Richard Silverstein has received, translated, and released a leaked document that he says is Benjamin Netanyahu’s secret plan for an Israeli strike on Iran:
This is Bibi’s sales pitch for war. Its purpose is to be used in meetings with members of theÂ ShminiyaÂ , the eight-member security cabinet which currently finds a 4-3 majority opposed to an Iran strike. Bibi uses this sales pitch to persuade the recalcitrant ministers of the cool, clean, refreshing taste of war. My source informs me that it has also been shared in confidence with selected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle (who, oh who, might they be?).
This isÂ Shock and Awe, Israel-style. It is Bibi’s effort to persuade high-level Israeli officials that Israel can prosecute a pure technology war that involves relatively few human beings (Israeli, that is) who may be put in harm’s way, and will certainly cost few lives of IDF personnel.
Bibi’s sleight of hand here involves no mention whatsoever of an Iranian counter-attack against Israel. The presumption must be that the bells and whistles of all those marvelous new weapons systems will decapitate Iran’s war-making ability and render it paralyzed. The likelihood of this actually happening is nearly nil.
Head over to Tikun Olam for the emperor’s (purported) full monty and have at it, Agonistas.
Update: Mya Guarnieri thinks this is part of an ongoing bait & switch campaign on the part of Bibi, who, she contends, (still) has no intention to strike Iran:
I don’t doubt that the document is real. I don’t doubt that it came from somewhere inside Â the Israeli government. What I doubt is the veracity of Silverstein’s source’s claim that this document is being used to ”œpersuade high-level Israeli officials.”
It’s not an attack that Bibi’s peddling. It’s theÂ ideaÂ of one. And the people he’s really pitching it to isÂ international community, via the media.
While Bibi might talk like a duck, he isn’t one. He hasÂ admitted that sanctions against IranÂ are working and he knows Israel will pay a huge political price for an attack on Iran. Bibi is a do-nothing, status-quo Prime Minister. He’s not going to make any big moves. And both peace and war are big moves.
That’s why the document, as Silverstein says, was shared with ”œselected journalists who are in the trusted inner media circle.” The media is simply a tool to achieve two things: 1) to pressure the international community into pressuring Iran to stop its nuclear program so that Israel can remain the region’s mightiest military power; 2) to divert international attention from the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan Heights.
Which may help explain why, as JPD observes in comments, the alleged doc reads more like “some of the breathless coverage post ’91 in Time” (or “a trashy action novel,” as per Gaurnieri) than a serious (or even Seriousâ„¢) policy document.
Update 2: Gary Sick shares Guarnieri’s skepticism/cynicism:
It is worth remembering that Israel acquires significant leverage from this constant perception of imminent war. By keeping the Iranian nuclear case at the forefront of the world’s media, political leaders everywhere are more likely to pay a price in the form of lost revenues and political sparring with Iran, rather than facing the calamity of an outright war.
There’s a ‘but’ here:
My only concern is that Prime Minister Netanyahu, having made the case so often and so publicly for Israel’s right and even duty to attack, will have painted himself into a corner where there is no escape without actually risking national catastrophe.
Update 3: Silverstein talks w/ Auntie Beeb and provide more info re: who gave him the document:
Silverstein says the document was leaked by an officer in the army, senior members of which he says oppose attacking Iran. He says the officer received the document from a former senior minister in a former government.