Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Jeffrey Goldberg says the Bulgaria bombing will be a turning point for Israel-Iran atomic anxieties:
But in this most recent phase of the confrontation — the last two years or so, when Israel ramped up its campaign to get Tehran to stop its nuclear program — Iran has been fairly inactive in the successfully-murdering-Jews department.
This is what may have changed earlier today. Prime Minister Netanyahu will be under extraordinary political pressure to retaliate in some serious way, and he will be under more pressure from himself than ever to deal with a regime he believes seeks the annihilation of six million Jews . . .
I doubt Netanyahu will retaliate for the Bulgaria bombing by launching an immediate attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. But there is a good chance he will launch attacks on Hezbollah targets and individuals, and possibly certain Iranian targets as well, and this sort of back-and-forth can only escalate tensions further, which could only bring us closer to an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran.
• The Pentagon is putting together a contingency plan to destroy Syrian chemical weapons facilities, should Assad’s regime either use them or collapse. A number of papers picked up on this NY Times story:
Any benefit of an Israeli raid on Syria’s weapons facilities would have to be weighed against the possibility that the Assad government would exploit such a raid for its own ends, said Martin S. Indyk . . .
• Bashar Assad’s silence on yesterday’s bombing fuels rumors that he was hurt in the attack, fled Damascus, or is in hiding. With the president’s whereabouts unknown, people are asking from the LA Times to Twitter: Where’s Bashar?
• Syrian rebels told the Daily Telegraph how they pulled off yesterday’s big bombing.
“There were two bombs,” Louay al-Mokdad, the FSA’s logistical coordinator said. “One was hidden in a packet of chocolates and one in a big flower pot that was in the middle of the table of the conference room.” He claimed that the operation was conducted by a group of FSA members in collaboration with drivers and bodyguards working for Mr Assad’s inner circle, a version repeated by other activists.
• A Washington Post staff-ed’s worried about Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
• Egyptian protesters tried to storm the Syrian embassy. More on the story at AP.
• FYI, Omar Suleiman died. The former Egyptian intelligence chief also served as Hosni Mubarak’s point man mediating Israeli-Palestinian flare ups and Palestinian unity efforts. Al-Ahram coverage.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The Guardian’s been in financial trouble for several years, which is why publisher Alan Rusbridger is following the Huffington Post model. But as Harry’s Place explains, the paper just panders to the lowest common denominator of people who hate the US and Israel. There is some poetic justice: the paper’s not making enough money off its digital content.
(Image of Costas via YouTube/cfhelpvids)
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