What is Syria Hiding from the IAEA?

You will recall the spectacular raid by Israeli planes on what most are now calling a nuclear reactor in Syria that was built with the help of North Korean technicians and scientists.

At the time, we were assured by those in favor of engaging Syria that Baby Assad and his cutthroat regime had no intention of building weapons of mass destruction. Even after Syria was caught with its proverbial pants down, the call to "negotiate" with these thugs continued.

Now it appears that Assad has decided not to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to come into his country and sniff around for evidence the Syrian dictator is still trying to build nukes:

Syria has blocked a new visit by International Atomic Energy Agency experts seeking to follow up on intelligence that Damascus built a secret nuclear program built with the help of North Korea, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The diplomats also said Washington was circulating a note among members of the IAEA board opposing a Syrian push for a seat on the 35-nation board. The board normally works by consensus and a seat held by Damascus could thus hamper any investigation into its alleged nuclear activities.

Syria fears a massive atomic agency investigation similar to the probe Iran has been subjected to more than five years.

Yes, I'll bet they do. No doubt if the IAEA really chose to look, they would find what most of the world missed for years - an extensive program to build a nuclear weapon.

Syria is as poor a country as there is in the Middle East with not much in the way of oil reserves and an economy that is so bad, Assad has to pay off the military and intelligence services by allowing them to plunder the Lebanese economy in order to reduce the threat of a coup. Where is he getting the cash to carry on a nuke program?

One need look no farther than his close ally Iran who is no doubt supplying some of the expertise as well as cash. And as long as the IAEA is forbidden from looking into the dark places of the Syrian regime, Assad will continue his efforts to acquire the technology to build nukes.