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By Micah Halpern

Wednesday November 19, 2008


The United Nations is scheduled to release a report on nuclear activity in Syria. Specifically, the report will present data on whether or not traces of uranium were discernible at the Syrian site attacked by Israel on September 6, 2007. In plain terms, the UN is asking whether or not Israel was justified in attacking Syria.

The answer is obvious - to everyone except the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation's watch dog agency. The United States knows that Israel was justified, Israel knows that Israel was justified, Syria knows that Israel was justified, but the United Nations is still unsure.

Initially, the UN reported that the evidence was inconclusive. Soon afterwards the UN reported that traces of highly enriched uranium were, indeed, found at the site. And now Muhammad El Baradei, head of the IAEA, is scheduled to release the formal, long awaited, report on the matter.

In a more informal setting El Baradei gave out a hint of what will be found in this report. Speaking at a Cooperation Conference held in Dubai El Baradei said that the soon to be released report will be "inconclusive." First the findings were designated inconclusive, now the report will be inconclusive. The word "inconclusive" I now conclusively declare is a code word in UN speak. It really means "we do not want to condemn Syria."

The UN and El Baradei put it more delicately. They have said that they had wished that Syria "would have been more transparent." They said they had hoped to get more help form Syria. I ask: Why would Syria help?

Immediately after the predawn air strike by Israel on the building that abuts the Turkish border the Syrians came out with bulldozers and plowed under the entire site. Anyone who watches CSI knows that they not only tampered with the evidence, they not only contaminated the site, they destroyed it, they decimated it, they wiped it clean. The Syrians wanted nothing to remain, they wanted nothing standing and nothing on the ground, they wanted nothing that they knew would be part of the inevitable investigation.

Syria does not want to cooperate, Syria wants to complain.

Initially, Syria said that the building was an agricultural laboratory. Now, more than a year later, an adviser to Syria's President Bashar Assad asserted on CNN that the site was a military building. Which was it? It cannot be both. And we know that it was neither.

When trace elements of uranium were found at the site, the Syrians began shouting out explanations. First, they claimed that the trace was from the Israeli bombs. Second, they said the world is conspiring against Syria and their proof is that word of the uranium story was leaked by diplomats even before Syrian authorities had a chance to hear the accusations.

First things first. The Israelis did not use nuclear warheads in their attack, so there goes that theory. Second, the world is conspiring, but not against Syria. The world, using the United Nations as the largest representative of the world, is conspiring to whitewash Syria, to benefit Syria, to bend over backwards and give Syria more than the benefit of doubt.

When the IAEA report is released it will say that the presence of highly enriched uranium is not evidence of a nuclear reactor. That is true, but it misses the point.

The inspectors, the International Atomic Energy Agency and even the Syrians are missing the point of the Israeli strike. The point was to hit the reactor before it was on line. The point was to set Syria back on their timeline for nuclear purposes. The point was to stop Syria before it was too late.

If the structure truly had been an agricultural laboratory, or if it had even been a military building there should not have been fission material on site. And if the material was found at the site it should only have been in minute amounts. But the material was found and it was found in larger than minute amounts.

Israel knew what it was doing and we should say thank you. We all know what the United Nations is doing and we should be afraid.

When you hear hoof beats, don't start looking for zebras.

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4 June 2017 12:14 PM in Columns

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