Ilan Ramon and the Osirak raid

While I fully believe that yesterday’s shuttle disaster was an accident, here is something which will likely fuel the conspiracy theorists’ fire. While largely rumoured to have flown in Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut who died in the shuttle explosion, is now remembered as taking part in that raid.

At the time, the raid was largely condemned, especially by the UN. Under then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the UK vehemently opposed the attack as a grave breach of international law while the US did not veto a UN resolution condemning the raid and even blocked deliveries of new weapons to Israel. Ironically, the current Bush administration has used the Osirak raid as an excuse for its own impending pre-emptive strike.

For you crazy conspiracy theorists, here is another piece of information related to the raid: the Osirak nuclear reactor in the nuclear power plant at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Center near Baghdad, which was capable of turning out plutonium and was largely undamaged by the raid, was supplied by France. However, France decided against repairing the damaged Osirak reactor even after initially agreeing, at least in principle, to do so.

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