Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Did Israel Get Duped into Bombing Syria by a U.S. Hardliner Scam?

The Israeli censors have finally approved reporting on the fact of the raid, but nothing about target, results, or consequences.

A couple possible data points.

AP via Talking Points Memo:

North Korea, which provides missile technology to Syria, has denied any nuclear link. Syria also has denied receiving North Korean nuclear help. [emphasis added]

BBC via Syria Comment:

Syrian President Bashar Assad told the British Broadcasting Corp. on Monday that Israeli warplanes attacked an “unused military building” in his country last month and said Damascus reserves the right to retaliate.

To continue musing about Stratfor’s speculation about a North Korean sellout of Syria, maybe North Korea revealed details of its SCUD-related activities in Syria to the United States as a confidence-building measure (I seriously doubt there was any significant nuke-related cooperation)...

...then warned the Syrians, who hurriedly emptied the building of the North Korean equipment and/or personnel (it would be a rare display of Dear Leader’s human touch or survival instincts if he was trying to keep his elite military officers and techs from being killed) before the Israelis bombed it.

The rather nonplussed way the Israelis are milling around in the aftermath of the raid implies they were surprised by a certain lack of thunderous support from the U.S.— spiraling condemnations of Syria and North Korea were conspicuously absent.

Maybe hardliners in the Bush administration frustrated with the current ascendancy of the moderates fed Israel the information and encouraged the raid, with the apparently empty promise that resolute Israeli action would tilt the balance within the Bush administration in favor of early confrontation with Syria.

Supposedly, Vice President Cheney believes that an Israeli strike on Nantanz would force U.S. military action against Iran.

Maybe this was a test of the theory and tactics.

And maybe the moderates convinced President Bush that he couldn’t go after North Korea since Kim had provided us with the information in the first place; and overt endorsement of the Syria raid would place control of the commencement of hostilities with Iran in the hands of the Israeli government, or at the very least increase the likelihood of a risky Israeli raid on Nantanz instigated by the hardliners.

If so, the Israelis are presumably disappointed, and they must be shaking their heads at how they were gulled by neocons promising results and consequences that never materialized.

Welcome to the club, guys.

No comments: