In my experience of them, the Israeli government and in particular the IDF liked to give briefings using cartoons as graphics. These comic strips were more or less in the "Mad Magazine" tradition. Look it up. The most serious subjects were discussed this way, often in international meetings. When I first was exposed to this habit I thought it droll, but as I came to see that this practice would be never ending, I began first to be offended and then analytic about the matter. I protested but they continued to do it. Israelis seem to see the rest of the world as "under instruction" and people other than themselves as needing some sort of systematic "support" if comprehension is to be achieved.
In that context, Bibi's condescending use of a primitive cartoon as an instructional "crutch" was not a surprise for me. IMO he thinks of us all as childlike and needing a clear focus for our attention and limited cognitive powers. It is for this reason that he endlessly, obnoxiously, lectures all who fall into his "grip" for a few minutes. Since BHO is a bit of a lecturer himself, it is not surprising that sparks have flown between them.
As Brigadier FB Ali wrote yesterday, the speech itslf was a surprising muddle. It was difficult to know what it was that Bibi wanted from this lecture other than a chance to sneer. He said that Iranian progress toward uranium enrichment must be halted before it reached what he said was the "second stage" of enrichment. He then drew his magic marker line at the 90% level on his cartoon bomb. If I recall correctly 90% is the level of enrichment needed for a fission bomb. What was he trying to communicate?
He said that the IAEA supports his assertions that the Iranians are proceeding toward the second level of enrichment. This he sometimes said was 70% (labeled 1st Stage) and at other times 90%. (the red line) In fact, the IAEA in its August 2012 report on Iran finds nothing to be diverted from inspection and nothing enriched beyond 20% .
At some points in his "chalk talk" he referred to production and enrichment at facilities of which "our wonderful intelligence services" as yet know nothing. He "generously" seemed to include the USIC in this description. I suppose he felt that he should since his own services are so dependent on the USIC. Nevertheless, if we know nothing about these facilities, then how can we include their unknown production in our estimates?
It was suggested to me today that he looked and sounded deranged. Jon Stewart said last night that the cartoon was absurd and that if the Israelis want to know what an atom bomb looks like they should go down in their "basement" and look at one. pl