By Peter Symonds
28 April 2008
More than seven months after Israeli warplanes destroyed a building in Syria’s eastern desert, the Bush administration has released intelligence purporting to prove that Damascus was building a nuclear reactor at the site, with the assistance of North Korea, as part of plans to build an atomic bomb.
The CIA intelligence briefing last Thursday raised more questions than it answered, and fuelled considerable speculation about its timing and purpose. In all the commentary, however, the most obvious point is deliberately obscured. The US is belatedly justifying an unprovoked and illegal act of aggression by Israel, undoubtedly sanctioned at the time by Washington, that had the potential to spark a new war in the Middle East.
A White House statement hypocritically warned that Syria’s covert construction of the reactor was “a dangerous and potentially destabilising development for the region and the world”, carried out in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is an open secret, however, that Israel, with Washington’s tacit approval, has covertly manufactured a substantial arsenal of nuclear weapons, refused to sign the NPT and blocked International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of its facilities.
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