Dagan and Netanyahu(Pictured: Retiring Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Israeli President Netanyahu.)

Plucked from the Tweet-sphere:

@TonyKaron: Israel now says Iran wont have nukes before 2015. Does this mean Spring 2011 war is off?

The esteemed journalist Tony Karon, one-time ANC activist in South Africa, is now a senior editor at Time. He links to a Haaretz article that begins:

Meir Dagan, who retired from his post as Mossad chief on Thursday after eight years, does not believe Iran will have nuclear capability before 2015.

In a summary given to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Dagan said Iran was a long way from being able to produce nuclear weapons, following a series of failures that had set its program back by several years.

In essence, he’s patting himself on the back.

Dagan’s term centered around two main issues: the Iranian nuclear program; and the assassinations of Hezbollah and Hamas leaders and Iranian scientists, most if not all of which have been attributed to the Mossad.

The Israeli intelligence community’s assessments of Iran’s nuclear capability have changed during Dagan’s tenure. . . . These adjustments were not the result of mistaken evaluations, but due to the difficulties Iran has encountered in advancing its program, largely because of the Mossad’s efforts.

Now, switching into Andy Rooney mood, ever wonder what exactly saber rattling means? Unless it’s defective, a saber (or sabre) has no moving parts and, when brandished, should make no sound. Theoretically, saber-rattling doesn’t even cut it (sorry, couldn’t resist) as a display. In fact, it can’t even be called all-bark-no-bite since there’s no real bark.

Nevertheless, phantom sounds or no, these days saber-rattling elicits its intended response of rallying like-minded souls to a cause.

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