FOREIGN POLICY: It’s been a tense week on the nuclear front, with Syria accusing Israel of invading its airspace, and then North Korea blasting Israel for doing so. You’ve been one of the only people who have spoken openly about the likelihood that Israel bombed nuclear facilities in Syria. If that were the case, why do you think Israel wouldn’t announce it had done so?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, I don’t think we really know what the target of the Israeli raid was. There seems to be a lot of indication that there was a North Korean-Syrian project in the nuclear field, although obviously the details of that are not known. And what that suggests is that we need very clear answers from the North Koreans in the context of the six-party talks [as to] whether indeed they are proliferating nuclear technology, whether they’re outsourcing their program—or just exactly what it is they’re doing.
Now, what the Israeli raid actually hit, I don’t think people know. I was certainly reacting against the notion that it was an attack on a shipment of missiles bound from Iran to Hezbollah, because I don’t think the Israelis would take the risks inherent in an attack on Syrian territory against a target like that. To me, it suggests that it was a higher-value target, and a nuclear facility of some kind would definitely qualify. But what exactly the target is, I don’t know myself, and I’m not sure that there’s anything but speculation out there at this point. [complete article]
As Israel and the United States struggle to maintain a veil of ambiguity over Israel’s alleged air strike against Syria earlier this month, Congress is bringing the issue out into the open and giving American sanction to an event that now seems all but confirmed.
Democrat Robert Wexler from Florida introduced a resolution this week supporting Israel’s covert operation and backing the country’s right to defend itself “in the face of an imminent nuclear or military threat from Syria.”
“This is the world’s worst-kept secret,” Wexler told the Forward this week, stressing that his proposed resolution did not reveal anything that wasn’t already reported in the world press. [complete article]
New York Senator Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday evening that she supports what she said was the Israel Air Force’s “apparent” action against a nuclear facility in Syria.
Clinton spoke during a televised debate for the leading candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for U.S. president.
The candidates largely evaded questions on the incident, on which foreign media has speculated but Israel remains quiet. The moderator of the debate, Tim Russert of NBC, raised the issue of Syria when asking whether the candidates would support an Israeli strike on Iran, should it acquire nuclear capabilities. [complete article]
Editor’s Comment — Clinton and Congress don’t need to know what happened in Syria before they voice their support. Fat chance they’ll be counseling restraint when it comes to Iran.