Meir Dagan: Israel Attack on Iran ‘Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Heard’
OK, Meirke. We get the message. Former Mossad director, Meir Dagan, who was unceremoniously booted from his job by Bibi Netanyahu a few months ago, continues to exact his revenge. This time, he’s weighed in on the notion that Israel should attack Iran (English here) to prevent it from gaining nuclear weapons:
“It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Dagan said that the problem regarding this [attacking Iran] isn’t related to his doubt in the abilities of the Israeli Air Force, but rather because of the great doubt whether it could perform the job to its completion and attain all its objectives. When asked what would happen after such an attack, Dagan continued: “There will be war with Iran. This is one of the things we know how to start, but not how to end.” He noted that Iran could be expected to fire its missiles into Israel for many months afterwards. It could be expected to engage Hezbollah with its tens of thousands of Grad rockets and hundreds of long distance SCUDs. Iran can also engage Hamas on its behalf and Syria might join the war.
While Dagan stated that Israel must not accept a nuclear Iran, he said an attack on its reactors would be foolhardy idea with little likelihood of success.
Dagan believes that the fall of Bashar Assad would be good for Israel because it would diminish the weapons supply to Hezbollah and weaken the influence of Iran.
Bibi, needless to say, is pissed. He let it be known through an anonymous security source that during Dagan’s tenure as Mossad chief the prime minister strongly criticized Dagan’s opposition to an Iran attack.
And just to demonstrate that an intelligence chief can be smart on one issue and a dolt on another, Dagan downplayed the significance of the revolts sweeping the Arab world:
“There is no tsunami of change sweeping the Arab world.” Dagan denied that what occurred in Egypt was an “internet revolution,” because the majority of Egyptians don’t own computers.
This has to be one of the dumbest things a former Mossad director has ever said. Does this guy not realize that the vast majority of Egyptians were actually NOT in Tahrir Square, in fact that vast majority of Egyptians are too poor not only to own a computer, but to own a home or car or perhaps even the makings of their next meal. But many of those who were in the Square were indeed wired. That a revolution may sweep a country and all its citizens, but that such an event begins with a small cadre and then, yes like a tsunami, it sweeps everyone up in its wake.
Dagan continued sharing his wisdom:
What happened in Egypt wasn’t a revolution but a change of leadership.
What we have here is a failure to communicate. Meir Dagan, former chief intelligence officer of the Israel, can’t register what is happening before his very eyes. Either that or he doesn’t want to understand what’s happening. Nor does he want to understand the repercussions that this has already had among the Palestinians and the fact that the wave could sweep Israeli within it as well. Welcome to a new world, Mr. Dagan, in which Israel may no longer be a dominant player, in which the Arab states may rise to take a more prominent role in the region and in determining its fate.
This could, if there were any realists in Israel, make them understand that in the long-term Israel must find a way to fit in. This should induce a certain amount of humility. “Should” though, is a far cry from what is happening or likely to happen into the foreseeable future.
21 thoughts on “Meir Dagan: Israel Attack on Iran ‘Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Heard’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“Either that or he doesn’t want to understand what’s happening.”
Revolutions don’t happen in a month. They kicked out Mubarak, yes, he was in chair for a long time.
What now? Aren’t they still under martial law? There are still cases of fire towards people in there. And after the elections?
The next years will tell.
Of course, everytime there’s rioting, protests that are stronger than usual, in your eyes and in many others’ it turns into a ‘spring’.
Did everyone leave their houses to kick Mubarak out? I think the numbers of the protesters speak for themselves. The population of Egypt is 80 million.
“if there were any realists in Israel”
You just have to add an offense.
Given that there are 80 million Egyptians & at least 1 million turns out in Tahrir Square at the height of the protests it would be the equivalent 12 million Israelis turning out in Rabin Square in T.A. for a protest. You think such a protest would not portend a major political earthquake inside Israel?
By my math….
1/80 = .0125%
If there are six million people in Israel that would be the equivalent to 75,000 people in Rabin square.
I think that would generate some notice but I bet double the amount show up if Maccabi wins the Euro-league.
Internet Penetration rate in Egypt is 15.4% or 12,000,000 Mil people with Internet access.
that means the 10% of the people who have internet access showed up in Tahrir Square.
The equivalent number in Israeli terms – internet penetration rate 95% (or about 7,300,000 with access to the internet) would be about 700,000 people.
I have no idea how Mr. Silverstein came out with the number he did.
Again, you’re being ridiculous. First, I don’t know where yr stats are from or what they date of they were amassed. Those who protested in the Square were the most wired and engaged politically in Egypt. Therefore, far more of those individuals would’ve had internet access. Also, there are internet cafes throughout the country & despite the fact that someone has no internet access at home does NOT mean they don’t have internet access. Stop thinking in terms of a westerner about these issues.
Besides you misunderstood my point: 1 million out of 80 million showed up in Tahrir Square. The comparable number for Israel would be over 100,000 (I did my math wrong in my previous calculation) in Rabin Square. So saying that the Egyptian Revolution was confined to a small group of Egyptians & didn’t reflect the views of the mass as you did is false.
You confused between 100K and 12mil and you call me ridiculous ?
i was trying to compare the numbers based on Internet usage rates as presented in wikipedia.
i even linked to it, so your question about stats was a bit weird.
Yes, you were ridiculous in attempting to argue that the Egyptian Revolution isn’t a profound event within Egypt that affects everyone, & that it is not as Dagan claims, a mere change of leadership.
When I mistake I acknowledge it as I did in my math calculation. Yr mistake is more serious & still unacknowledged.
This is not what i claimed , you argued that the revolution in Egypt was an internet revolution, the numbers of internet users in Egypt based on what is presented by wiki shows otherwise.
since it was hard on everyone to understand you number, i was only trying to find a fair comparison.
You were wrong, confused or whatever, can’t you just recognize that admit to your error and move on ?
Of course it was an Internet Revolution since the vast majority of those who created that Revolution did so either directly or indirectly because of the information and exhortation they read on the Internet.
The confusion seems to almost all on yr side. You’re confused about reality and facts. My only confusion was in making a single math error.
“If there are six million people in Israel …”
Either you’re ignorant of Israeli demographics or you just don’t consider Israeli Palestinians as ‘people’.
According to the latest survey from the ‘Israel Central Bureau of Statistics’ Israel has a population of 7.746.000 million of which 1.571.000 (20,4%) are Christian and Muslim Palestinians. That leaves in fact 6 million non-Arabs …
Sincerest apologies…..I was going off the top of my head.
if 1.25% of the population showed up it would be 96,000 people.
Still a far cry from 12 million and still not over 100,000, though much closer.
I believe the largest demo in Israel I ever heard about said there were 100,000 people during the first Lebanon War if I’m not mistaken. So anything close to that would be enormous.
It is a common belief that in the demonstration you are referring to 400,000 people participated and not 100,000.
personally i don’t think that so many people can gather in the square or in the immediate surrounding area.
Bibi makes the Bush administration look like a bunch of grown-ups. In about 2006, GWB asked the Pentagon to prepare a plan to bomb the Iranian nuclear sites. The US Air Force said, Sure, we can bomb anyplace…but you will have to send in the Army to destroy anything we miss or only partly smashed. Do we have any spare divisions?
If Bibi thinks his military is bigger than that of the US, then he’s delusional. If he expects his army to march across Syria and occupy all the Iranian nuclear labs, then he is delusional.
If he’s just talking to bring news-attention back from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yeman, and Syria, then he’s wasting his breath.
richard i dont get your maths please explain it
My mistake. The number should’ve been 100,000 still a very large demo by Israeli standards.
how do you get to 12 million surely you are looking for an 80th of seven million?
12 million could be the amount of all Jews in the world or the amount of Jews and Palestinians in Israel/Palestine.
West-Bank 2.35 million
Gaza strip 1.7 million
Israel 7.75 million
Sum = 11.8 million.
Of those 12 million living in the area 5.8 million are Jews. If there would be democracy it would mean,… well what? It is amusing how Israelis are loudly on all forums demanding democracy for Arabs, but denying it from the 4 million Arabs they have occupied for decades.
Wel,l this morning barak said (minde you on ind.day) that Meir Dagan “should not have said it”. I dont know if you are aware to it but there is a struggle in the high windows to attack Iran or not.Netanyahoo and Barak would like to do it. Until now the heads of the services(Mossad and Shabak) with chief of stuff Ashkenazi were stricktly agaist it. saying it is an insane act that would only lead to attack on heavy populated areas but would change nothing. That explains the Galant affair (Galant would join the poloticians and vote for an attack nand his opponents to the attack managed to kick him in his ass) and the quick nomination of a Shabak chief with a kipa instead of Mr. Ilan..
I think the important question to ask about a possible Israeli uprising is not the number of people who will gather in one time (100k is a large demo, but not unprecedented).
The question is would people be ready to disrupt their daily routine and go out to demonstrate every day? The major impact on Egypt wasn’t just the number of people, but the halting of commerce. It is starting to be felt in Syria as well, from what I manage to gather.
And another question that should be asked – in Egypt the army mostly supported the demonstrators and refused orders to violently dispell them. Will the Israeli army do the same? I hope so, but I’m not so sure, esp. in Tel Aviv, the capital of so called “Okhrei Israel” (Israel haters). Let’s hope it doesn’t come to the test.
Was there a revolution in Egypt?
Percentages and the “internet penetration” are secondary issues. The real issue is results.
First, even if the demonstrations did not give power to the organizers, they clearly contributed to a very substantial change in (a) composition of the government, and (b the policies, and (c) the formula of the government.
The situation is fluid and the government is still dictatorial , although, hopefully, only temporarily so. But characteristically, the policies are shaped with an eye on being popular, as opposed to repression apparatus being scaled up to maintain unpopular policies. This is a revolutionary change, in particular for USA and Israel. Internally, in Egypt it may lead to a democracy, or to a more populist dictatorship, or whatever. But this is not a mere change in the persons in charge.
Most tellingly, the attempt to restrict the change to a very narrow leadership change was thwarted. This is what the rule of Mr. Suleiman would be.
Concerning the numbers, gathering of more than one million of people anywhere is next to impossible. Once the crowds were large enough, dispelling them with crude force would mean that officers were giving commands to shoot at their own cousins and nephews, if not their very own children.