Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ya'alon's Stupid Ideas

I won't mince words. New Likud politician and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon has some stupid ideas. One of them is assassinating Mahmood Ahmadinejad:
"Former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Moshe 'Boogie' Ya'alon told an Australian newspaper this week that the West must consider all options necessary to stop Tehran's nuclear program, including assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"'We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately,' Ya'alon said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, published Monday morning Australia-time. 'There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped.'

"When asked whether 'all options' included a military deposition of Ahmadinejad and the rest of Iran's current leadership, Ya'alon told The Herald: 'We have to consider killing him. All options must be considered.'"

This takes the personalization of foreign policy problems to a ridiculous extent, since a nuclear program for Iran isn't exactly one of Ahmadinejad's pet projects that no one else supports. In addition, Ahmadinejad is the unpopular occupant of an office with no control over the Iranian military. Immediately following a prospective assassination, however, his popularity would soar, and many both in Iran and around the region would assume he was on to something that actually threatened Israel.

Ya'alon also said this:
"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."

In what sense is the Sunni-Shi'ite schism bigger than the Arab-Israeli conflict? What about the Persian-Arab divide? The national regime/jihadi divide is plausibly bigger in some ways, but the rest of this is utter rubbish.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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