“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dayr as Zawr, What Happened?

"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."

‘So Close To War’

We came so close to World War Three that day

On 6 September, when Israel struck a nuclear facility in Syria

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.


  1. The stony silence and whispered leaks issuing from Washington and Jerusalem may or may not be the last and official word. For now, possibly they will suffice. Surprisingly, so far, the other side has been uncharacteristically quiet. Will this continue or will the other side make a claim similar to "the Israelis destroyed a baby formula factory?" Any such issue will be eagerly adopted by the Arab/Muslim world and their abetting leftists outside the umma.

    Any day now, we will begin to hear about the latest atrocity and insult that Israel (the little Satan)has inflicted on the umma. In this asymetric world, their side is allowed to bluster, threat, lie and bomb on behalf of jihad yet it is the "Great Satan and his evil Zionist minion" who thirst for the blood of innocent Muslim women and children.

    If the Sep 6 targets were indeed nuclear, what purpose does it serve for Israel and the US to remain tight-lipped? Speculation that the "implications must have been enormous" and "armageddon averted" do not relieve the nagging thought that Israel's Dayr as Zawr strike may simply keep the world's head buried in the sand until the day when armageddon begins with rockets raining from Persia.

  2. The Joos are always dropping drop tanks in Syria.
    It's practice so they'll remember what to do with them in real life.
    Trust me.

  3. Italy concerned about possible EU sanctions on Iran
    Italy is Iran's biggest European trading partner and in 2006 the trade between the two countries was worth 5.2 billion euros (7. 3 billion U.S. dollars).

    Rudy's Page

    The Last Ride Down: Haleakala Bike Rides Banned

    The No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq accused Iran of stepping up support for anti-American Shi'ite militants in Iraq
    "t's clear to me that over the past 30 to 60 days they have increased their support," Odierno said on CNN's "Late Edition."

    "They do it from providing weapons, ammunition -- specifically mortars and explosively formed projectiles," he said in a video link from Iraq.

    "They are providing monetary support to some groups and they are conducting training within Iran of Iraqi extremists to come back here and fight the United States," he added.

    U.S. intelligence agencies said in a declassified report last week that Iran has been intensifying its lethal support for select groups of Iraqi Shi'ite militants since January.

    Charges dropped in sherry enema death
    ANGLETON, Texas -
    - Negligent homicide charges have been dropped against a former Lake Jackson woman who had been accused of killing her husband with a sherry enema.

  4. WHIT: If the Sep 6 targets were indeed nuclear, what purpose does it serve for Israel and the US to remain tight-lipped?

    My theory is that radiation was released, and neither Syria nor Israel nor the US can say a reactor was bombed because the downwinders (Turks, Kurds) would get pissed.

  5. If the target was nuclear & was from NorK, well then, Mr Bush should be impeached.

    Because after 6Sep07 Mr Bush and his Administration have made noises about taking the NorKs off the terrorist sponsor list.

    If the NorKs proliferated nuclear technologies beyond those monitored by the IAEA they should be sanctioned and remain on the terror sponsor list.

    The Pakistani should be listed, as well.

    Funny thing, if it was a nuclear target, those pesky mussulmen, they're not playing to the script. The Iranians, not the Syrians are the nuclear bad guys, wish they'd get their lines straight.

  6. Ms T, if a reactor is leaking, not talking about it will not lessen the about of pissing caused by it.

    May delay it for a while.
    A silly thing to do, keep a nuclear incident secret. When the entire "War" has been about nuclear proliferation and terrorists and their sponsors.

    If it was a nuclear target, it just shows the extent the US will go to abstain from acknowledging a casus belli from a State Sponsor of terrorism.

    Is nuclear proliferation terrorism?

  7. yikes! yet another conspiracy theory - something happened, nobody knows much of anything therefore it must be bit, REAL BIG, omigosh, NUCLEAR even! 2164th, are you also one of those who think Darth Cheney was behind 911?

  8. This fellow does not think much of General P.

    He thinks there is a "War" on, but that the politicos will not admit it, except rhetorically.

    My oh my ....
    I've heard that before

    Anyway, he thinks it was General P's duty to hold the politicos feet to the fire.

    If the civilian leadership is unwilling to provide what’s needed, then all of the talk about waging a global war on terror—talk heard not only from the president but from most of those jockeying to replace him—amounts to so much hot air. Critics who think the concept of the global war on terror is fundamentally flawed will see this as a positive development. Once we recognize the global war on terror for the fraudulent enterprise that it has become, then we can get serious about designing a strategy to address the threat that we actually face, which is not terrorism but violent Islamic radicalism. The antidote to Islamic radicalism, if there is one, won’t involve invading and occupying places like Iraq.

    This defines Petraeus’s failure. Instead of obliging the president and the Congress to confront this fundamental contradiction—are we or are we not at war?—he chose instead to let them off the hook.

    Of course, if he had done otherwise—if he had asked, say, to expand the surge by adding yet another 50,000 troops—he would have distressed just about everyone back in Washington. He might have paid a considerable price career-wise. Certainly, he would have angered the JCS, antiwar Democrats, and waffling Republicans who want the war to go away. Even the president, Petraeus’s number-one fan, would have been surprised and embarrassed by such a request.

    Yet the anger and embarrassment would have been salutary. A great political general doesn’t tell his masters what they want to hear. He tells them what they need to hear, thereby nudging them to make decisions that must be made if the nation’s interests are to be served. In this instance, Petraeus provided cover for them to evade their responsibilities.

    Politically, it qualifies as a brilliant maneuver. The general’s relationships with official Washington remain intact. Yet he has broken faith with the soldiers he commands and the Army to which he has devoted his life. He has failed his country. History will not judge him kindly.

    Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

    Mr Bacevich does not realize we've won the Iraqi War, just waiting for the

    Fourth of July Victory Parades
    30,000 Troopers
    Marching Army Strong

    before it is publicly announced.

  9. this was a major event..

    Entebbe & iraq's Osirak will be remembered as almost as important.

    the "deterrence" lost last summer in israel's so called defeat has been regain, however the problem is 2 fold.

    1. The arab & Islamic street really believe that Jews and Israel are the new Nazis and that any military success proves that Israel is in military control of the world. (one COULD easily argue that if Israel were the NEW nazises and had attained such strength they could and would commit genocide to solve their issues, however for some odd reason, israel does not commit genocide. (more monks in burma have been murdered in 2 days, than the entire last 5 years of the palios uprising). So there is no convincing the islamic "rage boy" friends and families that Israel is not the problem.

    2. TRUE BELIEVERS. I cannot pound this idea out hard enough, within Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Arabia and elsewhere in the islamic/arab communities are TRUE Moslem Brotherhood believers. Israel's ability to quietly go into the night and take out, WITHOUT mass deaths a target in Syria will not change their path to the return of the hidden imam...

    Nasser once said (a nationalist not islamist) that the Israel question could be solved by throwing 10 million troops at it, in the end israel would be dead and the arab world would still have 170 million left. (they only had 180 or so back then, so much for israeli genocides). Today, Iran boosts the same concept with nukes...

    The strike in Syria was important, not from a headlines pov but from a "can we do it" pov.

    I am positive that today Russia is sending new teams to syria and iran (and hezbollah? & NKOR?) to try to sooth and explain why the great Russia weapons still work... However I am also just as assured that a bunch of pasty skinned torahhead with kosher mountain dew and hot pockets are pouring over electronic fly by maps... (as well as american pimpled faced guys drinking mountain dew and hot pockets)

    In the end I see the bigger atack on Iran coming soon, I have read that the Iranian air space is no where near as refined and much easier to penetrate than the syrians...

    Interesting points:


    not a peep out of iran, hezbollah or hamas....

    now, 100's of forest fires are set alight in lebanon, the blame goes to syria....

    Is this the 1st signs that the evil axis is also weak?

    let's remember the threats that saddam & hezbollah made about burning israel with rockets. and let's remember after last summer hezbollah looked like it had sho it's load in the 1st 15 seconds of a 3 hour sex marathon...

    interesting times...

    I think we have not seen the last of israel doing what the spineless world just watches and whispers about

  10. WiO,

    All that happened was a couple of Israeli jets flew in, jettisoned a couple of fuel tanks, and flew out all the while fully tracked by Syrian Air Defense. A few poli's are kickin' back and basking in the adoration kicked up by the speculation.

    That's it...

    Can you show otherwise? Of course not.

  11. Alexandria, VA. - In recent weeks, as Washington ratcheted up pressure to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, officials throughout Iran sprang to its defense.

    The sermon by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati last month was typical. The corps "is not separate from the people," Mr. Jannati told the congregation. "Are you introducing the 70 million people living in this country as terrorists?"

    This public embrace makes devising effective sanctions against the corps problematic. Still, the United States must find a way to contain the Guards – they help run Iran's nuclear program, have a hand in killing US soldiers in Iraq, and are playing an increasingly prominent role in Iranian politics.

    The corps was created shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution because the loyalty of the conventional armed forces was in doubt – the officers were suspected of harboring monarchist sympathies, and those who had undergone training in the US or Europe were viewed as potential foreign agents.

    The result was two parallel military institutions with distinct responsibilities. The corps is responsible for protecting "the revolution and its achievements," according to Iran's constitution, whereas the conventional military is tasked with protecting the country's independence and territorial integrity.

    Roughly one year after the corps's creation, Iraq's president Saddam Hussein launched a war against Iran that would last eight years and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The early corps cadres earned public respect with their abundant courage and enthusiasm and the regime glorified their actions even more.

    The corps still has the traditional responsibilities of a military force. It has roughly 120,000 men in uniform and a much larger reserve called the Basij, and its leaders boast about observing US military tactics in Afghanistan and Iraq and being ready to counter these with asymmetric warfare. The corps also has a naval branch – it captured British sailors in March – and an air force.

    The corps' unconventional warfare function is performed by its Quds Force. This entity is involved with the insurgency in Iraq, and in 2002 the US accused it of fighting in Afghanistan. The corps was instrumental in the creation of Hizbullah in Lebanon in the 1980s, and its personnel were in Bosnia in the 1990s.

    This from the Christian Science Monitor. Hardly a hard right mouthpiece.

    The Guardian, it thinks the US is rollin' to Tehran, well, not exactly ...

    Not going to Iran, strategicly, but half-stepping even tactically, after some warehouses, training camps and aspirin factories.

    Not admitting to being at war with 70 million people. But starting on with them, no proxies in between.

    If one deletes the hyperbole, there is a kernal of truth in the Guardian storyline, which is the same one emenating from See-mor Hersh. So it could be pure fabrication, but seems to be the current spin.

    Both the US and British military now regard themselves as already involved in a proxy war with Iran in Iraq, as General Petraeus recently told the US congress.

    What is becoming clearer is that the likely pretext for aggression against Iran has shifted from the possibility that Tehran might develop nuclear weapons to its role in supporting and allegedly arming the resistance in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration is increasingly convinced that it will be far easier to convince the American public of the case for war on Iran if it's seen as being about the protection of US troops rather than nuclear scaremongering from the people who brought you Saddam Hussein's WMD. So the focus of the military plans has changed accordingly: from a wide-ranging bombing assault on Iran's known and suspected nuclear sites to "surgical" strikes on the Revolutionary Guards, who the US claims are backing armed attacks on its occupation forces.

    In reality, the growing confrontation between Washington and Iran has less to do with nuclear weapons or Iraqi resistance and more with the fact that Iran has emerged as the main strategic beneficiary of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran and its allies now offer the only effective challenge to US domination of the Middle East and its resources. It's hardly surprising that the US is alarmed by the increased influence of an avowedly anti-imperialist state sitting astride a sea of oil, now making common cause with other radical, independent regimes in Latin America
    Of the three states Bush originally damned as the axis of evil, one - Iraq - had no nuclear weapons and was duly destroyed. The second, North Korea, managed to acquire some nuclear capability and is this week reaping the benefits in aid and negotiation. The third is Iran, a country surrounded by US troops and caught between two nuclear-armed US allies: Pakistan and Israel. And despite the populist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ugly remarks about the Holocaust, it is the nuclear states America and Israel that now threaten and have the capacity to attack Iran, not the other way round.

    What should not be in doubt is that the consequences of an attack on Iran would be devastating, both in the region and beyond. Iran has the reach to deliver an unconventional armed response in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf - as well as on the streets of London. The economic impact could be even greater, given Iran's grip on the 20% of global oil supplies that are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz. It would also certainly set back the cause of progressive change in Iran.

  12. Ashies Gender has been revealed!
    "He's" Trish, in drag!
    ...glad you picked on up my reminder of that Jooish Deception that was laid out by the enlightened one,

  13. Bush should be impeached for being a Globalist Traitor, unconstrained by US laws, which will remain unenforced, as long as he is in office.
    ...the "progress" on the fence was greatly exagerated, by including legacy fencing, and fencing in construction.

    AND whatever happened to a REAL Double fence, not just some cyclone faux-fence?

  14. ash: All that happened was a couple of Israeli jets flew in, jettisoned a couple of fuel tanks, and flew out all the while fully tracked by Syrian Air Defense.

    And the drop tanks squashed some North Korean tourists, which led to the protest from Pyongyong.

  15. Now you fellers know why I'm always talking up fishing.

    By the way, whatever happened to that Iranian scientist fellow that kind of disappeared many months back?

  16. I don't see how it could have been a reactor. That would stick out like a sore thumb. You could see it on GoogleEarth. Maybe nuclear materials from the norks, maybe chem/bio, maybe the Israelis were just testing some defenses, what the heck do I know...

  17. I know This has the look of a real tragedy about to happen. A tragedy is something that could be avoided and isn't. Getting hit by a comet, or Yellowstone erupting, is not a tragedy.

  18. Starburst is the name of a pretty good candy, too.

  19. In other Idaho news, a Bonners Ferry woman says she was humiliated when security guards at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene told her she'd have to remove her underwire bra to get inside.

    Yeah, the old "Sorry Ma'am you'll have to remove your bra" trick.

  20. No Ash I do not think Cheney was behind 911. I do recall that there was shock and awe when Russia set off their first nuclear weapon. That was not supposed to have happened.

    I watched data come in when the Chicoms set off a nuke at Lop Nor. The hope at the time was that i was an earthquake.

    The Paki bomb was a surprise.

    No one was talking about Libya having nuclear weapons, but they did.

    There are those that think the Iranians are not making a nuke.

    Ash, how is your poker game?

  21. "No one was talking about Libya having nuclear weapons, but they did."

    hunh? Aren't you overstating the Libyan case here a tad bit?

    My poker game's pretty good. The thing about bluffing is you have to be prepared for the bluff to be called. Iran, in the end, may end up with a nuclear weapons. I'd rather they didn't but if they do, so what?

  22. Why are the "Shi'ites" all of a sudden going after "Diplomats?" First ours, and then, yesterday, Poland's.

    Is it getting a little "too calm" in Baghdad for Maliki's taste?

  23. I was humiliated, humiliated I say, when I was forced to take off my shoes, then my belt, at the Federal Building in Moscow.

    It's just the way it is these days. I've gotten so I wear sandals that don't have the metal support in them, like the boots do, when I go to Farm Service Agency in the Federal Building. Got to take all the coin, and car keys out of the pants, too.

    The odd thing is, any terrorist worth a darn could take down those two retired cops, nice guys, too, who man the metal detector at the door. And a good car bomb could take the whole building out. Big waste of time and money maybe but it is the way things are now.


    "Any group that has the industrial capacity to build a VW Bus, can make a nuke, given the materials."

    An almost exact quote from Dr. Wattenburg, KGO Radio.

    Libya was getting close, working on it in a way.

    Scary times.

    Sweden could probably go nuclear nearly as rapidly as Japan,but they won't of course.


    Your poker game may be good, Ash, but it wouldn't make any difference if the opponent simply does not see the game in your terms. What if the opponent has the attitude, let's blow up the whole game?

  24. So what you are bluffing on is the reality, or not, that the opponent sees the game in your terms.

  25. Deuce brought poker in, I'm more interested in bluffs in general. The game we are talking about has no rules and many people see many things very differently. My idea regarding bluffing still seems applicable.

  26. welll, there are rules but, like in poker of the wild west, people cheat like hell and they can be sore losers.

  27. "The game we are talking about has no rules"--alas, I think that statement is true, and I also agree there might well be 'sore losers'.

  28. The responsible nations of the world have tried to set up some rules. Alas, the rules are hard to enforce.

    Sweden, Norway--not to worry. They don't have a national day dedicated to the thought of jihad and 'wiping out' other peoples.

    Other 'less than national organisations'--worry.


    I'm worried.

  29. ash said...
    WiO, All that happened was a couple of Israeli jets flew in, jettisoned a couple of fuel tanks, and flew out all the while fully tracked by Syrian Air Defense. A few poli's are kickin' back and basking in the adoration kicked up by the speculation.

    That's it...

    Can you show otherwise? Of course not.


    When my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Father Aaron Stood for the Law and our Uncle Moses some 3400 years ago, Uncle Moses and all of our family together saw the TRUTH.

    We were at Sinai...

    However not one Non-Jew ever saw that either...

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  31. If what is written is true, then now is the time to strike.