Opinion

I Call ‘BS’ on the Syrian Reactor Affair

Nice reporting on the Syria affair, but I don't believe it. The elements are too improbable, and Israel has been using scare tactics since 1948

These satellite images, taken August 5, 2007 (Top) and October 24, 2007 (Bottom), show a suspected nuclear facility in Syria.
Reuters

Excuse me, Amos Harel and Aluf Benn, you did a wonderful job of reporting on the bombing of the reactor in Syria, but for some reason I don’t believe it. At the moment I’m supposed to believe that the reactor is a North Korean product, which was under construction for years without anyone noticing. How did the reactor arrive from a country where every bird that crosses the border is registered in the annals of U.S. intelligence. And how did it enter Syria, where every kitchen knife transferred via the country from Iran to Hezbollah is bombed?

My Oriental imagination is working overtime in an attempt to digest the fact that Ibrahim Othman, head of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission, gathered all the pictures of the project into one file on his laptop, then left it in a Viennese hotel room without supervision, as a friendly gift to Israeli intelligence. It turns out that the days when Mossad agents ran around in the alleyways of cities in Arab countries are a thing of the past. Today the Arabs, in their great benevolence, deliver the merchandise directly to the customer. At a time when the world has for decades been seeking a smoking gun to prove the effectiveness of the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrians are providing a smoking cannon, and within months.

They want me to believe that a large neglected building in the middle of the desert, with no signs of life nearby, is the new ultimate site of extermination. Did the Syrians hire ghosts to build their nukes?

Moreover, it was only at the last moment that Israeli intelligence discovered the ticking bomb. If they failed to neutralize the “The Cube” in six months, the bomb would be ready. The Iranians have spent 20 years collecting all kind of items with exotic names, centrifuges and so on, and here, in one moment, everything is ready. And as in a thriller, the reactor was bombed at the last moment. This time the Jewish people, and we the Arabs who live in its shadow, emerged safe and sound. But who knows how many neglected buildings there are in the Arab desert.

Reports say the real fear was not of the bombing’s possible failure, but of the reaction of Syria’s Bashar Assad, who was liable to launch missiles at Israel. It’s a shame they didn’t ask the Syrian people; who would have explained to anyone who was interested that as long as the presidential palace remains intact, everything will be fine.

This is the same panic aroused by security-minded Israelis before the 1967 war, when Israel was supposedly on the brink of annihilation, and woke up the next day with its territory tripled. When I read about the camouflage maneuvers and the doomsday atmosphere here, I imagined the Syrian officers, who may have been engaged in some kind of Oriental feast, and I felt sorry for the guardian of Israel who doesn’t rest for a moment, and is constantly busy exposing the next disaster.

It turns out that everything originated with an opinion written by intelligence agent Y., in which he formulated the assumption that there was nuclear activity taking place in “The Cube.” After the circulation of this theory, the top security echelon ran amok until the discovery of the smoking gun in Vienna.

Well, I am hereby reporting, with great modesty, on another document, this time a product of my own creation, and signed in my secret name, O. The title: “Bullshit,” as Mohammed Dahlan put it. Since 1948 they’ve been trying to frighten the people here, and not even a thousandth of all the apocalyptic forecasts has ever come true. The Muslim Brotherhood rose and fell, the Arab world is collapsing, almost nobody there pays attention to Israel.

Incidentally, the very idea that the only thing Arabs think about is how to harm the Jews is a type of arrogance, among other things. “The Cube” was probably not a completely innocent structure. But to attribute all that power to it – that’s really too much already. Let’s hope that Mr. Y. won’t compose another paper in which he explains that the pictures from Vienna are actually of a different reactor, not the one that was bombed.

Yalla, to the bomb shelters.