Saturday, October 06, 2007

Some Things Never Change

This article from the Jerusalem Post:

The IAF raid in Syria during September was planned for several months and was postponed a number of times due to heavy US pressure, ABC News quoted American officials as saying on Saturday

According to the report, Israel presented US officials with satellite imagery which clearly shows North Korean nuclear technology in a Syrian facility. According to a US source, Whitehouse [sic] officials were astonished by the imagery and by the fact US intelligence had not picked up on the facility previously.
The only astonishing thing is that the White House officials should be astonished by the lack of US intelligence. (For more on the CIA getting things hopelessly wrong on WMD, read Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes.)

"Israel tends to be very thorough about its intelligence coverage, particularly when it takes a major military step, so they would not have acted without data from several sources," said ABC News military consultant Tony Cordesman.
Knowing that Israel is going to get a disproportionate criticism regarding its "disproportionate actions", its intelligence has to be disproportionately watertight.

A different source told ABC News that Israel had planned the strike as early as July 14, and in confidential meetings with high ranking US officials, debated over the appropriate response. Several officials supported Israel's decision to strike, although others, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, firmly opposed it and offered to publicly condemn Syria for operating a nuclear facility instead.

Who could have guessed that the State Department would oppose military action. Make that 'any action'.

US officials who initially opposed the raid, according to ABC News, apparently feared the negative influence it might have over the whole region. Consequently, officials in Washington persuaded Israel to push back the raid, but in September Israel feared that information about the facility might be leaked to the press, and went ahead with the strike, despite objections by Washington.

Since when did knocking out nuclear capabilities in the hands of Middle Eastern dictators have a negative influence on the region?

So there we have it. Israel wants to defend itself from a gathering storm. It clears the intelligence and intended response with its strategic ally. In return, it gets incredulity from the CIA, astonishment from the White House, fears and opposition from State Department and possible leaks to the media.

Yet again, Israel has to go it alone.

Is this then a prelude to the showdown with Iran?


Bruce said...

Yes, it is a prelude to a conflict over handling Iran. The US is [oddly] gun shy.

Many pundits have said that Israel needs US permission to strike Iran...nonsense. Clearly, Israel is willing to go it alone when it's in its interest to do so!

Bruce :)
Bruce's MidEast Soundbites

Anonymous said...

no, iran is different story. israel won't dare to attack it.

ilona@israel said...

actually situation in iran is pretty complecated as now russia and china instaed of joining alliance against iran decided to support them -both this countries interested just in money and ifluence on middle east they are not concerned about justice too much. what about usa-obama sees that ahmadinejad does not careabout his sanctions or deadlines so it seems like or obama will attac iran and will give serious support to opposition of ahmadinejad, or obama will let israel to attac though its very problematic... i just hope for the best for my country

Vikki @ Israel said...

The thing about the coverage of Israeli intelligence is something. Did the US expect the service be open? Probably that's what Americans usually do but not Israelis.