Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reliable Sources

Seymour Hersh, some time ago, took seven pages on the New Yorker magazine to describe and explain Israel's mysterious hit in Syria. He basically comes to the conclusion that the whole event was a contrived theatrical hit, aimed at calming down Syria's new audacity in the wake of Israel/Hezbollah 2006 war. There was no nuclear reactor, just a cement factory or an abandoned military installation:

In Tel Aviv, the senior Israeli official pointedly told me, “Syria still thinks Hezbollah won the war in Lebanon”—referring to the summer, 2006, fight between Israel and the Shiite organization headed by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. “Nasrallah knows how much that war cost—one-third of his fighters were killed, infrastructure was bombed, and ninety-five per cent of his strategic weapons were wiped out,” the Israeli official said. “But Assad has a Nasrallah complex and thinks Hezbollah won. And, ‘If he did it, I can do it.’ This led to an adventurous mood in Damascus. Today, they are more sober.”

Here are the latest revelations:

Piece by piece, the intelligence jigsaw puzzle concerning Israel's air strike on a top-secret military site in northern Syria last September is finally taking shape. When a squadron of Israeli F-15 fighter-bombers destroyed a hitherto unknown Syrian military facility at Dayr as-Zawr, close to the country's north-eastern border with Turkey, there was much speculation that Israel had staged a repeat of its 1981 mission against Iraq's Osirak nuclear facility, which thwarted Saddam Hussein's ambition to acquire a nuclear weapons arsenal.

...Even after CIA director Michael Hayden's briefing of Congress yesterday, when he confirmed that the North Koreans had indeed been helping the Syrians to build a nuclear reactor, the Israelis are still refusing to be drawn.

Looks like Hersh was dead wrong and his cynicism did not pay off this time. It should be remembered the next time he writes a fanciful article full of name-dropping and exotic tales from around the globe to give his interesting theories the false credibility of reliable sources.


At 7:29 PM EDT, Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

When has Seymour Hersh ever been right though? The Sampson option book is a very long time ago. He's always struck me as a conduit for mickey-mouse briefings for the CIA and Pentagon turf wars. That silly book about Kennedy and camelot and some of the over the top 'revelations' he made in it convinced me of that years ago.

This is a great blog, by the way!

At 7:40 PM EDT, Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

Just for the avoidance of doubt, even the Samson option was mostly made up, as far as anyone can tell....

At 7:40 PM EDT, Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

Just for the avoidance of doubt, even the Samson option was mostly made up, as far as anyone can tell....

At 8:41 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Martin: Thanks for dropping by. I paid you a visit, too, and can easily return the compliment. An interesting angle you have of events. As for Hersh, well, yes, but he does have his reputation and I like to make holes in such hallowed reputations, for future reference:)

At 2:44 PM EDT, Anonymous tnc said...

nice post, CC.


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