FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

New Yorker Magazine Concocts Case for Bombing Syria

by JOHN W. FARLEY

In the September 17 issue of The New Yorker, David Makovsky has a piece entitled The Silent Strike: How Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear installation and kept it secret Makovsky tells a tale about how Israel took out a Syrian nuclear threat. There is one slight problem: Makovsky’s tale should have been published as “fiction”.  How do I know? I’ve heard this story before.

It is an unquestioned fact that Israel bombed something in Syria back in September 2007. But what was that something? The Israelis claimed that they bombed a Syrian nuclear reactor, but journalist Laura Rozen shot that story down very convincingly. She interviewed Joseph Cirincione, then director of nuclear policy  with the Center for American Progress, who identified the bombed site as a non-nuclear Syrian military base. It’s where Syria stores their missiles, which they buy from Iran and North Korea. It’s not a nuclear reactor or any kind of nuclear installation at all.  Back in 2008, the mainstream media (AP, Tom Jelton of NPR, ABC News) referred to the “Syrian nuclear reactor” as if it were an established fact, when it was actually malarkey.

Back in 2008, I relied on Laura Rozen’s investigative  reporting  and the detective work of antiwar Libertarian blogger Justin Raimondo to produce a piece, Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace, published on CounterPunch.  It’s valuable background reading and a refutation of the Makovsky piece.

What Cirincione told the BBC back in 2007 applies today as well: “This appears to be the work of a small group of officials leaking cherry-picked, unvetted ‘intelligence’ to key reporters in order to promoter a preexisting political agenda.”  Cirincione added “If this sounds like the run-up to the war with Iraq, then it should.”

It often pays to ask who the “expert” is and where he is coming from.  So who is David Makovsky? He is a Senior Fellow of Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is an offshoot of AIPAC. WINEP is part of the Israel Lobby, but has the public appearance of impartial expertise, compared with the brazen bias of AIPAC. Makovsky was the executive editor of the very hawkish Jerusalem Post for over a decade. Makovsky has co-authored a book on Middle East politics and policy with Dennis Ross, the well-known US diplomat and Israeli shill. Makovsky is very well connected to the Israel Lobby.

With his New Yorker article, Makovsky is building the case for an attack on Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities by Israel and/or the US, by comparing it to a highly fictional account of Israel 2007 attack on a (non-nuclear) military base, which Makovsky falsely claims was a Syrian nuclear reactor. Much of the Israeli ruling class (ex-Mossad directors, generals, politicians) is opposed to attacking Iran, as are Israeli Jews as a whole. The opposition is on pragmatic grounds: well-grounded worry about the consequences of (another) open-ended war. To allay these fears (mainly among Americans, more than Israelis), Makovsky serves up a soothing fairy tale: Israel bombed a Syrian nuke in 2007 and everything turned out OK,  so if Israel bombs Iran it will also turn out OK.

John W. Farley writes from Henderson, Nevada.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail