Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Persian blinds

Updated 10/14

FurReal Friends butterscotch pony.
Heard on the BBC this morning a remarkable story about the blogger Richard Silverstein having been leaked a secret document from someone in Israeli security circles detailing the order of operations in an upcoming Israeli strike against Iran. A cyber attack destroys all the country's communications and compromises their electrical grid, planes come to bomb all the nuclear facilities, cruise missiles are used to assassinate all the top echelon of nuclear officials. Equipment and strategies that have never been tested will all work in seamless coordination with each other, Iran will be unable even to respond, Israelis will suffer nothing more than maybe a little whiplash. And you'll get a pony, if you're extra good. You can read an English version at the blog, Tikun Olam, and it's pretty scary; as Silverstein says,
This is Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.
Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.
There will be those who will dispute the authenticity of this document. I’m convinced it is what my source claims, based on his prior track record and the level of specificity offered in the document. It references cities by name and the facilities they contain. It names new weapons systems including one Israel supposedly hasn’t even shared with the U.S.
No, it’s real. Or I should say that while it’s real, it is the product of the Israeli dream factory which manufactures threats and then creates fabulist military strategies to address them. The dream factory always breaks the hearts of the families of those whose members fall victim to it. It never produces the result it promises, nor will it do so here.
Then, in the comments, a startling twist: a different version of what appears to be the same document, in Hebrew, appeared on the Israeli web portal Fresh a few days ago as a work of fiction, by "an old friend of the Forum who wishes to remain anonymous" and with all information "based on foreign sources and open only" (this is Google Translate, you really don't have to trust me). It seems to have rather less technical detail than Silverstein's and a good deal more wish fulfillment, down to an elaborate reconstruction of how Hezbollah will behave.

It looks to me, in fact, as if each of these is a different redaction of some document prior to both, edited perhaps for different purposes. Silverstein, insists that this is not so: his is a translation of the original official paper, given to him to help expose how crazy Netanyahu and Barak really are. But I'd like to hear some speculation about what the other one is.

The drumbeat, meanwhile, seems to have become as intense as it was in the spring, before the formation of the Great National Unity Government that is now, of course, gone once again, apparently broken over the issue of the Haredim doing national service for a couple of years--once again Iran is reaching that threshold of something or other before which they must be stopped; or, to the more cynical, Netanyahu is reaching that threshold where he just won't be able to control himself.

Whatever it is seems keyed in timing to the US elections, whether it's his hatred for Obama, his love for his old pal Willard, or his dependence on Willard's patrons Mr. and Mrs. Adelson. I'm more convinced than ever that it's all bluff--hope it is, because if he really intends to lead his country to war on the basis of a plan as flimsy as the one Richard Silverstein describes then he is delusional and the outcome could be very horrible indeed.
A herd of Shetlands, from Horse and Man.
Update 10/14
I note somebody's been looking at this old thing. Its fearful tone (or rather Silverstein's) has become outdated now that it's quite clear that Netanyahu was bluffing, as I mostly expected. That explains, by the way, why this plan was so weird, so amateurish and incomplete: it wasn't written for the IDF, it was written for the Israeli (and maybe US) press.

No comments:

Post a Comment