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Israel 'prepared for 30-day war with Iran'
August 15, 2012 9:59 PM   Subscribe

Richard Silverstein, an American journalist and blogger on Israeli affairs, says he has been given a leaked document which outlines a plan for an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. (BBC).
posted by - (56 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am shocked shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.
posted by incessant at 10:10 PM on August 15, 2012


Of course Israel has a plan to bomb Iran. It would be crazy for them not to. It doesn't sound like a good plan to me, but they probably have more than one plan.
posted by andoatnp at 10:14 PM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Leaked obituary reveals that Abe Vigoda may, in fact, die someday.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:14 PM on August 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


I wouldn't be at all surprised. Israel's really been amping up the rhetoric all week.

I also wouldn't be at all surprised to find out this a last-ditch bluff, since none of that rhetoric seems to be working.

In a somewhat related story: Families of Iran's murdered nuclear scientists sue Israel, US and Britain
posted by Sys Rq at 10:17 PM on August 15, 2012


Abe Vigoda lives in Iran?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:19 PM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Let's face it, most world powers (especially nuclear ones) have plans in place for all kinds of "what if....someday..." scenarios.

I'm sure that at the height of the cold war, the U.S. had dozens of plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union (one of the classic blunders!), but having a plan is by no means a sign of intention.

This revelation would only be remarkable if the plan involved, I dunno, a fleet of Pita food trucks with Israeli commandos in the back, storming the border with cool hummus and hot lead.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:24 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


oh, a quick war with low numbers of projected loss of human life. WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE

also.. uh.. water wet, sky blue, etc
posted by ninjew at 10:27 PM on August 15, 2012


Alive
posted by sammyo at 10:29 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The real story would be if there was a U.S. plan to bomb Israel tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I'm pretty sure we have a contingency to nuke Canada somewhere stowed away, so I wouldn't put it past us. The powers that be like having a plan for all possible scenarios. Makes them look like they're keeping busy.
posted by disillusioned at 10:31 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, contingency plans are just a thing that happens.
posted by pahalial at 10:35 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting that they seem content with under-performing the 6 Day War by a factor of five here.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:35 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes only highly credible threats of war can effectively avoid it.
posted by shivohum at 10:44 PM on August 15, 2012


The "leaked document" reads like a part of some bored, undereducated general staff member's email exchange with his annoying pro-Iranian nephew. A mix of uselessly vague generalizations and hints at military technology that's been around for decades.

Iran must be reading this thinking, "EXACTLY WHAT CIRCULAR WROTE OVER ON METAFILTER. geez"
posted by circular at 10:44 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Families of Iran's murdered nuclear scientists sue Israel, US and Britain

Good. To put a human face on things, "Mohawk Guy" (Bobak Ferdowsi) is an Iranian-American scientist (actually he's full American but his father is from Iran).
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


This has been exposed as a speculative exercise someone wrote on an Israeli blog. Here's Google Translate's take on the original blog post, which seems to involve a carbon fibre fish trough person:
How can seem successful attack Iran?

[...] Let's think for a moment, how can seem Israeli attack on Iran? Stun attack which results in the regime in Tehran, and its success will echo from the end of the Middle East to Washington, DC. (All text below is based on official Israeli publications, foreign publications abroad and fantasy writer).

-----
"Sometime in the near future"

Netanyahu and Barak, Mshfnimo the latest information of the intelligence services ("best in the world") of Israel and the U.S., realized that they had reached the moment of truth - and the decision not to attack means certain nuclear weapons by the regime of Shiite radical and unexpected. Decision is made, with strong resistance levels of performance, but while politicians submission.

Israel's attack opens a combined action an unprecedented cyber attack, completely paralyzing the Iranian government ability to know what's going on in his own country. Internet networks, telephone, radio and television, satellite communications and fiber optic and leading to important sites - including underground missile bases and Asfahn Bhorambad - find out of action. Years of careful planning, and intelligence assets landfill command day - worthwhile. Power grids across Iran are paralyzed, and hate sites (transformers of the power grid) suffer serious injuries of arms dissipating carbon fiber fish trough person - creating short in order to fix them requires removing the physical - a task Sisyphean light quenching area arming cluster shared a time delay and some remotely operated via satellite signal.

posted by Joe in Australia at 11:26 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Let's face it, most world powers (especially nuclear ones) have plans in place for all kinds of "what if....someday..." scenarios.

Doesn't it come out a few years back that the US had a long-standing "what if" plan for attacking Canada?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:27 PM on August 15, 2012


Yeah, contingency plans are just a thing that happens.

Hey, there we go, that's what I was referring to.
posted by disillusioned at 11:27 PM on August 15, 2012


(doesn't == didn't)
posted by Afroblanco at 11:28 PM on August 15, 2012


n/m, pahalial found it
posted by Afroblanco at 11:29 PM on August 15, 2012


A barrage of tens of ballistic missiles...

Tens? That's it? Here's a map of the many locations in Iran that were hit by Iraqi Scuds night after night during the "War of the Cities." Thousands upon thousands of Iranian civilians died. The barrage did not cause Iran to surrender, nor did it prevent Iran from responding with ballistic missiles of its own. If anything, this is only further evidence that the Israelis cannot realistically pull off a Pearl-Harboresque attack on Iran. I hope the Israeli government knows that.

I'm pretty sure we have a contingency to nuke Canada somewhere stowed away

I'll see your War Plan Red and raise you Defence Scheme No. 1, a Canadian plan to invade Albany and Fargo and hope for the best.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:31 PM on August 15, 2012


shivohum: And sometimes they're the result of bloodthirsty goons advocating tirelessly for war.
posted by Grimgrin at 11:32 PM on August 15, 2012


Sometimes only highly credible threats of war can effectively avoid it.

That's the problem isn't it? If Iran had the capability to strike Israel with nuclear weapons there would be none of this war talk and the parties would be forced to seek peaceful accomodation. The fact is that Israel is the country which has had a clandestine nuclear program with which it now threatens its neighbors. The little boy with the gun is always the one who wants to play soldier - and always by his rules. Iran is not the problem, as were neither the nuclear ambitions of Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Iran is just next in line. The real problem is the asymmetry created by Israel's "credible threat" which is the destabilzing factor in the region. Before we can talk about another unprokoved first strike war in the Middle East, let's talk about that.
posted by three blind mice at 11:58 PM on August 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Possible war with Iran? Quickly! Elect the Republican!

I swear this reads like The Hunt For Red October Surprise
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:35 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


And sometimes they're the result of bloodthirsty goons advocating tirelessly for war.
Bomb Jita?
posted by fullerine at 1:01 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Richard Silverstein has explained why his alleged release is so similar to that blog post
I received the document from a known and trusted source who is, as I’ve often said here, a former Israeli government minister. It was in turn leaked to him by an IDF officer.

Unbeknowst to my source, the original IDF leaker also gave the document to a member of the Fresh forum, an Israeli gossip and politics forum. That Fresh member wrote a largely fictional account that included very limited portions of the actual document which I published in full.

Mind you, he points out that "no one from the Israeli government has come forward to deny the authenticity of the document."

Incidentally, someone at Hurry Up Harry has actually compared his Richard Silverstein's original (which he has now released) with the fictional version on the Israeli blog. You can find it at the end of this post (direct link here). Richard Silverstein's version clearly comes from the Israeli blog; his version is missing a few sentences and may have a few added words but they're otherwise nearly identical.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:20 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's completely normal and unsurprising that a contingency plan would exist, however, that's not exactly what it is. The article claims that it's a political document designed to convince others of the ease with which a war could be fought and won:
This is Bibi’s sales pitch for war. Its purpose is to be used in meetings with members of the Shminiya , 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?).
That's a much more terrible thing for politicians to be doing.
posted by Jehan at 3:22 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gary Sick wrote about this possibility earlier this week.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:48 AM on August 16, 2012


"This has been exposed as a speculative exercise someone wrote on an Israeli blog."

Actually, no.

This hasn't been exposed as speculative. Rather, the other blog apparently also received the information, but did a story on it that included other elements, rather than sticking to the actual document and its origins.

Also, the biggest problem with these kinds of government documents -- from a whistleblower's perspective -- is that they are increasingly being put through government software, designed to make each document unique... and therefore traceable to its source. (Presumably, this is done through changes in punctuation, formatting, etc.) I see nothing in the released information that wouldn't support this.

Lastly, you have to examine the sources, and their reputation.

On one hand, you have Tikun Olam, which has repeatedly leaked numerous verifiably true bits of information, from Israeli government sources.

And on the other hand, you have "The Commentator", whose founder Robin Shepherd was nudged out Chatham House, a prominent non-partisan British thinktank for being too biased and unbalanced n his writing. After this, he joined the Henry Jackson Society, a thinktank whose policies "Support(s) a ‘forward strategy’ " and "the maintenance of a strong military . . . armed with expeditionary capabilities with a global reach".

Shepherd wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post, where he called the Methodist Church of England "evil" and "rancid" for debating a boycott of goods from the Palestinian Occupied Territories, accused them of supporting anti-semitism, and encouraged Israel to "Ban their officials from entering; deport their missionaries; block their funds; close down their offices; and tax their churches. If it’s war, it’s war. The aggressor must pay a price."

Oh, did I mention that the Henry Jackson Society's patrons include Richard Perle, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, the "big three" behind Project for a New American Century?

In short, they are British Neocons.

This is further supported by The Commentator's appointment of Raheem Kassam as their Executive Editor. On Raheem's Twitter, he calls himself "Mr. #Conservative'... and that stands to figure, considering that he is considered an activist by party loyalists, and was an executive for Conservative Future. Here he is in 2009, using a largely fictional students group called "Students Rights" to try to prevent Muslim speakers from being on campus in the UK, while at the same time supporting an active school presence for the British Nationalist Party. Oh, and did I mention his douchebaggery, where he was caught and had his profile deleted from Wikipedia, for getting caught using the site for self-promotion?

Sorry, but when it comes to the credibility of national security documents, I prefer well-respected, independent bloggers over rabid neocon ideologues pretty much any day. How 'bout you?!
posted by markkraft at 4:37 AM on August 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


If Iran had the capability to strike Israel with nuclear weapons there would be none of this war talk and the parties would be forced to seek peaceful accomodation.

That's only true until it isn't.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:40 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


"That's only true until it isn't."

Indeed. Israel has a long history of surprise attacks, sinking vessels in international waters, launching airstrikes against other countries, etc.

Iran, on the other hand, hasn't actually launched a war against another country since 1798.
posted by markkraft at 4:50 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Markkraft wrote: Rather, the other blog apparently also received the information, but did a story on it that included other elements, rather than sticking to the actual document and its origins.

That may be what Silverstein says, but ... look, I posted a comparison of the two pieces. They're word-for-word the same, except the Israeli blog has a long intro about how easy a war would be and everyone saying different is stupid. This isn't a matter of opinion any more. Silverstein has made a fool of himself. Not for the first time, from what I've read.

Sorry, but when it comes to the credibility of national security documents, I prefer well-respected, independent bloggers over rabid neocon ideologues pretty much any day. How 'bout you?!

I tell you what. Let's see if the BBC walks back on this.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:33 AM on August 16, 2012



Richard Silverstein is a plagiarist, a liar, and an idiot.


His "leaked document" is nothing more than a speculative essay posted to an Israeli discussion board.
posted by ocschwar at 5:38 AM on August 16, 2012


Sorry, but when it comes to the credibility of national security documents, I prefer well-respected, independent bloggers over rabid neocon ideologues pretty much any day. How 'bout you?!


The really sad thing about Metafilter is that this is what passes for critical thinking here.
posted by ocschwar at 5:43 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a BBC interview with Richard Silverstein about the purported leak here. The interviewer does not sound convinced.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:45 AM on August 16, 2012


Iran, on the other hand, hasn't actually launched a war against another country since 1798.


Argentina, 1995.
posted by ocschwar at 5:47 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a native Hebrew speaker and the two documents - the blog (actually more a discussion board) and Silverstein's - are essentially identical.

I guess you could simply run both through Google Translate and confirm you get the same output for many paragraphs.

Silverstein's version omits the obvious story bits, like fictional quotes from Barak after the event or a mention of some medals awarded to some pilots etc. It basically reads like a Tom Clancy story.

The original poster mentions twice that the text is based on his own imagination.

It's just a complete fabrication. I don't think Silverstein knew it, but it does put his claims of being informed by high ranking officers and former ministers in an extremely ridiculous light.

(Not that I think he's going to harmed in any way by this - obviously there's a huge audience that wants to believe what he writes, factual or not)
posted by nir at 5:47 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


a Canadian plan to invade Albany and Fargo and hope for the best.
That we would agree to take them back?
posted by stevis23 at 5:54 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bomb Iran yourself with the Bomb Iran board game.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:13 AM on August 16, 2012


Silverstein's version omits the obvious story bits, like fictional quotes from Barak after the event or a mention of some medals awarded to some pilots etc. It basically reads like a Tom Clancy story.

The original poster mentions twice that the text is based on his own imagination.

It's just a complete fabrication. I don't think Silverstein knew it, but it does put his claims of being informed by high ranking officers and former ministers in an extremely ridiculous light.


Really? This is completely hilarious. What am I missing about Silversteen that his reputation would actually not be harmed by getting caught posting fanfiction as leaked documents from "high ranking officers"?
posted by Winnemac at 6:48 AM on August 16, 2012


Well, since he claims it is not somebody better informed than myself had better figure it out.
posted by Winnemac at 6:58 AM on August 16, 2012


Everyone in the region will have war plans for attack or defence against everyone else in the region. Things go much better when the baloon goes up if you can avoid telling everyone what to do in ways more confusing than "We are at war with Eurasia. Open the War Book at page 346."
posted by jaduncan at 9:45 AM on August 16, 2012


Really? This is completely hilarious. What am I missing about Silversteen that his reputation would actually not be harmed by getting caught posting fanfiction as leaked documents from "high ranking officers"?


He's catering to the far left's anti-Israeli prejudices. They never fact-check their own.
posted by ocschwar at 11:03 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


a Canadian plan to invade Albany and Fargo and hope for the best.
That we would agree to take them back?

We can dream...
posted by twidget at 11:03 AM on August 16, 2012


I heard some of this report on the radio, BBC I think it was, the other day. It was such an obvious propaganda stunt that it was kind of sad. One of the interviewees even commented that it read like a Tom Clancy novel.

I mean, seriously, read some of these excerpts:
After the first wave of attacks, which will be timed to the second, the “Blue and White” radar satellite, whose systems enable us to perform an evaluation of the level of damage done to the various targets, will pass over Iran. Only after rapidly decrypting the satellite’s data, will the information be transferred directly to war planes making their way covertly toward Iran. These IAF planes will be armed with electronic warfare gear previously unknown to the wider public, not even revealed to our U.S. ally. This equipment will render Israeli aircraft invisible.
This isn't a leaked strategy document, this is a propaganda piece meant to cause fear in the Iranian public and sell the war to the Israeli public and allies.
posted by formless at 1:14 PM on August 16, 2012


All I know is that any war plan that involves invisible planes is probably a good one. I mean think about it, how do you shoot them down?!
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:08 PM on August 16, 2012


This isn't a leaked strategy document, this is a propaganda piece meant to cause fear in the Iranian public and sell the war to the Israeli public and allies.

Yes, it's a propaganda document - but it's not a government one. It's military fan fiction written by someone who thinks that his story will somehow get people excited enough to support an Israeli strike against Iran. He actually says this in the original document.

My question is: if Silverstein doesn't live in Israel and doesn't even read Hebrew, why on earth are people treating him as if he knows something about Israeli politics? Surely the capacity to read local papers and position documents would be absolutely fundamental to any sort of expertise.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:57 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


All I know is that any war plan that involves invisible planes is probably a good one. I mean think about it, how do you shoot them down?!

The trick is to get Wonder Woman to fall asleep in the cockpit.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:01 PM on August 16, 2012




This Is How Israel Will Defend Itself From A Full-Blown Missile Assault

An interesting comparison of missiles used by both sides.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:56 PM on August 16, 2012


The Fresh Forum, which Silverstein plagiarized his materials from, has a statement out:

http://www.fresh.co.il/vBulletin/announcement.php?f=20&announcementid=643
posted by ocschwar at 6:00 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


My question is: if Silverstein doesn't live in Israel and doesn't even read Hebrew, why on earth are people treating him as if he knows something about Israeli politics? Surely the capacity to read local papers and position documents would be absolutely fundamental to any sort of expertise.

Related question: who does his translation?
posted by jaduncan at 7:48 AM on August 17, 2012


Jaduncan: Richard Silverstein said "I’ve translated the document from Hebrew with the help of Dena Shunra."

I don't know if she's his usual translator or if she bears any responsibility for giving him the document in the first place.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:07 AM on August 18, 2012




In other news: U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions
posted by homunculus at 2:20 PM on August 20, 2012


If only there were some way to force the Iraqis to comply with international law.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:34 PM on August 20, 2012


Israel's Radical Left
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on September 11, 2012


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