Innocently following a Drudge link, I just read my first Robert Fisk piece – so Fisked it.

He writes (my emphasis of weasel words):

Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?

scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium – based munitions may now also be included in Israel’s weapons inventory – and were used against targets in Lebanon… two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed “elevated radiation signatures”.

(An) initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. “The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash … The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium.” A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium.

Fisking his theories in turn:

1. Mini-nuke
Even a tiny 1 kiloton weapon would be picked up on seismographs worldwide – witness the NoKo fizzle. And a groundburst would leave a very big hole and lots of highly radioactive fallout.

2. Thermobaric trigger
Such triggers are made of cheap high explosive. Still, he’s prescient – Israel will use thermobarics a lot in the next war with Hizbollah because:

Asphyxiation and internal damage can also occur to personnel…in deeper tunnels, as a result of the blast wave, the heat, or the following air draw.

3. Bunker Buster
Conventional bunker busters don’t use DU. And the Israelis are putting all their enriched uranium into H-Bomb initiators for operation Bestow additional Blessings.

Fisk misses the most important clue – the photo of black smoke. This tells us Reuters created the “scientific evidence”. Nuff said.


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