Sunday, September 16, 2007

Attack on Syria A 'Dry Run' For Assault on Iran?

That's the question in today's Observer. Despite Israel's refusal to comment on the incursion last week, Peter Beaumont claims that this was a 'major' incursion. According to Beaumont:

Far from being a minor incursion, the Israeli overflight of Syrian airspace through its ally, Turkey, was a far more major affair involving as many as eight aircraft, including Israel's most ultra-modern F-15s and F-16s equipped with Maverick missiles and 500lb bombs. Flying among the Israeli fighters at great height, The Observer can reveal, was an ELINT - an electronic intelligence gathering aircraft.

Beaumont also claims that the action by the Israeli air force was part of an attempt to address neo-conservative foreign policy concerns. Unsurprisingly, certified evil bastard, John Bolton, has been one of the key men pushing the propaganda for this raid. From the same article:

According to an intelligence expert quoted in the Washington Post who spoke to aircrew involved in the raid, the target of the attack, revealed only to the pilots while they were in the air, was a northern Syrian facility that was labelled as an agricultural research centre on the Euphrates river, close to the Turkish border.

According to this version of events, a North Korean ship, officially carrying a cargo of cement, docked three days before the raid in the Syrian port of Tartus. That ship was also alleged to be carrying nuclear equipment.

It is an angle that has been pushed hardest by the neoconservative hawk and former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. But others have entered the fray, among them the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who, without mentioning Syria by name, suggested to Fox television that the raid was linked to stopping unconventional weapons proliferation.

As time goes on, this story is becoming more and more interesting. It would appear that this was part of a concerted strategy between the White House and Tel Aviv to flex a few muscles and send a warning to Syria (in terms of its activities in Lebanon) as well as Iran. It seems fairly obvious that at some point in the not too distant future, the Israeli airforce will conduct some military operation in Iran. After all, Cheney is already trying to drum up support for military intervention, any claims that this issue will be dealt through official channels (UN/IAEA) is nothing more than fantasy. Military action is clearly the preferred option for the US and her key franchise state in the region. The question is, how do we stop this folly.