« Hi! Ho! Its off to the asteroid mine we go! | Main | A Letter From Yusuf al-Misry »

25 April 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Col: "detente"? Does the Republican Jewish Coalition, AIPAC, and ZOA give campaign donations for detente?

Seriously, could Grantz's truth-telling be related to political changes in Egypt?



Any possibility that this might just be a smokescreen (with or without US benediction)?


To make such a public statement, Lt. Gen. Gantz must think there is a clear and present danger of an attack on Iran. He is pushing back against someone powerful in the Israeli government who is advocating an attack. The only logical candidate is Bibi. Can he stop Bibi? I don't think the answer to that question is clear. Gantz could develop a sudden urge to spend more time with his family.

Medicine Man

Does this mean the Israel military/security establishment just chopped Bibi's legs out from under him? A lovely sight. Also a prudent move on the part of sane Israelis.

Chris Bolan

This development may also provide a much needed boost to diplomatic efforts. The broad outlines of a diplomatic deal based on a cold calculation of shared US and Iranian interests have been visible for some time. The essential trade-off in all of these reports is that the West would allow Iran to enrich uranium to 3.5% (the level usually required for power plants) while Iran would agree to an intrusive inspection regime that would offer the West some assurances that Iran is not actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The Feb 2012 NY Times op-ed, “Envisioning a Deal with Iran” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/opinion/envisioning-a-deal-with-iran.html), by Ambassadors Luers and Pickering is but one example of this kind of reporting. As you noted in a previous post, the 17 April op-ed by David Ignatius, “The State is Set for a Deal with Iran” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-a-deal-with-iran-in-the-works/2012/04/17/gIQAbaT0OT_story.html) is a more recent variation on this theme. Lending further credence to this possibility, Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator who now teaches at Princeton said today that there is now a “historic opportunity” (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/25/us-nuclear-iran-talks-idUSBRE83O0CZ20120425to resolve this dispute.

The main obstacles to such a deal may well reside not over these substantive issues themselves, but instead rest with the domestic hard-line politicians in Washington, Tel Aviv, and Tehran – a point underscored by Fareed Zakaria in his 11 April op-ed, “The Shape of Deal With Iran” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/iran-nuclear-negotiations-can-result-in-a-robust-deal/2012/04/11/gIQAAmaQBT_story.html). In the event of any diplomatic deal (and regardless of the merits), political opponents of President Obama will immediately accuse him of ‘appeasing’ Iran, exposing Israel to nuclear blackmail, and otherwise made to be the historical equivalent of Neville Chamberlain.

William deB. Mills

First, recently retired Mossad director Dagan calls the idea of an Israeli attack on Iran the "stupidest" idea he ever heard. And now the current IDF chief of staff pours cold water all over Netanyahu's ravings and says decisions must be made "without hysteria."

Of course, this is not the first time a general has had to slap down an hysterical or otherwise blind politician.



I doubt it. such a public position from the head of the IDF is hard to "take back." I think Bibi lacks the power to remove the CofS before the and of his term. I believe it takes a cabinet vote to do that. pl


pray there is no black swan event between now and the next talk.



Yes, if this is a sucker play only a false flag will enable the play. pl

Alba Etie

My belief is that due to the last decade of the GWOT/Long War - that the citizens of these United States are war weary and war wary . Further my belief is that AIPAC/neocons/Likud have badly overplayed their collective warmongering hand. Finally my hope is that Team Obama can take this moment in time and use it to fashion some Grand Bargain to help us get to some sort of comprehensive end state for peace in the ME.
Unless of course we do have some kind of false flag - black swan event as Col Lang & Walrus observed could happen . And apparently our dear friends in the Mossad -while posing as CIA line officer have been running MEK assassins inside Iran - I am still very unsettled that the Likud & the neocons might actually pull off some such false flag nonsense.
Beyond shelving the Persian bomb program - what could such a Grand ME Bargain for Peace look like ?


Jonathan House posted the link to the Haaretz interview with the General on the An Israeli-Iran War What Would It Look Like by Richard Sale thread.

Some interesting observations from the article;

On Iranian Nuclear acceptance:

“This is a critical year, but not necessarily 'go, no-go.' The problem doesn't necessarily stop on December 31, 2012. We're in a period when something must happen: Either Iran takes its nuclear program to a civilian footing only or the world, perhaps we too, will have to do something. We're closer to the end of the discussions than the middle."”

On Relieving of Command:

The IDF is also being used as a battlefield for the cultural and political wars of outside forces. The latest skirmish followed Gantz's dismissal of Lt. Col. Shaul Eisner, deputy commander of the IDF's Jordan Valley brigade, for hitting a left-wing activist from Denmark in the face with a rifle. Gantz terms the political interference in the affair a disaster.

"I don't see anyone benefiting from this story. I made my decision, and it's behind me. I don't understand what the right is defending, what the left is attacking. Who turned it into a political matter? Do you have to be a religious right-winger with a kippah in order to be resolute? Do you have to be a leftist in order to be principled? Where did that idiocy come from? Eisner made a professional error and a specific ethical mistake."

The interview with Gantz took place right after additional videos of the incident were made public, showing Eisner hitting additional left-wing activists.

"I didn't like even the first blow I saw. I will not cover for people so that others will say I backed them up. The lieutenant colonel erred and failed, and it's done and dusted. We are an army that uses force, not violence."”

On being a Solider:

"I enjoy being here but also feel the gravity of the responsibility. I always said my favorite position was company commander in the Paratroop Brigade. As a company commander you have absolute definitions: the mission, the people. The rest we can manage. Here, I can't pass on the responsibility to anyone else. The buck really does stop here. That's why I say that occasionally I doze off but I never really sleep."


The link in reference to my above comment with a hat tip to Jonathan.



With all the involved parties toning down their rhetoric, wouldn’t a (possible) false flag event be an overt trap?


Your eyes Colonel... You should do a article on this story... http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-marine-discharged-20120426,0,4525511.story

I agree the Sargent needs to be sacked.....



This guy was guilty of a specific violation of UCMJ. pl


She love me, she loves me not; should I stay or should I go; should we attack Iran or not, etc., etc., etc.

I think the Israelis are mainly interested in being talked about - a day doesn't pass without them clamoring to be the center of attention. Tomorrow, Jeffrey Goldberg will have some new inside talk of how they just can't wait another minute, or else.

It just makes Israeli foreign policy normative to us and the rest of the world.


As well as the dovish Gantz interview Juan Cole cites:

"Israeli deputy premier and minister of intelligence and atomic energy Dan Meridor gave an interview with Aljazeera English in which he admitted that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never called for Israel to be ‘wiped off the face of the map.’"



The October Surprise II,

An all encompassing DEAL has been struck between IRAN and the USA. Its positive effects will range from Afghanistan all the way to Africa, with everything in between.
The Israelis know that and they are quite unhappy about the Geopolitical implications down the line..., but cooler heads will prevail, hence General Gantz's position on the issue.
Israel is in the process of caving in to Team Obama.
That's all Folks!


How/when did Stein lose his security clearance? Before or after his professional kamikaze bids for attention on Facebook?


Oh, damn. Slip of the keyboard. I meant curiously conspicuous professional suicide on facebook.

Confounded hara-kiri with kamikaze.



Stein? Oh, him... Usually he would have lost his clearance for this when they decided to charge him under UCMJ. pl

Babak Makkinejad

There can be no grand bargain with Iran by the United States in immediate or near terms.


Today NPR reports the latest threat in cyber warfare is...Iran, via Hezbollah. What a shocker. So the drum-beat goes on.


Col. Lang,

Several years ago you posted a piece on a Grand Bargain for the ME. Do you think it still contains all the right pieces given the current situation? -PS


This seems to contradict the thought that Gantz was playing good cop to Bibi's bad cop in an attempt to cajole and bully Iran. It seems the IDF and now parts of Likud think Bibi is dangerous. Am I missing anything?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad