Osirak, 25 Years Later
Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the Osirak bombing, when Israeli fighter planes bombed a French-built nuclear plant near Baghdad. The destruction of the near-completed reactor, which Israel believed was designed to make nuclear weapons to destroy Israel, was met with strong denunciation from the world community. A quarter-century later — with Iraq’s potential threat as a terrorist nation having led the United States into war — some see Osirak in a different light. One such person is Daniel Birk, a 30-year-old father of two from Seattle. Inspired by the 2004 book ‘Raid on the Sun: Inside Israel’s Secret Campaign That Denied Saddam the Bomb’ (Broadway), by Rodger Claire, Birk decided to commission a painting to commemorate the raid. He hired Jack Fellows, a Washington State-based painter known for his renderings of aerial combat scenes from the Pacific during World War II. The result is ‘Operation Babylon’ (seen above). Birk is now selling high-quality lithographs of the paintings at his Web site, www.birkartwork.com. The first 550 limited copies are signed by Fellows and can be purchased for around $100 per copy.