A response to BooMan’s front page story – War This Year With Iran?

See my follow-up diary – Timeline of Curious Events US-Israel and Tactical Stand-off

Selling the views of Israeli hawks on Iran

(The Guardian) – That is a lot more interesting stuff in Bergman’s piece. He is bringing out a book this month, called The Secret War with Iran, (updated version) which sounds like it will be a gripping read, and of course the NYT article helps drum up interest and sales.

Ronen Bergman is one of a small circle of heavyweights in the Israeli media who spend a significant amount of time with the politicians, spies and generals who are going to make the ultimate decision. [A mouthpiece for Israeli military establishment bound by its censorship – Oui]

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Secretary Leon Panetta visits Pakistan to restore relationship (Reuters)

    “Three to five years seems a very confident estimate. The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, reckoned in December that such strikes could set the Iranians back one or two years “at best”. Bergman also talks to a Mossad veteran, Rafi Eitan, whose own estimate was `not even three months’.”

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA Middle East specialist, takes the opposite view, arguing in Lebanon’s Daily Star today that even with the bomb, Iran would not be an existential threat to Israel.

Jeffrey Goldberg has put out a piece in The Atlantic in response to Bergman, suggesting that Bergman’s analysis might be premature, and pointing out that the same people that Bergman talked to had previously convinced Goldberg that the attack would come last summer. Clearly, Israeli has a motive in conveying the impression that an attack might be imminent, to stir up urgency in the West to confront Iran.

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