Seymour Hersh. Israel's warnings:
A former Administration official who had supported the war completed a discouraging tour of Iraq late last fall. He visited Tel Aviv afterward and found that the Israelis he met with were equally discouraged. As they saw it, their warnings and advice had been ignored, and the American war against the insurgency was continuing to founder. I spent hours talking to the senior members of the Israeli political and intelligence community, the former official recalled. Their concern was Youre not going to get it right in Iraq, and shouldnt we be planning for the worst-case scenario and how to deal with it?
Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Prime Minister, who supported the Bush Administrations invasion of Iraq, took it upon himself at this point to privately warn Vice-President Dick Cheney that America had lost in Iraq; according to an American close to Barak, he said that Israel had learned that theres no way to win an occupation. The only issue, Barak told Cheney, was choosing the size of your humiliation. Cheney did not respond to Baraks assessment. (Cheneys office declined to comment.)
On Israel's support for an independent Kurdistan:
The Israeli decision to seek a bigger foothold in Kurdistancharacterized by the former Israeli intelligence officer as Plan Bhas also raised tensions between Israel and Turkey. It has provoked bitter statements from Turkish politicians and, in a major regional shift, a new alliance among Iran, Syria, and Turkey, all of which have significant Kurdish minorities.
The Kurdish-Israeli collaboration inevitably expanded, the Israeli said. Some Israeli operatives have crossed the border into Iran, accompanied by Kurdish commandos, to install sensors and other sensitive devices that primarily target suspected Iranian nuclear facilities. The former officer said, Look, Israel has always supported the Kurds in a Machiavellian wayas balance against Saddam. Its Realpolitik. He added, By aligning with the Kurds, Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq, and Syria. He went on, What Israel was doing with the Kurds was not so unacceptable in the Bush Administration.
A strong independent Kurdistan would take the heat off of Israel:
There is also a widespread belief, another senior German official said, that some elements inside the Bush Administrationhe referred specifically to the faction headed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitzwould tolerate an independent Kurdistan. This, the German argued, would be a mistake. It would be a new Israela pariah state in the middle of hostile nations. [John Robb's Weblog]