Normally, I’d have a post about this important story already published. But Muhammad Sahimi and I have wanted to partner on a joint op ed for some time and this presented a great opportunity. So we’re submitting it and hoping it will be accepted for publication.
What follows will be a very short summary of my portion of the piece we’ve written:
The attacks in Georgia and India would appear to have all the hallmarks of an Iranian response to Israel’s long campaign of terror against its nuclear and military program, though Iran has denied involvement.
Bibi Netanyahu, ever eager to implicate Iran in dastardly crimes against Israel, the Jewish people and humanity, has called Iran “the greatest exporter of terror in the world.” He’s leaving out his own country, which is certainly competitive in this sweepstakes. The Israeli prime minister might also want to keep in mind that Israel began this war against Iran and that an Iranian hit, if that’s what happened, is a response to Israeli terror. What Israel banks on is the short memory of the world when it comes to following this series of terror acts. It wants the world to focus on what happened today, but not what happened yesterday or last week, which led to today.
Five Iranian nuclear scientists are dead, one civilian driver was also killed, and one scientist’s wife was gravely injured in these attacks. A missile base blew up, killing an IRG general. Stuxnet delayed Iran’s uranium enrichment program for several months. These are acts that do not happen in a vacuum. There is action and reaction.
Ethan Bronner writes that the victims of today’s attack were “civilians.” But he neglects to acknowledge that any of the Iranian victims were civilians. For him, the Iranians were indistinguishable from each other. The main targets were legitimate, I suppose, and the secondary victims were collateral damage. I’ve got news for Eytan: they’re all civilians and neither Israel, Iran nor Hezbollah has any right to target any of them. But if Israel does do so, it has only itself to blame for the outcome. And it can expect more to come if it continues its covert war or attacks Iran outright.
Personally, I think these attacks were a warning shot across Israel’s bow. I don’t even think they meant to kill anyone. They meant to lay down a marker and let Israel know what it has coming if it wants to play this game. After all, Ehud Barak has dismissed any Iranian counter-strike. Only 500 Israelis would die, he’s claimed, after Israel launched a military strike. Iran wouldn’t dare go full-out because it would risk the world’s rage if it did. To me, this is typical Israeli testosterone-injected posing. If Bibi or Barak really believe this, then they’re as deluded or moreso than I feared.