Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Of the many articles about the Iranian nuclear threat - does it or doesn't it exist? - that I read this week I particularly liked this one, by an Israeli journalist who has followed the subject for many years. While I do not want to rely on the expertise and impartiality of the UN and Muhammad el-Baradei or on the goodwill of Mr Ahmadinejad for my own and my loved ones' security, entrusting George W. Bush and Ehud Olmert with that same security also gives me an enormous headache. One thing is for sure, the ways in which the wars in Iraq and Lebanon were fought by the US and by Israel strengthened our most ferocious and possibly most dangerous enemies, if only because now those enemies can get much more leeway to build up their forces, their positions and arsenals than they would have received before the winter of 2003 and the summer of 2006. The world sees no reason why this latest report should not be true, even though that same world often dismissed other intelligence reports that said the opposite - and that were just as (un)reliable - as the work of ( Zionist or other evil ) scaremongers. Whom and which reports should we believe? I have no idea. There never was a solid basis for panic but there is also no room for being naive. Very, very cautious optimism might be a good idea, at least for the short term. Being - or starting to be - prepared for every eventuality is not inconistent with trying to achieve your goals through diplomacy. Ronen Bergman writes: "Israel has been slammed in Washington over the fact that since 2001, in every meeting between an Israeli prime minister and an American president, Israel claimed that Iran is “six months away” from reaching the “technological threshold.” Sources in the American capital say that Israel made a fool of itself while trying to alarm the world. " Instead of continuing to cry wolf - even if there is a very real wolf out there - the Israeli government and military should show - maybe not to the world but at least to the few real allies that the country has left - on what evidence its warnings are based. In other words, put up or shut up! Otherwise Israel's credibility and the trustworthiness of Israeli intelligence, or rather the little that is left of it, will be totally gone. And that would endanger us more than anything else.

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