I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nukes, Pukes and Gadzooks

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog group, the IAEA, has a bone to pick with somebody.

Chief UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei Sunday accused Israel of taking "the law into their own hands" with a raid on Syria, and demanded more information about what was hit.

Neither Israel nor the United States has furnished "any evidence at all" to prove that the Syrian site bombed last month was a secret nuclear facility, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN.

Of course, the usual list of suspects lined up to bash the United Nations. (This will apparently never end.) Emphasis mine:

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, who has never succeeded in stopping a single country from developing nuclear weapons, is condemning Israel for the airstrike on Syria’s nuclear facility

Oh, yes indeed. Why on earth would anyone want to contact the International Atomic Energy Agency if they suspected somebody of building a nuke? I'm sure you all remember how spectacularly unsuccessful they were in finding Saddam's nukes in Iraq before we finally had to go in and find them ourselves. And if you can't trust the United Nations to stop the proliferation of nukes, who can you trust? Why, the United States, of course.

Or... possibly not. By following that link you can check out a book by Adrian Levey and Catherine Scott-Clark titled Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons. It tells the rather shocking story of how the United States, particularly during the Reagan administration, not only failed to stop Pakistan from getting the bomb, but were active partners in ensuring they did.

If the United States had made any effort to coordinate an investigation of that site with the United Nations, I think ElBaradei would have known about it. I mention the United States here, because Israel would never have gone ahead with this without consulting us first. As the article points out, Turkey was also a bit put off.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has acknowledged for the first time that Israeli warplanes may have violated Turkey's airspace during the incursion into Syria, an official said Sunday.

Olmert apologized to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the two men met in London Tuesday, the Israeli official said.

Turkey had demanded an explanation from Israel after it was embarrassed by the discovery of jettisoned fuel tanks on its territory in the aftermath of the raid.

ElBaradei uses the phrase, "Bomb first and ask questions later" during the interview. Everything we do in the Middle East has repercussions. You are never truly acting unilaterally when your actions impact your relations and credibility with the rest of the world, including your allies. Our intelligence failures in the rush to war in Iraq have undermined us enough. And today, Turkey is already on pins and needles over our Kurdish allies launching attacks into their territory.

If there was a legitimate target inside of Syria, then of course it needed to be investigated and appropriate action taken. Jumping in feet first like this, though, whether we do it ourselves or through our proxies in Israel just invites more problems. The Bush administration is angry with the U.N. for not being supportive of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I understand that. But refusing to work with them today will simply send us further down the wrong path.

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