Monday, November 24, 2008
Bogie and the situation with Iran
Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon, a likely candidate for Defense Minister under a Likud-run government, was quoted by an Australian newspaper this week as saying that the option of assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be considered.
"We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately," Ya'alon said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. "There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped." "We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately," Ya'alon said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. "There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped."
'We have to consider killing him'
When asked whether the options for action included a military strike against Ahmadinejad and the rest of the Iranian leadership, Ya'alon reportedly said: "We have to consider killing him. All options must be considered."
However, an aide to Ya'alon denied this quote.
Ya'alon spoke to several Australian journalists in Jerusalem. According to another report on the conversation, which appeared in the Australian, Ya'alon appears to be envisioning a two-staged attack: "Ya'alon said that if Israel were forced to resort to a military attack on Iran's nuclear program, there would need to be a follow-up to prevent the regime from rehabilitating itself," the paper reported.
Ya'alon said that regime change in Iran would be brought about by the Iranian people: "Israel needs to defeat the Iranian regime, not the people."
Ya'alon told the Herald that any military strike in Iran "will be quietly applauded by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states."
"It is a misconception to think that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most important in the Middle-East. The Shiite-Sunni schism is much bigger, the Persian-Arab divide is bigger, the struggle between national regimes and jihadism is much bigger," he said. "And I can't imagine the U.S. will want to share power in the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran."
'US lacked stomach for Iran attack'
Ya'alon, who was Chief of Staff from 2002 through 2005, said Iran has been the main sponsor of terror in the region for many years, and that he was surprised that the United States chose to invade Iraq, which was a less of a danger.
"I was chief of staff during Operation Iraqi Freedom and I was surprised the US decided to go into Iraq instead of Iran," The Herald quoted him as saying. "Unfortunately, the American public didn't have the political stomach to go into Iran."
The Australian reported that Ya'alon advocated "a two-pronged approach" for defeating jihadism: "From top down, using a big stick. From bottom up, using education."
The former IDF chief said that Islamic jihadists in Iran and elsewhere believed they were on a roll: They saw Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, its withdrawal from Gaza and the 2006 Lebanon war as victories. He added that it was time to fight back.