Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

The myth of the Osirak bombing and the march to Iran

Israeli security god Amos Yadlin’s NY Times op-ed yesterday is an example of why Obama should not believe Netanyahu’s case for war

The 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor is believed by Israelis (and not just them)  to have been a historic success, a precedent for the use of military force as the ultimate in arms control, most relevantly in Iran. Knowlegeable people know different.

Amos Yadlin, one of the pilots in that legendary attack, an insider’s insider of the Israeli military/intelligence establishment, wrote a very high-profile op-ed in the NYTimes yesterday repeating this BS that Israelis accept as fact. Yadlin, a former Air Force and military intelligence commander, now head of the country’s leading security think tank, certainly knows better. So either he was deliberately peddling this crock in the Times to sell a war on Iran, or he’s been brainwashed into believing it himself and doesn’t realize it.

He wrote that the Osirak bombing shows that Iran’s nuclear facilities can be destroyed not just for a few years, but permanently. 

After the Osirak attack and the destruction of the Syrian reactor in 2007, the Iraqi and Syrian nuclear programs were never fully resumed. This could be the outcome in Iran, too, if military action is followed by tough sanctions, stricter international inspections and an embargo on the sale of nuclear components to Tehran.

Like all Israelis, I believed that the Air Force had knocked out Saddam’s nuclear program for good in 1981, and that this had certainly proved a wise and brave decision. That was until 2007, when I was doing a story on Israel’s attack on the Syrian reactor, and I interviewed Yiftah Shapir, then and now the leading expert on missile warfare at the Institute of National Security Studies, whose current director is one Amos Yadlin. 

After telling me that the reactor that Israel destroyed was not exactly on the verge of threatening Israel’s existence, that for the Syrians to fire a nuclear weapon at Israel would require “decades of work by thousands of technicians that Syria doesn’t have,” Shapir gave me the consensus informed view about the 1981 attack on Osirak: that it didn’t mark the end of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, but more like the beginning of it.

After that attack, said Shapir, Saddam cranked up Iraq’s nuclear production several times over, putting thousands of new technicians to work on the project. This was only discovered when the Americans questioned the Iraqi nuclear scientists they captured during the 1991 Gulf War. It was that war, and the  subsequent takeover of Saddam’s WMD, that prevented Iraq from getting the bomb – not the 1981 israeli attack on Osirak. In fact, the bombing of Osirak escalated the Iraqi nuclear project such that if Saddam had not become power-mad and invaded Kuwait in 1990, bringing on the American invasion, he would have achieved nuclear capability by 1994, said Shapir, who directs the INSS’s annual, highly influential ”Middle East Balance of Forces” report.  

But you don’t have to interview Yiftah Shapir to learn this.  Look up “Operation Opera,” the code name for the Osirak attack, in Wikipedia, and read what other knowledgeable people, including Bob Woodward and former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry have to say: 

Israel claims that the attack impeded Iraq’s nuclear ambitions by at least ten years. In contrast, Dan Reiter has estimated that the attack may have accelerated Iraq’s nuclear weapons program, a view echoed by Richard K. Betts. Bob Woodward, in the book State of Denial, writes: “Israeli intelligence were convinced that their strike in 1981 on the Osirak nuclear reactor about 10 miles outside Baghdad had ended Saddam’s program. Instead [it initiated] covert funding for a nuclear program code-named ‘PC3′ involving 5.000 people testing and building ingredients for a nuclear bomb (…)”

Similarly, the Iraqi nuclear scientist Imad Khadduri wrote in 2003 that the bombing of Osirak convinced the Iraqi leadership to initiate a full-fledged nuclear weapons program. United States Secretary of Defense William Perry stated in 1997 that Iraq refocused its nuclear weapons effort on producing highly enriched uranium after the raid. Its interest in acquiring plutonium as fissile material for weapons continued, but at a lower priority.

 In short, the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 actually backfired – and Israelis don’t know it. Nor does the op-ed editor of the NY Times, who allowed Yadlin to repeat the BS version. 

Yadlin’s whole op-ed is a BS version of why the U.S. should bomb Iran, and that if the U.S. won’t do it, Israel will. He illustrates his case with the “success” of the air raid he took part in. And his op-ed seems to be a clear, concise preview of the argument for war that Netanyahu will be making to Obama in their meeting Monday.

Military intelligence, indeed.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. Jazzy

      Interesting – I did not know about this perspective on Osirak. Still, I wonder whether, even after committing additional manpower to his nuclear weapons program, Saddam made meaningful progress towards that goal without building another facility like Osirak. It seems worth bearing in mind Yadlin’s suggestion that, once a precedent for military strikes has been set, it will make it harder for Iran to build the kind of large, conspicuous facilities needed to enrich Uranium and weaponize nuclear material. That is, just because a military strike might actually have convinced Iraq, or might convince Iran, to devote more human resources covertly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would leave them with the flexibility to build the infrastructure needed to really make progress. Thoughts?

      Reply to Comment
      • vivarto

        Yes, he made progress towards the bomb.
        However Derfner’s argument is as stupid as Derfner himself.
        The conclusion is that bombing the reactor is not enough, and therefore the curret regime in Iran needs to be destroyed and replaced.
        This requires a wider war than just bombing some reactors.

        Much of the destruction can be done from air.
        Nearly all of their oil infrastructure can be destroyed easily.
        With no oil, they have no money for nukes.

        The real solution is to make pact with Russia to destroy Iran.
        Russian only supports Iran because of the idiotic American Cold War threats towards Russia.
        They don’t want Iran to go nuclear, but they are afraid of America.

        Reply to Comment
    2. But they were making progress bigtime, so they were evidently building what they needed to build.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Jazzy

      I’ll take your word for it, but there’s nothing in your piece that indicates how much progress Iraq actually made – you’ve just quoted sources saying they were trying.

      Reply to Comment
    4. I quote Yiftah Shapir saying that Saddam would have had the bomb in 1994 if he hadn’t blundered by invading Kuwait.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Jazzy

      That you did, that you did

      Reply to Comment
    6. Richard Witty

      The Osirik action probably was responsible for Iraqis concluding that “we won’t get there”, assuming that if there were any subsequent discovered nuclear development, that that would also be bombed.

      The Osirik plant was to produce 5% enriched uranium, nowhere near the technical, nor technological status of 20% enriched uranium.

      Iran is further along. They have nuclear fission grade material (suitable for a reactor). The perceived danger is the development of 20% enriched uranium, which is described as 6-12 months from 95% enriched, bomb grade material.

      6-12 months is the window of allowable time between inspections without formal opinion of non-compliance by the IAEA.

      It is a different beast.

      I’ve not heard from anyone anywhere, of what actions have successfully persuaded Iran to change any policy that they’ve set their minds to.

      Anyone have any examples? So, that there might be some alternative to either pinpoint, limited, or unlimited military actions?

      The prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is very dangerous, whether that takes the form of exported nuclear material (poison as a WMD), or bombs delivered by ground, or of bombs delivered by ballistic missile.

      I don’t see any path for any reconciliation. As much as the “people” recognize that the other are people just like us (you can substitute Israeli for Iranian people and vice-versa), the government of Iran DOES initiate, foments, encourages, and vetoes the relaxation of aggression against Israel.

      Its statements towards Israel as Israel, are unconditional rejection, unconditional antipathy, not dependent on Israeli actions towards Iran, not dependent even on Israeli policies towards Lebanon or Palestine.

      Its a dilemma that is not answerable by wishing, sadly.

      In very recent days, the world changed. It looked like the Assad regime would fall shortly. Now, it doesn’t. The path for Iranian influence from the middle of Asia to the Mediterranean is restored, in days.

      I’m looking for a positive alternative suggestion. Any ideas?

      Reply to Comment
    7. Richard Witty

      I was just confronted by an irony.

      That is that the situation of “unconditional enemy” (Iran re: Israel) is ignored by the anti-Zionist left.

      While the relationship of “unconditional friend” (US re: Israel) is severely criticized.

      The nature of unconditional relationships is of a different character than conditional relationships.

      Unconditional friendship does NOT mean the same as unconditional advocacy of policies.

      It is more like a family relationship, a brother, in which one remains brothers even if bad things happen.

      Unconditional friendships are a positive wonder, a great net asset on the planet, a commitment to love that is independent of conditions.

      Unconditional enemies are a curse on the planet, a commitment to hate that is independent of conditions or treatment.

      Israel/Palestine (conditional or unconditional)?
      Israel/Iran (conditional or unconditional)?

      Reply to Comment
    8. Harry

      @ Richard Witty
      “So, that there might be some alternative to either pinpoint, limited, or unlimited military actions?”

      Solution would be treating Iran as an equal and sovereign nation, instead of bullying it, threats dont work against them, as we all noticed.

      1) Step-by-step approach suggested by Russia – Iran answers all legitimate questions and concerns, and sanctions are removed at the same time. Iran approves Additional protocol.

      2) Iran enriches to 5%, and trades for 20% materials, as they already had a deal with Brazil, until US blocked it.

      Of course, Iran has the right to decline illegitimate requests and demands. Like “first stop nuclear program (even though Iran has the right to pursue it), then we’ll talk”, or “let inspectors visit conventional military sites” (which isnt covered by the Treaty Iran signed, nor it would be wise to leak sensitive military information to potential enemies).

      Done. No sanctions, no war. Iran’s peaceful nuclear program is under even stricter control, max enrichment is 5%.

      Reply to Comment
    9. John Yorke

      In almost all instances, it is a given that military action will be resented by those against whom it is deployed; theocratic states, undemocratic regimes or autocratic governments have no monopoly in this regard. Every nation and its nationals must feel an automatic, inbuilt antipathy toward any aggressive outside interference in its affairs, even if those affairs may be heading in a somewhat questionable direction.
      It’s human nature to do so, a fact unlikely to change much in the immediate or longer-term future.

      So, it goes without saying that any attack against Iranian nuclear facilities will have a markedly negative effect in Iran, on not a few countries nearby and much of the world in general. It might seem, therefore, that Israel and the US will have to opt for the sanctions-led approach and hope it will do the trick. If it doesn’t, then any other options left will be few in number.

      One factor that might help the situation would be some discernible movement that directly addresses the Israel/Palestinian conflict and the many issues that attend it. Resolve that one to the satisfaction of all concerned and the Iranian need for a nuclear arsenal, if such is their intent, becomes almost a separate matter, less easy to justify and even harder to promote in the years ahead.

      If the world wants to avoid any further escalation of a situation already uncomfortably close to crisis-point, it would be well advised to have something new enter the present mix of threat and counter-threat, a more radical alternative to the use of force and then more force.

      http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

      When you find yourself threatened by your own dreams, it is only then that some nightmares release their grip. Let’s try to end this nightmare before we wake up to what may be its terrible reality.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Richard Witty

      Harry,
      You didn’t answer the question. The question of what to do. You responded with what not to do.

      Everyone sees what doesn’t work.

      What does?

      Iran is currently acknowledging that it is enriching uranium to 20%. It is not settling at 5%.

      It rejected Russia’s offer of 20% enriched material.

      There is no wishing that there isn’t a problem.

      How do you respond to the arming of 50,000 warheads in Southern Lebanon. The are NOT of the nature of stopping an invasion. They are of the nature of threatening to punish a civilian population.

      Do you ignore that? How morally?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Piotr Berman

      Witty should observe that

      a. Iran’s nuclear program is not directly military

      b. Iran’s nuclear program in a direct sense is militarily pointless

      c. Iran also has conventional weapon program which indeed represent a threat, namely missiles that can be directed at Israel, American military bases (especially Kuwait, but eventually every single base in Persian Gulf) and Hormuz.

      What is the purpose of pursuing both effective program c. and pointless program a.? I think that Iranian regime needs a victory. Victory in a real war is uncertain and very expensive at best. It is much better to win in a virtual war. That requires cooperation of the enemies who must IMPOTENTLY complain. This is plan A.

      There is a chance though that the enemies will do something worse than just complain. But it is rather hard to destroy a program that is not easy to define, which is “everywhere and nowhere”. Plan B: after a small/medium size attack declare that attack fail and we got victory. The underground sites are excellent for that, barring the use of big nukes you can always declare that they survived, and they may even actually survive which you can lavishly document in triumphant videos.

      Concerning 50,000 warhead in South Lebanon, nobody knows how many and what quality. This is a strategy applied by Israel too and is called “strategic ambiguity”. Strategic ambiguity is better as a defensive weapon than offensive, or rather, prevention (good) and reaction (quite ambigous how good!!) than first strike. The doctrine of punishing a civilian population was popularized by Israeli generals under the name “Dahiya doctrine”.

      That said, non-residential targets are usually preferable (unless you are an Israeli general) but require a larger range and accuracy. It is usually assumed that the new generation of missiles in Lebanon is sufficiently improved to direct them at smaller and more distant targets. On the other hand, strictly military targets are too small, too distant and too fortified. The middle ground are economic targets, transportation, manufacturing etc.

      Now imagine that Israel discovers that a TV station in South Lebanon interferes with frequencies Israel wishes to use. What does IDF do? Nothing! Or that some inhabitants of South Lebanon are “dangerous person”. What does IDF do? Nothing. But would Hezbollah do some real shit, there would definitely be a retaliation. Seems to me that this is exactly a desired outcome. Note that Hezbollah does not sent troops to dismantle Israeli TV stations either.

      In the long run, there is absolutely no way to prevent Iran from getting nukes, were it so inclined, and this is precisely how independent states coexist.

      By the way, centrifuge program is relatively bulky and energy inefficient. Laser Isotope Separation offers much smaller cost, footprint and energy use. Iran investigates that technology. Centrifuges are a technological dead end, but very valuable for propaganda, as a decoy and as a trap.

      This also means that would economic sanctions bite, Iran can decommission all centrifuges and keep nuclear program, if they are so inclined. The mere possibility can convert “utter surrender” to an appearance of “victory”.

      My recommendation is to interrupt virtual war with Iran. Get some imperfect agreement and declare victory. Details really do not matter much.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Piotr Berman

      I would like to point out that government of Israel preferred to use military force rather than negotiations or mediation to resolve the question of allocating TV and radio frequencies. Also, given the state of financial dependence of PA, mediation would surely be effective if the real problem was on PA side. While not utterly crazy, this is not truly sane behavior.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Dan

      The issue is partly one of perception, from an Israeli pov is Iran is ruled by mad Mullahs who threaten Absoloute destruction and so must not have any nuclear programme whatsoever because whatever the safeguards are there is a risk some one will get round them and we are not willing to take the risk.

      From the Iranian pov they are a member of the NPT, have signed a treaty which allows them to have a nuclear program including reprocessing a large part of the issue is pride. If brazil can be a member of the NPT and reprocess their own fuel, how dare anyone tell Iran they can not!

      There is never going to be an Iranian agreement to abolish the program now that it has got to the point which it can meet their demand for 20% enriched. They do not need much for the Tehran Research Reactor and so they have now made some, they are not going to agree to give that away. What safeguards will they agree to in return for lifting sanctions is where they are at.

      The problem is I do not think any politician in US or Israel is going to be in a position to do a deal which says Iran can keep any fraction of reprocessing as they have spent 20 years telling their populations that reprocessing = bomb .

      In terms of the Iraqi programme it is correct that at the time of Osirak there was next to no programme, after the French declined to rebuild Osirak in 83-4 Iraq went for a significant distributed and hidden programme with 2 different methods of enrichment , there is debate as to how close they were to a bomb in 1991 but they were probably closer than Iran is now and were a lot lot closer than they had been in 1981. With no Kuwait invasion, and Gulf war Saddam would have had a bomb in the 1990′s. By 2003 there was no programme it had been dismanteled by the inspectors, but part of the fear of WMD was the fact that people were surprised as to how close they had got without people realising .

      Lots and lots of rockets in Southern Lebanon, well sorry but IDF has invaded Lebanon 3 times since 1978 including staying for most of the 80s and 90s having a detterant to stop the IDF driving in again, is perfectly sensible from their point of view. The IDF wants the ability to drive into Sidon any time they want and kill or capture whoever they want, well they would not assume they could do that to Damascus without risking a bigger war. Is there a risk that due to Hezbullah Iran alliance that they rockets become part of a detterant to an attack on Iran well yes.

      If Iran really is at the point of making a weapon then a raid which stops them might be worth that risk.
      If Iran is actually years away and an attack is launched to make Bibi or whoever is PM at the time look strong to the Israeli electorate, then all those rockets may be doing something useful by giving them pause.

      Reply to Comment
    14. I didn’t hear any proposal Piotr.

      I think it is unrealistic to consider Iran not an aggressing state on Israel.

      The fear of their immediate firing a missile with a thermonuclear device is a gross exageration, but the intermediate (severe) threats are real.

      That Iran, Hezbollah, others have intentionally directed their aggressions at civilians primarily, is real and considerable precedent, and a gross violation of every principle that progressives usually do and should hold dear.

      Reply to Comment
    15. John Yorke

      The whole problem, ultimately, hinges upon one, largely unobserved aspect.

      No dynamic has ever entered into this dispute. It has remained essentially static for generations. There is ‘us’ and there is ‘them’ and ‘never the twain shall meet.’ Having no sense of shared identity with the other side, both Arab and Jew remain isolated by their own unique religious and cultural heritage, never once imagining themselves as a single group or collective of like-minded individuals.

      It is only by recognising and adapting this all too obvious state of affairs that a bonding between two such disparate peoples can ever be made and then, once established, be utilised to its fullest extent. And that extent can turn out to be very full indeed.

      The dominant point of contact here remains the conflict itself; this long-standing, seemingly eternal.
      struggle for mastery over a situation that has now taken matters very much into the realm of the nuclear. This cannot be considered a good development, not unless it forces all of us into a fundamental reappraisal of what it is we are witnessing. And what we could be witnessing in the very near future.

      How, therefore, can the problem be turned to everyone’s advantage?

      Sometimes, what can seem to be the hardest task of all, can best be solved by the simplest and most direct of methods. But only if we can figure out in time just what that might be.

      http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

      Reply to Comment
    16. Piotr Berman

      Witty did not notice that I have made a proposal.

      In more detail, the proposal is to take some agreement that Iran already approved, amend it here and there, and offer that, plus a rather complete removal of economic sanctions. Make a few round, add loud protestations on both sides about worthlessness of the proposal, and arrive at a historical agreement.

      Or we make a war.
      Perhaps it may be a preferred option.

      War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it.
      Benito Mussolini

      War is to man what maternity is to a woman. From a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, I do not believe in perpetual peace.
      Benito Mussolini

      Reply to Comment
    17. Richard Witty

      They have agreed to IAEA regimen, but they have refused inspections recently.

      And, Hezbollah has been ordered to disarm south of the Litani per UN resolutions, which it has refused.

      You know, international law.

      Your proposal is really too vague. Any basis of any confidence anywhere relative to relations with Iran?

      Reply to Comment
    18. Dan

      They have agreed to the IAEA regime but have not signed up to proposed additional protocol. So under what they have signed up to they declare which sites they are doing listed activities and they are liable to inspection, that does not entitle anyone to inspect other military sites where it is alleged they may have done some nuclear R&D but is known as a significant missile and rocket development site, which is none of the IAEAs business.

      In terms of Hezbullah and arms south of the Litani, well from the point of view of IAEA or anyone outside Israel, so what. It is a totally sepeate issue, and just reinforces the point that regardless of the nuclear issue you want Iranian regime change.

      Russia does not want another nuclear power on its southern border, but Russia is not up for regime change for the benefit of Israel or US.

      Reply to Comment
    19. THE NEXT INHERITANCE

      In December 2008, David Sanger published “The Inheritance”, a slashing condemnation of President Bush and his administration’s policies in the Middle East and particularly with respect to Iran.

      Now, nearly four years later, we are coming up to a new administration, either one re-elected or one just taking power for the first time, which will indeed inherit the current US-Iranian conundrum.

      What will that look like? In just the past two weeks, I have found seven “slogans” on US-Iran policy, old and new, that all dance around a common theme. I call these “Fortune Cookie Analyses”. They are short, one-liners, that are meant to convey well thought-out analysis. But the thrust of these policy recommendations are all of the same cloth: “Don’t worry, things are fine”. Here they are, from Bill Keller, the managing editor of the New York Times, to Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, to the CBS evening television news, to USA Today, to Foreign Affairs.

      (1)Iran is building nukes only because of US threats; (2) Iran will really, really build nukes but only if the US or Israel attacks its current nuke sites; (3) Iran and Israel are really talking, so do not worry; (4) Iran is actually rational and beginning to make sense; (5) Those crazy folks in Israel are being reckless in their war mongering; (4) Iran will negotiate a deal after the elections so do not worry; (6) Military action against Iran won’t work because, well, it will only “delay” their nuke development; (7) Action by Israel against Saddam re: the Osirak reactor made him really, really mad and forced Saddam to accelerate his nuclear program; and (8) Just in case, we can deter a nuclear armed Iran just as we did the Soviets, because after all, Iran is rational, (see four (4) above).

      You will notice the self-contradictory nature of these strongly held beliefs. And their baffling incoherence.

      For example, Iran will only really, really pursue nuclear weapons if we attack their nuclear sites!

      And of course my favorite, Saddam really, really pursued nuclear weapons but only after the Israeli raid on Iraq’s nuclear reactor in operation OPERA in June 1981.

      The real story? The Israeli raid did force Saddam’s nuclear program further underground. But it slowed what otherwise would have been an unimpeded nuclear program. As for the supposed watchdogs under Hans Blix of the International Atomic Energy Administration? Mostly face down in their bowls of Viennese Alpo, sound asleep.

      It is true, the US and others discovered the extent of the Iraq nuclear program only after the liberation of Kuwait, a military action opposed by many of the same folks who denied Saddam had an active nuclear weapons program. Would Saddam have been closer to having nuclear weapons in the absence of an Israeli strike, in that the Iraqi dictator was bent upon securing such weapons one way or the other?

      At first glance, conventional wisdom apparently believes that Iran’s nuclear program, whatever it may be, is not cause for worry.

      But what in fact might be the facts already “on the ground”, so to speak that the next administration might inherit? Could we be missing some developments? Some of my colleagues suggest we might be surprised that:
      • Iran already has functioning, tested warheads;
      • It is amassing more enriched uranium for more bombs;
      • Much is being accomplished in underground, hardened, bunkers under mountains, and such which neither IAEA nor U.S. knows about;
      • Trigger/explosives work formerly done at Parchin has moved underground
      • Warheads might not yet be successfully married up to nosecones of nuclear-capable Shahab-3s but give them time;
      • IAEA reports from Nov 2011, Feb 2012, May 2012, and Aug 2012 are very revealing as to Iranian progress on nuclear weapons – all available online at IAEA website;
      • We may not have Until Spring 2013 before Iran enters “zone of immunity”;
      • Sanctions regime is precipitating implosion of Iranian economic system but to date we do not know whether such economic conditions can precipitate regime change…
      • Iranian leadership may not care how negative economic conditions become. They may indeed simply want the “bomb” to go after the little and big “Satan”…
      • Unless the regime is destroyed, and from within, the nuclear program may be set back, but the program cannot be destroyed completely, and regime not only is likely to retaliate, perhaps globally, certainly vs. Israel & US forces in the region, but also will double down to finish its program — unless the regime also is removed from power….
      • That is the unfortunate inheritance for the next administration.
      • Too much of elite US opinion is under the sway of Iranian disinformation, as demonstrated by thousands of now-public documents/emails from the Hassan Daioleslam defamation case, brought and just lost by NIAC/Trita Parsi
      • Sleep well!
      • All the best, Peter Huessy Senior Defense Consultant, Air Force Association

      Reply to Comment
    20. herb

      Mr. Derfner has been an ardant supporter of leftist and peace-activist causes for nearly 2 decades that I know of. His perspective on this issue is quite incomplete. The day the French shipment of 75 kilos of 93% enriched Uranium fuel rods left its port for Iraq, was the signal for Operation Opera to go into action. That amount of enriched Uranium would be the nuclear seed to produce several dozen A-bombs for Sadam’s arsenals of war. Israel’s bombing of Osiraq destroyed the facility that would have produced the Plutonium to make those bombs. Atomic power for electricity only needs a max level of enrichment of 20%. Thus, France’s actions were a defacto collusion with Iraq’s strategic goals. So, the IAF destroyed that posibility. The fact that Sadam continued to try to go nuclear is a testimony to the man’s obsessions; not to Israel being foolish in trying to stop him when needed. Read the full Wikipedia article on the history of the whole matter. The only thing it leaves out is the probable under-current of undisclosed Frecnh Nazi participation in facilitaing the scheme.
      After WWII almost none of the many hundreds of Nazi and their collaborators in France were outted and tried as in Germany.

      Reply to Comment
    21. dean mckendree

      so… after the israeli bombing and after the invasion of Iraq by America…he would have achieved nuclear capability by 1994. Do you read your own writing. If Israel hadn’t bombed and if the US hadn’t invaded Saddam would have had nuke capabilities by 1994. That sir, was nine years ago. Saddam with a nuke nine years ago. I’m laughing at you and your just too damn arrogant to accept your own stupidity.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Click here to load previous comments

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel