Ordinarily, when a reporter asks the president to comment on a subject he’s not comfortable with, Bush will dodge pretty well. He’ll note his unwillingness to discuss the matter, but he’ll do so artfully (albeit unpersuasively) with some vaguely credible explanation. Yesterday, however, NBC’s David Gregory asked Bush about Israel’s bombing raid on a target in Syria earlier in the month.
“I’m not going to comment on the matter,” the president said with a stoic impression. When Gregory followed up with a related question, Bush repeated, “I’m not going to comment on the matter.”
As a rule, I don’t find Charles Krauthammer’s work to have any value, but his initial description of the events in Syria earlier this month were on the mark: “On Sept. 6, something important happened in northern Syria. Problem is, no one knows exactly what.”
The WaPo’s Glenn Kessler and Robin Wright shed some additional light on the subject today with a provocative front-page piece.
Israel’s decision to attack Syria on Sept. 6, bombing a suspected nuclear site set up in apparent collaboration with North Korea, came after Israel shared intelligence with President Bush this summer indicating that North Korean nuclear personnel were in Syria, U.S. government sources said.
This bears watching. As the WaPo noted the other day, “[L]ike a subterranean explosion, the event is sending shock waves through the Middle East and beyond.”