Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Mossad: Not Perfect After All

I don't know about you but I'll drop everything to read a good Mossad tictoc, like this one in GQ on what the mag is  willing to call "The Dubai Job" --even though (or perhaps "in particular because") the point is to show how the Israeli hit squad, though successful in accomplishing its short-term  goal, really made rather a dog's breakfast of things and may have done itself serious long-run harm.  The particular culprit seems to be arrogance--Mossad, evidently having watched too many international espionage movies, cannot get it through its head that it really is  not smarter than God, and that it may be coming up against contenders who can at least match its savvay.  I grant that you've got to be impressed by as catalog like this (if true):
There were several acts of sabotage of the Iranian nuclear program: two mysterious crashes of Iranian aircraft associated with the program, fires breaking out at two important laboratories, damage inflicted upon Iranian nuclear centrifuges, and the disappearance of two Iranian scientists and the killing of a third. There was also a mysterious explosion at a Syrian plant where Scud missiles were being fitted with chemical warheads, and the Mossad is credited with the discovery of a nuclear reactor in Syria, built with North Korean assistance, whose existence the Syrian authorities had managed to conceal for over five years. (The Syrian nuclear facility was subsequently destroyed by the Israeli Air Force in September 2007 after the United States proved reluctant to do so.)
The number of complex targeted assassinations carried out by the Mossad also increased ... The most high-profile of these was the elimination in Damascus of Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's military chief. Among other terrorist acts, Mughniyeh was responsible for the bombing of the U.S. embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, and the bombings in Buenos Aires of the Israeli embassy in 1992 and a Jewish cultural center in 1994. In February 2008 his head was blown off by an explosive device that had been planted in the driver's-side headrest of his rental car. Dagan's Mossad is also believed to be responsible for the death of General Mohammed Suleiman, a close aide of Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad, who headed that country's nuclear program and handled military cooperation with Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Suleiman was killed in the Syrian city of Tartus in August 2008 by a sniper's bullet that hit him as he stood on his balcony after his daily swim. (According to other reports, he was shot by the sniper as he swam in the sea with his bodyguards
Link.  It's enough to make any decent hit squad proud, but I notice one important deficiency.  They haven't taken out the Iranian nukes.  And surveying this list, you can be sure it is not for lack of trying. Likewise the Stuxnet virus: Israeli sources quietly crowed at how it set back Iranian nuclear operations by a couple of years.  But that wasn't the goal, was it?  The goal was total destruction, and that's one that seems to elude them.

No comments: