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If only it was on You-Tube….


April 27, 2008

Yet another page in the continuing saga of the Secret Raid on they Syrian Reactor that maybe never was….

As many loyal Duck readers know, I’ve been following this story with fascination since it broke. To recap: Israel bombs a “site” in Syria, Syria says nothing, 3rd hand reports indicate a North Korean nuclear reactor was the target, nobody talks.

This week yet another bit of key information leaked out. Turns out, they had a video! The Video is said to show North Koreans inside the Syrian site with all the tell-tale signs of a nuclear reactor.

Syria, of course, denies the whole thing.

Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha yesterday angrily denounced the U.S. and Israeli assertions. “If they show a video, remember that the U.S. went to the U.N. Security Council and displayed evidence and images about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I hope the American people will not be as gullible this time around,” he said.

Which is exactly what he should say, and a stark reminder of the ripple effect that Iraq will continue to have in all US diplomatic efforts for quite some time.

Why do we learn of this now?

Nuclear weapons analysts and U.S. officials predicted that CIA Director Michael V. Hayden’s planned disclosures to Capitol Hill could complicate U.S. efforts to improve relations with North Korea as a way to stop its nuclear weapons program. They come as factions inside the administration and in Congress have been battling over the merits of a nuclear-related deal with North Korea….

The timing of the congressional briefing is nonetheless awkward for the Bush administration’s diplomatic initiative to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and permanently disable the reactor at Yongbyon. The CIA’s hand was forced, officials said, because influential lawmakers had threatened to cut off funding for the U.S. diplomatic effort unless they received a full account of what the administration knew.

Also, the terms of a tentative U.S.-North Korean deal require that North Korean officials acknowledge U.S. evidence about its help with the Syrian program, and so the disclosures to Congress are meant to preempt what North Korea may eventually say.

Coincidence? Sure.

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Dr. Peter Howard focuses on US foreign policy and international security. He studies how the implementation of foreign policy programs produces rule-based regional security regimes, conducting research in Estonia on NATO Expansion and US Military Exchange programs and South Korea on nuclear negotiations with North Korea.