15 thoughts on “BREAKING: Israel to Lift Military Censorship Over 2007 Bombing of Purported Syrian Nuclear Reactor – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Such an attack, were it to happen would be a disaster for the entire region”


    In Syria, where Russia just attacked America, a spark could ignite World War 3.
    Iraq is in disarray, and runs the risk of becoming an Iranian satellite.
    Lebanon is being run by a non-State terrorist group.
    Yemen is in a civil war. Kurdish independence seems like a dream.
    Hamas and the PA can’t reconcile, and BOTH are losing their grip on power.
    ISIS is fighting Egypt in the Sinai and is matastisizing elsewhere.

    But if Israel acts to defend itself against the Iranian juggernaut, against nuclear proliferation,THAT would spell disaster for the region.

    The disaster is already here, and Iranian expansionism and global warming is accelerating it.

    1. @ Dr. John, with his PhD is Cynical Hasbara Studies earned from the hasbara network’s chief “academic institution,” the Interdisciplinary Center.

      In Syria, the chances are equally likely Israel will light the spark that opens an worse regional contagion than at present. Once Russian mercenaries attacked a Syrian rebel position with some U.S. Special Forces troops, the U.S. attacked the mercenaries. This wasn’t even close to WWIII. It’s hardly likely Putin is going to start a world war over a bunch of Russian mercenaries.

      In Iraq, Iran is facing great anger over its attack on a criticial Shiite movement, the Shirazi. THis has damaged Iran’s position inside Iraq.

      Lebanon has a democratic government which is NOT run by Hezbollah.

      Yemen is in the midst of a war fueled by your Saudi friends, who’ve killed 50,000 Yemeni civilians.

      I’ll trust your analysis of Palestinian affairs as much as I’d trust your ability to brain surgery.

      I’m not the only one saying an Iranian attack would be a disaster. Uri Sagie, an IDF general and former AMAN chief says that. You didn’t bother to read the Maariv article, did you? Or can you even read Hebrew? And he’s joined by the entire military and intelligence services. The one who believes in such an attack is Bibi (and Barak, though he’s irrelevant now). Oh, and YOU. So that clinches it. Let’s go to war. And you, like Slim Pickens, can ride the first missile down to its target in Iran as a true Israeli patriot.

      You’ve violated a major comment rule. If you wish to make claims, you must support them with credible sources and arguments. You’ve offered unfounded personal opinion. WOrth about as much as a bucket of cold piss.

      1. ‘… And you, like Slim Pickens, can ride the first missile down to its target in Iran as a true Israeli patriot…’

        Isn’t that for us Americans to do? Having an Israeli do it would make the whole exercise REALLY pointless.

        …’Doctor John’ is an Israeli, isn’t he? He SOUNDS like an Israeli.

        …incidentally, although in this instance I’m the one who used the term in the first place, I do not like the term ‘Israeli.’ It conjures up the improbable vision of Palestinian Muslims and Christians supporting all these policies. Can’t we just call a spade a spade (ahem) and grant that we’re discussing Israeli JEWS and what they want. You can bet no one asked the Israeli Muslims.

        ‘Zionists’ seems fairest to me — although since Richard regards himself as a ‘Zionist’ I’m open to discussion on this point. However, the longer it goes on, the more the use of the term ‘Israeli’ bugs me. After all, if we say ‘Americans,’ in a surprisingly high percentage of cases we’re describing the views of not merely white Americans, but also black Americans, Hispanic Americans, etc, etc. When we say ‘Israeli,’ we practically always mean ‘Israeli Jew’ — but almost never say so.

    1. Greg, that is a crucial question, and the answer seems to be NO, it was NOT.

      The Israelis and the CIA had claimed the alleged reactor was modeled on the type of reactor the North Koreans had installed at Yongbyon called a gas-cooled graphite-moderated (GCGM) reactor. But the IAEA’s top specialist on North Korean reactors, Egyptian national Yousry Abushady, knew that kind of reactor better than anyone else at the IAEA. He had designed a GCGM reactor for his doctoral student in nuclear engineering, had begun evaluating the Yongbyon reactor in 1993, and from 1999 to 2003 had headed the Safeguards Department unit responsible for North Korea. Abushady had traveled to North Korea 15 times and conducted extensive technical discussions with the North Korean nuclear engineers who had designed and operated the Yongbyon reactor. And the evidence he saw in the video convinced him that no such reactor could have been under construction at al-Kibar.

      He lists 13 points proving it could not have been the alleged North Korean reactor. When Abudhsady met with IAEA Deputy Director for Safeguards, Olli Heinonen, to discuss his analysis of the CIA’s case in May 2008, Abushady asked to be included on the team for the anticipated inspection of the al-Kibar site because of his unique knowledge of that type reactor. But Heinonen refused his request, citing an unwritten IAEA rule that inspectors are not allowed to carry out inspections in their countries of origin. Abushady objected, pointing out that he is Egyptian, not Syrian, to which Heinonen responded, “But you are an Arab and a Muslim!” according to Abushady.

      What is also interesting is that the Syrians let the Israelis carry out the bombing. When a nearby air defence station was informed of the approaching enemy planes, the officer in charge was told “you are to do nothing.” In the wake of the Israel’s disastrous 2006 invasion of Southern Lebanon, the Israelis were searching intensively for Hezbollah missiles and rockets that could reach Israel and they believed many of those Hezbollah weapons were being stored in Syria. If the Syrians wished to draw the attention of the Israelis away from actual missile storage sites, the Syrians would have had good reason to want to convince the Israelis that this was one of their major storage sites.


  2. Regarding the ineffectiveness — from a mechanical standpoint — of the Israeli gag orders.

    If matters are as Richard says (w.r.t. gags), then surely any Israeli (or other) with inside information can email it to Richard who can then publish it in the USA and thereafter ANY Israeli can re-publish a copy of such outside-Israel-published material inside Israel. It would take a few days, only, not years. (Of course, if publishing on internet does not qualify as republishable, then it all becomes a bit harder.)

    So any gag order, in light of the broad permission to republish outside stuff, seems especially ineffective.

    1. @ pabelmont: There are times when journalists use my reporting as the proximate source for reporting stories they want to report. But often, despite my reporting they won’t report a story. I suppose it may have to do with the level of pushback they get from authorities. Interestingly, there are almost no Israeli journalists who will pass any stories to me. Either they’re jealous about maintaining their own control of stories & information; or they’re worried that associating with me in any fashion could jeopardize them professionally.

      There have been a number of times when I believe my own reporting forced the censor to ease up on suppression of stories or information.

    2. ‘So any gag order, in light of the broad permission to republish outside stuff, seems especially ineffective.’

      That’s assuming you don’t want to end your career. Ever notice how a disproportionate number of those taking up arms against the Evil Empire are either retired, tenured, make their money as a plumber, or are too young to realize that they too can be destroyed?

      There’s a reason for that. You don’t want to cross Israel if she can hurt you.

  3. ‘UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter who noted two persuasive articles by Gareth Porter about this incident. They argue that Israel Mossad chief, Meir Dagan fooled the Americans into believing the Syrian site was a nuclear reactor, when in all likelihood it was an abandoned missle storage/launch site. This was possibly even a case in which Bush administration hawks, in collaboration with pro-Israel bureaucrat-scientists at the IAEA, wanted to believe the Israeli claims for their own purposes…’

    I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Who’d a thought?

    Those wascally wabbits. Even as of 2007, I was still so gullible that it never occurred to me that the Israelis-con-Neocons could have simply made it all up.

  4. ‘@ Dr. John, with his PhD is Cynical Hasbara Studies earned from the hasbara network’s chief “academic institution,” the Interdisciplinary Center…’

    Well, you do have to admit he’s better than some of the appalling idiots the Zionists trot out.

    His arguments aren’t too impressive, but look at the material he has to work with. Could you do better?

    Intellectually, sometimes I’m feeling like I’m playing with a stacked deck. I mean, I win every engagement more or less to my satisfaction — but I’m cheating. I’ve got truth on my side. Being in the right is all well and good, but it’s kind of dull, really. If it weren’t for the detail that all this is happening in the real world, I might take up Hasbara myself.

    So much more challenging.

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