Well, according to the Associated
Press, a "top U.S. official" – speaking, as always, "on condition
of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter" – told reporters
that "evidence" would be presented to Senate and House Intelligence
Committees that the Syrian facility our Major Non-NATO Ally, Israel, attacked
without provocation and destroyed last September, was a plutonium-producing
nuclear reactor "within weeks or months of being functional."
"CIA Director Michael Hayden, Director of National Intelligence Mike
McConnell and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley briefed lawmakers,
who were shown a video presentation of intelligence information that the
administration contends establishes a strong link between North Korea's
nuclear program and the bombed Syrian site. It included still photographs
that showed a strong resemblance between specific features of the plant
and the one near Yongbyon."
What’s weird is that the top official also told reporters the North Koreans had no objection to that presentation being made. The Israelis did, but the Koreans didn’t!
You see, just a few
weeks ago, knowing what would be in such a presentation, a spokesman for
the North Korean (DPRK) Ministry of Foreign Affairs blamed us for the deadlocked
U.S.-DPRK bilateral talks, which, in turn, have resulted in deadlocked Six-Party
talks on ending the Korean War.
President Bush has personally made the "ending" of the Korean War
conditional on DPRK admitting during U.S.-DPRK bilateral talks that the charge
we first made back in 2002 that Kim Jong-il had a secret "uranium-enrichment"
nuclear-weapons program and the charge we made last year that Kim Jong-il was
helping the Syrians essentially duplicate the quasi-successful DPRK plutonium-based
nuclear-weapons program were true.
According to the DPRK spokesman –
"The U.S. side is playing a poor trick to brand the DPRK as a criminal at any
cost in order to save its face."
Bush has reportedly told
his negotiators not to agree to anything "that makes me look weak."
"Explicitly speaking, the DPRK has never enriched uranium nor rendered nuclear
cooperation to any other country. It has never dreamed of such things."
Our negotiators claimed the issue of "suspected uranium enrichment" could only be solved if the DPRK told us the whereabouts of "the imported aluminum tubes."
So, the Koreans actually took our experts to see those tubes, which – like
the Iraqi aluminum
tubes – were central to some military application; they even provided us
Okay, but what about the video presentation just made to Congress, which purports
to show a reactor vessel – "similar" to that of the Soviet-designed
Soviet-supplied 5 Mwe natural-uranium fueled, graphite-moderated reactor which
became operational in 1986 – in a facility under construction, allegedly
in Syria, with "Korean faces among the workers"?
The Israelis – allegedly the source of this "intelligence" – apparently
believe (and want gullible members of the Best Congress Money Can Buy to believe)
that ten-foot tall Korean nuclear scientists and engineers have gone into the
nuclear-reactor export business.
(When it comes to Israeli "intelligence," Congresspersons are especially
gullible. And it would never occur to them that if Syria really wanted nuclear-weapons
– and Kim Jong-il wanted them to have them – it would be much cheaper and faster
to just buy them from the quasi-successful DPRK nuclear-weapons producers.)
At the time the Soviet Union disintegrated, they had under construction at Nyongbyong two scaled-up natural-uranium fueled graphite-moderated plutonium-producing nuclear reactors. After the disintegration, Russia stopped construction of those large reactors and made the DPRK subject the Soviet-designed Soviet-built reactors to an International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards Agreement, as required by the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Every outsider who has visited Nyhongbyong since has reported
no signs the Koreans have attempted to complete construction of the large reactors.
In fact, all DPRK reactors have been reported to be in a dismal deteriorating
But it is conceivable that DPRK metallurgists and engineers are capable
of making "reactor vessels" for small reactors. After all, most of
the steel reactor vessels for Soviet nuclear power plants were outsourced to
the Czech Republic. The diameter of such reactor vessels was restricted by the
requirement that when loaded on a Soviet railroad flat car, it could pass through
Soviet railroad tunnels.
So, what will be the (perhaps unpredictable) result of this latest "disclosure"
in Congress by the Cheney Cabal?
Will Congress declare war on Russia? On the DPRK? On Syria?
How about on Iran? Maybe this was just a dress rehearsal for an Israeli attack on Iran.
After all, according
"Iran continues to pursue a nuclear [weapon] option. Those weapons,
if they got them, would probably pose the greatest threat to Israel. During
the Cold War, it was the United States policy to extend deterrence to our
NATO allies. An attack on Great Britain would be treated as if it were an
attack on the United States. Should it be U.S. policy now to treat an Iranian
attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the United States?"
Hillary to the contrary, under U.S. law, Major Non-NATO Allies do not enjoy
the same mutual defense and security guarantees afforded bona-fide members of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. We are not obligated to regard an attack
on Israel or Pakistan or Jordan or Kuwait as an attack on us.
are eligible for participation in cooperative research and development programs
(such as the U.S.-Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile program) as well as priority
sales or grants of "excess" U.S. weapons and associated equipment (such as the
TOW missiles we provided Israel to replace the ones they sold to Iran, during
the Iran-Contra Affair).
Furthermore, MNNAs can take advantage of the Defense Export Loan Guarantee
program, which provides loan guarantees for foreign purchasers of U.S. defense
products – such as the F-16s that destroyed that Iraqi reactor back in 1981
and the suspect "reactor vessel" in Syria last year – in much the
same way the Export-Import Bank provides guarantees for U.S. commercial products.
But, when one of our MNNAs uses any of our supplied weapons in acts of aggression
– such as the Israelis did two years ago in Lebanon and did last year in Syria
and are apparently contemplating doing this year in Iran – we are complicit.
Congress is complicit.
Hillary and Obama and McCain ought not to be demanding to know if Syria
somehow acquired what the Israelis claim looks like a reactor vessel. Rather,
they should be demanding that no MNNA ever again be allowed to make us
complicit in an act of aggression.
And while they’re at it, they might prohibit this and any future President
from committing another war of aggression.