Iran’s message to Israel regarding the drone it sent deep into Israeli airspace last week: two can play at this game. Just as Israel has assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists and sabotaged its nuclear facilities with computer worms and sabotaging electricity lines, Iran can target Israel’s most sensitive sites almost at will.
Sheera Frenkel has just published a newsmaking account from Israeli military sources about the drone the IAF shot down last week a few miles short of the Dimona nuclear complex. Earlier IDF claims were that it was shot down 18 miles from Dimona. Frenkel’s report says it was only ten miles. At that range, it’s not only conceivable, but likely the drone captured high quality images of Dimona, which could be potentially valuable should Iran decide to target the site.
I wrote here that the drone posed a security debacle as it not only appears to have been launched from Lebanon without Israel’s knowledge. It made its way virtually undetected until sometime after it entered Israeli airspace into which it penetrated 35 miles. In other words, if a slow-moving drone can do this how could Israel stop an Iranian missile traveling hundreds of miles an hour.
Frenkel quotes Israeli generals and pols putting a convenient spin on the drone mission, saying it was an Iranian failure, when anyone can see it was precisely the opposite:
…Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Hezbollah was responsible for the drone, telling reporters that Israel would “act with determination to defend its borders at sea, on air and land,” just as it had “thwarted Hezbollah’s attempt” to send an unmanned aircraft into Israeli airspace.
Netanyahu, who spoke during a tour of Israel’s southern border, was seconded by Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad, who later told Israel radio that the drone had “failed on its mission.”
“Thwarted?” Just barely. “Failed?” Only if its mission was to attack Dimona (which it wasn’t). If its mission was to penetrate Israel’s air defenses, point out their weaknesses, and secure aerial reconnaissance of the Dimona site and its surroundings, I’d say it was a ripping success as far as Iran is concerned.
As I was contemplating all the U.S., Israeli and Iranian drones criss-crossing Middle Eastern skies I had a vision of drones not just targeting humans on the ground, but targeting each other. It’ll only be a matter of time before Iranian drones are shooting down Israeli drones, and Israeli drones are shooting down incoming Hezbollah missiles. It’ll be a like shooting fish in a barrel, with the barrel being the Middle East. What fun all those stick-jockeys should be having. But if you live on the ground, beware what gifts the sky bears.
I don’t know how the average Israeli is absorbing this information, but anyone with sense in his head should know that this means that Iran can mount a punishing response to Israeli aggression. No, it won’t be as powerful as Israel’s. It won’t be as accurate nor as long-lasting. But Israel is a far smaller country than Iran. It would take much less to devastate Israel than it would to devastate Iran.
Israel’s war camp led by its prime minister and defense minister have conveniently neglected this fact. They remind me of the trash-talking football player who brags to the local paper about how his team is going to steamroller the worthless opponent. What he’s forgotten is that the lowly opponent is watching and patiently plotting how to humble the foolhardy man. Pride goeth before a fall.
There are those pro-Israel advocates who mistakenly call me a propagandist for Hezbollah or Iran. I’m not. I’m actually an advocate for Israel’s best interests, not those of Iran or anyone else. It just so happens that a peaceful resolution of the nuclear standoff is in the best interests of these parties as well as Israel. Anyone who doesn’t understand that, who purposely misconstrues my motives, is a fool or worse.