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Thread: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

  1. #121
    Forum General Brian Baldwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    I don't think we can just point at foriegn military strikes and tensions as the only factor here. Civil unrest domestically and foriegn are other areas that point to a boiling point being reached. The extreme left in our country is the primary example of internal sabotage and treason going unchecked due to Political Correctness run amuk. Here's an example from an area bent on self destruction.

    Boulder students to protest Pledge of Allegiance

    Boulder High School students are planning a protest against the Pledge of Allegiance in the courtyard of their school tomorrow morning. Students with the activist club "Student Worker" organized the protest for 8:30 a.m., when the pledge is recited over the intercom. They're concerned that it takes away from school time and that the phrase "one nation, under God" violates the separation of church and state, club President Emma Martens wrote in an e-mail. "Boulder High has a highly diverse population, not all of whom believe in God, or One God," she wrote. She said the group would rather the school hold the recitation — which the school must make available by state law — during lunch break, or at another time when students who don't participate wouldn't have to listen to it.
    This of course is just the mildest of examples. Far worse is going on here that WE citizens can help to deter in order to strengthen and prepare for what is coming.
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



    It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    -Father Denis O'Brien of the United States Marine Corp.


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  2. #122
    Forum General Brian Baldwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1902579/posts

    Quote:

    North Korea accused the US of defending Israel's recent alleged air strike against Syria, calling the strike a grave crime that undermines regional peace and stability, a South Korean news report said Monday. ...after this month's reported IAF raid on unknown Syrian targets, over suspicions that North Korea might be providing nuclear assistance to Syria.
    ...
    The North also claimed that the US had defended Israel's "brazen behavior" in allegedly launching the air strike, Yonhap said.
    North Korea's comments came days after it held high-level talks with Syria. The two countries, which deny the allegation of a secret nuclear connection, did not provide details of Pyongyang talks.
    Andrew Semmel, acting US deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, said earlier this month that North Koreans were in Syria, and that Syria might have had contacts with "secret suppliers" to obtain nuclear equipment.
    Semmel did not identify the suppliers. However, he said he could not exclude the possibility that a nuclear black-market network, run by the disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, could have been involved.
    Semmel's comments raised speculation that the alleged September 6 Israeli incursion into Syrian airspace had targeted a nuclear installation. US officials have said IAF warplanes struck a target. One US military officer said the strike was aimed at weapons being shipped to Hizbullah in Lebanon.


    As a man who thinks things through I must wonder why NK would even care? Unless they were involved in such manner as Israel describes....
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



    It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    -Father Denis O'Brien of the United States Marine Corp.


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  3. #123
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    The "Student Worker" group sounds like your typical Socialist bunch. But, what is funny is that they are protesting something their fellow Socialists started!

    Pledge of Allegiance - History
    The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the popular children's magazine Youth's Companion by Christian Socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. The owners of Youth's Companion were selling flags to schools, and approached Bellamy to write the Pledge for their advertising campaign. It was marketed as a way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas and was first published on the following day.
    Fuckin' morons...

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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    The DPRKers LOST people in that attack, I'll wager.
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  5. #125
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    I think we're looking at some serious shit coming down the pike folks!

    Sukhoi base in the East to counter China [INDIA]
    The Times of India ^ | 28 Sep 2007, 0036 hrs IST | The Times of India



    NEW DELHI: As part of the counter-measures against the Chinese build-up of military infrastructure in the Tibet Autonomous Region and south China, India will progressively base squadrons of its most potent fighter Sukhoi-30MKIs in the eastern sector from 2008-2009 onwards.


    "The first two squadrons, with 36 fighters, will be based at Tezpur airbase.


    The MiG-21s at Tezpur were phased out earlier this month. Now, the runway at the airbase will undergo a renovation, coupled with an infrastructure upgrade to house the Sukhois," said an IAF officer. The move is significant since the multi-role Sukhoi 'air dominance' fighters, which have a cruising speed of 3,200 km, can strike targets deep inside China after taking off from Tezpur.


    "Sukhois, which carry almost eight tonnes of armaments, have immense strategic capabilities. Moreover, with air-to-air refuelling by IL-78 tankers, their radius of operations can be further enhanced to around 8,000 km," said the officer.


    The Sukhois and the 3,500-km-plus nuclear-capable Agni-III missile, which will be ready for operational deployment by 2010, constitute a crucial part of the "affordable deterrence" posture against China. In addition to Tezpur, IAF is also in the process of upgrading its other airbases in the eastern sector, apart from augmenting its network of ADDCs (air defence directional centres) and JADCs (joint air defence centres).


    Incidentally, the People's Liberation Army (Air Force) has established at least four airbases in Tibet and three in south China to mount operations against India. But since these bases are located at an average height of 10,000 feet, the weapon-carrying load of Chinese fighters is somewhat restricted.


    India, on its part, has so far based its Sukhois only at Pune and Bareilly, though they have operated from as diverse places as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Halwara. But now, the IAF is earmarking important airbases to position future Sukhoi squadrons to keep pace with fresh deliveries from Russia and the ongoing indigenous production. India is on course to acquire 40 more Sukhois from Russia in a $1.6-billion deal, apart from the 190 such fighters already contracted, as reported earlier.


    Faced with a depletion in fighter squadron strength, the government has also directed HAL to finish the manufacture of the 140 Sukhois (of the initial 190) by 2013-2014, instead of the originally scheduled 2017-2018.
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  6. #126
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Last update - 16:40 23/09/2007
    Report: IDF raid seized nuclear material before Syria air strike
    By Haaretz Service

    Israel Defense Forces commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a raid on a secret military site in Syria before the Israel Air Force allegedly bombed it this month, British newspaper The Sunday Times reported Sunday.

    The report, based on what the newspaper called "informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem," said the air strike was carried out with United States approval after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related.

    The paper quoted Israeli sources as saying Israeli special forces had been gathering intelligence for several months in Syria, and had located the nuclear material at a compound in the country's north.

    In another report, Newsweek quoted Uzi Arad, a former senior Mossad official and ex-policy advisor to then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as saying of the reported operation: I do know what happened, and when it comes out, it will stun everyone."

    Netanyahu stirred anger among aides to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week when he appeared to confirm reports of the operation - about which Israeli officials have maintained a rare silence - during an interview with Israel Channel One Television.

    The Sunday Times reported that diplomats in North Korea and China believe a number of North Koreans were killed in the strike, based on reports reaching Asian governments about conversations between Chinese and North Korean officials. The officials noted that ballistic missile technicians and military scientists had been working for some time with the Syrians.

    According to the report, the Bush Administration was given Israeli intelligence suggesting North Korean personnel and nuclear-related material were at the Syrian site over the summer, but the administration demanded "clear evidence of nuclear-related activities before giving the operation its blessing."

    As a result, the newspaper said, IDF commandos "almost certainly dressed in Syrian uniforms" seized samples of the nuclear material and took them back to Israel for testing. The sources confirmed that the samples were identified as being from North Korea.

    According to the Sunday Times, the site - near Dayr az-Zawr - now lies in ruins following the IAF strike.

    The report said the operation was personally directed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who according to The Sunday Times is said to have been largely preoccupied with it since taking up his post on June 18. The newspaper quoted military experts as saying that the operation probably could not have taken place under former defense minister Amir Peretz.

    Syria has said IAF planes violated its airspace and fired missiles at targets on the ground, but both Damascus and Pyongyang have vehemently denied the reports of nuclear cooperation.

    The Sunday Times also quoted an Israeli intelligence expert as saying, "Syria has retaliated in the past for much smaller humiliations, but they will choose the place, the time and the target."

    The IAF dispatched several fighter jets toward Syria Saturday, after a Syrian airplane disappeared from the Israeli radar screens, army sources said.

    The jets returned to base after they ascertained that the Syrian plane had crashed.

    Barak: Israel must operate as though war is around the corner
    Israel must act as though the next war is right around the corner, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday at the state's official commemoration of soldiers killed in the Yom Kippur War.

    Barak said that the lesson from the 1973 war is that "on security matters, we cannot be deceived by apparent and imagined calm. We need self-control, vigilance, and an experienced and stable hand at the helm."

    The defense minister also said that "on matters pertaining to our national security, the strength of Israel must be alert and fit at all times. We must always cultivate and enhance the decisive and quality advantage of this strength, along with the warrior spirit and the tools of war."

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday morning during a cabinet meeting that the "security establishment operates incessantly in all sectors and brings the most successful of achievements.

    "Many times, these achievements are not exposed to the public, but this doesn't mean that successful operations are not carried out."
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    And IRAN!!!!!!!!!




    Iran "Building New Nuclear Site"
    The Australian ^ | September 28, 2007


    IRAN was building a new bomb-proof underground site for developing nuclear weapons, linked by tunnel to an existing complex at Natanz, the main Iranian opposition group said. "Information we have from inside the regime indicates that the site is destined for military nuclear activity, mainly for the further enrichment of uranium," Mehdi Abrichamtchi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told a news conference in Paris.

    The new site in central Iran consists of a "vast underground area beneath the Karkass mountains linked to the surface by two tunnels and connecting with a third tunnel" to the Natanz nuclear complex, five kilometres away, he said.

    "The site is protected against aerial attack. If Natanz is bombed, it won't be touched," Mr. Abrichamtchi said. "To maintain secrecy, the area has been declared a military zone and the regime has bought up all the local land."

    According to the NCRI, plans for the new complex were drawn up two years ago and it will be operational in six months. In July this year the US-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reported satellite evidence showing that Iran was building a "tunnel facility near the Natanz uranium enrichment complex". "Such a tunnel facility inside a mountain would offer excellent protection from an aerial attack. This new facility would be ideal for safely storing nuclear items, including centrifuge manufacturing and assembly equipment, centrifuge components, natural uranium, and low enriched uranium," ISIS had said. In 2002 the NCRI was the first to reveal the existence of secret nuclear facilities at the towns of Arak and Natanz. Its new allegations come at a time of growing international tension over Iran's nuclear program.

    (Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.news.com.au ...
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  8. #128
    Forum General Brian Baldwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Those sites are useless if we nuke the major cities into ash. And there are no such things as "safe". We can and will strike such complexes with munitions designed for such areas. A large nuke at ground level would collapse most underground structures and if there are many faults nearby then we have other options as well.
    Brian Baldwin

    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil.... For I am the meanest S.O.B. in the valley.


    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out." - Tony Blair on America



    It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

    It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

    It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

    It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

    -Father Denis O'Brien of the United States Marine Corp.


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  9. #129
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Stratfor

    Israel, Syria And The Glaring Secret
    George Friedman

    Stratfor Geopolitical Report

    September 25, 2007
    Special Report

    What happened in the Middle East on Sept. 6?

    The first reports came from the Syrians, who said their air defenses fired at an Israeli warplane that had penetrated Syrian airspace and dropped some ordnance on the country's North. The plane then fled toward the Mediterranean at supersonic speeds, the Syrians said, noting that sonic booms had been heard.

    A Syrian delegation was meeting Turkish officials about the same time, and the Turks announced that two Israeli fuel tanks had been dropped inside of Turkish territory, one in Gaziantep province and the other in Hatay province. That would mean the aircraft did come under some sort of fire and dropped fuel tanks to increase speed and maneuverability. It also would mean the plane was flying close to Turkish territory or over Turkish territory, at the northwestern tip of Syria.

    The Israelis said nothing. It appeared at first glance that an Israeli reconnaissance flight had attracted Syrian attention and got out of there fast, though even that was puzzling. The Israelis monitor Syria carefully, but they have close relations with the Turkish military, which also watches Syria carefully. We would assume they have intelligence-sharing programs and that reconnaissance in this area could have been done by the Turks or, more likely, by Israeli reconnaissance satellites. Yet, an Israeli reconnaissance flight seemed like the only coherent explanation.

    What was most striking from the beginning was the relative silence on all sides. The Israelis remained mum, not even bothering to leak a misleading but plausible story. The Syrians, after threatening to take the issue to the U.N. Security Council, have been less vociferous than one would expect. The United States had nothing official to say, but U.S. sources leaked a series of incompatible explanations. The Turks, after requesting an explanation for the fuel tanks, dropped the matter.

    The leaks, which seemed to be coming from the Americans, raised the scope of the operation from a reconnaissance to something more. It was U.S. sources who said up to eight aircraft were involved in the operation. Early on, a leak originating in the United States implied that there might have been Israeli commandos involved as well. U.S. leaks also mentioned that a shipment of cement had been delivered to Syria from North Korea a few days before the incident and implied that this shipment might have contained nuclear equipment of some sort that was the real target of the attack. All three countries were silent officially on the intent of the attack, but the Americans were filling in some blanks with unofficial hints.

    The media also were filled with a range of contradictory speculation. One story said this was a dry run for an Israeli air attack against Iran. Another said the Israelis were demonstrating their ability -- and hence the U.S. ability -- to neutralize Syrian air defenses as a signal to Iran that it, too, is vulnerable. Some stories also claimed that new missiles, not nuclear materials, were being shipped to Syria. There were many other explanations, but these were either pure speculation or were deliberately being fed to the media in order to confuse the issue.

    Officials finally started to go public last week. Israeli opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was consulted in advance and supported Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's action in Syria. U.S. President George W. Bush went out of his way -- commenting directly and through his press secretary -- to make it understood that he also knew a raid had been carried out, but had absolutely nothing to say about it. That drew attention to two things. First, the United States knew what was going on. Second, the United States was going to keep the secret -- and the secret was an important one. Between Netanyahu and Bush, the reconnaissance theory was dead. An important operation occurred Sept. 6. It remains absolutely unclear what it was about.

    Another leak appeared via the Sunday Times, this time with enough granularity to consider it a genuine leak. According to that report, the operation was carried out by Israeli commandos supported by Israeli aircraft, under the direct management of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. It had been planned since June, just after Barak took office, and had been approved by the United States after some hesitation. The target was in fact nuclear "material" provided by North Korea, according to that leak.

    All of this makes perfect sense, save one thing. Why the secrecy? If the Syrians have nuclear facilities, the Israelis should be delighted to make it public.

    Frankly, so should the United States, since the Bush administration has always argued that nuclear proliferation to rogue states, including Syria, is one of the key problems in the world. The Syrians should be spinning the story like crazy as well, denying the nuclear program but screaming about unprovoked Israeli-U.S. aggression. The silence from one or two parties makes sense. The silence from all parties makes little sense.

    Looked at differently, Israel and the United States both have gone out of their way to draw attention to the fact that a highly significant military operation took place in Northern Syria, and compounded the attention by making no attempt to provide a plausible cover story. They have done everything possible to draw attention to the affair without revealing what the affair was about. Israel and the United States have a lot of ways to minimize the importance of the operation. By the way they have handled it, however, each has chosen to maximize its importance.

    Whoever they are keeping the secret from, it is not the Syrians. They know precisely what was attacked and why. The secret is not being kept from the Iranians either. The Syrians talk to them all the time. It is hard to imagine any government of importance and involvement that has not been briefed by someone. And by now, the public perception has been shaped as well. So, why the dramatic secrecy designed to draw everyone's attention to the secret and the leaks that seem to explain it?

    Let us assume that the Sunday Times report is correct. According to the Times, Barak focused on the material as soon as he became defense minister in June. That would mean the material had reached Syria prior to that date. Obviously, the material was not a bomb, or Israel would not have waited until September to act. So it was, at most, some precursor nuclear material or equipment.

    However, an intervening event occurred this summer that should be factored in here. North Korea publicly shifted its position on its nuclear program, agreeing to abandon it and allow inspections of its facilities. It also was asked to provide information on the countries it sold any nuclear technology to, though North Korea has publicly denied any proliferation. This was, in the context of the six-party negotiations surrounding North Korea, a major breakthrough.

    Any agreement with North Korea is, by definition, unstable. North Korea many times has backed off of agreements that seemed cast in stone. In particular, North Korea wants to be seen as a significant power and treated with all due respect. It does not intend to be treated as an outlaw nation subject to interrogation and accusations. Its self-image is an important part of its domestic strategy and, internally, it can position its shift in its nuclear stance as North Korea making a strategic deal with other major powers. If North Korea is pressed publicly, its willingness to implement its agreements can very quickly erode. That is not something the United States and other powers want to see happen.

    Whether the Israelis found out about the material through their own intelligence sources or North Korea provided a list of recipients of nuclear technology to the United States is unclear. The Israelis have made every effort to make it appear that they knew about this independently. They also have tried to make it appear that they notified the United States, rather than the other way around. But whether the intelligence came from North Korea or was obtained independently, Washington wants to be very careful in its handling of Pyongyang right now.

    The result is the glaring secrecy of the last few weeks. Certainly, Israel and the United States wanted it known that Syria had nuclear material, and that it was attacked. This served as a warning to other recipients of North Korean nuclear technology -- most especially Iran. At the same time, the United States did not want to publicly embarrass North Korea, out of fear that the North Koreans would simply chuck the disarmament talks. Moreover, Damascus had no interest in publicizing that it had thoughts of a nuclear program, so it quieted down.

    We should note that if this theory is true, and the United States and Israel discovered the existence of a Syrian nuclear program only from North Korean information, this would represent one of the most massive intelligence failures imaginable by both Israel and the United States. Essentially, it would mean that, unless this was the first shipment of material to Syria, Israel and the United States failed to detect a Syrian nuclear program on their own. That is possible, but not likely.

    It is a neat theory. It might even be a true theory. But it has problems. The biggest problem is why Syria would be trying to obtain nuclear technology. Sandwiched between Israel and Turkey -- a country that has not had great relations with Syria in the past -- and constantly watched by the United States, the probability of it developing a nuclear capability undetected is infinitesimal, and the probability of Israel not taking it out is nonexistent. Moreover, Syria is not Iran. It is poorer, has less scientific and other resources and lacks the capability to mount a decadelong development effort. Syria actually plays a fairly conservative game, taking its risks in Lebanese politics and allowing jihadists to transit through the country on their way to Iraq. Trying to take on Israel or the United States in a nuclear gambit is not the Syrians' style. But certainly they were caught doing something, or they would be screaming to high heaven.

    There has been persistent discussion of nuclear material in Syria, which, if we took the words seriously, would tend to indicate that something radioactive, such as enriched uranium or plutonium, was present. If what was delivered was not equipment but radioactive material, the threat might not have been a Syrian nuclear program, but some sort of radioactive device -- a dirty bomb -- that might be handed off to Hezbollah. The head of Israel's military intelligence was quoted as saying something about the attack having re-established Israel's deterrence power after its failures in the 2006 conflict with Hezbollah. Perhaps the problem was that the material was being transferred from North Korea to Syria on its way to Lebanon, possibly to use against Israel.

    That would explain Syria's relative silence. Concern that the deal with North Korea will fall apart might keep the United States quiet. But a Syrian transfer of such material to Hezbollah normally would set Israel to raging at the Syrians. The Americans might have kept quiet, but the Israelis would have leaked much earlier than this. Israel would want to use the threat as a tool in its public relations war.

    Another reason for the silence could be psychological warfare against Iran. The speculation above might be true in some variant, but by remaining ominously silent, the Israelis and Americans might be trying to shake Iran's nerve, by demonstrating their intelligence capability, their special operations ability and the reach of their air power. With the Israelis having carried out this attack, this very visible secrecy might be designed to make Iran wonder whether it is next, and from what direction an attack might come.

    Normally such international game-playing would not interest us. The propensity of governments to create secrets out of the obvious is one of the more tedious aspects of international relations. But this secret is not obvious, and it is not trivial. Though it is true that something is finally being leaked three weeks after the attack, what is being leaked is neither complete nor reliable. It seems to make sense, but you really have to work hard at it.

    At a time when the United States is signaling hostile intentions toward Iran, the events in Syria need to be understood, and the fact that they remain opaque is revealing. The secrecy is designed to make a lot of people nervous. Interestingly, the Israelis threw a change-up pitch the week after the attack, signaling once again that they wanted to open talks with the Syrians -- a move the Syrians quickly rebuffed.

    When events get so strange that interpretation is a challenge, it usually indicates it was intended that way, that the events are significant and that they could point to further instability. We do not know whether that is true, but Israel and the United States have certainly worked hard to create a riddle wrapped in a mystery


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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    The clear loser from Ahmadinejad's visit is Israel
    Ha'aertz ^ | 9-25-07 | Shmuel Rosner

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University in New York on Monday resulted in one clear loser: Israel.

    In his speech, Ahmadinejad took aim at Israel. If he managed to convince one person of his views on Israel and Zionism, then he has already gained. If he managed to persuade 50, then he has gained even more.

    For months, Israel worked fervently to prevent what happened on the podium Monday. For the duration of his speech, Ahmadinejad produced a televised illusion: It is not Iran versus the world, but Iran versus Israel.

    If he manages to convince enough people of this, the mirage could become reality and Israel would be isolated, and that is exactly what Ahmadinejad is trying to accomplish.

    The visiting Iranian even berated his listeners for condemning him before they had given him a chance to speak. He patiently explained that their behavior was impolite. He went on to offer a thorough explanation of his Holocaust denial. All he wanted was to promote research in the field, he said. How could an enlightened university that supports freedom of expression oppose that?

    (Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Columbia Hosts Ahmedinejad - Can You Say Treason? (Don Feder On Leftist Treason Alert)
    Don Feder.com ^ | 10/01/2007 | Don Feder

    Patriots need to learn to two words -- "treason" and "traitor." The American people need to hear the truth - that the left has gone far beyond dissent. It betrays America at every turn.

    Its hatred of our nation - our history and underlying ethos - is visible in word and deed. It slanders the republic, lies about our past, undercuts our warriors, revels in American deaths and consorts with the enemy in time of war (aid and comfort, and all that).

    These reflections are prompted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia University, in the course of his visit to consult with his follow fascist thugs at the United Nations.

    Iran's "president" (a term that ill-suits the ruler of a totalitarian state) is quite possibly the world's most dangerous man - easily its most loathsome.

    Back in 1979, Ahmadinejad was an intelligence operative who participated in the 444-day hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. In 2000, he hosted a Holocaust-denial conference in the same city, attended by such arch anti-Semites as David Duke.

    This Hitler-with-a-three-day-growth threatens to "wipe Israel off the map" and promises the eventual destruction of America. He has ties to Al Qaeda. His regime commands its own terrorist army, Hezbollah, which came close to plunging Lebanon into another civil war and attacks targets around the world.

    Iran provides the guns and bombs terrorists use to kill U.S. forces in Iraq. It is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons to use against America and Israel.

    And Columbia is giving Ahmadinejad a forum, Why not? If treason has a home address, it's America's college campuses.

    Don't be fooled by Columbia President Lee Bollinger's attempt to dress the university's betrayal of America in the robes of academic inquiry. "It should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas or our naivete about the very real dangers inherent in such ideas," Bollinger proclaims.

    Nearly as fatuous are the comments of John Coatsworth, interim dean of Columbia's School of International Public Affairs, who claims students need "opportunities to hear, challenge and learn from controversial speakers of different views." Why it's essential to their learning experience.

    What can Columbia's students learn from Ahmadinejad - how to hate Jews, how to pretend the Holocaust didn't happen, how to plot nuclear genocide, how to murder Americans, how to threaten to kill those who "insult" Islam?

    This is such contemptible stuff, which plumbs the depths of intellectual dishonesty, that it hardly merits much of a response. However, we would briefly note the following:

    1. Columbia "resists" the ideas of Islamo-fascism -- which receive widespread support from faculty and students alike -- the way a cheerleader with a reputation resists the advances of a star quarterback. While World War III rages beyond its ivy-covered walls, nearly the only ideas heard on campus are those of the anti-war, anti-American left. Consider how many history or government courses at Columbia assign Bill Bennett's "America: The Last Best Hope", compared to Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."

    2. Columbia is such a bastion of let-every-voice-be-heard, that it recently revoked an invitation to Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist. (The last time Gilchrist appeared on campus, he was assaulted by radicals, due to the administration's refusal to provide adequate security.) The founder of a group protecting America's borders is persona non-grata at Columbia, while the leader of a gang dedicated to our destruction - well, students need to listen to his views and have an opportunity to "challenge him."

    3. Columbia kicked the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) off campus in 1969. It will provide a propaganda forum to a regime committed to our annihilation, but won't give students the opportunity to serve their country.

    4. Did Columbia invite the late Augusto Pinochet to speak on campus, when he was president of Chile? How about P.W. Botha, when he headed South Africa's apartheid regime? That invitation to former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic must have been lost in the mail. But I thought Columbia was open to all points of view.

    Am I questioning Columbia's patriotism? Not at all. It's un-patriotic, no question about it.

    I know how treason is defined in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution ("Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.")

    But liberals are always telling us that the words of the Constitution can't be interpreted too narrowly - that we have an "evolving Constitution" which must change with the times. Well, perhaps it's time for the definition of treason to evolve beyond the artificial constraints of 18th. century thinking.

    Let's be clear about what is and isn't treason.

    It's not treasonous to disagree with the president, even to say dumb things about our government. We pledge allegiance to a flag, and the republic for which it stands (which the left has a penchant to burn, by the way), not to a particular president or party.

    It's not treason to openly voice disagreement with U.S. policies, including a decision to deploy our military abroad. Americans have been doing this since the founding of our republic.

    But, to always think the worst of your country, that's treason. To distort our history to cast America in the worst possible light, that's treason. To slander our soldiers by calling them war criminals, that's treason. To celebrate the killers of Americans, that's treason. To hope for an enemy victory, that's treason. To provide a forum for a leader pledged to our destruction, who's financing the murder of Americans, that most assuredly is treason.

    Since the Vietnam anti-war movement, treason has been rampant. It's even chic. You'll find it in Hollywood, academia, the news media, public education and Congress.

    Treason is so commonplace that it's an almost daily occurrence. Patriots are so intimidated- so afraid to appear extremist or Birchy -- that we soft-pedal the truth. All of which begets more treason.

    Treason has become part of the fabric of our culture, so ubiquitous that it hardly raises eyebrows any more. No longer is the traitor a fifth columnist plotting with fellow conspirators. Today, treason is open and unabashed. Treason has gone big-screen, digital, cable.

    * Michael Moore (traitors waddle among us) has made $50 million selling treason. In "Bowling for Columbine," the family-size Axis Sally portrayed America as a nation of violence-prone, gun-loving psychos. In a 2002 CNN interview, Moore opined that: "Capitalism is a sin. This is an evil system." Wouldn't that make the most capitalistic nation on earth the epitome of evil? Needless to say, Moore thinks the killers of Americans in Iraq are heroes: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation (that would be the U.S. armed forces) are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow - and they will win."

    * Cindy Sheehan (Gold Star collaborator) doesn't blame the terrorists who actually put a bullet in him for her son Casey's death. She blames W. (who she calls "the biggest terrorist"). That's not treasonous, merely moronic. What marks Sheehan as a traitor is comments like, "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for." Then Sheehan should find a country that is worth dying for - from her warped perspective -- perhaps Cuba or North Korea, and live there.

    * Ward Churchill (an ersatz native American and authentic traitor) is best known for an essay in which he compared the office workers who died on September 11, 2001 to "little Eichmanns." (Get it, tools of a genocidal regime?) But the professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder has made a career of shouting "Nazi" at America. The settling of America, beginning in 1492 "unleashed a process of conquest and colonization unparalleled in the history of humanity." (But Churchill does find parallels. Take the title of his 1994 book, "Colonization and Genocide in Native North America.") Ward grooves on the mass murder of his countrymen. ("One of the things I've suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary" to achieve an "actual transformation of consciousness.") In a 2004 speech, Churchill explained that in his student days it was "U.S. Out of Vietnam" Now it's "U.S. out of the Persian Gulf." But these slogans don't go far enough. What's necessary, Churchill told his audience, is "U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet." You're going to tell me calls for America to disappear don't constitute treason?

    * Nicholas De Genova is one of the many voices heard at Columbia (all speaking in unison), where he's an assistant professor of anthropology. At a 2003 anti-war teach-in at Columbia, De Genova called for "a million Mogadishus" (in reference to the 1993 ambush in Somalia, in which 18 U.S. soldiers were killed and their bodies dragged through the streets). Warming to his point, De Genova told 3,000 Columbia students: "U.S. flags are the emblem of the invading war machine in Iraq today... . The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." Ahmadinejad will feel right at home on the Morningside Heights campus.

    * Bill Maher is an amalgamation of the Marx Brothers - Groucho and Karl. Within hours of the 9/11 attack (the tears were hardly dry), Maher declared that Americans "have been the cowards, lobbing Cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly." When several sponsors pulled their ads, ABC cancelled Maher's show "Politically Incorrect." Within a year, he was back on HBO with "Real Time With Bill Maher." The entertainment industry finds ways to reward treason.

    * Jane Fonda is the queen of planet Benedict Arnold. By letting Hanoi Jane get away with her treason, we encouraged her ideological soul mates to slither out from under the rocks where they reside. During her July-August 1972 trip to North Vietnam, Fonda made propaganda broadcasts for the communists (asking American soldiers to "examine the reasons given to justify the murder you are being paid to commit"), praised the guerrillas ("We thank you for your brave and heroic fight"), visited the Hanoi Hilton and lied about the POWs ("The POWs appear healthy and fit."). During the Cambodian genocide, Fonda refused to sign an ad by erstwhile allies like Joan Baez condemning the Pol Pot regime. Today, she's dusted off her moral indignation and is active in the new anti-war movement. Shortly after 9/11, Fonda insisted that instead of retaliation we should try to understand the "underlying reasons" for burying 3,000 men, women and children under tons of rubble (those who weren't burned alive). Think Ahmadinejad needs a date while he's in town?

    Shortly after the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin confided to The Wall Street Journal, "Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda ...gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

    From caves in Afghanistan and cells in Baghdad to training camps in Gaza and missile batteries in Syria, the terrorists and their state sponsors can take comfort in Columbia's act of treason.

    The war on terrorism requires a domestic counterpart. We need to start calling treason, treason and traitors, traitors. Only then will the American people begin to understand the festering evil in our midst.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Syrian FM blasts US 'fabrications'
    Jerusalem Post ^ | Oct 1, 2007 22:55 | Updated Oct 1, 2007 23:16 | ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Syria's foreign minister on Monday accused "sources in the United States" of fabricating news about the target of a mysterious Israeli attack last month, reported to be either weapons headed for Hizbullah guerrillas or a nascent nuclear installation.

    * Assad downplays Israeli air strike, option of retaliation

    In a speech to the UN General Assembly's ministerial meeting, Walid al-Moualem called the "Israeli aggression" proof that the Jewish state wants to escalate.

    Al-Moualem warned that the failure of the UN Security Council and the international community to condemn "this act of aggression would encourage Israel to persist in this hostile pursuit, and lead to an exacerbation of tensions in the region."

    "Some sources in the United States have spread rumors and fabricated news in order to justify this act of aggression," al-Moualem charged. "By distorting the facts they have become Israel's accomplices in this act of aggression."

    Al-Moualem stressed that peace remains the "strategic choice" of Syria, based on recovering the Golan Heights, but he said "actions and realities" suggest that the Israeli government and the current US administration do not have "the will to make a genuine peace."

    He indicated that Syria was not prepared at this point to attend a US-sponsored international peace conference this fall, echoing Syrian President Bashar Assad's comments earlier to the BBC.

    Al-Moualem said "the contemplated substance, approach and objectives" of the peace conference "remain vague."

    "Furthermore, the proposed gathering fails to identify the purposes, basics, terms of reference and time frames of the process," he said.

    While there is talk of peace, al-Moualem said "challenges and tensions are escalating" threatening security and stability not only in the Mideast but also internationally.

    "The hopes of the peoples of the region in arriving at a just and comprehensive peace and living in a secure and stable environment have faded if not totally died," he said. "Moreover, the current situation in Iraq, and the attendant anger and apprehensions it has generated, have turned the region into a hotbed of tensions and a theater for confrontations."

    Al-Moualem said the solution in Iraq "must begin with national reconciliation" and include a withdrawal of foreign forces, "subject to the agreement of the Iraqi government."

    More than 1.6 million Iraqis have fled to Syria, he said, but the assistance Syria has received to help them "is almost negligible."

    He singled out the United States, which is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on military operations, but he charged that it "fails to allocate any resources to assist Iraqis who have been forced out."
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Censorship lifted on September 6 IAF strike inside Syria
    Israel.JPost.com ^ | 10-02-2007 | Jpost.com Staff

    Israel on Tuesday began to lift its strict veil of secrecy on an air strike in Syria last month, allowing the media to report on the raid without attributing such reports to foreign sources.

    The censor did not release any other details for publication.

    The censor's statement implied that Israel was, for the first time, confirming that the IAF carried out the raid.


    Israel has kept quiet on the subject until now. However, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the BBC on Monday that IAF jets had hit an "unused military building" in his country.

    Assad said Israel's air raid on northern Syria showed Israel's "visceral antipathy towards peace," according to excerpts posted on the BBC's Web site.

    The comments were the first by the Syrian leader about the incursion, which raised speculation that warplanes had hit weapons headed for Hizbullah or even a nascent nuclear installation - reports Damascus has repeatedly denied.

    Journalists in Israel are required to submit articles related to security and military issues to the censor, which can make changes to stories or bar publication altogether. In a rare move, the censor's office issued a special directive about the Syrian air raid, specifically prohibiting publication of any details.

    Violation of the censorship orders can result in the loss of press credentials or other sanctions.

    Although Israel did not come out with an official statement following the incident, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu broke the silence two weeks afterwards when he said he had congratulated Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the strike.

    In an interview with Channel 1, Netanyahu said that he was "part of the matter from the beginning" and that he knew to separate matters of national security from politics.

    The overflight was first reported on Syrian television just after the attack, and various reports regarding the strike's target have circulated in the press over the past month.

    The Washington Post reported that the target had been a facility involved in a joint Syrian-North Korean nuclear project - a claim backed by former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton.

    Britain's Sunday Times, meanwhile, reported just over a week ago that soldiers from the IDF's elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal) had seized North Korean nuclear material from a secret Syrian military installation before it was bombed by IAF jets.

    The paper claimed that the IAF attack on September 6 was sanctioned by the US after the Americans were given proof that the material was indeed nuclear-related. It also stated that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who used to head the unit, personally oversaw the operation.

    However, Syrian officials have repeatedly called news of the strike lies and fabrications, and on Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem accused the US of inventing these reports.

    "Some sources in the United States have spread rumors and fabricated news in order to justify this act of aggression," Moallem charged. "By distorting the facts they have become Israel's accomplices in this act of aggression."

    Speaking to the UN, Moallem said the act was proof that the Jewish state wanted to escalate tensions.

    Yaakov Katz and AP contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Israel releases details on Syrian raid
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 10/2/07 | Josef Federman - ap

    JERUSALEM - Israel on Tuesday eased a strict news blackout on an airstrike in Syria last month, allowing the first publication of reports it struck an unspecified "military target" deep inside Syrian territory.

    Israel's military censor had imposed a total blackout on coverage of the Sept. 6 airstrike. But Tuesday, the office allowed preliminary details to be published after Syria's president, Bashar Assad, confirmed the airstrike in a televised interview.

    "Israeli air force planes attacked a military target deep inside Syria on Sept. 6, the military censor allowed for publication today," Israel's Army Radio reported. The headline on the Web site of the Maariv newspaper was, "Now it can be revealed: Israel attacked in Syria," while the Haaretz newspaper led with the military's permission to publish "the fact" of Israel's attack.

    The censor continued to bar publication of other key details, including the target of the raid, which forces participated in the mission and whether the operation was successful.

    Foreign reports, quoting unidentified U.S. officials, have speculated that Israel attacked a weapons shipment destined for Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, or attacked a nuclear facility built with North Korean technology.

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

    Journalists in Israel are required to submit articles related to security and military issues to the censor, which can make changes to stories or bar publication altogether. In a rare move, the censor's office issued a special directive about the Syrian air raid, specifically prohibiting publication of any details.

    Violation of the censorship orders can result in the loss of press credentials or other sanctions.

    In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. Monday, Assad said Israeli warplanes attacked an "unused military building," the first time Syria officially acknowledged an air raid had taken place.

    Previously, Syrian officials had said only that the Israeli warplanes entered the country's airspace, came under fire from anti-aircraft defenses, and dropped munitions and fuel tanks over northeastern Syria to lighten their loads while they fled.

    Assad said the raid last month showed Israel's "visceral antipathy towards peace."
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    We came so close to World War Three that day (More Info)
    The Spectator ^ | October 3, 2007 | James Forsyth and Douglas Davis

    A meticulously planned, brilliantly executed surgical strike by Israeli jets on a nuclear installation in Syria on 6 September may have saved the world from a devastating threat. The only problem is that no one outside a tight-lipped knot of top Israeli and American officials knows precisely what that threat involved. Even more curious is that far from pushing the Syrians and Israelis to war, both seem determined to put a lid on the affair. One month after the event, the absence of hard information leads inexorably to the conclusion that the implications must have been enormous.

    That was confirmed to The Spectator by a very senior British ministerial source: ‘If people had known how close we came to world war three that day there’d have been mass panic. Never mind the floods or foot-and-mouth — Gordon really would have been dealing with the bloody Book of Revelation and Armageddon.’

    According to American sources, Israeli intelligence tracked a North Korean vessel carrying a cargo of nuclear material labelled ‘cement’ as it travelled halfway across the world. On 3 September the ship docked at the Syrian port of Tartous and the Israelis continued following the cargo as it was transported to the small town of Dayr as Zawr, near the Turkish border in north-eastern Syria.

    The destination was not a complete surprise. It had already been the subject of intense surveillance by an Israeli Ofek spy satellite, and within hours a band of elite Israeli commandos had secretly crossed into Syria and headed for the town. Soil samples and other material they collected there were returned to Israel. Sure enough, they indicated that the cargo was nuclear. Three days after the North Korean consignment arrived, the final phase of Operation Orchard was launched. With prior approval from Washington, Israeli F151 jets were scrambled and, minutes later, the installation and its newly arrived contents were destroyed.

    So secret were the operational details of the mission that even the pilots who were assigned to provide air cover for the strike jets had not been briefed on it until they were airborne. In the event, they were not needed: built-in stealth technology and electronic warfare systems were sophisticated enough to ‘blind’ Syria’s Russian-made anti-aircraft systems.

    What was in the consignment that led the Israelis to mount an attack which could easily have spiralled into an all-out regional war? It could not have been a transfer of chemical or biological weapons; Syria is already known to possess the most abundant stockpiles in the region. Nor could it have been missile delivery systems; Syria had previously acquired substantial quantities from North Korea. The only possible explanation is that the consignment was nuclear. The scale of the potential threat — and the intelligence methods that were used to follow the transfer — explain the dense mist of official secrecy that shrouds the event. There have been no official briefings, no winks or nudges, from any of the scores of people who must have been involved in the preparation, analysis, decision-making and execution of the operation. Even when Israelis now offer a firm ‘no comment’, it is strictly off the record. The secrecy is itself significant.

    Israel is a small country. In some respects, it resembles an extended, if chaotic, family. Word gets around fast. Israelis have lived on the edge for so long they have become addicted to the news. Israel’s media is far too robust and its politicians far too leaky to allow secrets to remain secret for long. Even in the face of an increasingly archaic military censor, Israeli journalists have found ways to publish and, if necessary, be damned.

    The only conceivable explanation for this unprecedented silence is that the event was so huge, and the implications for Israeli national security so great, that no one has dared break the rule of omertà.
    The Arab world has remained conspicuously — and significantly — silent. So, too, have American officials, who might have been expected to ramp up the incident as proof of their warnings about the dangers of rogue states and WMDs. The opposite is true. George Bush stonewalled persistent questions at a press conference last week with the blunt statement: ‘I’m not going to comment on the matter.’ Meanwhile the Americans have carried on dealing with the North Koreans as if nothing has changed.

    The Syrian response, when it eventually came, was more forthcoming but no more helpful. First out of the blocks was Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari, who happily announced that nothing had been bombed in Syria and nothing had been damaged. One week later, Syria’s Vice-President, Farouk a-Shara, agreed that there had, after all, been an attack — on the Arab Centre for the Studies (sic) of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD). Brandishing a photograph of the Arab League-run plant, he declared triumphantly: ‘This is the picture, you can see it, and it proves that everything that was said about this attack was wrong.’ Well, perhaps not everything. The following day, ACSAD issued a statement denying that its centre had been targeted: ‘Leaks in the Zionist media concerning this ACSAD station are total inventions and lies,’ it thundered, adding that a tour of the centre was being organised for the media.

    On Monday, Syria’s President, Bashar Assad, offered his first observations of the attack. The target, he told the BBC disingenuously, was an unused military building. And he followed that with vows to retaliate, ‘maybe politically, maybe in other ways’. Meanwhile, the Washington Post noted that the United States had accumulated a growing body of evidence over the past six months — and particularly in the month leading up to the attack — that North Korea was co-operating with Syria on developing a nuclear facility. The evidence, according to the paper, included ‘dramatic satellite imagery that led some US officials to believe the facility could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons’. Even within America’s intelligence community, access to that imagery was restricted to just a handful of individuals on the instructions of America’s National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley.

    Why are all sides so reluctant to clarify the details of this extraordinary event? ‘In the Middle East,’ noted Bret Stephens, a senior editorial executive at the Wall Street Journal and an acute observer of the region, ‘that only happens when the interests of prudence and the demands of shame happen to coincide’. He suggested that the ‘least unlikely’ explanation is a partial reprise of the Israeli air strike which destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. Another of the ‘least unlikely’ possibilities is that Syria was planning to supply its terrorist clients with ‘dirty’ bombs, which would have threatened major cities through¬out the world. Terrorism is a growth industry in Syria and it is only natural that, emboldened by its Iranian ally, the Syrian regime should seek to remain the market leader by supplying the ultimate weapon to Hezbollah, Hamas and a plethora of Palestinian rejectionist groups who have been given house-room in Damascus.

    The Syrians have good reason to up the ante now. The Alawite regime of Bashar Assad is facing a slew of tough questions in the coming months — most particularly over its alleged role in the murder of the former Lebanese leader, Rafiq Hariri, and its active support for the insurgency in Iraq. Either of these issues could threaten the survival of the regime. How tempting, then, to create a counter-threat that might cause Washington and others to pull their horns in — and perhaps even permit a limited Syrian return to Lebanon?

    But that does not explain why the consignment was apparently too large to be sent by air. Look deeper and you find an array of other highly plausible explanations. The North Koreans, under intense international pressure, might have chosen to ‘park’ a significant stockpile of nuclear material in Syria in the expectation of retrieving it when the heat was off. They might also have outsourced part of their nuclear development programme — paying the Syrians to enrich their uranium — while an international team of experts continued inspecting and disabling North Korea’s own nuclear facilities. The shipment might even — and this is well within the ‘least unlikely’ explanations — have been intended to assist Syria’s own nuclear weapons programme, which has been on the cards since the mid-1980s.

    Apart from averting the threat that was developing at Dayr as Zawr, Israel’s strategic position has been strengthened by the raid. Firstly, it has — as Major General Amos Yadlin, the head of Israel’s military intelligence, noted — ‘restored its deterrence’, which was damaged by its inept handling of the war in the Lebanon last year. Secondly, it has reminded Damascus that Israel knows what it is up to and is capable of striking anywhere within its territory. Equally, Iran has been put on notice that Israel will not tolerate any nuclear threat. Washington, too, has been reminded that Israel’s intelligence is often a better guide than its own in the region, a crucial point given the divisions between the Israeli and American intelligence assessments about the development of the Iranian bomb. Hezbollah, the Iranian/Syrian proxy force, has also been put on notice that the air-defence system it boasted would alter the strategic balance in the region is impotent in the face of Israeli technology.

    Meanwhile, a senior Israeli analyst told us this week that the most disturbing aspect of the affair from a global perspective is the willingness of states to share their technologies and their weapons of mass destruction. ‘I do not believe that the former Soviet Union shared its WMD technology,’ he said. ‘And they were careful to limit the range of the Scud missiles they were prepared to sell. Since the end of the Cold War, though, we know the Russians significantly exceeded those limits when selling missile technology to Iran.’

    But the floodgates were opened wide by the renegade Pakistan nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is revered in Pakistan as the Father of the Islamic Bomb. Khan established a virtual supermarket of nuclear technologies, parts and plans which operated for more than a decade on a global stage. After his operation was shut down in 2004, Khan admitted transferring technology and parts to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Proliferation experts are convinced they know the identities of at least three of his many other clients: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

    In addition to selling nuclear-related knowhow, the Khan network is also believed to have provided Syria with centrifuges for producing enriched uranium. In 2003, concern about Syria’s nuclear ambitions was heightened when an experimental American electronic eavesdropping device picked up distinctive signals indicating that the Syrians had not only acquired the centrifuges but were actually operating them. If Israel’s military strike on Dayr as Zawr last month was surgical, so, too, was its handling of the aftermath. The only certainty in the fog of cover-up is that something big happened on 6 September — something very big. At the very least, it illustrates that WMD and rogue states pose the single greatest threat to world peace. We may have escaped from this incident without war, but if Iran is allowed to continue down the nuclear path, it is hard to believe that we will be so lucky again.

    Douglas Davis is a former senior editor of the Jerusalem Post and James Forsyth is online editor of The Spectator.
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Israeli raid caused electronic disruption over wide areas of Syria
    WorldTribune.com ^ | October 5, 2007 | Unk.

    The lid of secrecy covering the Sept. 6 Israeli air strike into Syria remains tight but one new theory emerging amid the speculation is that the Israeli conducted an electronic warfare exercise in preparation for future strikes or an attack on Iran.

    Authoritative reports from the Middle East stated that the Israel operation included extensive electronic warfare jamming by aircraft. The Israeli were testing the capabilities of Russian-made air defenses, including both radar and missiles located near Damascus and south of Homs near the Lebanese northern border.

    The raid was unprecedented in the blanket of jamming and electronic disruption that it caused over wide areas of Syria enroute to the target point, a base near the Euphrates River.

    The jamming also affected parts of Lebanon and Israel but Syria was able to get a small amount of sensor information from one of its electronic eavesdropping stations and spot the Israeli infiltration.

    The raid was part of a U.S. “masint” operation according to this theory, referring to the military practice known as measurement and signature intelligence that is designed to learn the chrematistics and capabilities of all weapons in a region that emanate electronic signals. The masint signatures are needed for targeting and for defeating air defense threats.

    The daring raid would gain valuable intelligence needed for future strikes by both Israel and the United States in the region.

    The U.S. military is considering attacks on both Syria and Iran to counter infiltration by insurgents and terrorists into Iraq, including the Iranian paramilitaries. Israel could use the data for its battle against Hizbullah and possibly a future strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    Journalist Jack Wheeler raised this idea in a recent report when he stated that the identity of the target, whether nuclear facilities, missiles or Hizbullah terrorists is “not the story.”

    “The primary point of the attack was not to destroy that target,” Wheeler said. “It was to shut down Syria's Russian air defense system during the attack. Doing so made the attack an incredible success. Syria is shamed and silent. Iran is freaking out in panic. Defenseless enemies are fun.”
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Could they have opened the window on emp- a small pandora's box? I would consider that plausible 4 an Israeli anti-nuke strike. Maybe their saving that 4 gog- at kickoff time.

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Raid Revelation
    Getting briefed on World War III.

    By Stanley Kurtz

    If people had known how close we came to World War III that day there would have been mass panic. That is how a very senior British ministerial source recently characterized Israel’s September raid on what was apparently a Syrian nuclear installation. Whether matters were quite that grave is an open question. Yet it does seem clear that the full story of the Israeli raid has not been told, nor its full significance recognized. Now two key members of Congress have raised an alarm about this event, thereby throwing our nuclear agreement with North Korea into question.

    Briefings
    Peter Hoekstra and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, as senior Republicans on the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees, respectively, were among the mere handful of members of Congress briefed on the Israeli air strike. What they learned obviously dismayed them greatly, as is evident from “What Happened in Syria?” a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published by Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen this past Saturday.

    In that piece, Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen protest the “unprecedented veil of secrecy, thrown over the airstrike” noting that the vast majority of foreign relations and intelligence committee members have been left in the dark on the details of the raid. Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen acknowledge that they have personally been “sworn to secrecy,” yet add that: “...based on what we have learned...it is critical for every member of congress to be briefed on this incident, and as soon as possible.”

    Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen obviously believe that Syria obtained “nuclear expertise or material” from outside state sources. And while they base their concern on press reports, it seems likely that their top-secret briefings confirmed this fact. Notable here is Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen’s repeated use of the phrase “North Korea, Iran, or other rogue states” when referring to Syria’s possible nuclear collaborators. After their briefing, Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen seem just as concerned about Iranian involvement as North Korean.


    Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen protest the administration’s willingness to provide the press with anonymous information on background, “to shape this story to its liking,” while keeping members of Congress in the dark. “We believe this is unacceptable,” they say, noting that the administration has ignored numerous letters from Congress asking that all members be briefed. Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen specifically express concerns about two administration-influenced stories in the New York Times and one in The Washington Post. Finally, Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen threaten to oppose any nuclear deal with North Korea unless all members of congress are briefed on the reasons for the Israeli raid.

    While the secrecy that surrounds this issue forces us to read between the lines, two broad factual questions emerge from Hoekstra’s and Ros-Lehtinen’s oped. First, in what sense has the administration been shaping (or misshaping) the Syria story to its liking? Second, is there more to this story than recent press reports have indicated?

    North Korea’s Role
    Consider one of the articles singled out by Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen, an Oct. 14 New York Times story by David Sanger and Mark Mazzetti.

    While this story confirmed that Israel had struck “a partially completed nuclear reactor, apparently modeled on one North Korea has used to create its stockpile of nuclear weapons fuel,” the article also raises doubts: “...American and foreign officials would not say whether they believed the North Koreans sold or gave plans to the Syrians, or whether the North’s own experts were there at the time of the attack. It is possible, some officials said, that the transfer of the technology occurred several years ago.”


    Yet the suggestion that North Korean personnel might not have been involved in the ongoing construction of the reactor contradicts a New York Times story of October 9, just a few days before, which said that within the administration “there appears to be little debate that North Koreans frequently visited a site in the Syrian Desert that Israeli jets attacked Sept. 6.” The story on October 9 was that the North Koreans were surely present at the Syrian installation, but that the nuclear nature of the site was less certain. Once nuclear activity at the site was confirmed by the Times on October 14, however, administration sources on background apparently did their best to foster uncertainty about North Korean involvement. In other words, if the Koreans are there, it might not be nuclear, and if it’s nuclear, the Koreans might not be there.

    The point is that the administration is subtly attempting to cast doubt on any reported link between North Korea and the Syrian reactor (without directly denying such a link). Otherwise it would become obvious that North Korea is flagrantly violating its nuclear agreement with the United States. Apparently, their secret briefing has led Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen to believe that the administration is obfuscating the reality of North Korean proliferation, in order to preserve the six-party deal.

    In fact, from the beginning until the present, press reports have given strong indications of ongoing North Korean involvement in the Syrian nuclear project. One of the first reports (and still arguably the most extensive and important report) on the raid, from the London Sunday Times of Sept. 16, quoted Andrew Semmel, who was the acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy. Speaking of Syria’s nuclear project, Semmel was asked if North Korean technicians were present there. Semmel replied, “There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that.”

    Another Sunday Times piece, of Sept. 23, offered further evidence of North Korean involvement. Israeli intelligence had suggested to the administration over the summer that North Korean personnel were at the Syrian site, said the Sunday Times. In fact, Israeli defense sources were said to have taken to referring to the target site as the “North Korean project.” The Sunday Times also noted the unusual stridency of North Korea’s condemnations of an event so far from East Asia. In a sense, the North Koreans were outing themselves by their protests. The Sunday Times also reported that diplomats stationed in North Korea and China, based on intelligence reports reaching Asian governments, believed that a number of North Koreans had actually been killed in the raid.

    More recent reports have taken up the same theme. On October 7, Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland noted that a senior official with access to highly classified intelligence reports said that “...the Israelis destroyed a nuclear-related facility and caused North Korean casualties at the site....” And October 19, ABC News quoted “a senior U.S. official claiming that the Syrians could not have built their reactor without North Korean ‘expertise,’ meaning that ‘the Syrians must have had ‘human’ help from North Korea.’”

    If these reports are true, Hoekstra’s and Ros-Lehtinen’s concerns about efforts by the administration to lead the press away from the North Korean connection (without explicitly denying it), is completely understandable. Again, Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen appear to fear that the administration’s now dominant policy-making faction (led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates) is trying to protect the six-party agreement by suppressing the reality of North Korean proliferation.

    Iran’s Role
    What about Iran? As noted, the persistent and strong emphasis Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen place on possible Iranian participation in the Syrian nuclear program can’t help but make us suspect that their secret briefing contained reports of Iranian involvement. Yet Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen refer to press reports of an Iranian role, and there are some such reports.

    Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton has expressed concerns that both North Korea and Iran may be “outsourcing” their nuclear programs in Syria. We know that Syria has served as a conduit for North Korean shipments of missile components to Iran, and there are concerns that North Korean nuclear material may have taken the same route (see Sunday Times, Sept. 16). On Sept. 12, a New York Times report said “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little [nuclear material] they have left.” A useful recent overview of the Israeli raid titled “How close were we to a third world war?” adds an important bit of new information based on earlier reports in the Kuwaiti press. Ali Rheza Ali, a former Iranian deputy defense minister who defected several months ago, supplied intelligence sources in the West with information about the site targeted by the Israelis. Of course, that knowledge would imply close Iranian involvement in Korea’s nuclear project. (For more on possible Iranian involvement, see my “Deterrence Lost.”)

    Distress over North Korean and Iranian involvement in nuclear proliferation to Syria — possibly as a way of hiding their own nuclear programs from the United States — would certainly make sense of Hoekstra’s and Ros-Lehtinen’s public complaint. Yet there may be more at work. The American press reports cited by Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen have so far seemed to confirm only the existence of a “nascent” plutonium reactor modeled on North Korea’s facility at Yongbyon, a construction project that could take as many as three to six years to complete (see NYT Oct. 14). While Syrian wrath at Israel’s destruction of even a nascent nuclear reactor could certainly have led to a retaliatory attack and general war in the Middle East, worries over a potential “world war three” caused by Israel’s destruction of a reactor three to six years from completion seem a bit overblown. These worries might make more sense if there is something more to this story than what American news sources have confirmed.

    Warhead?
    Several early and unconfirmed reports on the Israeli raid point to the possibility that in the days immediately before the airstrike, the North Koreans may have shipped a cache of fissile material — possibly including a nuclear warhead — to Syria. According to the Sept. 16 Sunday Times, preparations for the attack began when the head of Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, presented Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with evidence that “Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.” The fear was that the warhead would be fitted atop one of Syria’s North Korean-made Scud-C missiles, already armed with North Korean designed chemical warheads. “This was supposed to be a devastating surprise,” said an Israeli source, “Israel can’t live with a nuclear warhead.” The Sept. 16 Sunday Times goes on to connect the warhead story with a Washington Post report that the raid was linked to “the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labeled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.”

    A “nascent” nuclear reactor, three-to-six years from completion, does not give off radiation. Yet the London Sunday Times reported on Sept. 23 that Israeli commandos seized samples of nuclear material and returned them to Israel for examination. “A laboratory confirmed that the unspecified material was North Korean in origin.” The Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland reported on October 7 that a senior official with access to highly classified intelligence reports said that the Israelis provided the United States with “physical material and soil samples from the site — taken both before and after the raid.” Soil samples are commonly used to confirm the presence of fissile material.

    Here is where we begin to see potential contradictions, or at least difficulties. Some stories speak of nuclear material or even warheads, while other stories refer only to an incomplete reactor, and even deny that fissile material was present at all. For example, the ABC story of Oct. 19, claims that “no fissionable material was found because the facility was not yet operating.” The U.S. hesitated to approve the attack, according to this report, precisely because of the lack of fissionable material. While the ultimate nuclear intentions for the site were “unmistakable,” the U.S. apparently worried that it would be challenged without the sort of absolute proof provided by fissionable material.

    Reactor and More?
    Yet reports that fissionable material of some sort was involved in the raid persist, and there are a ways in which these reports could be reconciled with the ABC story. The October third edition of Britain’s Spectator carried a more detailed account of the fate of the North Korean shipment of “cement” than earlier reports. This is the same article, by the way, in which “a very senior British ministerial source” said we’d come close to “world war three that day.”

    According to the Spectator, the Israelis tracked the North Korean “cement” shipment to the same site that had already been under intense Israeli surveillance as a possible nuclear installation (i.e. the incomplete reactor). It was at this point, just days before the attack, that elite Israeli commandoes were dispatched to collect the soil samples that indicated the ship cargo had been nuclear (and, according to the London Sunday Times, of North Korean origin). So it’s possible that the ABC report and the report from the Spectator could both be correct. The U.S. may have worried through the summer months about attacking the nascent reactor because of the lack of fissile material (and also for fear of what a raid would do to the six-party talks). Yet the arrival of the North Korean shipment of “cement” three days before the attack, and the subsequent Israeli soil samples, may have turned the tide and led the U.S. to approve what the Israelis at that point surely felt compelled to do.

    Conclusions
    Our examination of diverse news accounts of the Israeli raid on the Syrian nuclear facility yields several conclusions. First, there is significant evidence of ongoing and recent North Korean involvement. Especially given the informed criticisms of Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen, apparent efforts by select administration sources to downplay North Korean involvement appear unconvincing. Second, especially in light of the informed concerns expressed by Hoekstra and Ros-Lehtinen, but also in light of press accounts, there is reason to fear significant Iranian involvement in Syria’s nuclear program, either as a facilitator, as a destination for North Korean nuclear material transiting Syria, or both. Third, there is at least some significant evidence for direct North Korean transfer of fissile material — perhaps even a nuclear warhead — to Syria and/or Iran. That, of course, would constitute the most serious possible violation of the six-party agreement, and would be a grave threat to the security of the United States and the world.

    In light of this evidence, should Congress now oppose America’s nuclear agreement with North Korea? And along with North Korea, should Iran be held to account in this affair? Perhaps. In any case, based on an analysis of press reports, and on the informed protests of Representatives Peter Hoekstra and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, it’s clear that we need more open information before we can confidently sign on to the six-party agreement. At a minimum, the scope of congressional briefings on the Israeli raid needs to substantially increase.

    — Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    US official: Israel had mole inside Syrian site
    Jerusalem Post ^ | October 21, 2007 | HILARY LEILA KRIEGER

    Israel obtained detailed photographs from inside an alleged Syrian nuclear facility prior to carrying out an air strike on September 6, ABC News reported over the weekend.

    An unnamed senior source in the US told the news network that the Mossad had discovered in the summer that Syria was constructing a nuclear facility and proceeded to either place a mole inside the plant or convince one of the workers to supply Israel with intelligence.

    Through the mole, the source said, Israel received pictures from the ground that showed a large cylindrical structure, trucks, and a pumping station - all of which would be necessary components for a nuclear facility. Since the site was not yet operating, the official said, no evidence of fissionable material was found.

    Also significant, ABC reported, was the site's design, which the official identified as "North Korean."

    After obtaining the photos, the official said, Israel approached the CIA. The US looked up satellite coordinates for the site - which the official said was located some 160 kilometers from the Iraqi border in a remote part of the Syrian desert - and helped Israel pinpoint possible "drop sites."

    Israel urged the US to carry out the attack, the ABC report said, and US officials began examining options for a strike. Possible tactics were assessed, including scenarios involving a helicopter raid and placing special forces on the ground.

    However, word came from the White House that the US preferred not to attack, as it had no concrete proof that the facility was built to produce nuclear material. According to the report, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates attempted to convince Israel "to confront, not attack."

    (Excerpt) Read more at jpost.com ...
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    Default Re: Real Time Discussion thread - Many things

    Photographs Said to Show Israeli Target Inside Syria

    By Robin Wright and Joby Warrick
    Washington Post Staff Writers


    Wednesday, October 24, 2007; Page A01



    Independent experts have pinpointed what they believe to be the Euphrates River site in Syria that was bombed by Israel last month, and satellite imagery of the area shows buildings under construction roughly similar in design to a North Korean reactor capable of producing nuclear material for one bomb a year, the experts say.


    Photographs of the site taken before the secret Sept. 6 airstrike depict an isolated compound that includes a tall, boxy structure similar to the type of building used to house a gas-graphite reactor. They also show what could have been a pumping station used to supply cooling water for a reactor, say experts David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).

    U.S. and international experts and officials familiar with the site, who were shown the photographs yesterday, said there was a strong and credible possibility that they depict the remote compound that was attacked. Israeli officials and the White House declined to comment.

    If the facility is confirmed as the site of the attack, the photos provide a potential explanation for Israel's middle-of-the-night bombing raid.

    The facility is located seven miles north of the desert village of At Tibnah, in the Dayr az Zawr region, and about 90 miles from the Iraqi border, according to the ISIS report to be released today. Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector, said the size of the structures suggested that Syria might have been building a gas-graphite reactor of about 20 to 25 megawatts of heat, similar to the reactor North Korea built at Yongbyon.

    "I'm pretty convinced that Syria was trying to build a nuclear reactor," Albright said in an interview. He said the project would represent a significant departure from past policies. ISIS, a nonprofit research group, tracks nuclear weapons and stockpiles around the world.

    Israel, which has nuclear weapons of its own, has not said publicly what its warplanes hit or provided justification for the raid. Syria has denied having a nuclear program. But beginning construction of a nuclear reactor in secret would violate Syria's obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires all signatories to declare their intent when such a decision is made, according to sources at the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

    The new report leaves many questions unanswered, such as what Syria intended to use the unfinished structures for and the exact role, if any, of North Korea in their construction. Also unclear is why Israel chose to use military force rather than diplomatic pressure against a facility that could not have produced significant nuclear material for years. The new details could fuel debate over whether Israel's attack was warranted.

    Albright acknowledged the difficulties of proving what the site is, in part because the roof was put on at an early stage, blocking views of the foundation and obscuring any potential reactor components. In construction of other types of nuclear reactors, the roof is left off until the end so cranes can move heavy equipment inside.

    Some nuclear experts urged caution in interpreting the photos, noting that the type of reactor favored by North Korea has few distinguishing characteristics visible from the air. Unlike commercial nuclear power reactors, for example, a North Korea-style reactor lacks the distinctive, dome-shaped containment vessel that prevents the release of radiation in the event of a nuclear accident.

    "You can look at North Korea's [reactor] buildings, and they look like nothing," said John E. Pike, a nuclear expert and director of GlobalSecurity.org. "They're just metal-skinned industrial buildings." The proximity of the building to a water source also is not significant by itself, Pike said.

    But Brannan, of ISIS, combed through a huge amount of satellite imagery to find a site along the Euphrates that matches a reactor's specifications as well as descriptions of the attack site. The compound's distance from populated areas was a key detail, since reactors are usually isolated from major urban populations.

    The site is also close to an irrigated area, which would explain statements by some officials privy to details of the attack that the facility was located near orchards. A small airstrip about two miles away could have been used to transport personnel to the site.

    U.S. and foreign officials tracking the incident said that Syria is presently trying to remove remaining structures at the site.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has acquired its own aerial photographs but has not finished analyzing them, according to an IAEA source.

    In an interview published yesterday, IAEA director and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei expressed anger at the Syrians, Israelis and foreign intelligence agencies for not providing information about a suspected nuclear program.

    "We have said, 'If any of you has the slightest information showing that there was anything linked to nuclear, we would of course be happy to investigate it,' " he told the French newspaper Le Monde. "Frankly, I venture to hope that before people decide to bombard and use force, they will come and see us to convey their concerns."

    ElBaradei also said an airstrike could endanger efforts to contain nuclear proliferation.

    "When the Israelis destroyed Saddam Hussein's research nuclear reactor in 1981, the consequence was that Saddam Hussein pursued his program secretly. He began to establish a huge military nuclear program underground," he said. "The use of force can set things back, but it does not deal with the roots of the problem."
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