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Spy vs. Spy

The bombing in New Delhi and attempted bombing in Tbilisi directed against Israeli diplomatic targets is a major escalation of the tit-for-tat terrorism between Israel and Iran.  Israel has killed four Iranian scientists using Mujaheddin e Khalq agents and possibly also relying on intelligence provided by Washington.  Israel’s involvement in recruiting Jundullah-Baluchi militants using officers pretending to be American CIA was recently revealed in the US media.  Iran is now signaling that it too has surrogates and is willing to respond in kind.  An interesting subplot is the location of the two attacks in India and Georgia.  Iran certainly has covert resources among India’s large Muslim population and also within the significant Azeri minority in Georgia.  Israel has been courting India and sees a strategic relationship developing, i.e. the two united against Muslim insurgency.  Israel also has a not-so-secret military and intelligence base in Georgia and has recently expanded into nearby Azerbaijan, where it has established an intelligence listening post at an airbase.  Iran is surrounded by the Israeli operational initiatives and is now signaling that it is prepared to strike back.  A back and forth series of assassinations is particularly dangerous as it could produce the type of incident that might lead to open hostilities between the two countries, a conflict that would ignite the region and inevitably result in United States involvement.

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#1 Comment By Hunsdon On February 14, 2012 @ 8:54 am

The “yeah, so what if it’s terrorism?” attitude of the NY Post, as commented on in Larison’s blog, makes me want to slam my head against a wall. Are people REALLY this stupid? It has always seemed to me that the golden rule of warfare means that, if a) we do it, then b) we renounce our right to bitch about it, and strike poses of high moral dudgeon.

Using the MEK for wet work pretty much opens the door to in-kind retaliation. Kids on playgrounds understand this logic.

As we were frequently told at boot camp, “Payback’s a . . . (not a nice thing.)”

#2 Comment By Hunsdon On February 14, 2012 @ 9:01 am

Mr. Giraldi:

Thank you, sir. I’ve been reading your articles for probably ten years or so, a time frame during which I have felt like Howard the Duck “trapped in a world he never made,” where people I have considered my allies, my natural allies, have seemed to have gone completely off the rails, abandoning reason and common sense.

The GOP, and conservatives in general, seem to have been caught up in some romantic delusion, some Manichean heresy, that has left me looking around, aghast at what I behold.

I have wondered, “Surely it is I who have lost my mind, and not so many people in putatively responsible positions?” (There’s a punch line in there, and it probably starts with “Don’t call me Shirley.”)

Your articles, and VIPS, help me to think that we’re veering dangerously off-track, and I wanted to let you know that your work is appreciated.

#3 Comment By Pressure Drop On February 14, 2012 @ 9:03 am

I don’t understand why people say that US involvement is “inevitable”.

Why? Most Americans don’t give a damn about either Iran or Israel. Why should we be involved at all?

#4 Comment By tbraton On February 14, 2012 @ 10:14 am

“A back and forth series of assassinations is particularly dangerous as it could produce the type of incident that might lead to open hostilities between the two countries, a conflict that would ignite the region and inevitably result in United States involvement.”

It should be kept in mind that it was the attempted assassination and wounding of an Israeli diplomat in London in 1982 by terrorists not associated with the PLO that served as justification for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon to punish the PLO for the assassination that the PLO was not responsible for. As a result of Israel’s 1982 invasion, Hezbollah was created, Israel occupied part of Southern Lebanon for 20 years, and the U.S. Marines lost 241 good men in the 1983 truck bombing, among other things.

#5 Comment By Enoch Root On February 14, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

“Israel also has a not-so-secret military and intelligence base in Georgia ”

Okay. Now I understand why we were supposed to be “all Georgians now” in the Russo-Georgian war, and why it is SO important that this dime a dozen country with two (count ’em two) border squabbles become a NATO protectorate.

It is my understanding that among the Flat Earth right that “Gog” of “Gog and Magog” is identified with Russia, another nation on Israel’s enemies list since Putin dealt with the oligarchs.

#6 Comment By Fran Macadam On February 14, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

We’ll go to war because gambling magnate Adelson has bought the politicians in this country who will give the orders to do so in lockstep with a nuclear power in the Middle East..

#7 Comment By Thomas O. Meehan On February 14, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

Terrorism and double dealing played no small part in the founding of Israel so this sort of think is to be expected. Sadly, when this leads to war, we will only hear about Iranian terrorism.

#8 Comment By B. Wooster On February 15, 2012 @ 8:32 am

It seems the bomb in Georgia was discovered and defused, and the bomb in India wounded the wife of an Israeli diplomat. I also noted that Israeli teams were going to both countries to “help” the locals in their investigation–undoubtedly they will find an Iranian link.

I don’t put such actions past the Iranians, but is there any possibility the incidents in Georgia and India were staged by an interested party other than Iran?

#9 Comment By 40 Years on the Dole On February 15, 2012 @ 10:57 am

Perhaps India will become Israel’s new protector and sugar daddy. Israel has more in common culturally and morally with its Asiatic neighbors than with the United States.

#10 Comment By daddysteve On February 16, 2012 @ 1:27 am

I , too , find Mr. Giraldi’s work informative and much appreciated.

#11 Comment By Citizen of Toronto On February 16, 2012 @ 7:46 am

The reigning assumption seems to be that Iran is behind the attacks in Georgia, India and Thailand.

But until that is proven, weight should be given to the possibility that they were staged by the Israel / MEK collaborative. The Israelis are friendly with all three countries, but they’re also famous for screwing friendly countries (i.e. forging US, UK, Australian and Irish passports for use by their assassination squads) whenever it suits them.