Ronen Bergman on How the Iraq War Has Affected Israel

Question: How has the dynamic between Iran and Israel been affected by the Iraq War?

Ronen Bergman: I think the major change has been done in the United States’ public opinion.  Being so deep in the quicksand of Iraq, I believe that the American public would be far less tolerable to any sort of military action, even a limited one, against Iran. 

The US is facing two fronts, Afghanistan and Iraq, and I don’t see the American public very fond of a third one. 

From the Israeli point of view, the only lesson that was learned by intelligence experts or intelligence officers, this deals with a secret report initiated by the committee for foreign affairs and security of the parliament, investigating how come Israel was part of the general view that Saddam Hussein held WMD.  And when reading the classified reports, some of it recorded in [Bergman's book], “The Secret War with Iran,” you would think that, if it wasn’t so sad and gloomy, it could have been very funny. 

There’s even one story there about information received by Israeli sources, titled “Not Reliable, or “Questionably Reliable,” and sent to the United States as the regular discourse and exchange of information from the United States to Germany, from Germany to French intelligence services, and then back to Israel--but without the identification of its origin.  When it was received in Israel, it was seen as corroborated information and therefore tagged "Highly Reliable" and resent to the United States. 

So, by these loop circles of information, something that was deemed unreliable becomes very reliable, and lead to the conclusion, that was false, that Saddam Hussein had WMD.

Recorded: Sep 19, 2008

Americans are less likely to support military intervention; Israelis wonder how this affects relations with Iran.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less