Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 02, 2007

Views on 'The Israel Lobby'

Mearsheimer & Walt's The Israel Lobby gained outrage  and continued attempts to suppress it from AIPAC.

But there is criticisms on the study's theses from a different side too. In that view the Lobby is not of really significant influence on U.S. Middle East policies, but used as an excuse by other forces.

Stephen Zunes writes in Tikkun:

I am in no way denying that the Israel Lobby can be quite influential, particularly on Capitol Hill and in its role in limiting the broader public debate. However, it would be naíve to assume that U.S. policy in the Middle East would be significantly different without AIPAC and like–minded pro–Zionist organizations.

As political scientist , the self–described ‘angry Arab’ currently serving as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, puts it, such analysis “absolves the Bush administration, any administration, from any responsibility because they become portrayed as helpless victims of an all–powerful lobby.” Similarly, Columbia University Professor  Massad—who regularly endures attacks by the Israel Lobby for his defense of Palestinian rights—contends that the attraction of Mearsheimer and Walt’s argument is that “it exonerates the United States government from all the responsibility and guilt that it deserves for its policies in the Arab world.
As Professor Massad puts it, the Israel Lobby is responsible for “the details and intensity but not the direction, content, or impact of such policies.

Joseph Massad detailed his criticism in an op-ed in Al-Ahram, Asad AbuKhalil opined in a piece at his blog.

Libertarian conservative Jon Basil Utley writes at AntiWar:

The new, public debate about the Israel lobby is missing a major point – the lobby's allies, the many other interests in America that want chaos in the Middle East. For example, in the Walt-Mearsheimer book there is no listing in the index for "military-industrial complex." For all its vaunted power, the Israel lobby could not dominate America's Mideast policies without cover and active support from other powerful groups. Although AIPAC promotes the lobby's image in Congress as being all powerful, it isn't. The book does specify Christian Zionists as an integral part of the lobby, but it neglects many others.

Earlier Eric Alterman expressed an analog view in The Nation.

Writing about Israeli institutions, today's editorial in Haaretz laments about how influence U.S. 'Jewish tycoons' have towards Israel:

The relations between Israel and the the world's Jews, especially those in the United States, have always been fraught with hypocrisy. While everyone has been careful to pay lip service to Israeli democracy and its citizens' exclusive right to determine their fate, Jewish tycoons have known how to translate the millions they donate into influence and esteem.

The state, which managed to absorb millions of Jews and build a flourishing economy, continued its small-town mentality of kowtowing to the masters from overseas.

I am still confused on the question of who influences, or even commands, whom.

How are the U.S. neo-con Likudniks connect to the Lobby? Are they the Lobby? Are the 'Jewish tycoons'?

Stephen Zunes continues his piece with a broader view:

Any serious review of U.S. foreign policy in virtually any corner of the globe demonstrates how the United States props up dictatorships, imposes blatant double-standards regarding human rights and international law, supports foreign military occupations (witness East Timor and Western Sahara), undermines the authority of the United Nations, pushes for military solutions to political problems, transfers massive quantities of armaments, imposes draconian austerity programs on debt–ridden countries through international financial institutions, and periodically imposes sanctions, bombs, stages coups, and invades countries that don’t accept U.S. hegemony. If U.S. policy toward the Middle East was fundamentally different than it is toward the rest of the world, Mearsheimer and Walt would have every right to look for some other sinister force leading the United States astray from its otherwise benign foreign policy agenda. Unfortunately, however, U.S. policy toward the Middle East is remarkably similarly to U.S. foreign policy elsewhere in the world. [...]

Is he right?

Posted by b on November 2, 2007 at 14:13 UTC | Permalink


Since I was a teenager and read “War and Peace” I’ve been smitten with the concept that movements are driven by the needs and emotions of the “people” defending their homes. Therefore, the Russian Invasion or the occupations of Vietnam and Iraq were all for nothing.

But, there are contradictions in life. How could leaders, Napoleon, LBJ or George W, be so stupid to invade? Hubris. Not to invade, means they are ordinary mortals, no better than the hoi polloi.

The Israel Lobby was a Joker whispering in the ear maneuvering to wipe out an opponent. But; no doubt, God’s command to kick some Muslim ass was louder and clearer.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Nov 2 2007 15:01 utc | 1

For a more intelligent view of this:


Posted by: joe5348 | Nov 2 2007 15:32 utc | 2

the framework of in-fighting b/w (neo-)realists (prof cutler's "right-arabists") vs neo-conservatives ("right-zionists") over u.s. foreign policy alliances is essential to understanding the M-W position in their paper/letter to LRB/and now, book. we've covered this territory previously & i think it still holds. M-W have done a good job of appealing to those who find their narrative/sentiment compelling b/c it rests on a archetypal bed of nationalism under attack from dangerous jews.

from what i see, b/c it's quite extensive, well-coordinated, and financially-sound, "the lobby" is frequently used as a tool to control congresscritters into supporting or acquiescing to the plans/policies of the establishment elite, and not always on issues that directly center on or even benefit israel or israeli elite.

Posted by: b real | Nov 2 2007 15:33 utc | 3

@Joe5348 - You start your diatribe on your blog by calling Massad anti-semitic.

That is certainly more intelligent than the questions I ask in my piece above. How about answering them (and that without throwing around unfounded accusations.)

Posted by: b | Nov 2 2007 15:42 utc | 4

Surely, the lobby didn't create out of hiw own US ME policies. Still, it may have worsened them. That said, I think the biggest nasty negative side-effect of the lobby isn't in direct negative influence over foreign policies in Middle-East, but in that it is very effective in silenting any possible dissent inside the US, dissent that you still could have with regard to policies in other parts of the world. The lobby basically ensures that the US view is as monolithic as it could ever be, making it far harder to change foreign policies' orientation.
Then, at the end of the day, I don't think that one explanation absolves the other - be it uber-influential Great Israel lobby or US militaro-industrial interests -, so, blaming and attacking both for their neferaious effects doesn't seem much of a problem. We just have to make sure we ascribe blame at the right persons for the right reasons - for instance, at first sight, I wouldn't assume that a total absence of an Israeli lobby would have avoided war in Iraq (even if Likudniks didn't mind), though the current warmongering on Iran probably owes a bit to it.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Nov 2 2007 16:04 utc | 5

there is always between differing elites - confluent interests

have just been reading a book by a certain anne louis bardach -'cuba confidential' which tells me nothing about cuba but a great deal about the cuban exile lobby. that lobby is a replica of aipac. the brutality that underlies the lobbying

one name has a prominence in the book - about his relation with the most criminal elements of the cuban exile community including the terrorist posada - is mr joseph liebermann - a most docile servant of aipac

the u s empire has always used the muscle of other& its relation with israel is completely interdependant

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 2 2007 20:58 utc | 6

Why don't you ask the guy who wrote the article, that would be Elderofziyon? But it might have something to do with his pathological hatred of Israel.


Posted by: joe5348 | Nov 2 2007 21:23 utc | 7

funny how we are talking about this jewish influence again. you have men like Glenn Greenwald fighting the good fight trying to make government responsible to its citizens and then you have two key democratic senators approving the appointment of mukasey with his record of indefinite detention of us citizens and desire for a unitary executive.

all from the same tribe. what are we supposed to believe?

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 2 2007 21:34 utc | 8

i probably should have posted these links from muzzlewatch in this thread. sorry

Posted by: annie | Nov 2 2007 21:40 utc | 9

@joe - you were quite run down here as a fraud back in Jan 2006 - I see no need to repeat that.
@riap - cuban exile lobby. that lobby is a replica of aipac

Who was the first one of these? (I really don't know.) Has aipac the same mafia character the cuban exile lobby has?

Rice to face subpoena in espionage case

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and some of President Bush's top foreign policy advisers must testify about their conversations with pro-Israel lobbyists, a federal judge ruled Friday in a trial over the misuse of classified information.

Two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists accused of passing classified information to an Israeli official and the press. They argue, however, that the U.S. regularly uses the pro-Israel group to send back-channel communications to others, and they say Rice can verify that unofficial but sanctioned role.

Lobbyists Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman subpoenaed Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams and a dozen others to testify.

Classic grey-mailing defense - subpoena 'secret evidence' and when it is not given the trial is over.
The lobbyists are accused of receiving classified information from a now-convicted Pentagon official and relaying it to an Israeli official and the press. The information included details about the al-Qaida terror network, U.S. policy in Iran and the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, federal prosecutors said.

But defense attorneys argued that top U.S. officials regularly used the lobbyists as a go-between as they crafted Middle East policy. If so, attorneys say, how are Rosen and Weissman supposed to know the same behavior that's expected of them on one day is criminal the next?

yep - greymailing
Ellis, an appointee of President Reagan, left open the possibility that the Bush administration may challenge the subpoenas on the grounds they would reveal privileged information. But the judge said his ruling Friday "may trump a valid governmental privilege."

If so, that could force the government to decide whether to allow the testimony or drop the case.

Neither the State Department nor the Justice Department would comment on the ruling.

Among those subpoenaed in the case were: former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; and Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs.

Posted by: b | Nov 2 2007 21:42 utc | 10

dan of steele | Nov 2, 2007 5:34:04 PM

Someone might find some holes in this, but I believe degree of "infatuation" with Zionism and Israel could be the decisive factor here. And I do assume that Zionism is inherently expansionist and quasi-racist.

Posted by: Ken Hoop | Nov 2 2007 22:24 utc | 11>Repost: A Zionist Thaw?

Posted by: DeAnander | Nov 2 2007 22:26 utc | 12

Our pal joe5348, gets around a bit...

He considers hirself a retired appellate lawyer;either that, or a gasbag.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 2 2007 22:35 utc | 13

Israeli brutality:

"One soldier recalled: 'After two months in Rafah, a [new] commanding officer arrived... So we do a first patrol with him. It's 6am, Rafah is under curfew, there isn't so much as a dog in the streets. Only a little boy of four playing in the sand. He is building a castle in his yard. He [the officer] suddenly starts running and we all run with him. He was from the combat engineers.

'He grabbed the boy. I am a degenerate if I am not telling you the truth. He broke his hand here at the wrist, broke his leg here. And started to stomp on his stomach, three times, and left. We are all there, jaws dropping, looking at him in shock..."

Please read the whole thing if you have the stomach for it, it's about time this dehumanization comes out, after years and years of ethnic/ethic subjugation.

Wanna justify argue that one counselor Joe? Caveat rumpus?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 2 2007 22:53 utc | 14

And I do assume that Zionism is inherently expansionist and quasi-racist.

i don't know, what do you think of this

Posted by: annie | Nov 3 2007 0:05 utc | 15

ken, i mis read, not concentrating to well just now. a little ..distracted. sorry

the implication in the link tho...

Talab A-Sana (Ra`am-Ta`al) said that "the bill is opposed to peace, the Arab public, and its representatives that are visiting Arab states. This is a dark bill that constitutes political persecution, and shows what a substandard level the Knesset has reached."

The bills were approved by a majority of 52 in favor and 19 who opposed. MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) maintained that the bill was racist.

Posted by: annie | Nov 3 2007 0:19 utc | 16

both the cuban exiles & aipac work from the grassroots level while also at the same time using a systematic process of corrupting the legislature. it is apparent that the legislators in most cases are easily corruptible or are like duke cunningham - men waiting to be corrupted

both lobbies systematically use brute force & often have what could be called armed propaganda

liebermann is a case in point - he is owned lock stock & barrel by these lobbies - he is paid above all to represent their interests

mafia - i suppose it depends on how you define criminality. both the cuban exiles & aipac have covered the waterfront in that are from fraud to murder, from espionage to bribery

cuban exiles as a community used organised crime in the first instance as most -'elites-to-be' do - they organise their liquidity & that is the fastest route to their consolidation. it is also clear that like all good & clever gangsters they cleaned their money very quickly using their legislators in the process to exacerbate their postions with state or federal contracts etc - until they become 'respectable'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 3 2007 0:36 utc | 17

Interesting questions ...

another: does anyone have a take on the story showing up in the Jerusalem Post and linking to Al Jazeera (but only it seems to the Arabic site) that the attack on Syria was actually flown by US fighter jets who dropped tactical nukes (hence the "cleaned up" site) with Israeli support ... I saw it this morning at another Israeli site that I was unfamiliar with and now ICH has run with the JPost piece Jerusalem Post

b - your earlier piece on the coordinates of the attack was very interesting and I was prepping something for FDL to link to it when this popped up ...I just find this new version puzzling and instinctively think it's bogus (why is Israeli media pushing it, would George boast about doing such a thing, wouldn't Syria go much more intense with it's reactions, etc) so I'm curious if the wise folk here have any ideas?

(now that AJ has the English service, they seem to no longer translate the Arabic news which is unfortunate since coverage is very different it seems)

Posted by: Siun | Nov 3 2007 4:06 utc | 18

Thanks for the compliment, but Elder of Ziyon is way smarter than I am. You can read opposing points of view or you can engage in the circle jerk of sycophants telling you how good you are. I guess some people, ever Nostrademus' weaker sister like the adulation. By the way, exactly what prediction have you made that has turned out to be true. I think Cheney is still VP, Ahminidijad is still president of Iran and we haven't bombed Iran. But then maybe the news hasn't hit the midwest yet. By the way, Elder won't respond to any questions until Saturday night, he doesn't work on Sabbath.


Posted by: joe5348 | Nov 3 2007 4:18 utc | 19

@Siun -
The JPost report:

The September 6 raid over Syria was carried out by the US Air Force, the Al-Jazeera Web site reported Friday. The Web site quoted Israeli and Arab sources as saying that two US jets armed with tactical nuclear weapons carried out an attack on a suspected nuclear site under construction.

The sources were quoted as saying that Israeli F-15 and F-16 jets provided cover for the US planes.

The sources added that each US plane carried one tactical nuclear weapon and that the site was hit by one bomb and was totally destroyed.

That would be based on in Arabic - auto-translated (careful - this often does NOT translate reliable) here">">here Prof Joshua Landis had pointed to the original one and translated the escence. He missed and his commentators have missed the "nuke" point?
Another dubiuous thing (auto-translated) is on!?">">!? From the datestate it looks like a rewritten copy of AlJazeerah.

The "tactical nuclear weapon used" stuff is bullshit:

- All better seismographs on this earth would have noted the 'thump' of some kiloton nukes going off (Turkey is a seismic very active country and has lots of these).
- The fallout would have been measurable within 48h around the world (IAEA and various Universities).
- No electro magnetic pulse noticed by anyone? No satellites had problems?
- The Syrian building that might have been hit (still totally unconfirmed and the Albright/ISIS stuff is VERY dubiuos) was a 20m or so height structure - why use nukes on it at all? Send a few conventional cruise missiles (little risk for pilots) and that's it.
- Check the "cleaned up" airial pictures". If nukes were used, why is the second smaller structure, some 50m north of the bigger "box building" unharmed?

- also remember: JPost is a pure Likudnik propaganda outlet. (arabic) is unreliable in such stuff. It often copies rumours from various nut-boards.

The general point, did the US take part in this? I don't think so!

- Why should it? High risk for what?
- The Israeli have the capability - conventional and nuke - so why U.S. planes?
- U.S. intelligence doubted the quality of the "Israeli intelligence" and has believed for years that the site was harmless. (See Prof. Jeffrey Lewis, the ArmsContolWonk)
- If U.S. bombers, than U.S. air control/radar suppression would likely also have been used too, no mentioning of that anywhere
- the U.S. would have used cruse-missiles - less risky ...
- "one anonymous Israeli and one anon Arab source" - no US source??? Not even Bolton?
- if the auto-translate is right AlJazeera claims one "arab businessman" as the only source for the nuke stuff. The other source's claims are only on something else.

File the JPost/AlJazeera stuff under "use with tin-foil-hat only". The story is bogus A to Z.

Posted by: b | Nov 3 2007 7:24 utc | 20

siun, there are a few oddities w/the jpost report..

The New York Times reported on October 13 that Israeli planes struck at what US and Israeli intelligence believed was a partly constructed nuclear reactor in Syria on September 6, citing American and foreign officials who had seen the relevant intelligence reports.

ok, this is not incorrect but it is deceiving. noticed how they didn't say the nyt first reported. what they omitted was that is was first published in the london times, or london online, or some british press followed shortly w/ report in their own paper (i could be mistaken but i don't believe it was haaretz, but it was israeli press.) both of those reports credited israel as the source of intelligence.

only after that did the nyt report on what the others reported on. that is my recollection anyway. i am too lazy at this time to dive into archives.

On October 17, Syria denied that one of its representatives to the United Nations told a panel that an Israeli air strike hit a Syrian nuclear facility and added that "such facilities do not exist in Syria."

A UN document released by the press office had provided an account of a meeting of the First Committee, Disarmament and International Security, in New York, and paraphrased an unnamed Syrian representative as saying that a nuclear facility was hit by the raid.

However, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA said media reports, apparently based on a UN press release, misquoted the Syrian diplomat.

again, while this may be true what it fails to address is that many other news services, including wapo and/ or nyt, posted a more thorough report. stating that the previously recorded tapes had revealed there was no mention of the word nuke, or nuclear, in the syrian diplomats statement.
chalk it us to another 'misquote".

AJ has the English service, they seem to no longer translate the Arabic news which is unfortunate since coverage is very different it seems)

linking to Al Jazeera (but only it seems to the Arabic site) that the attack on Syria was actually flown by US fighter jets who dropped tactical nukes

sorry, another lazy moment, no links. but this topic presented itself w/in the lastweek, iresearched it, posted links and it is not just rumor. the management of AJ switched in june. after pressure from the US, and a concerted effort to privatize the state (qatar) run AJ, the past managers and news people were fired and a more 'US/IS friendly' staff is on hand. qatar's US ambassador is now the manager. someone posted last week AJ may replace cnn in israel (supposedly some liscencing glitch). sorry, fuzzy on detail here.

color me sceptical. who knows what to believe. it is clear tho what they want us to believe. ask what is the advantage to the report? what is the advantage to reporting the US has already participated in an iranian invasion including nukes?

The sources added that each US plane carried one tactical nuclear weapon and that the site was hit by one bomb and was totally destroyed.

wow, those US guys are really on top of the action. ya think?

Posted by: annie | Nov 3 2007 7:49 utc | 21

come to think of it, if the US carries out a series of virtual nuke strikes against iran, maybe it will soften the media target (us) for the real thing.

i smell serious BS.

JPost is a pure Likudnik propaganda outlet.

b, my take exactly.

Posted by: annie | Nov 3 2007 7:57 utc | 22

@Siun - more on the raid: as some have pointed out the lack of air defense, or for that matter even any fence at all, around the Syrian "reactor", a new story needs to be invented to fill that hole: Report: Syria gov't kept nuke facility secret from army to avoid leaks

Syria's said nuclear facility that was allegedly bombed by Israeli aircraft two months ago was kept so secret that the government in Damascus did not inform its own army of its existence, Aviation Week magazine on Saturday quoted Israeli officials as saying.

Because the Syrian army was kept out of the loop, anti-aircraft batteries were not positioned around the facility rendering it vulnerable to attack by air, the unnamed source said.

Remember that as soon as the Israeli censorship on its press about the event was lifted the Haaretz military correspondent wrote that the "raid" was a failure. I'll stick with that.

Posted by: b | Nov 3 2007 10:42 utc | 23

Israel is a US state - outside of US law. That is is most important function for the first wold power.

The appellation Israel lobby implies that a foreign country has and employs conduits of influence in the US. In short it maintains a sort of separation -the US is the US and Israel is Isr. - and the relations of influence between them can be rationally discussed, as Walt and Mearsheimer would have us believe. - Good work: the article in the LRB is excellent, a wake up call, but written from a certain angle, principles, etc.

The ties between the US and Israel surpass any such analysis, so it is thus bound to be controversial, peter out, fail. Though cries denouncing the ‘anti semitism’ accusations, calls for academic freedom, etc. seem to be rising, gathering more force. That is hopeful. But it won’t be enough, as cutting off Israel is not a possibility for the US.

Its one outpost in the ME, dearly paid for, sustained, supported, its bombs ready to go...that will never be given up. And the nutty Xtians who vote for Bush on religious issues are, as everyone knows, of absolutely no account. They can be manipulated any which way. They provide a kind of excuse on the world stage...

Posted by: Tangerine | Nov 3 2007 17:30 utc | 24

b and annie - very great points and info, thank you so much. I had spent the day puzzling over that report since I wanted to do a followup to a post I did when the story was first showing up ... I see the attack as a two pronged move: Israel and the US warning that they can fly in and attack whereever they want and Israel stoking the ego of a defeated military. This AJ/JP version just rang untrue but I wanted to check that with you folks ... esp given b's very good work on this.

Posted by: Siun | Nov 3 2007 17:50 utc | 25

siun, please give us a heads up early when you post @ fdl.

Posted by: annie | Nov 3 2007 17:59 utc | 26

me too, siun

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 3 2007 18:51 utc | 27

as some have pointed out the lack of air defense, or for that matter even any fence at all, around the Syrian "reactor", a new story needs to be invented to fill that hole

That's quite right, but there are more problems than that with the satellite images of the supposed nuclear site. There is a complete lack of the extensive infrastructure necessary for a nuclear reactor. The building is also too low for a Magnox reactor, of the type used by the North Koreans, though the plan dimensions are OK. In fact the plan dimensions are the only thing right.

One might suppose that all of that is underground, and not visible on the surface. If the Syrians were hyper-sophisticated, which they are not, they might have done that. The Brits built nuclear command bunkers underground, with a single small entrance with a simple locked door and no other sign.

There is a pumping station with a water channel, which has been commented. However the channel cross-section is too small to carry much water, insufficient for cooling a reactor. Further there is no exit channel for used hot water. The Magnox type reactor is gas-cooled, though I don't know the details; if the heat is not transfered to water, then some other kind of visible radiation mechanism would be necessary.

You get the impression that the "researchers" found a building of the appropriate dimensions, but didn't bother to follow through with the details.

Posted by: Alex | Nov 3 2007 19:13 utc | 28

M.J.Rosenberg at TPMCafe Harvard Prof Says All Criticsm of Lobby Is Anti-Semitism

The Sunday Washington Post runs an oped by Ruth Wisse, a professor of Jewish studies at Harvard. Wisse is, to put it mildly, a hardliner on all matters relating to Jews. Her only bone of contention with Israel is that it is too gentle with its adversaries. In fact, she believes that Jews, in general, are still so averse to the uses of power that they suffer as a result.
One of the means she uses is libel. Here is what Wisse writes about Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer in the Washington Post. "Mearsheimer and Walt allege that a Jewish cabal dictates U.S. policy in the Middle East, helping Israeli interests and hurting U.S. ones." She also lies about former President Carter, saying he "accuses Jews of having too much clout."
So why does Wisse say it? She says it because she wants to stop all discussion of the lobby and all criticism of Israel. Period.
I have many differences with Walt and Mearsheimer's book but I'll say one thing: the reaction to it by Wisse, Peretz, Krauthammer, Dershowitz and the gang confirm one of its theses. This [the lobby] is the only subject about which debate is proscribed.

Posted by: b | Nov 3 2007 20:34 utc | 29

Will do ... I normally post at 9PM ET each Sunday and hope to have this worked up in time for tomorrow ... with plenty of credit to the MoA family!

Posted by: Siun | Nov 4 2007 3:15 utc | 30

siun, here's larisa's report: 10/18 , US intelligence does not show Syrian nuclear weapons program, officials say.

The UN has since gone through the tape recordings of the meeting and found that there was no mention of the word “nuclear” at all. According to the UN, the error was one of translation, involving several interpreters translating the same meeting.

Recent news articles, however, continue to make allegations and suggest that a nuclear weapons facility was hit -- something that the Syrian government has denied, the Israeli government has not officially confirmed and US intelligence does not show.


According to current and former intelligence sources, the US intelligence community has seen no evidence of a nuclear facility being hit.

US intelligence “found no radiation signatures after the bombing, so there was no uranium or plutonium present,” said one official, wishing to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject.

We don't have any independent intelligence that it was a nuclear facility -- only the assertions by the Israelis and some ambiguous satellite photography from them that shows a building, which the Syrians admitted was a military facility.”


One US intelligence source familiar with the events expressed concern about recent news reports describing Syria as having a functioning nuclear weapons program and cautioned against attributing those reports to the US intelligence community.

“The allegations that North Korea was helping to build a nuclear reactor have not been substantiated by US intelligence,” said this intelligence official, adding, “ but that hasn't stopped Dick Cheney and his minions at the NSC, Elliot Abrams and Steve Hadley, from leaking the information [to the press], which appears to be misleading in the extreme.”

there's more w/supporting links

Posted by: annie | Nov 4 2007 3:28 utc | 31

annie - thank you for that (and apologies to all for interrupting the discussion of a topic as important as b's post - MoA often seems the only place where folks are unafraid to take on the issue of Israel in all it's variation and that discussion is so needed)

Here's a link to the first post I did - the combination of Bolton, Hadley and Rice - as I said in the post - always makes me nervous. 10/16/07 Big Hole in the Desert

Posted by: Siun | Nov 4 2007 5:23 utc | 32

damn siun, great post. guess i should be dropping in on fdl more often ;)

“happy to have Israel convey to both Syria and Iran the message that they can get in and out and strike when necessary.”

yep. one of the quotes i almost sent. i presume you got my email. i didn't post the links here because we had all read them, but it seems you have covered the bolton angle re 8/31 editorial already.

doncha love the way they telegraph their every dream and then it magically appears??

syria comment/landis is on top of the action too.

ok, tomorrow 6 pm my time, its a date. i'll be there. the fast pace and technical format of the comment section accelerates my usual speed, but i'll give it my best shot.

yer the bomb baby.

Posted by: annie | Nov 4 2007 6:49 utc | 33

@Siun - some judgement you might want to add from Col. Lang who is supposed a bit or two about the issue:

The Syrian air strike farce is not re-assuring in this matter. It is increasingly clear that the target was insignificant and that the motivation for the attack is buried in the collective Israeli psychology of insecurity, siege and unwillingness to rely on anyone else (including the US) for anything.
He forgets the personal advantage for Olmert who's public rating went up from near zero to 30% after the strike.

Posted by: b | Nov 4 2007 20:01 utc | 34

All you people can talk about is who did what to who and try to play political chess which is fine sport to do , but geez you people don't have a clue as to what you are talking about.

Ok show of hands....How many of you have see a real life nuke plant in real life
Ok now same for how many of you have taken a tour of a real life nuke plant
Ok now same for worked at a nuke plant but not in the kitchen or mopping the break room
Ok how many have a degree in nuclear engineering or any engineering...thought so by the comments
Ah something different then how about a bomber pilot familiar with nuke weapons ..durn none of them either
Ever design a real nuke plant as part of a still batting zero looks like

OK folk Nuke plants for dummies 101 especially the graphite core type not the standard ole water cooled pressurized water reactor.

One thing right in the thread and that is all it is GAS cooled at least the core is.
Pumping station right at the river and a water channel not big enough, no return
Newsflash folks we have the new invention look in Scientific American its called hush now PIPE you can even put it underground and if you really get it right you can also put a return pipe back to the river while you are at it.
But why water, well because the auxiliary buildings to dissipate the core power will have most likely an electrical turbine and condenser that is what you cool with the water, unless you want to build an air cooling tower that really isn't very efficient in 130 degree summer heat though.
A graphite reactor does not require a high pressure liquids like a PWR and does not need a big containment building because if it breaks, it just stops till you rebuild the durn thing. It doesn't leak stuff, it doesn't melt down or any of that it has to all be there in the right way or it does not work.
You can actually build the building for the core and then build the core after you are done inside with air conditioning and shade much more fun than humping a pressure vessel into place on those hot august afternoons.
It's not tall enough..well dig down enough to put it halfway underground since thats just the support frame anyway that way you don't have to get on a ladder to get to the core if you are maybe scared of heights. Note a hole in the ground is much cheaper than building a taller building, easier to do to I might add.
Nuke plant build time from ground breaking to first trons floating down the wire to power up your xbox like oh 7 to 10 years maybe 5 if you are in a hurry and 3 if you really wanna get that baby cooking.

But enough of that now the rest of the story...

Why is Syria so quiet and even daddy big buck over in Iran?

Ah could it be that those really damn smart Jews totally owned you pretty new radar systems that Russia just sold you guys. Emperor clothes I'm sure you may have heard the story somewhere. Yup they replace the radar images with porn movies and the rubes on watch were all expected to say "oh allah please make it a while anyhow but not quite yet buds".
In the after action report Russia and Iran and Syria are in a conference call saying Putin you sold us state of the art junk man what's with that..Russia says you cheap skates as usual just bought the equipment without the training package on how to use the thing. Remember that microwave oven I sold ya..didn't work to well with that Kingsford Charcoal did it Omar? Yeah I know you didn't believe me then and you smuggled in a Radar Range from the Evil Satan...and you still can't get a decent tactical display working on that bad boy can ya. Yeah I gave you a real good deal on the radars only 49.95, didn't even charge you tax on it. The training on how to use it is 45 semi trailers of gold bars in advance ..for the first lesson.
So bright boy lets look at who or what took down your ah new BBQ pit you were building.
Well first off even small nuke bombs (well except for suitcase nukes) make real big bangs, the neighbors get upset and all that fallout (unless it's an airburst) really runs up the electric bill on using those dust busters to clean up the mess. I mean even old NK had stuff leak from their underground test for crying out loud to identify those isotope things whatever they are.
EMP from a nuke blast doesn't temporarily shut down electronics it breaks em real bad inside the chip packages themselves...Omar you good a soldering stuff with a real steady hand and a sharp eye buddy? Jammers stop things from working while you are doing the jamming ...see porn movie example the way rumor has it Omars uncle Taldar was listening to heavy breathers on his cell while Omar was watching his radar console but he ain't talking either for some reason.
Oh and those fuel tanks in Turkey they had those pictures of. Somehow even as good as those smart Jews types are I don't think they have yet figured out how to jettison a drop tank from 14000 feet at 400kts and have it look like it's just out of the showroom and even the paint job doesn't have a scratch. Ya think it may have dug a trench a bit when it hit the ground or something? Ya think that aluminum tank might got banged up a little in the process when it bit the big one at about 150mph.
Well enough for'all have a nice day ya hear.

Posted by: ExcuseMeForPointingandLaughing | Nov 5 2007 4:39 utc | 35

did someone just fart?

Posted by: | Nov 5 2007 7:01 utc | 36

did someone just fart?

Yeah, wondered too. Smells trollish doesn't it.

To the smelly person @35
Ok show of hands....How many of you have see a real life nuke plant in real life
Ok now same for how many of you have taken a tour of a real life nuke plant
Ok now same for worked at a nuke plant but not in the kitchen or mopping the break room
Ok how many have a degree in nuclear engineering or any engineering...thought so by the comments

Four times hand up for me.

The next part of your rant has so many 'if, could, might' that, applying those, any hog house could indeed be mistaken for a nuke plant.

The rest is just stupid.

Posted by: b | Nov 5 2007 11:50 utc | 37

Analysis on how the rumor of US planes attacking the "box on the Euphrat" was plated by Israeli sources

Israel invented without a shred of evidence the story of Syria’s nuclear facility and the USAF’s collaboration and attributed the “news” to one of the world’s most important sources of news, namely Al Jazeera. Of course the Israelis failed to say that Al Jazeera was also quoting Israeli sources.. the very same ones who probably invented the story.

Posted by: b | Nov 7 2007 9:43 utc | 38

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