Commentary Magazine


Contentions

More on the Air Strikes

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that American officials, speaking anonymously, confirmed that Israel had bombed one or more targets in Syria last Thursday. Jerusalem has not officially commented on the strikes, its first on Syria since 2003.

What exactly was Israel doing? The BBC suggested that Israeli pilots might have been testing Syrian air defenses. The Times reported that American officials said the most likely target was one or more conventional weapons caches. If so, Israel may have been targeting rockets on their way to Hizballah.

Yet the Times seems to suggest that the raid targeted a Syrian nuclear weapons program linked to Pyongyang. “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” an unidentified Bush administration official, referring to fissile material, is quoted as saying. Thursday’s Washington Post states that an unidentified former Israeli official had been told that the attack on Syria was intended to take out a facility that could make unconventional weapons. The paper also reported that satellite imagery has revealed a Syrian facility that could be part of a nuclear weapons program. North Korea, known to merchandise any dangerous item it possesses, has been doing its best to appear guilty. Departing from its usual practice of not commenting on world affairs, Pyongyang on Tuesday denounced Israel’s raid.

Damascus undoubtedly has a nuclear weapons program, but at worst it is decades away from building a bomb on its own. Yet Iran is just years from mastering the techniques needed to construct an atomic device. If the raid last week had any significance, it was a warning to the theocrats in Tehran that Jerusalem is capable of another Osirak-type raid. And perhaps the air strikes were intended to send messages to European capitals and Washington as well: disarm Iran now or prepare for war. Syria’s U.N. ambassador said his country sustained no “material damage” in the Israeli raid. That may be true, but it is completely beside the point. Despite where the bombs landed on Thursday, Syrians were not the real target.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.