"Australian intelligence agencies fear that Israel may launch military strikes against Iran and that Tehran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities could draw the US and Australia into a potential nuclear war in the Middle East." (Intelligence chiefs fear nuclear war, Philip Dorling, Sydney Morning Herald, 13/12/10)
Great, just great. Israel could suck its suckholes, Australia and the US, into a war. Nukes optional. Hands up those of you who'd like an embassy posting in Tehran.
"Australia's top intelligence agency has also privately undercut the hardline stance towards Tehran of the United States, Israeli and Australian governments, saying that its nuclear program is intended to deter attack and that it is a mistake to regard Iran as a 'rogue state'. The warnings about the dangers of nuclear conflict in the Middle East are given in a secret US embassy cable obtained by WikiLeaks and provided exclusively to the Herald. They reflect views obtained by US intelligence liaison officers in Canberra from across the range of Australian intelligence agencies. 'The AIC's [Australian intelligence community's] leading concerns with respect to Iran's nuclear ambitions centre on understanding the time frame of a possible weapons capability, and working with the United States to prevent Israel from independently launching uncoordinated military strikes against Iran', the US embassy in Canberra reported to Washington in March last year. 'They are immediately concerned that Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities would lead to a conventional war - or even nuclear exchange - in the Middle East involving the United States that would draw Australia into a conflict'. Australian concerns about a unilateral Israeli military strike against Iran are also recorded in another US embassy cable sent to Washington in December 2008, reporting on discussions between the then chief of Australia's top intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments (ONA), Peter Varghese, and the head of the US State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), the assistant secretary of state, Randall Fort. The embassy's report of the meeting, which included senior officers and analysts from both intelligence agencies, says that 'ONA seniors and analysts were particularly interested un A/S Fort and INR's assessments on Israeli 'red lines' on Iran's nuclear program and the likelihood of an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities'." (ibid)
That Rudd, unlike Australia's intelligence agencies, instinctively puts the Iranian cart before the Israeli horse becomes apparent when we read that "A cable sent in July 2008 further records that the former prime minister Kevin Rudd was 'deeply worried' that the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's intransigence concerning Tehran's nuclear program meant that the window for a diplomatic solution was closing and that 'Israel may feel forced to use 'non-diplomatic' means'." (ibid)
May feel forced to use 'non-diplomatic' means. Because it feels insecure, right Kevvie?
One can imagine the language that the following views would have elicited from Rudd when put to him. For Rudd, the only country in the Middle East allowed a security problem is Israel:
"ONA analysts expressed the view that the Iranian government appeared determined to acquire nuclear weapons, though this would probably be driven by the desire to deter Israel and the US than an intention to strike against other Middle East states. 'ONA viewed Tehran's nuclear program within the paradigm of 'the laws of deterrence', noting that Iran's ability to produce a weapon may be 'enough' to meet its security objectives', the US embassy reported to Washington... ONA urged a balanced view of Tehran as a sophisticated diplomatic player rather than a 'rogue state' liable to behave impulsively or irrationally. Mr Varghese was telling the Australian government: 'It's a mistake to think of Iran as a 'rogue state'." (ibid)
The bottom line here is that Australia, under the 'leadership' of Rudd and Gillard, could be sucked into the vortex of war by the Middle East's real rogue state. The evidence, thanks to WikiLeaks, is there for all to see. But do our politicians, editors, and assorted pundits really want to know?