Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Mossad follies

If you haven't already done so, it is well worth the time (over 27 minutes) to watch this splendid Dubai production of the Mossad follies. After all, how many times do you get to see an entire intelligence operation on TV? A few comments:
  1. There is something deeply addled about the whole thing. Israel (i. e., American taxpayers) have obviously spent a fortune on the operation. A huge crew, stolen (or forged or volunteered) passports, multiple spotting teams, fancy communications equipment, disguises, switched hotels, communications through a central hub in Austria, etc. etc. etc. It is like a replay of an Israeli intelligence textbook. And yet the disguises are lame, the switched hotels fooled nobody, and the entire crew was captured on multiple CCTVs, allowing the Dubai authorities to track the entire operation, minute by minute, step by step. It is like one of those American bank robberies that you read about, where the robber, wearing gloves and a disguise, leaves his wallet containing his ID on the counter. The typical Israeli weird combination of technical sophistication and utter incompetence.
  2. Since the target was without bodyguards, and walked around the streets unprotected, the entire operation could have been accomplished with a single assassin using a handgun, shooting and running from the scene. The overkill of the operation is also typically Israeli. Since they have all the money in the world (or at least all the money American treasury printing presses can print), they spend it on an elaborate self-aggrandizing spectacle. It is sheer arrogance. The use of unnecessary technology is part of the process of patting themselves on the back. They brought a huge team so they could tell each other stories of how good they were (not unlike the huge CIA rendition team in Milan). The operation reminds me of the 'Iron Dome' that is supposed to protect Israel from Hezbollah rockets: a massively expensive technological solution that is intended to make them feel better, but hasn't a rat's ass chance of succeeding.
  3. The victim was walking around in Dubai without a bodyguard because he felt the Israelis wouldn't dare embarrass their friends in Dubai by damaging Dubai's reputation as the new Switzerland, a place for everybody to safely meet and do business. He was probably there to meet Iranian agents. Dubai plans to make a lot of money assisting Iran around whatever sanctions the Americans manage to come up with. We're in a new world after the Gaza slaughter. All these factors combined to create this aggressive attitude in Dubai, including involving international law enforcement, possible legal repercussions for Netanyahu, and an embarrassing video production. The days of allowing the Israelis to get away with murder are over.
  4. Robert Fisk rather politely notes that having a Jewish Secretary of State has endangered the lives of everyone with a British passport.
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