Bergman on Mossad’s ‘Stupidity, Arrogance’ in Devising Stuxnet
Ronen Bergman has published a story in Friday’s Yediot Achronot on the Stuxnet worm, one of the few comprehensive reports to have appeared in the Israeli media which, as he notes, has studiously (and curiously) avoided an issue that has enflamed the world media. Bergman’s reporting on this is very important since he is known to have excellent sources within the security apparatus, while generally maintaining a certain independence and integrity. And he minces no words in stating baldly (through his sources) that Stuxnet has been a disaster both for the Mossad (he coyly refuses to explicitly name the agency as the source) and western intelligence agencies monitoring and containing Iran’s nuclear efforts. What’s especially critical about this is that few journalists (except me and several others) until now have specified the price that Stuxnet will exact from both its maker and all intelligence agencies working on this issue.
After noting German security reports on the damage the malware caused to Iran, the reporter also notes:
Concurrently, it [Stuxnet] caused tremendous damage to he who created it [i.e. Israel]. There are those already calling it the “Al-Mabouh of [All] Worms…”
…There can be no doubt that the organization standing behind Stuxnet brought nearer, in a way that can never be undone, the ability to launch similar such attacks [by others] in the future.
Bergman notes an uproar among western intelligence agencies trading accusations and recriminations back and forth about who is the author of the worm:
German intelligence (the BND) warns that if the Mossad planted this unripened worm, it caused great damage to the efforts against Iran.
According to the intelligence correspondent, Stuxnet delayed Iran’s nuclear program by “a few months,” which seems an extraordinary expense to go to for such a small payoff. Further, Bergman states:
One of the most expert sources on the subject says that the Stuxnet affair is the most central and important (to this point) in the “covert war” conducted by the west against Iran…Whoever [created the worm] did–either through stupidity or arrogance–enormous damage to this effort…While no one was killed or injured and there was no tragedy…we’re speaking about opportunities that are now foreclosed including other operations [that can never be successful given that Iran will now be on guard to protect its security].
In other words, the security weakness that Israel discovered and exploited could have been put to much more effective use. If you’re going to go to the trouble, why not get a major result instead of a paltry few months delay?
Very pointedly in Bergman’s report you will find no criticism of Stuxnet from Israeli sources. As far as the political/intelligence apparatus it was a triumph that will ring out the career of outgoing Mossad chief, Meir Dagan. It is a mark of the insularity of Israeli thinking that it pays no notice to the beating it is taking in the international arena for both the al-Mabouh killing and Stuxnet. I look forward one day to an Israel that joins the nations of the world, is welcomed by them. An Israel that refuses to engage in such dangerous adventurism. A nation that is pragmatic and cautious in its dealings both with friends and enemies, but especially the latter. That day will come.
33 thoughts on “Bergman on Mossad’s ‘Stupidity, Arrogance’ in Devising Stuxnet – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Sorry, but hyprocrite can you get? Is there any border of shame or truthfulness for you?
Let’s start with the point that the most quoted and regarded expert on the matter is not Bergman but Ralph Langner (from Germany).
And he said several times that the virus was equal if not more effective than a huge air strike on the Iranian nuclear program. That is what I call Jewish morals and intellect, choosing less loss of life for a silent but effective knock out (without causing diplomatic backlash).
Langner also explained in detail that Stuxnet is the most sophisticated thing people like could have “even think of”, that it is STILL active and changing and the only thing the Iranians can do, is throw their computers aways and buy new ones.
He needed month to even understand the basic functions of Stuxnet and the 15.000 line of code that in his opinion needed “years” to be be written.
And now you come – while the Iranians even don’t know how to delete this virus and the biggest in the world try to understand it with great difficulties -, that some gangsters could use it for themselves. Com on, aren’t you laughing about yourself?
Israel, this was the most human, intelligent and breathtaking thing I could think off in this situation.
But you should think, if there is anything in the world you like more than bashing Israel for anything, no matter how good or bad it really is. Just disgusting.
That’s a new way of speaking English. I think you meant “how hypocritical can you get?” And speaking of liars and hypocrites, let’s take you on.
First, Langner knows next to nothing about the Mossad compared to Bergman, who is one of the world’s premier experts on Israel’s intelligence service. Langner knows computer code, but not the Mossad.
As for Langer’s alleged comment about Stuxnet being “more effective” than a huge air strike, I’ve read almost everything Langer has written on Stuxnet & haven’t seen a statement remotely like this. So bring us the exact quote & then we’ll judge yr so far specious claim.
No, I don’t think “Jewish” (& note the hubris of conflating Israel’s actions with “Jewish” ones) morals or intellect declare cyber warfare on the world and unleash on it one of the most virulent weapons ever brought forth in this field. A weapon which doubtless one of these days in some form or other will be used against Israel.
It wasn’t Langer who said this. Can’t be bothered to get much straight can you?
I might start but first I have to stop laughing about you and yr presumptuousness.
Yeah, it’ll take your breath away when some computer warfare genius on the other sides figures out a way to decimate Dimona. That’ll be truly breathtaking.
And you’re banned. You tire me. And you violate my comment rules serially.
“the only thing the Iranians can do, is throw their computers aways and buy new ones.”
If Langner said that, then he doesn’t even understand the difference between software and hardware. Some expert!
I think the idea is that the computers are so completely infected that they can’t eradicate them no matter what they do. Though of course, we don’t know this is the case.
Maybe he was not speaking literally. Even the worst worms cannot infect a computer in such a way as to necessitate throwing the hardware away.
I have to agree with Shirin joon here. She makes a good point, but to add more to this end, it should be noted that Stuxnet was designed under the assumption that Iran was too stupid to force the Russians and others to allow Iran its own proprietary GUI for the purposes of running its nuclear infrastructure. Many modules were borrowed or altered, but it rendered Stuxnet unable to affect the Iranian software. The net effect were some glitches, but not a delay of several months as even Bergman expects. The delay had to do more with Russian foot-dragging.
People don’t really analyze Russia’s role too well here in the States and, probably, in Israeli media. They hail Russia’s choice to sign sanctions against Iran. They don’t realize this is Russia’s move to get the West out of Iran’s economy while it corners the market. Russia, China and Iran are true chess players and pragmatists, while the belligerent others bump their foot walking out of the cave looking for something to club on the head.
“And he said several times that the virus was equal if not more effective than a huge air strike on the Iranian nuclear program.”
Yes, and that has been called wholly ineffective and futile. Neither option would stop the nuclear program, one guaranteed to Iran by international law. You know, those things Israel pretends doesn’t exist…like the right of return. 😉
“I look forward one day to an Israel that joins the nations of the world, is welcomed by them. An Israel that refuses to engage in such dangerous adventurism. A nation that is pragmatic and cautious in its dealings both with friends and enemies, but especially the latter. That day will come.”
But you are an optimist…….the Israel you are hoping for is not to be. There was, perhaps, a chance once for something unique there if “light unto the world” would be taken a something more than jut nice words. Unfortunately, without respect for justice and human rights at the core, the collective that is Israel’s soul has turned into malware. Of course, excellent individual abound there, but individuals cannot remake the code. In a way, stuxnet provides an exclamation mark for a pathologically deficient moral mainframe.
I do not know a cure for a virus that’s praying on souls. Though I do understand the need for hope because throwing away the computers kind of means starting from scratch, and that is costly in many more ways than one.
Very good pts. all. And I like the moral comparison between Israel & Stuxnet very much. It’s quite apt.
I’m of course talking about an Israel that is radically diff. fr. the one before us now. I know you & others feel such an Israel is impossible. But w. the right amt. of pressure, the inevitable tragedies & catastrophes the current path will bring, etc. it could happen.
RE: “A nation that is pragmatic and cautious…That day will come.” – R.S.
MY COMMENT: May we live so long!
I liked your own personal comments, Richard. You are a visionary and its important to remember that if anyone tries to discredit you before the substance of your message, they feel threatened by you.
It was President John F. Kennedy who said, “Our problems are manmade–therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.
I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.
Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace– based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions–on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace–no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process–a way of solving problems.
With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.
So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.
So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.
What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”
“There was, perhaps, a chance once for something unique there if “light unto the world” would be taken a something more than jut nice words. Unfortunately, without respect for justice and human rights at the core…”
Israel was founded with zero respect for justice and human rights. Zionism’s greatest flaw in my view is that it entirely disregarded justice and human rights for anyone but Jews (yes, I know, Judah Magnes, et al. had different views, but they were extreme outliers and while historically interesting had no real influence). Zionism was based in part on the standard 19th century European colonialist views of non-European regions and peoples, and would not have passed the conscience test without that mentality at its foundation.
So no, there was never a chance for a country whose establishment necessitated robbing a native population of its life, homeland, and even its history.
Uuuuff – premature submit. Should have been “no, there was never a chance for a country so badly tarnished at its inception to be a “light unto the nations”. That “light unto the nations” thing belongs in the same rubbish pile as “purity of arms”, “the most moral army in the world”, and all the rest of the propaganda phrases we have all been subjected to for years.”
Richard – see this article (12-15-10) in ARS Technica for Langner’s description on the effects of Stuxnet in Iran, and more:
That’s bull. No one says “two years.” Ronen Bergman wrotes “several months” in his last appraisal & I’d venture to say his sources in the Mossad know a lot better than Langer how much real damage has been done to Iran’s nuclear program. I think Langer is confusing his role as a computer security expert with a role no one asked him to fill: dramatist.
You might also want to read this, Interview with Ralph Langner: Stuxnet, the new face of cyber warfare, from International Analyst Network.
Here’s the quote:
“‘It will take two years for Iran to get back on track,’ Langer said in a telephone interview from his office in Hamburg, Germany. ‘This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.'”
Is he right? I would say that the general public cannot really know.
Was it really a disaster? I don’t think so. Computer viruses have been around for a long time so it was only a matter of time before nations started engaging cyberwarfare. Would countries still be trying to develop nuclear weapons if the US hadn’t dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Almost certainly.
And how exactly could Iran’s security flaws have been used more effectively?
And more importantly, what exactly should Israel (and other countries) do to stop Iran’s nuclear program?
First of all, Langer is a computer security expert. Not a nuclear scientist nor a military strategist. He’s not in Iran nor has he access to any of the sites which were damaged. So he can’t possibly know how much damage the worm did in the real world situation as it exists in Iran. Ergo, he’s blathering. It’s interesting blather, but blather nonetheless.
Neither one of us are experts in this field but Bergman quotes someone who is who says it could’ve exploited these weaknesses in a way that might’ve been less damaging to Israel’s reputation & perhaps having greater impact. Frankly, I think I’ll take his word for it even if you won’t.
I’ve answered that precise question about 20 diff. times in blog posts & comment threads. Read more, ask less. After reading, if you can’t find the answer then ask. First, the world has no right to stop Iran’s nuclear program as long as it is civilian & not military. Second, even if Iran is pursuing a military option ( for which we have little proof), it can only deal w. this through negotiation & not force.
“Ergo, he’s blathering.”
I would call it “speculating” rather than “blathering,” but I do agree that the general public cannot know. Assuming that Israel is behind Stuxnet, then there is a decent chance that the Israeli authorites know.
“Bergman quotes someone ”
Is this someone a computer security expert? A nuclear scientist? A military strategist? What’s his name? What are his qualifications? What is the basis for his claim?
Without solid answers to these questions, he is just as vulnerable to the “blather” objection as Langer.
“Frankly, I think I’ll take his word for it even if you won’t.”
What basis do you have to take his word for it besides the fact that you like his conclusions?
“I’ve answered that precise question about 20 diff. times in blog posts & comment threads. Read more, ask less. After reading, if you can’t find the answer then ask.”
Sorry, but I don’t have the time to go hunting for an answer. If you don’t care to respond, I will draw my own conclusions.
“Second, even if Iran is pursuing a military option ( for which we have little proof), it can only deal w. this through negotiation & not force.”
Negotiation requires that other parties make concessions in exchange for Iran dropping its nuclear program, agreed? That’s how negotiation works. Both sides make concessions until there is a deal.
Exactly what concessions to you envision making to Iran?
Do you realize how inane you sound? Read this statement again & tell me why you even bother.
A senior official w. a western intelligence agency (I’m guessing the U.S., but not sure). And once again I’m very sorry but Ronen Bergman is allowed some leeway on these matters as a proven authority on the subject he writes about. You, not so much.
Not true at all. I often vehemently disagree w. Bergman esp. concerning his views on Iran. On this speciifc subject & rpt. I think what he writes is incisive.
Readers come to this blog who are willing to do some work both in reading my ideas and doing background research. If you’re too lazy to do that then I invite you to go to sites which welcome lazy readers. And I’ll draw my own conclusions about the root cause of yr laziness.
Allowing them to pursue non-military nuclear research & production. Lifting sanctions. Ending belligerency against Iran (& vice versa). Restoration of full diplomatic relations among Iran & all states w. whom it doesn’t have them (i.e. U.S.). In return I’d expect Iran would renounce manufacture of a nuclear weapon, agree to renounce proxy support of Hezbollah & other parties, agree explicitly to accept a settlement of the I-P conflict that is acceptable to the Palestinian people.
“Do you realize how inane you sound?”
Nope, my statement seems perfectly reasonable to me. If Israel was behind Stuxnet, then it’s clear that Israel has pretty good intelligence about Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
If you would like to explain exactly why you believe my statement is wrong (as opposed to merely asserting your conclusion) I am happy to consider it.
” And once again I’m very sorry but Ronen Bergman is allowed some leeway on these matters as a proven authority on the subject he writes about. You, not so much. ”
It’s not me versus Bergman. It’s Langer versus Bergman’s unidentified source. Anyway, please show me the proof that this Bergman is so trustworthy and reliable that you can be reasonably confident that each and every one of his factual assertions is correct, even those he attributes to unidentified sources.
“Not true at all. I often vehemently disagree w. Bergman”
I’m a little confused. The question is what is your basis for accepting Bergman’s assertions as 100% true without the need for a shred of evidence. If you sometimes disagree with him, shouldn’t that undermine your confidence in his claims?
“Readers come to this blog who are willing to do some work both in reading my ideas and doing background research. If you’re too lazy to do that then I invite you to go to sites which welcome lazy readers”
:shrug: Seems to me you’re the one who is acting lazy since you can’t even be bothered to link to your own post where you supposedly answered my question. But of course you are free to draw your own conclusions and I’m free to draw mine.
“Allowing them to pursue non-military nuclear research & production. Lifting sanctions. Ending belligerency against Iran (& vice versa). Restoration of full diplomatic relations among Iran & all states w. whom it doesn’t have them (i.e. U.S.). In return I’d expect Iran would renounce manufacture of a nuclear weapon, agree to renounce proxy support of Hezbollah & other parties, agree explicitly to accept a settlement of the I-P conflict that is acceptable to the Palestinian people.”
I’m skeptical, but hey you never know. At a minimum, this is not stuff that Israel can do unilaterally.
Not what you said, you wrote that if Israel was behind Stuxnet “it would know.” Know what? I have no idea what this means. I presumed you meant that it would know who was behind Stuxnet, which is truly inane. Next time finish yr sentences & we’ll actually have some idea what you’re trying to say.
And Stuxnet gives Israel no intelligence about Iran enrichment program. It merely sabotages centrifuges.
Proof: he’s Israel’s most pre eminent intelligence correspondent having written multiple books considered definitive in their field. He’s quoted as an authoritative source by media around the world. And once again you’ve misconstrued & distorted my own statements & views. I never said everything he says is correct. I examine every statement he makes for reasonableness & credibility. Some things he says I discount. Some I credit as accurate. I do this on a case by case basis as I do w. Langer, some of whose views that are restricted specifically to the tecnical aspects of Stuxnet I credit; & whose views that stray fr this subject I discount.
You mean his statement that he was quoting a senior western intelligence source is “not a shread of evidence?” Unlike you, that counts for a lot of verification for me because I deal with such sources regularly & I know what such a statement means coming fr. a generally reliable journalist.
You don’t have a clue how evidence works in a rhetorical context. Sometimes someone makes statements that are clearly their own personal opinion not undergirded by evidence. These are statements that not credible. But when someone makes a statement which they support w. credible evidence, then such statements are worthy of belief. Believe it or not sometimes a single person can do both things, which leaves the reader w. the job of ascertaining what seems credible & what not. Is that too nuanced for yr mind to comprehend??
Every week someone diff. comes here & demands that I present proof of something I’ve written about scores of times in this blog. If I went back & did the research they should be doing, I’d be doing nothing but looking up archived posts for lazy readers. Believe it or not, I have better things to do w. my time than hold yr hand.
A convenient “out” allowing you & Israel to duck any engagement w. the issue. Oh & btw, a Middle East nuclear free zone would be nice. How ’bout Israel declaring unilaterally that it would agree to this is all Middle East nuclear powers (including Iran) agree as well? Nah, I didn’t think you’d like that entirely reasonable proposal.
“I would call it ‘speculating’ rather than ‘blathering,’
No, it doesn’t rise to the level of speculating. It’s definitely blathering. As for your contribution, it doesn’t rise to the level of blathering. It’s mere prattling.
“Exactly what concessions to you envision making to Iran?”
How about an end to the self-righteous, hypocritical belligerence against Iran, a country that has not attacked or invaded another country in nearly three centuries? How about and end to the self-righteous, hypocritical threats of aggression against Iran? How about an end to sanctions against Iran for alleged offenses that no one has succeeded in proving with even a minimum of evidence? How about an end to the absurd pretense that Ahmadinajad controls Iranian foreign and military policy and is the next Hitler? How about and end to the pretense that Iran, whose Jews apparently have no desire to relocate, is the greatest threat to Jews since Nazi Germany?
“It’s mere prattling.”
No need to be insulting. If you disagree with something I say, why not just address it directly?
“How about an end to the self-righteous, hypocritical belligerence against Iran, a country that has not attacked or invaded another country in nearly three centuries? ”
Well do you agree that Iran gives a lot of support to organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah?
And do you agree that taking over a country’s embassy and taking its diplomats hostage is normally seen as an attack on that country?
Do you agree that Iran’s leadership has stated that Israel needs to disappear?
And do you agree that the leadership of Arab states in the gulf is extremely concerned about Iran’s uranium enrichment program? If so, do you agree that such concern is justified?
Do you agree that Israel gives a lot of support to its own proxies like the Southern Lebanese Army, Jundallah & MKO in Iran, etc.
Not “needs to,” but rather that it “will” disappear. “Needs to” implies Iranian agency in the action. Simply stating that something will happen implies nothing about how the event will happen or who will bring it about. Indeed Khomeini prob. meant that Israel would self-destruct, which is entirely possible if it continues along the same path it is now pursuing.
Do you agree that all Arab frontline states are “extremely concerned” about Israel’s bellicose, aggressive approach to them & its unwillingess to accept compromise to resolve disputes?
When you ‘fess up to Israel’s inadequacies then we can talk about Iran’s.
How about responding to my arguments instead of amateurishly blatant attempts at diversion?
“Not what you said, you wrote that if Israel was behind Stuxnet ‘it would know.’ Know what? I have no idea what this means”
Then you are not reading carefully. Clearly I was referring to knowledge of whether or not Langer was correct about the effects of Stuxnet.
“Next time finish yr sentences ”
Next time read more carefully. Or you could simply ask for clarification before making accusations of inanity.
“And Stuxnet gives Israel no intelligence about Iran enrichment program. It merely sabotages centrifuges.”
Umm, it required intelligence about the enrichment program in order to create. Are you aware that Stuxnet targeted very specific system configurations? (Actually Stuxnet may very well have grabbed information too.)
“he’s Israel’s most pre eminent intelligence correspondent having written multiple books considered definitive in their field”
:shrug: That’s an assertion not proof.
“Some things he says I discount. Some I credit as accurate. ”
Given that you are in the dark about Stuxnet as me, how did you decide that in this case, his unidentified source is correct?
“ometimes someone makes statements that are clearly their own personal opinion not undergirded by evidence. These are statements that not credible. But when someone makes a statement which they support w. credible evidence, then such statements are worthy of belief.”
What exactly is the credible evidence here besides Berman’s own assertion?
“Believe it or not, I have better things to do w. my time than hold yr hand.”
Yes, like insisting that you answered a question in the past, Lol.
“A convenient ‘out’ allowing you & Israel to duck any engagement w. the issue. ”
:shrug: It’s not my fault that Israel lacks the power to implement your proposal.
“How ’bout Israel declaring unilaterally that it would agree to this is all Middle East nuclear powers (including Iran) agree as well? Nah, I didn’t think you’d like that entirely reasonable proposal.”
No I wouldn’t. Unfortunately, Israel is still dealing with enemies such as Iran who wish to “wipe it off the map.”
Anyway, I really would like an answer to my question. How did you decide in this case that Bergman’s unidentified source is correct?
And what “credible evidence” does Bergman offer besides his own assertions?
Clearly, in yr own mind. We can’t read what’s going on in there. That’s why you have to express clearly yr ideas, & you didn’t.
I quoted precisely what you wrote & reading it carefully didn’t convey yr intended meaning.
Once again, you haven’t a clue how reputational issues work in debate about technical & public issues. If you have a proven reputation yr views are accorded respect. Frankly, I could care less what you think about Bergman. It’s what the rest of the reasonable world thinks about him & his reputation that matters. His reputation is not an assertion, but an established fact.
It only required access to the SCADA system which operates the centrifuges. That’s a pretty compartmentalized portion of the entire program.
More carelessness. Not Bergman’s assertion but that of a senior western intelligence official.
His source is identified as a senior western intelligence expert. If what such a source says accords w. the knowledge I have about a subject (& I’m far less in the dark about Stuxnet than you contrary to what you claim), then I credit the statement.
Israel has the power to declare it will honor a M.E. nuclear free zone if its neighbors do as well. But it won’t.
You’ve just stated a lie, a violation of my comment rules. Next one gets you moderated. And Israel could easily tell Iran it would agree to renounce its nuclear weapons if Iran agreed to renounce its own reputed nuclear weapon. Why won’t you agree to such a reasonable proposal?
You are now officially done in this thread. No more comments fr. you here as you’ve repeated yrself ad nauseam, another comment rule violation. YOu’re welcome to comment in other threads as long as you don’t repeat yrself. Honor this. If you comment again here you’ll be moderated.
“If you comment again here you’ll be moderated.”
No need for that, I’m leaving and never coming back to this blog.
I have my own rules of debate. According to Rule 9 “Badge-flashing,” i.e. abuse of moderator powers is prohibited.
It’s called editorial control. That’s what blog owners do. If I think you’re repeating yrself & getting into a tit for tat w. me that serves no useful purpose I exercise editorial control.
“Do you agree that Israel gives a lot of support to its own proxies like the Southern Lebanese Army, Jundallah & MKO in Iran, etc”
I don’t know, but I will agree to it for the sake of this discussion.
“Do you agree that all Arab frontline states are ‘extremely concerned’ about Israel’s bellicose, aggressive approach to them ”
No I don’t agree. But feel free to show me evidence.
“Simply stating that something will happen implies nothing about how the event will happen or who will bring it about. ”
“Not ‘needs to,’ but rather that it ‘will’ disappear.”
According to every source I have seen, it is more of a “should” than a “will.” But you seem to have a specific quote in mind. Can you link to it? TIA
The language in Khomeini’s statement as quoted by Assthmadinajad in no way suggests action on the part of Iran or anyone else to make the Zionist regime in Jerusalem disappear. Not only that, it was a statement made in observation of the celebration of Jerusalem Day, and refers explicitly to the “Zionist regime in Jerusalem”, both of which suggest stronly that it was a reference specifically to the occupation of Jerusalem, and not to Israel per se.
Quoted from Bergman: “One of the most expert sources on the subject says that the Stuxnet affair is the most central and important (to this point) in the “covert war” conducted by the west against Iran.”
There is a hidden assumption here that Stuxnet originated in “the west”. There are speculations to the contrary:
Obviously, if Mossad or (and?) CIA were behind Stuxnet, wouldn’t they would be promoting such misdirections.
To me, the planting of Stuxnet in Iran may have involved a more spectacular feat (covert operation on the ground) than its programming. I conjecture (permitted here?) that if someone went to all that effort, they may have left another “gift” behind in the systems. Time will tell. A second backup strike would be even more impressive and demoralizing than the first, and might change the calculus of how “foolish” it was to use Stuxnet.
There is also this to consider: In any strategic semi-military situation, dislocating an adversary’s psyche is often more important than inflicting physical damage. It’s too early to know how this will play out.