
      mischief, did it alert the world to the fact by revealing the Israeli
      air strike?

      The other justification for the attack was at least based in a more
      credible reality: Damascus, Hizbullah and Iran undoubtedly do share
      some military resources. But their alliance should be seen as the kind
      of defensive pact needed by vulnerable actors in a Sunni-dominated
      region where the US wants unlimited control of Gulf oil and supports
      only those repressive regimes that cooperate on its terms. All three
      are keenly aware that it is Israel's job to threaten and punish any
      regimes that fail to toe the line.

      Contrary to the impression being created in the West, genocidal hatred
      of Israel and Jews, however often Ahmadinejad's speeches are
      mistranslated, is not the engine of these countries' alliance.

      Nonetheless, the political significance of the justifications for the
      Israeli air strike is that both neatly tie together various strands of
      an argument needed by the neocons and Israel in making their case for
      an attack on Iran before Bush leaves office in early 2009. Each
      scenario suggests a Shia "axis of evil", coordinated by Iran, that is
      actively plotting Israel's destruction. And each story offers the
      pretext for an attack on Syria as a prelude to a pre-emptive strike
      against Tehran -- launched either by Washington or Tel Aviv -- to save
      Israel.

      That these stories appear to have been planted in the American media
      by neocon fanatics like John Bolton is warning enough -- as is the
      admission that the only evidence for Syrian malfeasance is Israeli
      "intelligence", the basis of which cannot be questioned as Israel is
      not officially admitting the attack.

      It should hardly need pointing out that we are again in a hall of
      mirrors, as we were during the period leading up to America's invasion
      of Iraq and have been during its subsequent occupation.

      Bush's "war on terror" was originally justified with the convenient
      and manufactured links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, as well as, of
      course, those WMDs that, it later turned out, had been destroyed years
      earlier. But ever since Tehran has invariably been the ultimate target
      of these improbable confections.

      There were the forged documents proving both that Iraq had imported
      enriched uranium from Niger to manufacture nuclear warheads and that
      it was sharing its nuclear know-how with Iran. And as Iraq fell apart,
      neocon operatives like Michael Ledeen lost no time in spreading rumors
      that the missing nuclear arsenal could still be accounted for: Iranian
      agents had simply smuggled it out of Iraq during the chaos of the US
      invasion.

      Since then our media have proved that they have no less of an appetite
      for such preposterous tales. If Iran's involvement in stirring up its
      fellow Shia in Iraq against the US occupation is at least possible,
      the same cannot be said of the regular White House claims that Tehran
      is behind the Sunni-led insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few
      months ago the news media served up "revelations" that Iran was
      secretly conspiring with al-Qaeda and Iraq's Sunni militias to oust
      the US occupiers.

      So what purpose does the constant innuendo against Tehran serve?

      The latest accusations should be seen as an example of Israel and the
      neocons "creating their own reality", as one Bush adviser famously
      observed of the neocon philosophy of power. The more that Hizbullah,
      Syria and Iran are menaced by Israel, the more they are forced to
      huddle together and behave in ways to protect themselves -- such as
      arming -- that can be portrayed as a "genocidal" threat to Israel and
      world order.

      Van Creveld once observed that Tehran would be "crazy" not to develop
      nuclear weapons given the clear trajectory of Israeli and US
      machinations to overthrow the regime. So equally Syria cannot afford
      to jettison its alliance with Iran or its involvement with Hizbullah.
      In the current reality, these connections are the only power it has to
      deter an attack or force the US and Israel to negotiate.

      But they are also the evidence needed by Israel and the neocons to
      convict Syria and Iran in the court of Washington opinion. The attack
      on Syria is part of a clever hustle, one designed to vanquish or
      bypass the doubters in the Bush Administration, both by proving
      Syria's culpability and by provoking it to respond.

      Condoleezza Rice, it emerged at the weekend, wants to invite Syria to
      attend the regional peace conference that has been called by President
      Bush for November. There can be no doubt that such an act of détente
      is deeply opposed by both Israel and the neocons. It reverses their
      strategy of implicating Damascus in the "Shia arc of extremism" and of
      paving the way to an attack on the real target: Iran.

      Syria, meanwhile, is fighting back, as it has been for some time, with
      the only means available: the diplomatic offensive. For two years
      Bashar al-Assad has been offering a generous peace deal to Israel on
      the Golan Heights that Tel Aviv has refused to consider. This week,
      Syria made a further gesture towards peace with an offer on another
      piece of territory occupied by Israel, the Shebaa Farms. Under the
      plan, the Farms -- which the United Nations now agrees belongs to
      Lebanon, but which Israel still claims is Syrian and cannot be
      returned until there is a deal on the Golan Heights -- would be
      transferred to UN custody until the dispute over its sovereignty can
      be resolved.

      Were either of Damascus' initiatives to be pursued, the region might
      be looking forward to a period of relative calm and security. Which is
      reason enough why Israel and the neocons are so bitterly opposed.
      Instead they must establish a new reality -- one in which the forces
      of "creative destruction" so beloved of the neocons engulf yet more of
      the region. For the rest of us, a simpler vocabulary suffices. What is
      being sold is catastrophe.

      Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He
      is the author of the forthcoming "Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of
      the Jewish and Democratic State" published by Pluto Press, and
      available in the United States from the University of Michigan Press.
      His website is www.jkcook.net

      ===

      Why did the Jews invade Syria?
      bob finch


      On september 6, 2007 the jews-only state in palestine (hereinafter
      referred to as the jos) sent a number of fighter aircraft deep into
      syrian territory. But nobody knows what they hit, or why. The first
      section of this article looks at what little is known about the raid.
      The second looks at diplomatic responses to this mystery whilst the
      final section explores some of the explanations given for this raid.

      The Air Raid.
      Was anything Hit?
      At present, nobody knows what was hit during the raid or even whether
      anything was hit. "But a European intelligence official said it wasn't
      certain Israel had struck anything at all." (Dan Ephron and Mark
      Hosenball `The Whispers of War'
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/ September 24,
      2007). A jewish commentator believed he'd found the target but his
      allegations were later dismissed as lies. "The Arab Center for the
      Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) in Syria called the
      reports of an Israeli attack on its facility in Dir a-Zour completely
      "made-up" and claimed that it only learned of the purported attack
      after seeing satellite images of its property and reading about the
      attack in the news. Last weekend, in a Ynet special report, Ron
      Ben-Yishai took pictures and interviewed eyewitnesses living in the
      small town of Dir A-Zour located next to the research center." (Syrian
      'research station' says shocked to hear of attack on its facility'
      http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3454940,00.html
      September 30, 2007).

      The latest news is that: "Israel has confirmed that it carried out a
      strike on a Syrian military installation last month. On Monday, Syrian
      President Bashar al-Assad told the BBC that a Syrian military
      construction site was hit in the Israeli air strike on 6 September. It
      is still not known why Israel carried out the strike or what exactly
      was hit." (`Israel admits air strike on Syria'
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7024287.stm October 02, 2007).

      Scale of the Attack
      Some commentators believe the raid was much bigger than was first
      thought. "They were sketchy, but one thing was absolutely clear. Far
      from being a minor incursion, the Israeli overflight of Syrian
      airspace through its ally, Turkey, was a far more major affair
      involving as many as eight aircraft, including Israel's most
      ultra-modern F-15s and F-16s equipped with Maverick missiles and 500lb
      bombs. Flying among the Israeli fighters at great height, The Observer
      can reveal, was an ELINT - an electronic intelligence gathering
      aircraft." (Peter Beaumont `Was Israeli raid a dry run for attack on
      Iran?' http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2170188,00.html
      September 16, 2007). "From the leaks so far, it seems that more than
      half a dozen Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace to drop
      munitions on a site close to the border with Turkey. It was at this
      point, with tensions simmeringly hot (between the jos and syria), that
      Israel launched its strike, sending several fighter planes into Syria
      on a lightning mission to hit a site near Dayr a-Zawr. As Syria itself
      broke the news of the attack, Israeli generals were shown on TV
      toasting in the Jewish new year but refusing to comment." (Jonathan
      Cook `Why Did Israel Attack Syria?'
      http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cook.php?articleid=11678 September 28, 2007).

      Global Silence about the Attack
      Virtually no government condemned the jos's attack on syria. The
      americans supported it but there were no condemnations from arab
      countries. A syrian official complained, "Arab states have not exactly
      rallied in our support." (Quoted in `Syrian official: After IAF raid,
      Israel can forget about peace'
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/906830.html September 24, 2007);
      "It is interesting to note, by the way, the resounding lack of
      condemnation, either in Europe or even in the Arab world, to Israel's
      alleged attack." (Herb Keinon `There's a reason world is quiet on
      alleged IAF strike'
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1189411422882&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
      September 18, 2007). There was no condemnation from turkey, "Third, if
      a Syrian nuclear installation can be targeted by Israel without any
      international outcry, and with the tacit backing of allies in the US
      and Turkey, Iran's nuclear facilities are looking more likely than
      ever to be next." (Ilene R. Prusher `Israel sends Middle East a
      message with Syrian airstrike'
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0919/p06s02-wome.html September 19,
      2007). Nor russia. "Even Moscow, a strong backer of Syria in the days
      of the Soviet Union, did not directly condemn the Israeli action, in
      which Syria says planes bombed an empty area after air defence systems
      confronted them. Israel has not disclosed the target." (`Syrian
      official: After IAF raid, Israel can forget about peace'
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/906830.html September 24, 2007).
      It is as if the world is disinterested in any acts of aggression
      carried out by the jos and unconcerned about the outbreak of war in
      the middle east. As assad rightly concluded. ""The failure of the
      international community, including the (UN) Security Council, to
      condemn this act of aggression would encourage Israel to persist in
      this hostile pursuit, and lead to an exacerbation of tensions in the
      region," Moallem (Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem) said." (Yoav
      Stern `Assad: Syria won't attend fall summit if issue of Golan not
      addressed' http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/908674.html October 02,
      2007).

      More intriguing than the global silence was syria's silence. It has
      admitted that a military construction site was hit but has said
      nothing about what was being constructed which might help to explain
      why it was attacked. Syria's refusal to provide any details
      discourages the global community from condemning the attack.

      Rationales for the Attack.
      1. Did the Jos try and destroy Saddam's WMDs?
      It is unfortunate but many seemingly sane, and highly respected,
      jewish commentators believe that saddam sent his wmds to syria before
      the american invasion of iraq. "This pathological condition was
      recently reconfirmed by Johann Hari's account of a National
      Review-sponsored cruise to Puerto Vallarta featuring Norman Podhoretz
      and Bill Buckley, along with a boatload of neocons and well-heeled
      red-state-fascist types on board. The Pod Man and Buckley nearly came
      to blows over the war question, when Buckley asked Poddy if it didn't
      bother him that the famed "weapons of mass destruction" were nowhere
      to be found in Iraq. "There were WMD, and they were shipped to Syria,"
      snapped the Pod Man. Syria? Is he serious? I'm afraid he is…
      Continuing his rant, the Pod Man avers: "This picture of a country in
      total chaos with no security is false. It has been a triumph. It
      couldn't have gone better."" (Justin Raimondo `Tom Lantos, Warmonger'
      http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=11204 June 27, 2007). If
      likudnik lunatics like poddy really believe saddam transported his
      wmds to syria before the americans could get their hands on them, then
      logically these weapons should still be in the country and need to be
      destroyed.

      Was it possible then that the jos's warmongering leaders were trying
      to destroy saddam's non-existent weapons hidden in syria? Perhaps
      mossad had intelligence the wmds were being stored in a syrian
      warehouse so the jos thought it had better blow up the building just
      in case? Perhaps poddy had had an old testamentary vision pinpointing
      the exact location of the wmds?

      To any normal person the idea of saddam giving wmds to his enemy who
      would be willing to look after them whilst the american military
      launched its shock and awe campaign on iraq, might seem insane. But,
      to hysterical, paranoid jewish warmongers forever fretting about their
      existential survival in the midst of a world of potential adolf
      hitler's, such an idea seems all too sensible. No wonder the jos
      doesn't want to talk about the raid since the absence of any
      radioactive material in the atmosphere after the attack would make it,
      and its likudnik allies in america, the world's laughing stock.

      2. Targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah.
      "Others reported that the jets had hit either a Hizbollah convoy, a
      missile facility or a terrorist camp." (Peter Beaumont `Was Israeli
      raid a dry run for attack on Iran?'
      http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2170188,00.html
      September 16, 2007); "Did the air strike seek to disrupt arms
      shipments to Lebanon's Hezbollah?" (Khody Akhavi `Neocons Tie N. Korea
      to Israeli Strike on Syria'
      http://www.antiwar.com/ips/akhavi.php?articleid=11641 September 19, 2007).

      3. Attacking a secret Syrian Nuclear Weapons site.
      It was rumoured that three days before the jos raid into syria, a
      north korean ship had docked in the country and unloaded nuclear
      components for a secret syrian nuclear weapons' programme. "The New
      York Times described the target of the raid as a nuclear site being
      run in collaboration with North Korean technicians." (Peter Beaumont
      `Was Israeli raid a dry run for attack on Iran?'
      http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,2170188,00.html
      September 16, 2007); "Feeding the speculation, a familiar clutch of
      George W. Bush administration hawks appears to be suggesting that
      Israel's apparent air strike may have targeted a joint North
      Korea-Syria nuclear venture." (Khody Akhavi `Neocons Tie N. Korea to
      Israeli Strike on Syria'
      http://www.antiwar.com/ips/akhavi.php?articleid=11641 September 19,
      2007); "The North Korea-Syria story started when Andrew Semmel of the
      US State Department claimed that Syria "might have" obtained nuclear
      equipment from "secret suppliers", adding that "there are North Korean
      people there [in Syria]. There is no question about that." There were
      reports that three days before the Israeli attack, a ship carrying
      North Korean material labeled as "cement" unloaded its cargo in Syria.
      That material, the reports said, was believed to be nuclear equipment.
      As mentioned above, the North Korea story is not new. It started in
      2004 when Bolton, then under secretary for arms control, accused Syria
      of harboring nuclear ambitions. This was part of the stream of
      accusations against Syria after the invasion of Iraq in 2003." (Sami
      Moubayed `Shots in the dark over Syria's skies'
      http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/II22Ak06.html September 22,
      2007); "Official silence has prompted a broad range of speculation as
      to what exactly took place. One former U.S. official, who like others
      quoted in this article declined to be identified discussing sensitive
      matters, says several months ago Israel presented the Bush
      administration with reconnaissance images and information from secret
      agents alleging North Korea had begun to supply nuclear-related
      material to Syria. Some U.S. intelligence reporting, including
      electronic signal intercepts, appeared to support the Israeli claims.
      But other U.S. officials remain skeptical about any nuclear link
      between Syria and North Korea." (Dan Ephron and Mark Hosenball `The
      Whispers of War' http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/
      September 24, 2007).

      4. Attack designed to stop the further Spread of Nuclear Weapons in
      the Middle East.
      "First of all, if indeed the alleged IAF sortie over Syria had to do
      with a nuclear shipment from Pyongyang, then Israel's stock has to go
      up because it will be seen in a few key capitals as the force that
      will not allow nuclear proliferation in the region. The alleged
      Syrian-North Korean connection could move Syria from being just an
      unpopular state to being a pariah regime. And Damascus doesn't want
      pariah state status. Syria, which has shown that it does want contact
      with the outside world, has no desire to be quarantined and ostracized
      as North Korea has been." (Herb Keinon `There's a reason world is
      quiet on alleged IAF strike'
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1189411422882&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
      September 18, 2007); "Second, Israel might take steps to fulfill one
      of its ultimate security objectives, which is to prevent other
      countries in the Middle East from obtaining nuclear capability,
      especially those overtly hostile to Israel." (Ilene R. Prusher `Israel
      sends Middle East a message with Syrian airstrike'
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0919/p06s02-wome.html September 19, 2007).

      Jonathan cook disputes the accusation that north korea has been
      helping syria to develop nuclear weapons. "The nuclear claims against
      Damascus were discounted so quickly by experts of the region that
      Washington was soon downgrading the accusation to claims that Syria
      was only hiding the material on North Korea's behalf. But why would
      Syria, already hounded by Israel and the US, provide such a ready-made
      pretext for still harsher treatment? Why, equally, would North Korea
      undermine its hard-won disarmament deal with the US? And why, if Syria
      were covertly engaging in nuclear mischief, did it alert the world to
      the fact by revealing the Israeli air strike?" (Jonathan Cook `Why Did
      Israel Attack Syria?'
      http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cook.php?articleid=11678 September 28, 2007).

      It's interesting that whenever the jos carries out a pre-emptive
      strike and is then condemned by many countries around the world, it
      almost invariably responds by saying that america was told about, and
      thus sanctioned, the attack. The jos uses america as a shield to
      protect it from global criticisms despite the fact that this
      undermines america's international prestige and reputation. The
      americans seem willing to absorb any global condemnations to protect
      the jos from any adverse consequences that might otherwise have ensued
      from the jos's illegal and belligerent military actions. "Israel's
      decision to attack Syria on Sept. 6, bombing a suspected nuclear site
      set up in apparent collaboration with North Korea, came after Israel
      shared intelligence with President Bush this summer indicating that
      North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria, U.S. government sources
      said. The Bush administration has not commented on the Israeli raid or
      the underlying intelligence." (Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright `Israel,
      U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site'
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/20/AR2007092002701_pf.html
      September 21, 2007).

      Hillary clinton supported the jos's attack on syria even though she
      knew nothing more about it than anyone else. "New York Senator Hillary
      Clinton said on Wednesday evening that she supports what she said was
      the Israel Air Force's "apparent" action against a nuclear facility in
      Syria. However, she went on to say, "We don't have as much information
      as we wish we did. But what we think we know is that with North Korean
      help, both financial and technical and material, the Syrians
      apparently were putting together, and perhaps over some period of
      years, a nuclear facility, and the Israelis took it out. I strongly
      support that." The senator from New York also backed up reports, first
      exposed by The Washington Post two weeks ago, that that the IAF
      targeted a North Korean shipment of nuclear material that arrived in
      Syria three days before the strike. "There was evidence of a North
      Korea freighter coming in with supplies. There was intelligence and
      other kinds of verification," Clinton said. She went on to emphasize
      that she had no other information on the incident because of its
      "highly classified" nature." (`Hillary Clinton says she supports
      'apparent' IAF action in Syria'
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/907662.html September 28, 2007).
      It is extraordinary that clinton, a leading presidential contender,
      could give the jos such open-ended support to the jos even though she
      knew nothing about its possible impact on america's foreign policies.
      It is as if she's saying that it doesn't matter what damage might be
      done to american interests. Her priority is supporting whatever the
      jos does, not protecting america from the adverse consequences of the
      jos's warmongering.

      5. Undermining a peace agreement between America and North Korea.
      Joseph cirincione believes the jos's air raid had less to do with
      syria than with north korea. He argues the neocons exploited the
      attack in order to undermine negotiations between america and north
      korea. "Some U.S. analysts have been very dubious of an actual Syrian
      nuclear threat, describing the speculation surrounding the incident as
      a manufactured stunt aimed at advancing a neoconservative agenda.
      "This story is nonsense. The Washington Post story should have been
      headlined 'White House Officials Try to Push North Korea-Syria
      Connection.' This is a political story, not a threat story," said
      Joseph Cirincione, director for nuclear policy at the Washington-based
      Center for American Progress, according to an interview with Foreign
      Policy. "Once again, this appears to be the work of a small group of
      officials leaking cherry-picked, unvetted 'intelligence' to key
      reporters in order to promote a preexisting political agenda. If this
      sounds like the run-up to the war in Iraq, it should. This time it
      appears aimed at derailing the U.S.-North Korean agreement that
      administration hardliners think is appeasement. Some Israelis want to
      thwart any dialogue between the U.S. and Syria," he said." (Khody
      Akhavi `Neocons Tie N. Korea to Israeli Strike on Syria'
      http://www.antiwar.com/ips/akhavi.php?articleid=11641 September 19, 2007).

      Cirincione makes no comment about whether the neocons instigated the
      jos's attack on syria in order to acquire ammunition to undermine
      american-north korean negotiations. But such a conspiracy was possible
      given that the neocons were stovepiping jewish intelligence directly
      to the bush regime without america's own intelligence services being
      consulted – just as was done in the run up to the invasion of iraq.
      "JTA also noted the week-earlier Washington Post report that within
      the preceding month the Israelis had provided Stephen Hadley,
      President Bush's National Security Advisor, "dramatic satellite
      imagery" of a facility under construction in Syria which led "some" of
      the very few administration officials allowed to see the imagery "to
      believe the facility could be used to produce material for nuclear
      weapons." Here we go again! Raw foreign "intelligence," withheld from
      our zillion-dollar multi-agency intelligence community, chock-full of
      skilled professionals who evaluate satellite imagery for a living,
      stovepiped directly to the White House where "some" members of the
      Cheney Cabal, proven neophytes when it comes to evaluation of
      satellite imagery of any industrial process, have concluded the
      facility under construction could be used to produce material for
      nuclear weapons." (Gordon Prather `Israel's Right of Self-Defense'
      http://www.antiwar.com/prather/?articleid=11655 September 22, 2007).

      6. A North Korean Military Shipment through Syria to Iran.
      These days, the zionist dominated media throughout the western world
      takes whatever opportunity presents itself to blame iran. "One
      European security source told NEWSWEEK the target might have been a
      North Korean military shipment to Iran that was transiting Syria."
      (Dan Ephron and Mark Hosenball `The Whispers of War'
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/page/0/ September
      29, 2007).

      7. Attacking a Syrian Facility installing Chemical Weapons on Missiles.
      Larisa alexandrovna hypothesized that the jos attack was more likely
      to have been on a site where syria was attempting to install chemical
      weapons on north korean missiles. "Vincent Cannistraro, Director of
      Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council under
      President Ronald Reagan and Chief of Operations at the Central
      Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorism Center under President George
      H. W. Bush, said Sunday that .. "Syria has a chemical weapons
      capability and has been trying to chemically weaponize war heads on
      their existing stocks of North Korean originated missiles,"
      Cannistraro added. According to intelligence sources familiar with the
      events leading up to the raid, an explosion on July 20 at a Syrian
      facility near the city of Halab, in the Northern part of Syria, caused
      Israel's retaliatory strike on Sept. 6. North Korean scientists
      working with Syrian military and intelligence officials attempted to
      load a chemical warhead onto one of the North Korean missiles, likely
      the No-dong 1 model, according to intelligence current and former
      intelligence officers interviewed for this article. The result was an
      explosion that killed a few of those present and, according to some
      official reports of the blast, as many as 50 civilians." (Larisa
      Alexandrovna `Israeli air strike did not hit nuclear facility,
      intelligence officials say'
      http://rawstory.com//news/2007/Intelligence_officials_say_Israel_received_flawed_0924.html
      September 24, 2007).

      Alexandrovna wonders why the jos's raid was suspected to be about
      syria's non-existent nuclear ambitions. "By most accounts of
      intelligence officials, both former and current, Israel and the US
      both were well aware of the activities of North Korea and Syria and
      their attempts to chemically weaponize the No-Dong missile (above
      right). It therefore remains unclear why an intricate story involving
      evidence of a Syrian nuclear weapons program and/or enriched uranium
      was put out to press organizations." (Larisa Alexandrovna `Israeli air
      strike did not hit nuclear facility, intelligence officials say'
      http://rawstory.com//news/2007/Intelligence_officials_say_Israel_received_flawed_0924.html
      September 24, 2007).

      8. An attack on a Syrian-Iranian Chemical Weapon Missile site.
      Jane's defence weekly provides another opportunity to condemn iran. It
      believes iranian technicians were helping the syrians install chemical
      weapons on their north korean missiles. "Proof of cooperation between
      Iran and Syria in the proliferation and development of weapons of mass
      destruction was brought to light Monday in Jane's Defence Weekly,
      which reported that dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers
      were killed in a July 23 accident in Syria. According to the report,
      cited by Channel 10, the joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to
      mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile when the explosion
      occurred, spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve
      gas." ('Dozens died in Syria-Iran missile test'
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1189411428847&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
      September 19, 2007).

      9. Testing Syria's Defences.
      Syria recently bought an air defence system from russia so perhaps the
      jos wanted to know how effective it was or perhaps even neutralize it.
      "Imad Fawzi Shoaibi, a Syrian political analyst, speculated that
      Israel may have been probing Syria's new air defense systems, provided
      by Russia, at a time when tension was running high between the two
      countries." (Yaakov Katz and Herb Keinon `Israel 'prepared' for
      possibility of conflict after Syria alleges IAF violated its airspace'
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1188392553869&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
      September 06, 2007); "An anonymous Israeli source reportedly told the
      Arab daily Al Arabiya Saturday morning that Israeli fighter jets that
      flew over Syria on Thursday were on a mission to neutralize
      Russian-made surface-to-air missile (SAM) anti-aircraft batteries
      recently deployed by Syria along its Mediterranean coast." (`Jets were
      on mission to destroy Russian SAM batteries'
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1188392563184&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
      September 07, 2007).

      10. Testing Syria's Defences for an attack on Iran: Sending a message
      to iran.
      "Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton said Sunday that
      Israel's reported military operation inside Syria earlier this month
      should be regarded as a 'clear message to Iran' that its nuclear
      efforts will not be ignored by the international community." (Barak
      Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel `Ex-UN envoy: IAF action in
      Syria is 'message to Iran' over nukes'
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/903949.html September 16, 2007);
      "Was it a dress rehearsal for a possible future strike on Iranian
      nuclear facilities?" (Khody Akhavi `Neocons Tie N. Korea to Israeli
      Strike on Syria' http://www.antiwar.com/ips/akhavi.php?articleid=11641
      September 19, 2007).

      Jonathan cook suggests this is not plausible. "Speculation that Israel
      was testing Syria's antiaircraft defenses in preparation for an attack
      on Iran ignores the fact that the Israeli air force would almost
      certainly choose a flightpath through friendlier Jordanian airspace."
      (Jonathan Cook `Why Did Israel Attack Syria?'
      http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cook.php?articleid=11678 September 28, 2007).

      11. Re-establishing Jewish Dominance in the Middle East.
      Merely by sending aircraft into syria no matter whether they attacked
      a real target, a mock target, or even no target at all, the jos
      restored its military dominance over syria. "Either way, Israel's
      chief of military intelligence announced that Israel's deterrence had
      "been restored."" (Ilene R. Prusher `Israel sends Middle East a
      message with Syrian airstrike'
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0919/p06s02-wome.html September 19,
      2007). The syrian vice president farouq al-shara believed it was just
      a jewish morale booster. "According to Al-Shara, this attack was meant
      to raise the morale of the Israeli army after it failed in its attempt
      to destroy Hizbullah in the Second Lebanon War." (Syrian 'research
      station' says shocked to hear of attack on its facility'
      http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3454940,00.html
      September 30, 2007).

      12. Jos Undermines peace with Syria – Jewish Hypocrisy.
      President assad has been making efforts to pursue peace with the jews
      for a number of years but then finds his country being attacked yet
      again by the jos. "All of this comes at a time when there seemed to be
      increased signs of hope for an Israeli-Syrian rapprochement. The
      possibility of the two countries revisiting the negotiating table,
      abandoned more than seven years ago, has been in the offing in recent
      months, though the Bush administration has been encouraging Israel to
      focus on the Palestinian peace track instead." (Ilene R. Prusher
      `Israel sends Middle East a message with Syrian airstrike'
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0919/p06s02-wome.html September 19, 2007).

      The jos bombs syria and then says it wants to start peace
      negotiations. "But whatever happened in the early hours of Sept. 6
      does not appear to have soured Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's
      efforts to restart negotiations with his adversary. Olmert announced
      on Monday that Israel was prepared to hold negotiations with Damascus,
      without preconditions and without ultimatums, according to the
      Jerusalem Post." (Khody Akhavi `Neocons Tie N. Korea to Israeli Strike
      on Syria' http://www.antiwar.com/ips/akhavi.php?articleid=11641
      September 19, 2007); "Olmert made a similar offer during an interview
      with the Saudi satellite TV channel Al-Arabiyya on July 11. "I am
      ready to sit with you and talk about peace, not war. I will be happy
      if I could make peace with Syria. I do not want to wage war against
      Syria," Olmert said." (Sami Moubayed `Shots in the dark over Syria's
      skies' http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/II22Ak06.html
      September 22, 2007).

      The jos has often carried out acts of aggression to scupper any
      chances for peace negotiations and then sought to undermine global
      criticisms for such attacks by saying it wants to start peace
      negotiations. The syrian reaction is not surprising. "An Israeli raid
      on Syria has all but finished off chances for resuming peace talks
      between the two foes, Syrian officials said on Monday. "After this
      raid, you can forget about peace. It is no secret that our forces have
      been on alert for some time, but Syria will not be the first to start
      a war," said one of the Syrian officials, who asked not to be named."
      (Syrian official: After IAF raid, Israel can forget about peace'
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/906830.html September 24, 2007).

      13. Using the attack to Impose Political Conditions on Syria.
      A jerusalem post wag suggested. "The allegations of a North
      Korean-Syrian connection could make the time ripe, therefore, for
      Israel to push the world to place certain conditions on Syria's being
      accepted back into the international fold. The conditions are obvious,
      and ones that Israel has been demanding, without any success at all,
      for years: kicking the terrorist organizations out of Damascus, first
      and foremost Hamas and its leader Khaled Mashaal, and an end to the
      support and the supply of weapons to Hizbullah. In the past Syria has
      just ignored these calls. But now, in order to avoid being seen as
      North Korea's kid brother, it may have no choice but to pay a little
      attention. The alleged connection to North Korea makes Syria
      vulnerable. The question is whether the world will seize the moment."
      (Herb Keinon `There's a reason world is quiet on alleged IAF strike'
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1189411422882&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
      September 18, 2007).

      14. Publicity Stunt: Olmert wanted to boost his Poll Ratings.
      Jewish people in palestine do not know why olmert ordered the attack
      on syria even though it could have led to war between the two
      countries causing mass casualties on both sides. Nevertheless, they
      supported his warmongering anyway. "A reported Sept. 6 airstrike in
      northern Syria that Israel has not acknowledged has led to a big boost
      in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's approval rating, a new opinion
      poll shows." (Mysterious airstrike in northern Syria boosts Olmert's
      popularity: Poll'
      http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/18/africa/ME-GEN-Israel-Olmert-Poll.php
      September 18, 2007); "The idea of a pre-emptive strike also has
      popular support. When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the raid on
      Syria earlier this month, his approval rating was in the teens. Since
      then, it has jumped to nearly 30 percent." (Dan Ephron and Mark
      Hosenball `The Whispers of War'
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/ September 24,
      2007); "But the Israeli domestic political equation is worrying:
      Olmert has seen his own approval ratings climb out of the toilet as a
      result of having bombed something in Syria a couple of weeks ago.
      Nobody knows what he bombed, but his numbers have climbed from about
      3% a few months ago to over 35% today. That's why the scoundrels to
      the left and right of him, Ehud Barak and Bibi Netanyahu, have been
      scrambling to claim some paternity over the mysterious Syria raid."
      (Tony Karon `Iran: Chronicle of a War Foretold?'
      http://tonykaron.com/2007/09/26/iran-chronicle-of-a-war-foretold/
      September 26, 2007).

      15. Neocon Plot to demonize Iran.
      Jonathan cook dismisses the idea that the jos attack was against
      weapons being transported to hezbollah or syrian nuclear facilities.
      But he believes likudnik propaganda around these two issues is
      important for boosting belligerence towards iran. Cook is suggesting
      the jos was conspiring with its likudnik allies in america to pressure
      bush into launching an attack against iran. "Nonetheless, the
      political significance of the justifications for the Israeli air
      strike is that both neatly tie together various strands of an argument
      needed by the neocons and Israel in making their case for an attack on
      Iran before Bush leaves office in early 2009. Each scenario suggests a
      Shi'ite "axis of evil," coordinated by Iran, that is actively plotting
      Israel's destruction. And each story offers the pretext for an attack
      on Syria as a prelude to a preemptive strike against Tehran, launched
      either by Washington or Tel Aviv, to save Israel. That these stories
      appear to have been planted in the American media by neocon masters of
      spin like John Bolton is warning enough, as is the admission that the
      only evidence for Syrian malfeasance is Israeli "intelligence," the
      basis of which cannot be questioned as Israel is not officially
      admitting the attack." (Jonathan Cook `Why Did Israel Attack Syria?'
      http://www.antiwar.com/orig/cook.php?articleid=11678 September 28, 2007).

      16. Jos pressuring Bush into War against Iran.
      Another speculation is that the jos raided syria in order to
      pressurize bush into attacking iran. "While the Bush administration
      appears to have given tacit support to the Syria raid, Israel and the
      United States are not in lockstep on Iran. For Israel, the next three
      months may be decisive: either Tehran succumbs to sanctions and stops
      enriching uranium or it must be dealt with militarily. (Iran says its
      program is for peaceful purposes only.) "Two thousand seven is the
      year you determine whether diplomatic efforts will stop Iran," says a
      well-placed Israeli source, who did not want to be named because he is
      not authorized to speak for the government. "If by the end of the year
      that's not working, 2008 becomes the year you take action."" (Dan
      Ephron and Mark Hosenball `The Whispers of War'
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/ September 24,
      2007). The assumption here is that bush is reluctant to attack iran
      either because of the vulnerability of its military or because there
      is no urgency to do so. "In Washington, on the other hand, the
      consensus against a strike is firmer than most people realize. The
      Pentagon worries that another war will break America's already
      overstretched military, while the intelligence community believes Iran
      is not yet on the verge of a nuclear breakthrough." (Dan Ephron and
      Mark Hosenball `The Whispers of War'
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/ September 24, 2007).

      17. Cheney testing out his "End Run Strategy"
      Whilst bush is supposedly hesitant about an attack on iran, dick
      cheney is not. Indeed, in may 2007, steven clemons argued that cheney
      was pursuing an "end run strategy" to manipulate bush into a war with
      iran. He wanted the jos to attack iran's nuclear facilities in order
      to provoke an iranian retaliation which would automatically bring
      america into the war. From this perspective the jos's september attack
      on syria could have been a trial run for this strategy to assess the
      military and political contribution it makes towards pushing bush into
      war against iran. "Some believe that the Office of the Vice President
      is continuing to battle any attempts at diplomacy made by the US State
      Department in an effort to ensure no alternative but a military
      solution to destabilize and strike Iran, using Syria's alleged nuclear
      weapons program and close relations with Iran as a possible pretext."
      (Larisa Alexandrovna `Israeli air strike did not hit nuclear facility,
      intelligence officials say'
      http://rawstory.com//news/2007/Intelligence_officials_say_Israel_received_flawed_0924.html
      September 24, 2007).

      18. The Jos Blackmailing Bush into War he does not want. It's the Jos
      which is deciding whether America will go to War against Iran. The Jos
      is willing to sacrifice the American Military in Afghanistan and Iraq
      in order to bring about Jewish Supremacism in the Middle East
      The final explanation explored here is that the jos was sending bush
      the message that it transgressed into syria but could easily have gone
      to iran. If this had happened then america would inevitably have ended
      up in a war with iran. The jos is thus blackmailing america into a war
      – whether bush wants one or not. In effect, the jos decides on who
      america's enemies are and when america will go to war. America's proxy
      zionist wars against afghanistan and iraq have benefited the jos but
      have proved to be an economic and military catastrophe for america.
      The jos is now pushing bush into a war which will boost jewish
      supremacism in the middle east but prove to be an even greater
      military and economic catastrophe for america and the western world
      than their two previous illegal invasions. What this reveals is that
      even though the jos knows that the american military in iraq and
      afghanistan would be highly vulnerable to iranian retaliation, it is
      willing to sacrifice american treasure and lives solely for the sake
      of boosting jewish supremacism. "Alternatively, Israel might count on
      Tehran to retaliate against American targets as well, drawing in the
      superpower. To avoid that outcome, Gardiner believes, Washington must
      prevent Israel from attacking in the first place. "The United States
      does not want to turn the possibility of a general war in the Middle
      East over to the decision making in Israel," he says. Does not want
      to, certainly, but might not have a choice." (Dan Ephron and Mark
      Hosenball `The Whispers of War'
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920341/site/newsweek/ September 24, 2007).

      *********************************************************************

      WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE

      To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
      wvns-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
      http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/wvns/

      Need some good karma? Appreciate the service?
      Please consider donating to WVNS today.
      Email ummyakoub@... for instructions.

      To leave this list, send an email to:
      wvns-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.