Officials said they were concerned about the impact an attack on Syria would have on the region. And given the profound consequences of the flawed intelligence in Iraq, the U.S. wanted to be absolutely certain the intelligence was accurate.The story goes on to give cover to SoS Condi Rice, suggesting she was opposed to such a horrible thing.
Why of course she was.
Chances are the intelligence was pretty darned good or they wouldn't have gone. The Israelis not only had spy satellite coverage but also special forces in the area for several days prior, who were on the ground lasering the targets when the jets arrived. Odds are they weren't the only special forces on the scene considering the close proximity of that facility to Iraq.
Odds are also high that Syria knew the west knew, which seems to give credence to a suggestion the bombing itself wasn't the story more than the methods used to pull it off successfully. We continue to await the world-ending response from Damascus and Teheran, replete with activation of worldwide sleeper cells and such, but so far only radio silence.
Just add it to the recent takeout of a Syrian intelligence agent posing as an Imam (helping to funnel suicide bombers into Iraq) and the silence is even more interesting. Perhaps Assad has been too wrapped up listening to the Dixie Chicks on his iPod to notice?
Bryan Preston thinks he has the answer to why Israel's bold raid didn't que up the feared international response mentioned above. Think "fly by". Possible, since Bashar would have realized that if his air defenses couldn't protect a nuke site it surely couldn't protect him.
But let's give him more strategic credit than that. He also knows Israel can't just eliminate him out without suffering a horrendous worldwide cost. Even possession of North Korean nukes might not tip the scale towards Tel Aviv.
But possession of someone else's nukes might not be so easy to explain. Wizbang mentions the truckloads of equipment that poured into Syria before the invasion. General Georges Sada talked about plane loads. Most of these are without corroboration, but perhaps Israel has some evidence now?
That ties in with another angle. Make no mistake, there is already a regional war underway in the Middle East but most Americans don't know this. The Democrats have framed Iraq as isolated and detached from the WoT or the region in general and based on his dealings with the media so far Bashar might believe they're populated with well-meaning saps hoping for peace. Barring unforeseen events they'll likely continue to paint the US neocons as the enemy. But surely there's a limit.
The last thing he wants is for America's resolve to be strengthened on staying the course in Iraq. He's winning the war. Undue protestations might also force a UN investigation (replete with IAEA involvement and sanctions) under the current cloud of Syria's involvement in the Gemayal and Hariri murders. In some ways the attack could have been an acknowledgment of his looming victory--a stark warning that while he may have won Iraq he's still vulnerable to Allied reprisal when it counts. Point taken, in other words.