Thursday, October 18, 2007

Israel's Syrian Target Was Nuclear: The One Theory That Answers All the Questions

After the September 6 Israeli strike on Syria, I concluded that my ‘bet [on the reason for the Israeli strike] is on destroying Syrian arms headed towards Hezbollah’. Although the majority of those polled agreed with me at the time that North Korea was not giving Syria nuclear technology, I might be forced to retract that view as I write this post.

After the strike, we were left with many questions that needed to be answered:
• What did Israel strike?
• Why isn’t Syria commenting on the attack?
• Why aren’t the U.S. and Israel commenting on the strike?
• Why aren’t other Middle Eastern states complaining?

After much analysis, I have come to a new conclusion: there is only one theory that answers all the questions in a suitable way. Syria was developing a nuclear reactor based on North Korean technology, most likely for weapons purposes.

To answer the questions:

What did Israel strike at?
Syria’s nuclear reactor, obviously.

Why isn’t Syria commenting on the attack?
Syria could be compared to small boy, caught in the act of cheating on the test. They don’t want to say anything to their friends because they’re embarrassed.

Why aren’t the U.S. and Israel commenting on the strike?
This is where it gets complicated. Normally, you’d think Israel and the U.S. would use this extensively as a P.R. tool against Syria, Iran, and basically all radical Middle Eastern countries in general. But they’re not.

This actually makes perfect sense if you think about it. North Korea’s image is a huge part of its foreign policy. This is semi-understandable if you think about Kim Jong-Il. He’s very concerned about his image, which makes sense, once you remember he’s a fat midget with a funny hairdo (not to offend any fat midgets with funny hairdos out there, of course!). Anyway, North Korea takes its image very seriously. Any offensive name calling by Japan is taken as a declaration of war. Just kidding. Writing about fat midgets puts me in a lame-geopolitical-joke mood.

Who cares if North Korea’s got self-image problems anyway, right? Well, right now, we care, a lot. Christopher Hill just pulled through with one of the greatest successes of the Bush administration and North Korea is disabling its nuclear program. Any announcement of a Syrian nuclear program, aided by North Korea, could seriously piss off North Korea.

Yes, it is true Kim Jong-Il knows what’s going on in Syria. But as long as the U.S. doesn’t make any public statements concerning the nuclear program, the midget stays happy.

Why aren’t other Middle Eastern states complaining?
This is pretty interesting as well. The other states of the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and probably even Shiite Iran don’t mind a rival nuclear program taken down by the Israelis. Of course Iran is taking this as a serious threat, but in some ways, this attack was not an unforgivable move by ‘The Great Satan’.

Other great Syria-Israel analysis:
Security Dilemmas
Foreign Policy Watch
Middle East Analysis
Beyond the Cusp
Attending the World

Yup, that is just an awesome picture for no reason.