42 thoughts on “Ehud Barak: Most Dangerous Man in Middle East – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I usually dismissed war talk, and saw it as means of diversion from internal issues. This time, the Israeli media is pumping the imminence of a strike. I’m a bit worried.

  2. I’m very far from being a Barak fan, quiet the opposite, but, come on – the most dangerous man in the ME? Is he responsible for slaughtering 15-20 thousand people in Syria during the last 18 months? has he threatened to wipe out Iran from the map?? you are one sided to a degree that it hurts deeply your creadibilty. There always will be enough radicals to agree with anything you write against Israel and its politicians but if you want to have any influence beyond them my strong recommendation is you use some cuation and measure while picking your vocabulary.

    1. redrafi57r, attacking Iran would be a gamble of gambles. so what would Iran’s counter-strike be like? really robust, with chemicals and other exotic weapons? would the missile defense shield do the job, completely or not so completely? would the conflict spread to a wider ME conflict? Iran has had a long time to plan and game their response, and with a clear view of what they face.

      Some time back Barak reassured the public that it was not likely that more than 5,000 Israelis would be killed in such a war (I think that was the number he was parading about). So, if “slaughtering 15-20 thousand people” (just for Israel, ignoring the devastation that may be inflicted on Iran) is your standard, is it hard to imagine that if the ‘shock and awe’ doesn’t work quite as Barak figures there could well be a much greater than 15-20 thousand Israelis killed in a protracted conflict. Maybe Barak and Netanyahu should actually release the latest estimated probability distributions of the numbers of Israelis killed before the attack to let the people of Israel know the downside of the gamble of gambles. What happens after the war? certainly Iran would have learned its lesson that it had better develop nuclear weapons (and other WMD) to ward off future attacks.

        1. Either “estimate” might be proved to be ridiculously optimistic.

          Bear in mind that a sporadic and loosely-targeted bombardment of London with conventionally-armed ballistic missiles killed 7,500 people in the space of a couple of months. (Also bear in mind that the Nazis also managed to off at least 12,000 forced labourers building the missiles and the launch sites!)

          That was in a city with abundant bomb shelters, most minors evacuated to the countryside and an adult poplace well experienced in responding to warnings.

          The Iranians will probably have a better idea of what they are shooting at and hitting than the Nazis, and may have more stockpiled weapons available. They may well employ more lethal warheads, with Sarin or VX being most likely, in my view.

          The main kill mechanism with a V2 was actually chunks of concrete, brick and tarmac falling out of the sky in the minute or so following impact and detonation. Something similar is likely from Iranian missiles with explosive warheads.

          I doubt that many Israeli bomb shelters will actually stand up to this kind of thing. In addition, there will be fires all over the place when lumps of rock and concrete land on all the cars in which people drove to the shelters. Many citizens of Hamburg were “safe” inside bombproof shelters when operation Gomorrah converted them into fine ash. (Ideally, don’t let anyone park any car or store any fuel anywhere near your shelter.)

          I’d prefer no attack on Iran unless Iran actually attacks somebody first.
          If there must be an attack on Iran, the postulated plan goes after the most static targets first, tries to avoid hitting the Ayatollah’s mechanisms of repression at all if possible, and seems designed to tempt/goad the Ayatollahs into the worst atrocities possible, against Israel, Iran’s Arab neighbours and their own poplace.

          A protracted conflict between two sides capable of bombing each other will produce casualty rates in the hundreds of thousands, more if nerve gases are employed.

          Despite their association with John Adelson and all his gambling expertise, Israel’s leaders are embarked on a high stakes game with no realistic idea of what the odds, or the stakes, actually are.

        2. How can anyone possibly take anything they say seriously with estimates like this… They’re about to start a war with ‘the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world’, to ward off an ‘existential threat’ and only expect 300 dead.

          Who’s the idiot, who’s the liar, and who’s the victim?

          1. Here, a quote from Netenyahu himself:

            ““Even if it is not your intention, your visit will grant legitimacy to a regime that is the greatest threat to world peace and security,” the prime minister said. “Not only does it threaten countries throughout the Middle East, not only is it the greatest terror exporter in the world, but it is impossible to exaggerate the danger it presents to Israel.”

            It’s impossible to exaggerate the ‘danger it presents’, but if attacked will only kill 300, i.e. they are a backward nation with no military capabilities, and pose no danger to the existence of Israel whatsoever.

          2. He didn’t give an estimate of Jewish casualties outside Israel – which are usually the target of the Iranians.

            Either way, even 5000 is much less that the number of casualties that will perish by an nuclear bomb.

          3. Puh-leeze. The only ones speculating about nuclear weapons being used are far rightists like you. No reasonable person on either side believes Iran will use a nuclear weapon against Israel or anyone, even if they had one, which they don’t. This sort of nonsense both bores & frustrates me. Consider that a warning that such hasbara is empty & vacuous here.

          4. No reasonable person on either side believes Iran will use a nuclear weapon against Israel or anyone?
            I strongly disagree.

            Even if they had one, which they don’t.

          5. that’s not much of a proof, but I am a guest here, so I won’t argue with you.

            I would like to take the opportunity to replay to your previous comment about me being a far-rightist.
            It’s the first time someone refers to me as such – I believe I’m in the Israeli center.

            This reminds me of a good friend of mine from my reserves unit, who is a Far leftist, and every time we all meet for duty, he gets into endless arguments with the rightist guys, that go on for the whole month of duty.
            The funny thing it that in his circles (he’s a doctoral student for humanities) he’s considered a far rightest, for serving as a combatant in the army.

            In conclusion, when you are an extreme-leftist, everyone who thinks otherwise seems like a far-rightist.
            And that’s true the other way around also.

          6. “Israeli center” is far-rightist elsewhere in the world, at least in Europe.
            There’s an interview with French right-winger Marine Le Pen in Haaretz from some time back (you know, the one Madonna hypocritically criticized during her latest tour starting out in Tel Aviv, when there were lots of ‘local’ fascists around to expose): Le Pen’s opinon on the settlements and on discrimination against Palestinian Israelis would put her somewhere between Meretz and Hadash….

          7. I’m glad I don’t live in Europe then.

            As for Le Pen’s views on Israel. European far right we never a big fan of the Jewish State. It’s one of the few things it have in common with the European far left.

          8. You’re completely wrong. The European far right like Le Pen, the EDL, Anders Breivik and Russian ultra nationalists LOVE Israel & have been embraced in Israel by Kahanist MKs. Do your homework, man.

          9. They don’t love Israel – They just hate it a little less than they hate immigrates from the middle east, and that Anders Breivik is a perfect example of it.
            But heck, if you manage to pin that mass murder on Israel somehow – why not.

            I’m not familiar with the EDL but I guess they are also a bunch of toothless morons who hate jews, but nowadays hate arabs just a little more, so Israel is great all of a sudden.

            Russian ultra nationalists? I have no clue who those guys are.

          10. You’re amazing. Your own Israeli media reported extensively on the profound admiration that these neo Nazi types have for Israel including Knesset briefings with members of your own parliament & you attempt to argue that they hate Jews.

          11. was that recently? I don’t recall.
            If you provided a link, I might know what you were talking about.

            as for Israeli members of the parlament – they can pull all sorts of crap. Some shake hands with European far-rightists just just a year earlier trashed Israel, and some provide locations of strategic buildings to Hezbullah during a war.

            that’s democracy for you. the only one in the middle east and all that jazz.

          12. thanks for the reference.

            Aryeh Eldad and Ayoob Kara – glad to say I didn’t vote for any of them.
            But again, and excuse me for repeating myself. as long as it’s not illegal (like passing information about military strategic areas in Israeli during a war, as some other MK once did), it’s okay.
            If their voters think what they did was wrong – they will be punished at the polls.

          13. So the guys you support are great while all of the others (and their voters, like myself) are sick?

          14. @ Nimrod
            Marine Le Pen is nothing like neither her father not Russian skin-heads or the EDL. In fact many French Jews have joined her party – a guy even launched a ‘French Jews for Marine Le Pen’. I know you prefer to dwell in an eternal state of victimhood but the fact is that the Israeli discourse on “aliens” – that is indigenous Palestinians – is far more extremist than classical European right-wingers (I’m not talking about neo-nazis). Geert Wilders, the Dutsch right-winger is simply in love with Israel, he lived in a kibbutz for a while. I think Elisabeth posted a document on his Israeli love affair some time back.
            Didi Remez wrote some years back that he was more and more convinced that what bothered many Israelis about anti-semitism was that THEY were the victims, not the xenophobic idea in itself.

        3. I am so thankful to nimrod for correcting my hugely exaggerated memory of Barak’s stated expected Israeli death toll. I wonder how many Iranians are expected to be killed in their surgical strike. But I did correctly refer to an attack on Iran to be a ‘gamble of gambles’ — there are vastly complex gaming probability distributions as I tried to allude to; will the war be a quick ‘shock and awe’ that also kills a good number of Iranians with a US intervention and not much more. Not likely. Rather, there will be well planned retaliatory strikes that hit Israeli population centers and well planned spread to a ME wide conflict; Iran suffered from WMD, do you think they now have their own significant stash with a means and discipline to deliver; what are the assumption of the war gaming that yielded the 300 fatality estimate? Any idiot knows that Iran is going to try and inflict as much pain as possible and spread the war at least to Lebanon and Iraq and perhaps beyond, hit US ships and tanker, possibly Saudi oil refineries.

          my casual reference to the 5000 number was meant to be parody — that it was almost comical that Barak was going around and bragging that there would only be 300 fatalities (I should have figured that 5000 would have been too larger to brag about); it was like a ‘hold your nose and take your medicine while we annihilate those nasty Iranians’. But maybe Barak was actually trying to lull the foolish Israeli public into thinking that it would be a quick fireworks display (watch it on CNN like Iraq).

          if so, Israel is living in the Fools’ Paradise of wars of choice.

          But war is so hard to predict, especially wars of choice. anyway,

          1. Actually,many in Israel think Barak and Bibi have lost their minds & are dragging Israel into a maelstrom. They may not be Israelis you like or agree with, but they live there too.

          1. thank you Richard; now I realize where my confusion arose — misplaced a ‘0’; those who engage in modelling have to be careful about those zeroes. On the other hand, people who are being bombed don’t care too much about zeroes.

  3. Heck, they should take advantage of the chaos caused by the earthquakes to strike. Not as if morality is an issue here, so why bother waiting any longer…

  4. Richard,
    Could this all be simply manifestations of a psychological warfare campaign against Iran……are Bibi and Barak crazy enough to do it !!!……….the more leaks and rumors that circulate regarding an impending attack, the less likely it is that they are true.
    From sanctions to Syria,psychological warfare to cyber warfare,Iran is now more isolated and her economy is showing ever increasing signs of strain………this I believe to be the objective.

    1. It could be any of a number of things. But I think we’re long past psychological warfare designed to intimidate Iran into being more flexible in negotiations. We’re coming to the real thing I’m afraid.

  5. Force may be justified in extreme circumstances to RESOLVE a damaging issue.

    The leaked plan wouldn’t resolve anything and is more like poking a stick into a hornet’s nest.

    The instrument by which the Ayatollahs commit atrocity is the Revolutionary Guard and its various allied militias. The plan specifically excludes attacking the Guard until the last stage of the plan, by which time the regime is supposed to have already capitulated. It’s as if the Allied Invasion of Normandy has proceeded under rules of engagement which forbade shooting at the SS.

  6. @Deïr Yassin

    Thanks for the detailed replay, but I’m afraid I have very little knowledge about Europeans right-wingers who love, and that somehow puts Israel in a bad light.

    My impression for all of these “new” lovers of Israel, is that they hate their immigrants from the middle east more than they hated their Jewish countrymen just little more, and all of a sudden they fell in love with Israel.
    It sickens me, just like watching “code pink” ladies demonstrate next to Jihad supporters and women in Niqāb in a demonstration against “Israeli oppression”.

    but again, I’m no expert on this

    1. If Codepink “sickens” you as much as Russian neo-Nazis welcomed to your Knesset by your far-right MKs then you truly need to have your head examined. No one from Codepink supports jihad or any such nonsense. You don’t know what the f(^k you’re talking about.

      1. It sickens me when a code pink, or any other pro-women right activists stands next to a woman in wearing a Hijab, demonstrating together against “oppression”.
        and if you can’t see the irony in than, than you don’t know irony at all.

        As for Russian neo-Nazis welcomed by your far-right MKs – my replay is that I’m not sure who these MKs are. Probably not anyone I voted for.
        The thing about MKs in a democracy, is that they tend to do what their voters wants. or at least they are supposed to. So if a far-right pulls something like that – I wont like it. but that’s his right.
        just as when a far-left Knesset member smears Israel on the BBC – I wont like it. but again, that’s his right.

        unlike our poor and oppress neighbors from all sides, we allow it, as long at it legal, no matter how much it stinks.

        consider yourself lucky. at least you don’t pay outrageous taxes to finance those assholes.

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