Sunday, September 23, 2007

Syria, Iran and the Norky Nukes, Oh My!

By Cernig

Today the London Times favorite neocon insider and shill, Sarah Baxter, signs off on three pieces designed to further the neocon narrative for war with at least one, if not more, of their new Axis Of Eeviiiil!!!!(tm). The three stories say that Israeli commandos conducted a covert strike in advance of the recent air attack on Syria and came away with actual nuclear material from North Korea, that this evidence convinced the Bush administration to green-light the air strike (whereas, presumably, they didn't need to have Bush's green light for a ground strike?) and that the Bush administration has ramped up planning for attacks on both Syria and Iran. Needless to say, the wingnut warlovers are working themselves into a major lather, matched only by their continuing slobbering faux-outrage at

Baxter's stories are sourced from her usual patchwork of anonymous officials in the extremist quarters of both American and Israeli government, are utterly without actual official confirmation and evidence. More, they are partly co-authored by a reporter who once penned a story about Israel developing Arab-specific germ warfare and another Times stalwart who has for years been Murdoch's keeper of the Official John Bolton Memorial North Korean Axe To Grind, complete with sourcing on stories ranging from the utterly-nutterly Mujahedeen e-Kalq to Old Walrus-face himself.

All of which leads Lambert to write:
we know the playbook, and we’ve seen the play before. If Bush wants to outsource his casus belli to a winger billionaire, good for Him, but as for me, I’d want to see a chain of evidence of positively forensic quality on this, and even then I’d want the IAEA to check that even that wasn’t faked.

These guys are desperate for the next war, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get one. Everybody knows this, though nobody at Versailles on the Potomac will say it out loud.
Which, while a wail of disbelief at a media so willingly used as the neocon message machine yet again, brings up an important point.

Why on earth didn't the Bush administration and Israeli government go public with their nuclear material findings, and submit samples to the IAEA for verification, if that's really what they've got?

Just the other day, Syria became co-chair of the IAEA's Governing Council as part of a rotation of chair nations known long in advance. Immediately, Iran called for IAEA inspectors to examine Israel's nuclear arsenal and programs and Egypt moved a resolution calling for a nuclear-free Middle east (which would mean only Israel having to actually disarm). All of this brought immediate fake outrage from Israel and the Israel lobby in the U.S.

But if they had really had this evidence, they wouldn't need to leak it to a British newspaper's neocon shill. They could have gone public, had the data verified and stopped all of the happenings at the IAEA that Israel is so upset about dead and almost certainly have gained a UNSC resolution to boot. Then, if the air attack had gone ahead, many nations who are suspicious of anonymous leaks and scanty evidence would have stood up and cheered. There wouldn't have to be a whisper campaign for a war which might begin with an Israeli pre-emptive attack but is surely designed to drag the U.S. in, willingly or not.

So why didn't they do that? Why did they rely on this cycle of leaks and innuendo - with a nuclear and North Korean element fuelled entirely by Bush administration officials who spoke both on and off the record, sometimes on the same day - to muddy the waters at the IAEA instead?

Not one mainstream reporter has sought an answer to this obvious question. The answer, though, can only be that when it comes to actual evidence and material they have nothing, nada, zip.

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