Friday, September 21, 2007


News from the Axis

Charles Krauthammer speculates in the Washington Post on a recent Israeli air strike in Northern Syria, and suggests that North Korea was providing means, material, or expert assistance in helping Syria acquire nuclear capability. If they did, their actions would make an absolute mockery of international efforts to verify North Korea’s professed willingness to abandon their nuclear ambitions and surrender any nuclear capabilities.

Krauthammer offers some intriguing circumstantial evidence for North Korea’s perfidy:

Circumstantial evidence points to this being an attack on some nuclear facility provided by North Korea.

Three days earlier, a freighter flying the North Korean flag docked in the Syrian port city of Tartus with a shipment of "cement." Long way to go for cement. Within days, a top State Department official warned that "there may have been contact between Syria and some secret suppliers for nuclear equipment." Three days later, the six-party meeting on dismantling North Korea's nuclear facilities scheduled for Sept. 19 was suddenly postponed, officially by China, almost certainly at the behest of North Korea.

Apart from the usual suspects -- Syria, Iran, Libya and Russia -- only two countries registered strong protests to the Israeli strike: Turkey and North Korea. Turkey we can understand. Its military may have permitted Israel an overflight corridor without ever having told the Islamist civilian government. But North Korea? What business is this of North Korea's? Unless it was a North Korean facility being hit.

Krauthammer also notes a widely underreported account of the misadventures of a joint Syrian and Iranian chemical weapon program:

Second, there are ominous implications for the Middle East. Syria has long had chemical weapons -- on Monday, Jane's Defence Weekly reported on an accident that killed dozens of Syrians and Iranians loading a nerve-gas warhead onto a Syrian missile -- but Israel will not tolerate a nuclear Syria.

It would certainly remain possible that such evidence might convince the harshest critics to drop their objections that President Bush ever formulated his ‘Axis of Evil’ locution, or their sharp rebuttals against including the Dear Leader and his slave state in the axis. It should, but it won’t.

Those who oppose Bush foreign policy, after all, do so less on the basis of fact than on the basis of myth. Myths are essential to the world view that imagines that George Bush created anti-American animus where formerly there was none, that the aggressiveness of Bush foreign policy has created terror where there would be none, and that Nations in acting in their own perceived self-interest can never be interpreted to have committed crimes against humanity, or conducted acts of war against the US, our allies, or our vital national interests.

Central to all such myth-making is the moral irrelevancy of the behavior of any Nation State, save our own, which retains full culpability for all errors real or perceived, while other nations can only be our victims.

(Via Memeorandum)

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