Dagan, Ashkenazi, Diskin, Peres Likely Foiled 2010 Netanyahu-Barak Attack on Iran
Amir Oren is one of Haaretz’s most artful journalists when he addresses sensitive security-related matters. In his current story (Hebrew, English here), if you read between the lines and put 2+2 together, you’ll understand that Oren is telling us with a wink and a nod that a few of Israel’s Wise Old Men (not all are old, and some haven’t always been wise, but in this case they were) frustrated a plan by Bibi Netanyahu to attack Iran in 2010. This accords with statements made recently by Meir Dagan in which he frets that with the removal from office of virtually the entire military and intelligence leadership over the past few months, there remains no one who will represent an honest and pragmatic voice regarding Israeli policy toward Iran.
Oren’s story is a partially imaginary account of the aftermath of Bibi Netanyahu’s 2011 attack on Iran (which he ominously calls the “first” Iran war). He imagines a national commission of inquiry appointed to examine why Bibi insisted on going to war despite the warnings of his military and intelligence echelons; and why he violated established law and precedent in doing so. Among the tidbits that reveal the outline of the real attack is Oren’s statement that Bibi got his cabinet council to approve a limited military operation, while his real intent was to commence a war against Iran.
I say the account is “partially imaginary” because Oren slips into his account events that really did happen. For example, he reveals that in 2010 Meir Dagan, Gabi Ashkenazi, Yuval Diskin, Shimon Peres and IDF senior commander Gadi Eisenkrot tried to foil a plan by Bibi to attack Iran (in reality they appear to have succeeded at least at the time, in Oren’s imaginary plot they failed).
Through liberally quoting portions of the Winograd Commission findings about the 2006 Lebanon War dealing with the responsibilities of the national military and political leadership to conduct war responsibly, Oren makes clear that in the eyes of Bibi’s opponents his actual Iran war plans would’ve caused Israel to fall into the same trap it faced in Lebanon. And that’s precisely why the Wise Men opposed Bibi. Now, these are some of the same guys I’ve railed against in the past for their various crimes of omission and commission. But if they did what Oren alludes to, then they performed precisely the role that leaders should–they stood in the way of a monomaniacal leader intent on taking Israel into a war that promised potentially disastrous consequences for Israel.
The Haaretz reporter implies that when Bibi and Barak presented their military plans to these leaders they balked and questioned their “legality.” They invoked the dramatic refusal of Gen. Yisrael Tal to accept an order from Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to resume Israel’s war against Egypt, a refusal which led to cancellation of the plans.
Oren adds a profound touch of irony when he notes that the deliberations of the fictional commission were interrupted when the din of air raid sirens and the thunderous roar of incoming Iranian Shihab missiles forced them to scramble into an air raid shelter.
In case any of you are wondering why the reporter couldn’t write the story straight, consider how many ways in which such news would violate Israeli censorship and gag orders.
Maariv fleshes out the real events (Hebrew) on which Oren bases his imaginary story, saying that Dagan’s real break with Bibi and Barak occurred a year ago during discussions among the senior ministerial committee of an attack on Iran (which the Mossad chief opposed). The report says that during these deliberations Dagan came to believe that the two leaders were intent on getting Israel into a “dangerous military adventure in Iran.” Now that those who opposed the attack have departed the scene Israel’s former top spy worries that “there is no one to stop them.”
Dagan has been attacked viciously by Bibi’s henchman as someone who is “insane” (a term apparently used by the prime minister himself to describe his formerly trusted intelligence chief) and seeking to topple the government; and that he’s destroyed whatever deterrent Israel had over Iran by opposing such a war. As a loyal servant of the State, the veteran Israeli intelligence officer would have to have weighed this possibility seriously and carefully. No one could dismiss lightly such criticism, nor would Dagan. There can only be one reason why he would take such a drastic step by criticizing Bibi so intensively (in three separate statements) and publicly: he really believes the prime minister intended and still intends to go to war against Iran. And he believes such a war would be an utter disaster should it happen.
The split we’re seeing here rarely happens in Israeli politics. Usually, at least superficially, the military, intelligence and political echelons circle the wagons when it comes to the important life or death issues. There is rarely anyone with the guts or courage to stand against the prevailing consensus. So what we’re seeing with Dagan’s cri de coeur may be historic and certainly is dramatic. The question is–can Dagan prevail? Can he derail a government plan to attack Iran? But even if he can’t, he is setting himself up as the sole sane one who resisted temptation and tried to speak truth to power. This should stand him in good stead politically if there is anything left of Israel to lead should Bibi-Barak take Israel into its next foolhardy military adventure.
- Meir Dagan leads but no one follows (israelleft.com)
29 thoughts on “Dagan, Ashkenazi, Diskin, Peres Likely Foiled 2010 Netanyahu-Barak Attack on Iran – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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This is just more kabuki theatre.
The Israeli’s don’t have the ability to strike Iran in any meaningful fashion. They know this. Therefore, they want the U.S.A.F. to do their work for them.
Thus, they try to look like mad dogs about Iran and hope that the Americans will shoulder them aside and say “We will do it!”
ael may be right. Let’s hope someone in the USA is brave enough to stand up to the nonsense-makers, the theres-no-war-I-dont-love folks (as the USA’s national debt increases — with its military budget — without apparent bounds or limits).
The USA is not notedf for the bravery or independence of its media or politicos and we too have just replaced the heads of all military and “intelligence” services with people who may be Obama’s “yes-men”.
Israel is by far too small and too far away to attack Iran.
It will be stupid to try to do such a thing.
In addition, with current Iran leadership, an Iranian nuke, is a problem for the middle east, Europe, Russia and U.S.A as well as Israel. All the above are much bigger countries with larger budgets, let them handle it.
@ Free Man
The target is subject to the objective determination.
Israel can’t destroy Iran’s military nuclear program – as was admitted by the IAEA today, Iran does have a military nuclear program (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38627&Cr=iaea&Cr1=)
“Turning to Iran, Mr. Amano said agency has received “information related to possible past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities that seem to point to the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
“There are indications that certain of these activities may have continued until recently,” he said.”
But Israel, can cause a real damage and setback to the program using variety of means, aerial attack being one of them.
there are many factors supporting such an attack, latest discoveries by the IAEA being one of them.
No buddy. You’ve turned a whole bunch of qualified statements into a declarative judgement which isn’t warranted. Here’s what IAEA said: it had received “information” (not proof or evidence, just information) about existence of a “possbile” military dimension to the program. Learn to be more precise in yr claims. I don’t like exagerration in the service of hasbara.
If Bibi uses this as support for his attack on Iran he’s even more nuts than I thought.
I guess, that in your book, NYT is considered a source for hasbara ?
“The world’s global nuclear inspection agency, frustrated by Iran’s refusal to answer questions, revealed for the first time on Tuesday that it possesses evidence that Tehran has conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that experts said could be used for only one purpose: setting off a nuclear weapon”
You confuse diplomatic tone with reality.
You should listen to Seymour Hersh’s interviews in which he promotes his new New Yorker article. He specifically takes the NYT to task for exagerrating the actual substance of the IAEA statement by using the term “evidence” when the original statements uses the word “information.” I quoted the original statement. You’re quoting a 2nd hand account of the original source. Which do you think carries more weight?? And btw, yes, the NYT gets it wrong all the time concerning Iran & Israel.
The NYT mischaracaterizes the original IAEA statement which stated that it had received “information” that Iran “might” be delving into areas of research that held military significance. Two modifiers in the original. None in the NYT falsified version.
I like language. I like precision. You should try it someday.
You should try and read, not just look, at the material your readers are providing.
NYT article was written May 25th. IAEA Statement (which i linked to in my above comment) was given June 6.
Can the NYT write an article referring to a statement not yet given ? i don’t think so.
and latest news and announcements from Tehran given today:
” Iran told the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency Monday that it would begin enriching its stockpile of uranium to 20 percent purity for a medical reactor, renewing calls from U.S., Russian and French officials for a tougher approach and unified action against Tehran.”
That action announced today shows beyond any doubt that the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons. especially due to the fact that ” In October, Iran appeared to support a plan to swap its uranium stockpile for enriched uranium processed into fuel rods outside the country, but has since backed off from the deal.”
On what basis or source did the NYT publish the 5/25 story? Of course based on the IAEA. The IAEA statement was released on June 6th but probably existed long before that in the form of an IAEA statement or report, which the NYT likely used.
Again, the NYT GOT IT WRONG. There is no “evidence.” There is information, which is diff.
And you’ve even misconstrued the Iranian announcement by deliberately & in bad faith ignoring the fact that 20% enrichment is nowhere near enough to build a nuclear weapon, which requires 90% enrichment. As the statement said, 20% is sufficient for medical research, nowhere near enough for a weapon.
I require precision and facts here. Substituting yr opinions for fact or truth is not acceptable. Do not lie or misconstrue the sources you offer. You’ll be caught & hoisted by yr own petard.
and a link to todays statement:
you don’t understand the first thing about uranium enrichment.
Nuclear weapons usually contains 85% enriched uranium. But lower grade Uranium can be used as well, it will require more uranium mass that’s all.
To get a nuclear reaction you can use 15kg of uranium 235 (enriched at 100%) 25kg enriched at 50%, 50kg enriched at 20% and 100kg enriched at 10%.
of course the heavier the uranium the bigger the bomb and bigger delivery vehicle. for example “little boy” weight was 4,400 kg, and it contained 64 kg Uranium (20%).
Most Nuclear reactors can use a 3.5% purity uranium to operate, and until last year (2010) iran enriched it’s uranium to a 5% purity, enriching to 20% as announced by them is a reason for concern as 20% purity is enough to produce a weapon, of course it will be a primitive weapon and hard to achieve if you think of a ballistic missile as the means of delivery, but there are other options, for example loading the weapon into a boat etc.
the reason the Iranians are enriching to 20% is simple
anything above 20% is considered weapons ready and subject to higher level of control by the IAEA.
generally speaking enriching uranium from 20% to 90% is a a very short process, and that’s the reason the international community is very concerned with the Iranian enrichment facilities.
if you would like to expend your knowledge base:
as for your claims that the NYT got it wrong – kind of naive on your part to think:
1. The you are the only blogger / reporter in the world who receives information.
2. That the IAEA will publish all the information they have to the public, exposing sources. keep in mind they are a diplomatic establishment and bound to diplomacy.
3. That the source for the NYT article wasn’t within the IAEA.
You created a real nice virtual world, you are right everyone else is wrong, myself included.
Iran does not have a large mass of uranium enriched. So it cannot make a bomb and will not be able to make one for quite some time even if wishes to, which is in dispute. 20% is generally conceded by every reliable source to be the level necessary for medical research, not a weapon. Enriching uranium from 20% to 90% is NOT a short process. It’s just shorter than enriching it from 5% to 90%.
As for my take on the NYT article, it comes from Seymour Hersh who, as I already said knows a shit load more than you or I about Iran’s capabilities & what the IAEA believes about them. And he said the NYT erred & he’s almost never wrong, which is more than I can say about you.
And why in heaven’s name would you think Iran would load a nuclear weapon into a boat?? IT’s the most ludicrous option I’ve ever heard. The only reason it would do so is if Israel attacked it first with a nuclear weapon. Iran has no history whatsoever of aggression or first strike against an enemy or neighbor. Israel has ample history of numerous pre-emptive first strikes against enemies which led to wars.
But leaving all this aside, why should I be more alarmed at Iran enriching uranium than I am by the 400 nuclear weapons Israel ALREADY possesses? And should I feel comfortable in the belief that Israel’s leaders would use their weapons responsibly while Iran’s won’t? I simply reject this notion out of hand.
where are you getting your facts from about Iran ?
Iran was willing to broker a deal back in 2010 at which they will transfer there 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey and in return will get fule rods for their reactor.
Iran agreed to transfer 1240Kg of uranium and then retracted. the total amount declared by the Iranian themselves was 2200 kg. this is no chunk of change.
and please remember this was only what they declared.
the boat – if the Iranian would have problems enriching to 90% which enables a smaller warhead, they will resort to such an option.
in fact the Iranian already experiment launching a scud missile from a merchant ship as back as 2006, if i recall correctly, a fact that caused a lot of worries at your DOD.
such an experiment means that have you in mind in the US and not us in Israel.
Israel, has proven restraint in using it’s nuclear arsenal, Iran as the biggest exporter / supporter of terror in the world and showing no restraint.
You are extremely naive taking things at face value.
That’s flat out wrong. Iran, Brazil & Turkey worked out a deal which the U.S. rejected, not the Iranians. Get yr facts straight.
No Israel is a far greater purveyor of terror in the world & has killed many times the number of unarmed civilians than Iran.
US Rejected the fuel swap ? you have an a very strange point of view.
here it is from Catherine Ashton, of the EU:
“Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, said at a press conference that she was disappointed because Iran set preconditions.
“We came forward without any preconditions to find ways to cooperate,” Ashton said, adding that it soon became clear that unless the so-called G5+1 group agreed to Iran’s preconditions on the right to enrichment and sanctions, there would be no resolution.
“But these preconditions are not the way to proceed,” she noted.
Ashton said many compromises had been offered, from an updated uranium fuel swap agreement to a separate meeting with the Vienna Group. However, she added the international community demanded greater transparency on the matter and IAEA had not been able to certify the exclusive peaceful nature of Iran’s program.”
hopefully you will not dismiss the English version of this Chinese news paper as a source for Hasbara.
as for your notion that Israel is a far greater purveyor of terror in the world & has killed many times the number of unarmed civilians than Iran.
This is simply BS propaganda on your part. show me a real study that support your statement, and please don’t resort to the fact that you learned the subject. I just finished reading In Israelleft.com (and googled it myself as i couldn’t believe it) that your views change completely after learning a subject for 35 years, so please provide some sources to back that claim of yours.
You said Iran backed out of a deal it had agreed to with the mediation of Turkey. I said Iran hadn’t backed out, but the U.S. had. The quote you’ve offered confirms what I said. The deal negotiated with Turkey was the same one the EU walked away from. The west rejected the deal, not Iran.
Here’s the deal, bud. My blog. You don’t get to spout insults like that here. If you don’t like my claim you disprove it. With real facts. If you continue with such insults you’ll be moderated.
My claim is so patently self-evident that even listing the events in which Israel has killed significant numbers of non combatants speaks for itself. You’re writing in bad faith. Bad faith is something I don’t like at all. So here are those incidents:
first Lebanon war approx. 1,000 killed
second Lebanon war approx. 1,100 killed
Gaza war (approx 1,100 killed)
Israeli NGOs like B’Tselem have rigorously compiled lists of the numbers of Palestinian civilians Israel kills by year. I’ve linked to them in blog posts here (YOU do the work & find them). It’s usually on the order of six to ten times the number of Israeli civilians killed. And that’s just in the process of running the Occupation & doesn’t include wars like those above.
How many Israeli civilians has Iran killed? Even if you stretch things way beyond reason & include Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah on the suspect pretence that Hezbollah is a direct agent of Iran, you don’t get very high. So sorry, Israel is a far more potent purveyor of terror than Iran.
How do you read that ?
What i am seeing is Ashton stating that the Iranian’s preconditions is what made the parties not agree and the discussion to end with nothing.
Ashton clearly blames the Iranians, there were 7 countries there, all of them blame the iranians, and you who weren’t even there say otherwise ?
show some modesty will you ?
as for your allegations towards the state of Israel, seems to me you don’t understand the difference between war and terror, so lets stop the discussion here.
if you’ll ever chose to educate yourself on the matter, we can come back to it.
your comparison is done in extreme bad faith.
I don’t know precisely what was in the agreement hammered out among Turkey, Iran & Brazil. But I do know that Iran didn’t back out of anything. It made a proposal seconded by those two countries & rejected by the U.S. & Europeans. You can go around & around on this all you want, but you were wrong. Of course the U.S. & Europe blame Iran for the failure of the proposal. They would do that. But it was they who refused it, not Iran.
These “indications” probably come from Israel.
Richard thanks for picking up this story. I missed it completely.
I do not know what to think of Dagan’s statements. I believe he has the reputation of being a ultra-right wing lunatic, so his latest remarks seem very odd.
The Ma’ariv (Hebrew story) to which Richard linked, quotes unnamed sources that verify Dagan’s account of the meeting, as well as Barak’s and Netanyahu’s plan to attack Iran. It also quotes a source who claims the Dagan said of Netanyahu, “There is something wrong with him.” I guess most of us already knew that.
Here is the Guardian’s report on the story.
I read the Maariv story as Bibi saying of Dagan that “there’s something wrong with him,” not the other way around.
After rereading the paragraph, I see why you think that. Maybe you are correct.
However, it seems to me (admittedly no expert in Hebrew) that the word “he said” is redundant if the official is describing Dagan, but it is not redundant if he were quoting Dagan about Netanyahu.
Maybe a native speaker who visits here would clear this up for me.
Thanks for pointing this out.
According to the paragraph which quotes an unnamed source, it is Dagan who states that there is something wrong with the PM. not the other way around.
Thanks for the translation. Ira
I wouldn’t trust Yoram or his translations as far as I could throw ’em.
Those type of comments coming from no other then the blog owner himself, are a violation of the blog owner rules:
1. insults, baiting, vulgarity, harassment or abuse directed toward the blog owner or other commenters are not tolerated.
and yes am aware of the old saying that the Shoe Maker always walks barefoot.
if you have anything intelligent to say about my translation, i am willing to listen. Keep in mind that my Hebrew is much better then yours, and if you don’t trust my translation abilities, please ask a translation service to provide you with the accurate meaning.
Here’s a comment rule: stop whining about the way I administer the blog. Don’t like it, go elsewhere.
Your Hebrew isn’t necessarily better than mine. The only difference is that it’s your native tongue & my acquired one.
The reason I thought it was Bibi saying it about Dagan is because Israeli media have quoted Bibi acolytes saying that Dagan has gone insane, which is precisely the same meme. So I thought if Bibi believed it a yr ago it’s likely this would be one of the talking pts Bibi’s people would use in attacking Dagan.