Robert Fisk: An attack on Tehran would be madness. So don’t rule it out
SATURDAY 04 FEBRUARY 2012
If Israel really attacks Iran this year, it – and the Americans – will be more dotty than their enemies think. True, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a crackpot, but then so is Avigdor Lieberman, who is apparently the Israeli Foreign Minister. Maybe the two want to do each other a favour. But why on earth would the Israelis want to bomb Iran and thus bring down on their heads the fury of both the Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas at the very same moment? Along with Syria, no doubt. Not to mention sucking the West – Europe and the US – into the same shooting match.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been in the Middle East for 36 years, but I sniff some old herrings in the air. Leon Panetta, the US Defence Secretary no less, warns us that Israel may strike. So does CNN – an older herring it would be difficult to find – and even old David Ignatius, who hasn’t been a Middle East correspondent for a decade or two, is telling us the same, taken in, as usual, by his Israeli “sources”.
I expected this sort of bumph when I perused last week’s The New York Times Magazine – not an advertisement, this, for I would not want The Independent readers to burn their energy on such tosh – and read a warning from an Israeli “analyst” (I am still trying to discover what an “analyst” is), Ronen Bergman of Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.