Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday Reading

A Strike in the Dark
by Seymour M. Hersh

Sometime after midnight on September 6, 2007, at least four low-flying Israeli Air Force fighters crossed into Syrian airspace and carried out a secret bombing mission on the banks of the Euphrates River, about ninety miles north of the Iraq border. The seemingly unprovoked bombing, which came after months of heightened tension between Israel and Syria over military exercises and troop buildups by both sides along the Golan Heights, was, by almost any definition, an act of war. But in the immediate aftermath nothing was heard from the government of Israel. In contrast, in 1981, when the Israeli Air Force destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, near Baghdad, the Israeli government was triumphant, releasing reconnaissance photographs of the strike and permitting the pilots to be widely interviewed.

Within hours of the attack, Syria denounced Israel for invading its airspace, but its public statements were incomplete and contradictory—thus adding to the mystery. A Syrian military spokesman said only that Israeli planes had dropped some munitions in an unpopulated area after being challenged by Syrian air defenses, “which forced them to flee.” Four days later, Walid Moallem, the Syrian foreign minister, said during a state visit to Turkey that the Israeli aircraft had used live ammunition in the attack, but insisted that there were no casualties or property damage. It was not until October 1st that Syrian President Bashar Assad, in an interview with the BBC, acknowledged that the Israeli warplanes had hit their target, which he described as an “unused military building.” Assad added that Syria reserved the right to retaliate, but his comments were muted.

Despite official silence in Tel Aviv (and in Washington), in the days after the bombing the American and European media were flooded with reports, primarily based on information from anonymous government sources, claiming that Israel had destroyed a nascent nuclear reactor that was secretly being assembled in Syria, with the help of North Korea. Beginning construction of a nuclear reactor in secret would be a violation of Syria’s obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and could potentially yield material for a nuclear weapon.

The evidence was circumstantial but seemingly damning. The first reports of Syrian and North Korean nuclear coöperation came on September 12th in the Times and elsewhere. By the end of October, the various media accounts generally agreed on four points: the Israeli intelligence community had learned of a North Korean connection to a construction site in an agricultural area in eastern Syria; three days before the bombing, a “North Korean ship,” identified as the Al Hamed, had arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus, on the Mediterranean; satellite imagery strongly suggested that the building under construction was designed to hold a nuclear reactor when completed; as such, Syria had crossed what the Israelis regarded as the “red line” on the path to building a bomb, and had to be stopped. There were also reports—by ABC News and others—that some of the Israeli intelligence had been shared in advance with the United States, which had raised no objection to the bombing.

@ Common Dreams



Gerald said...

I read this article and it seems that Nazi America and Nazi Israel have learned their lessons well from Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. It seems to me that both countries are enamored with mass murders, torture, and war crimes.

It is about nine mouths before the election and I have made up my mind to vote for a third party candidate. Hitler McCain's deplorable treatment of our service men and women rules him out and Hitler Obama works the crowd well with platitudes. He functions similarly to Adolph Hitler in working the crowd.

carey said...

Good morning. I hear Washington has nasty, dangerous weather. Uh-oh.

Sun is gorgeous downhere. One more year of that, eh Dr. B? Then it will be treacherous.

I have an article I've tried desperately to get to everyone. It's by Ron Brownstein and somehow, it involves a subscription to get the link. Basically he says, like I've been saying, that it's even steven all the way down the primary line. Brownstein is a man to listen to. What he says always goes. He warns that a mighty explosion is brewing.

I'm finding warnings all over the place about the possible rancor and dirty tricks. To venture a guess those dirty shenanigans most probably will come from the Clinton camp. They've been at this longer and, face it, they have Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson. Then again, one never knows. It's going to be so nasty.

Still, it's a lovely day and I'm going to play with my son, if my teenager can tear himself away from Nintendo.

Gerald said...

Could Iran's New Oil Bourse Spark a War

Gerald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerald said...

If tiny bubbles floating up from the ocean floor could tell tales, we might learn a thing or two on the surface. On the heels of Iran announcing the grand opening of its new "Oil Bourse," not many US financial institutions are cutting colorful ribbons or breaking Champaign bottles in celebration over this announcement. In fact, Wall Street is painfully developing acid reflex because this could very well be the beginning of the end for monopolizing "Texas Tea" exclusively being sold using only American dollars. In truth, this could very well plummet the American dollar deeper into the abyss of nothingness. Having said that, strange things are surreptitiously happening on the ocean floor with scant reporting in the US corporate mainstream news media...sneaky little devils.

Gerald said...

John McCain's Qualifications

Gerald said...

Hillary Clinton

Gerald said...

Barak Obama

Gerald said...

Obama, sooner or later they will want to know exactly how you will change this country of ours. They will want to know when they can stop living in government inspired fear of terrorists and nations conspiring against us. They will want to know how you will stop their jobs from going overseas. They will want to know how they will afford health insurance for their family. They will want to know how you will revive the economy and stop the urban blight. They will want to know how they can afford to pay their mortgage and buy food and still have money for gas to get to work. All these things demand answers and rhetoric won’t solve these problems. You might have bitten off more than you can chew. As for me joining your campaign, not a chance, you haven’t convinced me of anything except that you know how to work a crowd. That’s not enough.

Hajji said...

Gosh, Gerald,

You should've asked sooner!

Barack Obama On the Issues

Who'dathunk they'd bury the economic platformHERE?

Or the Fiscal Plan HERE?

Or his views on Faith HERE?

Etc, Etc...

Of course who'dathunkit to look at some OBSCURE PLACE like


I mean, this stuff's only been posted there for the last 6 months or so...

"Careful", as Pande Usta say, "Some of those links there are PDF jobbies!"

Of course, it sure is easier to just parrot the MSM/Billary crap than to do the heavy lifting yourself!


Hajji said...

You might also notice something else, if you look.

In each "issues" section there's a little blue thingy that says Present YOUR Ideas

No one person has ALL the answers...imagine a President that not only can HEAR the citizens, he actively SEEKS out their INPUT and offers to share the best of all the possible solutions to problems.

Imagine 'Dat!


º¿carol said...

I meant Internet Explorer, Alan!

º¿carol said...

Since I cloned my hard drive Sunday night, I cloned back to my main drive from Sunday and that fixed Firefox and the pasting problem and everything else that was corrupted from the freeze up. *phew* Don't know what I would have done w/o the cloned drive. So, I survived another catastrophe!

DEN said...

A candidate is only as good as the people working for him, same goes when they are elected.

Barack has a comprehensive platform.

DEN said...

Carol, I need to clone mine too(first time) bought a Maxtor, any software suggestions??

ô,ôarol said...

I was terrible at that AOL quiz, Alan. Got 7 out of 20. :(

DEN said...

Oh yea almost forgot, missed 4 here.

º¿carol said...

I use Norton Ghost. I don't ghost it, I clone it. I guess there's a difference and that program does both.

Our computer guy put something else on Bob's computer but I don't know what it is. It's not Ghost is all I know.

Cloning has saved my ass many, MANY times!!!

º¿carol said...

John Mellencamp wants to make it clear—he doesn't want to R.O.C.K in John McCain's U.S.A.

Upon learning that songs of his, including "Our Country" and "Pink House," were being played at campaign events for the Republican senator and prohibitive presidential nominee, the liberal musician had his publicist draft a letter expressing his discomfort with the situation.

"Mr. Mellencamp identifies very strongly with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and was supportive (with these same songs!) of the candidacy of John Edwards, on whose behalf he made several campaign appearances," read the letter sent to the campaign by spokesman Bob Merlis on Monday.

"Are you sure you want to use his music to promote Senator McCain's efforts?" the letter continued. "Logic says that the facts might prove to be an embarrassment, were they to be circulated widely."

Merlis said the singer couldn't imagine why McCain would want to be associated with him.

"You know, here's a guy running around saying, 'I'm a true conservative,' " Merlis told the Associated Press. "Well, if you're such a true conservative, why are you playing songs that have a very populist pro-labor message written by a guy who would find no argument if you characterized him as left of center?"

A spokesperson for the McCain campaign said Thursday that the songs have since been dropped from the senator's playlist, but declined to elaborate.

Merlis said Mellencamp has not yet endorsed another candidate since Edwards dropped out of the race on Jan. 30.

The rocker is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Mar. 10.

david b. benson said...

Hope my newer machine arrives soon. My Pentium III seems to have died and this Pentium II is really a loser.

Imagine, this thing was state-of-the-art only 10 years ago...

Gerald said...

Dust and Ashes

Gerald said...

Obama needs to speak of his platform when he is working the crowd. Online platform is fine but having him speak to the crowd with only platitude won't cut it.

The good old boys' club is the problem that confronts Hillary. I hope to vote for a woman in November.

Gerald said...

Writing down a platform to READ and not SPEAK OPENLY protects Obama if he is called to question his platform. If the platform online hurts him with some voters, he can say that there was a typo error. Once you speak, the words are out there and you must be able to defend them. Hillary has the guts to say what she says. Whether you like it or not Hillary has stood up against the good old boys' club.

Gerald said...

hajji fear not Obama has a lock on the nomination and he should not lose the general election.

Gerald said...

Nazi Americans love warm fuzzy platitudes.

Hajji said...

It never ceases to amaze me how people assume a song to be for or about something, use it in advertising or at a pep rally, etc to back their own point of view.

Melencamp's digs at the Bush Maladministration were clearly over the heads of GM's CEO's don'tcha think when they chose OUR COUNTRY to advertise cars and trucks.

There's room enough here
For science to live
And there's room enough here
For religion to forgive
And try to understand
All the people of this land
This is our country


That poverty could be
Just another ugly thing
And bigotry would be
Seen only as obscene
And the ones that run this land
Help the poor and common man
This is our country

Carnival Cruise Lines' use of the Iggy Pop/David Bowie song LUST FOR LIFE to promote its "family oriented" cruises is a SCREAM!

Here comes johnny yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And the flesh machine
Hes gonna do another strip tease.
Hey man, whered ya get that lotion?
Ive been hurting since Ive bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah, something called love.
Well, thats like hypnotizing chickens...

Well, Im just a modern guy
Of course, Ive had it in the ear before.
I have a lust for life
cause of a lust for life.

Im worth a million in prizes
With my torture film
Drive a gto
Wear a uniform
All on a government loan.

Im worth a million in prizes
Yeah, Im through with sleeping on the sidewalk
No more beating my brains
No more beating my brains
With liquor and drugs
With liquor and drugs.

Well, Im just a modern guy
Of course, Ive had it in my ear before...


Don't get me wrong...I LOVE Mr. Pop...

...But I don't think I'll be leaving the grandbabies on the boat with their Uncle Iggy while I
shop at the Shell Market ashore!


Hajji said...


That is some of the most ridiculous BULLSHIT I've ever read.

If Obama, or any candidate for public office, were to recite his stances on every facet of governing the country at his rallies you'd have tens of thousands of sleeping people snoring, instead of listening to him or asking their OWN questions (as do 10 or 20 people at most of his appearances).

Do you expect Senator Obama to come by your three-bean-salad-stinking house for three hours to educate you about his platform?

I'm sure there will be an Obama event near you, soon. Do yourself a favor, get there early, sit close and when the Q & A session begins, ask HIM any single question you'd like.

As a matter of fact, ask him about being a NAZI! I'm sure he'll give you an EARFUL!

Well, Im just a modern guy
Of course, Ive had it in the ear before.
I have a lust for life
cause of a lust for life...


Gerald said...

Obama has a platform and that is wonderful.

Hillary has had a platform since 1993. If Nazi Americans had accepted her health plan in 1993, we would have universal health care for all Americans at this time.

Nazi Americans love entertainment and Obama does a good job of entertaining the masses. It's just entertainment and nothing substantive. Obama's job is to entertain Nazi Americans. The White House will be a three ring circus starting in January 21, 2009.

Hajji said...

yeah, man...

Hajji said...

Hey! Where's our man/woman on the street reporting from the Washington Caucuses?!!

I read about unfathomable turnouts, irritatingly long lines and thousands of ballots being shit-canned because they weren't properly filled out.

Wazzzup with the DemoCrazies up there?

Fecal Consolidation, PLEASE!

disgruntled in washigton said...

Hajji --- The Washington State presidential primary is an expensive farce, at least for the Demorats: only the caucuses matter.

Waste of $$.


DEN said...

Micki has been conspicuously absent.

Hajji said...

I hope she's out canvassing for her chosen candidate.

I wish EVERYBODY would!

DEN said...

My BIG O yard sign is out front.

In this nest of repugs.

So bad they won't cough up the primary numbers yet by party.

They're scared.


DEN said...

BIG O wins Virgin Islands, WA and NB!!

Keep on rollin along! Steamrollin that is!

Hajji said...

I thought I was gonna hafta go down there to LOOSIANNER there, for a minute, but MSNBC had it bass-ackward for a while.

Mainiacs Caucus tomorrow?


Hajji said...

Ron Paul pulling 21% in WA?

Good for Him!


Good Night, and good LUCK!


tytandanmar said...

For those who claim Obama is not electable in a national election, how is it that he is winning all these state primaries? And not a one where the majority of voters are black. I see dirty tricks in the days ahead by the Clinton machine but if Obama keeps rolling like he has been, it will not matter.

Alan said...

"Internet Explorer"
Yeah, yeah that makes sense now.

K, the AOL quiz... it used to be all about points. Not just for getting each question right, but how soon you got it right. There'd be some audio questions (guess the speaker), some 'true or fake headlines" questions and some other cool stuff... and for the final section, you typed in how many of your accumulated points you wanted to bet on each question. Dunno what the top scorer received if anything, but they had the top scorers listed on the page for bragging purposes.

Jeanne said...

Thanks for the post Denny. I'm going to read it.

By they way, I was on Crooks and Liars and I think I may have pissed them off. They said no more comments on the comment site for that particular posting. Tell me what you think.

It's the one OPEN THREAD with the voting phenomena "white middle aged men voting Obama".

Did I piss them off? Gerald, no fair. You think I piss off everybody.


Jeanne said...

Oh I think I got it. I wasn't supposed to post anymore on that one. I guess....

Anyway, I tried to get to my caucus last Tuesday and there was a traffic jam. I couldn't get near the school where it was being held. It was a beautiful site. My neighbor was worried about me. "Where's our Jeanne?" With all my troubles she was worried that I had dug a hole and jumped in. Silly her. I just spit in my hands, rub them together, pick up the ax and get back to work. I am a peasant. I am blue collar. And I am proud of it.