Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The NorKs and Syria: Partners in nuclear ambitions?

The WaPo has a surprising story today, almost as if it's a follow-up to the Israeli bombing raids conducted on Syria last week. The initial contention as that they targeted a nuclear site in northern Syria. YNET released a story that is was a missile cache. But the WaPo cites some administration intel officials that do say it looks a great deal like the two rogue nations are working on a nuclear deal:

North Korea may be cooperating with Syria on some sort of nuclear facility in Syria, according to new intelligence the United States has gathered over the past six months, sources said. The evidence, said to come primarily from Israel, includes dramatic satellite imagery that led some U.S. officials to believe that the facility could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons.

The new information, particularly images received in the past 30 days, has been restricted to a few senior officials under the instructions of national security adviser
Stephen J. Hadley, leaving many in the intelligence community unaware of it or uncertain of its significance, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Some cautioned that initial reports of suspicious activity are frequently reevaluated over time and were skeptical that North Korea and Syria, which have cooperated on missile technology, would have a joint venture in the nuclear arena.

White House spokesman and the Israeli Embassy declined to comment yesterday after several days of inquiries. A Syrian Embassy spokesman said he could not immediately provide a statement.

The new intelligence comes at an awkward moment for the Bush administration, which since the beginning of the year has pursued an agreement with North Korea on ending its nuclear weapons programs. U.S. and North Korean officials held talks last week in
Geneva on the steps needed to normalize relations, and this week a delegation of U.S., Russian and Chinese experts visited North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear facility to consider ways to disable it. The New York Times first reported on the intelligence linking North Korea and Syria yesterday.

At the Geneva talks, North Korea indicated a willingness to satisfy U.S. questions about an alleged uranium-enrichment program that started the crisis over its nuclear ambitions, the sources said. U.S. officials have said that North Korean officials acknowledged the program in 2002, but
Pyongyang subsequently denied doing so. In the meantime, it restarted a plutonium facility at Yongbyon and harvested enough weapons-grade material for as many as 10 nuclear weapons. In October, it tested a nuclear device.

In talks in
Beijing in March 2003, a North Korean official pulled aside his American counterpart and threatened to "transfer" nuclear material to other countries. President Bush has said that passing North Korean nuclear technology to other parties would cross the line.

Israel conducted a mysterious raid last week against targets in Syria. The Israeli government has refused to divulge any details, but a former Israeli official said he had been told that it was an attack against a facility capable of making unconventional weapons.

Others have speculated that Israel was testing Syria's air defenses in preparation for a raid on
Iran or that Israel was targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian ambassador to the
United Nations, told reporters that the idea of a Hezbollah connection was ridiculous.

Syria has signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty but has not agreed to an additional protocol that would allow for enhanced inspections by the
International Atomic Energy Agency. GlobalSecurity.org, which offers information on weapons of mass destruction, said that "although Syria has long been cited as posing a nuclear proliferation risk, the country seems to have been too strapped for cash to get far."

No offense to the guys at Global Security, but that thought doesn't mesh in what we see with Syria. As we know Iran and Syria have a "mutual defence treaty" with one another. We also know that in the Israeli/Hezbollah dust-up in the summer of 2006, Syria served as a proxy for Iran's involvement in that skirmish, and that Israel buzzed Assad's house in Syria several times as a reminder that he could be taken out should they push the limits. (Of course with Olmert the dove in office, Assad knew that he wouldn't take that step.) But this past week, Israel did what no one thought they would do again: They acted preemptively.

Given the evidence we've uncovered, it does look like Syria and the NorKs are working together on such an operation. Furthermore, it appears that Israel did take out a target of strategic and logistical importance in Syria. Was it a nuke site? No one knows because no one's saying anything about it on the record. What we do know is that Syria and the NorKs have had deals int he past involving missiles and missile tech. but for it to be dismissed out of hand that Syria couldn't come up with the funds is a foolish idea.

Iran is working on nukes. They'd love nothing better than to get their hands on a working nuclear weapon, and reverse engineer a whole host of such weapons for their use. And the price, regardless of it's expected high cost, would be worth paying. It is likely that if any deal is struck, or one that has been reached, between Syria and North Korea is being financed through Iran. Why do it under the table and through a third-party proxy? Because Iran is under a veritable microscope right now, and such a deal might pop up on someone's radar. It's best that they go through an intermediary like Assad to obtain that which they have sought for so long.

What do I have to prove the hypothesis? Nothing. I have only the brain God gave me, and a rational reasoning where all the pieces seem to fit together. They make sense. Iran can't pull the deal off themselves, so they go through Assad. In the process, Iran can agree to share that technology with Assad (who's ideology mirrors that of Ahmadinejad's), and that prospect makes the region even more dangerous. Assad would have no qualms handing over such a weapon to Hezbollah to use on an enemy. But it's clear that Kim needs money, and Iran would be willing to give it to him in exchange for the only thing he has worth buying -- a working nuclear weapon.

Publius II


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home