Monday, October 15, 2007

The Times, They Aren’t-a-Changing Much

On Sunday October the 14th the NY Times posted an article Analysts Find Israel Struck a Nuclear Target Inside Syria.

Google recorded the headline but clicking on the delivered link returns a new headline—Israel Struck Syrian Nuclear Project, Analysts Say.

This is something of an improvement, being less declarative than the original though there is absolutely no acknowledgement of the change. The article itself remains as it was.

Amusingly a FreeRepublic commenter takes the liberal NY Times at its word (sorry, no link): “That’s twice the Israelis have knocked out nuclear capability in the middle east. We should be incredibly grateful to them. Otherwise we would have been facing a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein” (Kevmo) despite (or because, in Kevmo's case) the fact that absolutely no evidence for the nuclear claim is provided.

Now the original lead author has followed-up with an “analysis” which without any further information regurgitates a good deal of conventional Beltway wisdom coupled with vague skepticism and wishful thinking:

With the American military stretched in Iraq, the credibility of any American threat to take pre-emptive action elsewhere in the Middle East — and to deal with the consequences — is questionable. Moreover, Mr. Bush has made no secret of his desire to leave office with some diplomatic victories.

Really? Since when?
Already, that has muted the talk about pre-emptive strikes; the president who five years ago talked constantly about the dangers of “the world’s worst weapons” in Saddam Hussein’s hands has been far more measured about Iran and Syria.
Really? Care to cite an example, Mr. Sanger? And what have Kagan, Kristol, Podhoretz. Ledeen, and the rest of the usual suspects who have the president's ear been pontificating about lately (and lo these many months)?
Getting a deal with North Korea to disgorge its own nuclear fuel and weapons may require looking past whatever North Korea might have sold to another country. And it may mean engaging the Syrians, even before they answer the question of what, exactly, they were building in the desert
When you can’t report what you don’t know, report what you think you do know and then just add some equally uniformed filler and voila’, you’ve got yourself an “analysis”!

The mystery around the Israeli attack into Syria is the deafening silence surrounding it all. If Israel had a case at all they should be able to publicize it. If Syria had a case for being egregiously wronged the Syrians should be able to publicize it too. Instead the complete silence surrounding this event suggests to me massive embarassment on all sides for a multitude of reasons.

There's a real effort here to find some dramatic meaning in this incident but all I can find at the moment is a farce--in the incident itself and in the reporting of it.

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