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Israel bombs an empty building in Syria, risking planes, pilot and war, just for the fun of it

In his January 15, 2008 column Hallinan insisted that the Syrian reactor, which had been recently bombed by the Israeli air force, was merely an empty building.  As usual, Hallinan considered every kind of conspiracy theory.  Nowhere does he explain why the Israelis would want to risk losing its airplanes and possibly igniting a war with Syria for the sake of bombing a lot of nothing.   Furthermore, nowhere does he examine the plethora of credible evidence that this really was a nuclear reactor under construction, including the discovery of uranium at the site by the UN’s IAEA, which was discovered despite Syria 's extensive efforts to scrub the site clean.  Hallinan's reflexive defense of Syria no doubt stems from its former status as a client of Hallinan's beloved Soviet Union.

The Syrian secret nuclear site bombed by Israel

In his December 22, 2006 column, Hallinan predicted that Israel will invade Syria by the end of September, 2007.  Lo these several years later, we are still waiting for that invasion.  Part of Hallinan’s stated reason for believing that Israel would invade Syria was that the Israeli public was itching for war:

If the Olmert government does decide to attack Syria, it will find that the Israeli public—at least for now—supports it. A recent poll by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research found that only 18 percent of Israelis thought that long-term peace with Syria is possible and 67 percent reject returning the Golan Heights in exchange for peace. Slightly over half think there will be another war with Syria.

Hallinan’s analysis is, of course, false on its face.  Just because the Israeli public feels that peace with Syria is a distant prospect does not, perforce, mean that Israelis look eagerly towards an invasion.  The status quo has served Israel quite well over the last 35 plus years.  Israelis value their children too much to throw them into such a war of choice.  Lord knows, they have had enough wars of necessity. 

By analogy, a poll of Americans would likely find that most Americans view peace with North Korea as a far off possibility.  That is hardly the same as pollsters asking Americans if they favor an American invasion of North Korea.  Finally, even if nearly half of Israelis believed that another war with Syria is possible, it hardly follows that the same group must believe that Israel should initiate it.  It is no doubt because his analysis is so fatally flawed that Hallinan’s prediction never came true.

As an aside, Hallinan used the same article to once again praise Hezbollah for its great victory over Israel with these words:  “Those anti-tank weapons were not only efficient in neutralizing Israeli armor in Lebanon, they served as short-range artillery pieces that had a devastating effect on IDF infantry.”   This military analysis is pure fantasy. 


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