IDF chief Benny Gantz has further confirmed the outright reluctance of the Israeli military to attack Iran, a position that goes directly counter to that of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Channel 10’s Immanuel Rosen reported (video report) about an allegedly off the record conversation (possibly with Rosen himself), in which Gantz said that the Israeli home front was not prepared for the Iranian response to an Israeli attack. He added that such a military strike would have a “limited effect” on Iran.
While it’s no surprise that Israel’s military and intelligence branches are outright opposed to military action (the political echelon is in favor), such differences usually aren’t expressed so publicly and so baldly. The truth of this can be seen in the fact that the military censor ordered the report deleted from the Channel’s website. The video of the broadcast no longer contains this portion of the interview. You can see the cut at 7:20 of this video.
My high-level Israeli source informs me that no less a figure than Ehud Barak himself ordered the censor to take this action. I generally wouldn’t have a problem with censorship designed to protect a nation or save lives. But censorship of this sort, designed to protect the ego and political perogatives of someone like Barak is beyond pernicious and I’m proud to fight against it.
The defense minister has had a contentious personal history with chiefs of staff, including the previous one, Gaby Ashkenazi. It seems this sort of fractiousness continues with Gantz. In fact, a year ago Barak also silenced Gantz on the same subject by refusing him permission to testify before a Knesset intelligence committee. Undoubtedly, the defense minister knew his military chief would express views about an Iran attack that varied from his own. His way of dealing with this was by muzzling him. While it may flatter Barak’s vanity to do so, it deprives the nation and its policymakers with the sort of expert, robust debate on a matter of critical national importance.
Frankly, I’m grateful that the IDF leadership continues to be willing to express its views strongly on this matter. It could be one of the factors that causes Israel to avoid making such a tragic error. Many speculated before this, that after Meir Dagan, Yuval Diskin and Gaby Ashkenazi left their positions and were replaced by individuals of lesser experience, that the latter would be cowed by the large personalities of Netnayahu and Barak. So far, this seems not to be the case.
The video you’ll find above is the very one Ehud Barak wants no Israeli to be able to watch. Thanks to Google cache I’ve retrieved it and offer it to you via Youtube. Let me remind you that this fight against censorship and the excesses of the national security state are what I stand for. If this is important to you, click on the Paypal button in my sidebar and contribute.
Fred Plester says
Shortly before the Suez invasion, Lord Mountbatten expressed his gravest doubts about the mission. Senior cabinet members told him that he must obey orders, Mountbatten replied at as supreme commander in South East Asia he’d hanged hundreds of Japanese officers for doing that.
As it happened, there was no large-scale loss of civilian life, but with the amount of firepower being mobilized it’s quite obvious why Mountbatten thought there might be.
Britain and France had a legal grievance over the Canal, but there was no legal case for the scale of military action that was launched.
Israel has a right to be worried about Iranian nuclear programmes and more especially the threatening rhetoric which accompany this, but there’s no legal case for direct military attack on the basis of mights, maybes and rumours.
Even in the Cuban Missile crisis, where obviously nuclear missiles suddenly appeared very close to American targets, the US didn’t commence with a military onslaught. There was a blockade and a hugely dangerous diplomatic confrontation, with potential for world war. But a instant military attack on Cuba would have guaranteed that world war.
There isn’t the legal basis and the risks are too great.
Not only the US, but Israel too has suffered “strategic disasters” its military leaders have to contend with if they are to dutifully and faithfully serve their country. This has opened a chasm between Netanyahu & co and the top leadership of the IDF regarding Iran. Not only would they have to manage what they already know is the mother of all losers, they also know they would be made the scapegoats for its failure. Whether Netanyahu means it or is bluffing apparently matters little to the top military & intelligence chiefs of the IDF, who are willing to break protocol and ranks with the political leadership.
Of course attacking is a bluff to get the western governments to impose harsher sanctions on iran. The funny thing is, in order to perform a proper bluff you need to be convincing and it looks like they are scaring there own people (even there military who know they cant do it), too bad our dumb as dirt western leaders dont realize that the Israeli political politicians are also bluffing.
It is time for the US to act according to the reality that Israel offers no strategic, military or economic advantage to the US. In fact, Israel is naught put an economic parasite ($100+ Billion in direct aid so far and many times this in soft aid), a political liability, are morally bankrupt and are, by far, the most destabilizing entity in the Middle East with their hundreds of hidden, unregulated first strike nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, launch systems and have a political system founded on oppression and racism.
Israel overtly threatens everyone around them and has engaged in assassination, provocation and continual war for decade upon decade…including the Palestinians who reside in their own land. It is a nation built on theft, oppression and fear.
They have nothing to offer us and we should be building friendships elsewhere and working for real peace, or at least détente in the Middle East.
The US is nothing more than an enabler in their crimes and our support only increases the danger of disaster. It is long past time we look after ourselves rather than being jerked around by madmen.
Cut them loose now completely and let them commit suicide if they wish.