Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fear factor Foxtacular!

This just in (actually, leading the page for much of the after- noon) from the Fair 'n' Balanced Network: Democrats meddle, Middle East in peril! First, the weather!

Of the several malign flavors of question heds, this one falls into the category of assertion-disguised-as-question. Working off a three-graf tale published Monday in the Times of London (its Murdoch bedmate), Fox would like you to think -- OK, at least to question whether -- this "former Dem president" has spilled a major secret to the winds.

Even by the standards of question heds, though, this one is remarkably, genuinely, if-they-gave-a-medal-for-it-you'd-be-on-a-box-of-Wheaties-level stupid. As fans of the Times know, the "outing" should properly be credited to ... step forward, the Sunday Times of London! Return with us now to October 1986:

Revealed - the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal

THE SECRETS of a subterranean factory engaged in the manufacture of Israeli nuclear weapons have been uncovered by The Sunday Times Insight team.

Hidden beneath the Negev desert, the factory has been producing atomic warheads for the last 20 years. Now it has almost certainly begun manufacturing thermo-
nuclear weapons, with yields big enough to destroy entire cities.

...[Mordechai] Vanunu's evidence has surprised nuclear weapons experts who were approached by Insight to verify its accuracy because it shows that Israel does not just have the atom bomb - which has been long suspected - but that it has become a major nuclear power.

... The nuclear scientists consulted by The Sunday Times are convinced by Vanunu's evidence. They calculate that at least 100 and as many as 200 nuclear weapons of varying destructive power have been assembled -- 10 times the previously estimated strength of Israel's nuclear arsenal.

As even the Israeli expert quoted by Fox notes, "[Carter] is not the first and he won't be the last to talk about this." You figure that understanding might be one reason nobody panicked when Robert Gates described Israel as a nuclear power during his confirmation hearings in December 2006? Or when, less than a week later, the Israeli PM came out with: "Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when you are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, Russia?"

Fox seems to be smitten by Israeli Intelligence, but it doesn't have a lot of respect for Israeli intelligence. Maybe after four decades of this particular sort of ambiguity, they've sort of figured out how to make it go; deterrence does tend to work better, after all, when all the parties know the routines. But then again, this isn't really a story about the Near East. It's about signing the kids up for those Farsi lessons in a hurry if a Democrat gets anywhere near the White House.



Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Unlike signing soldiers up for Farsi if McCain gets in...

Or not, since he professes a dislike for talking to people.

11:13 AM, May 28, 2008  

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