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NRO Contributor Michael Rubin on Hardball

The entire interview is great (the first segment), but this section stood out.

MATTHEWS:  Decapitate this government?

BAER:  The country‘s too big.  Israel‘s air force is too small.  It‘s too big.  You can‘t do it.  It‘s 71 million people.  We‘re talking about—the result would be a conventional war.  It would look like World War III.

RUBIN:  I would agree with that.  You go after the leadership if it can prevent a war.  In this case, it can‘t…

MATTHEWS:  But you see it written along those lines in terms of knocking out, like, say, one person, killing one person, like, a really bad guy out there.  But is it feasible for Israel to do an Entebbe-style assault, where they go in and find six or seven guys in this faction behind Ahmadinejad and kill them?

RUBIN:  What‘s much more feasible…

MATTHEWS:  Because they‘ve done stuff like this on the West Bank.

RUBIN:  Yes.  What‘s much more feasible, if Iran has buried nuclear facilities under mountains, they don‘t have to destroy the facilities, they just need to destroy the entrances to them.

MATTHEWS:  And how long do they keep those sealed by blowing them up?

RUBIN:  They set the program back a year or two and hope that the international community actually—actually becomes active.

MATTHEWS:  Yes, the trouble is, the international community, from an Israeli point of view, goes the other way.

RUBIN:  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  What‘s your thought, Bob…


BAER:  … the intelligence isn‘t good enough.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  Yes.  What I‘ve heard as a scenario is they blow up, in the short run.  They do the best they can and say, More coming if you keep going.  Have you heard that argument?

RUBIN:  I have heard that argument.  And what‘s interesting, it‘s the same argument that was made when the Israelis went over after the Iraqi reactor in 1981.  Critics said…

MATTHEWS:  OK.  How much longer do we both have—you both have, not me.  I‘m watching you guys.  You‘re the experts.  How longer (ph), Michael, and how longer, Bob, do we have to keep Netanyahu from acting?

RUBIN:  I‘d say it‘s in weeks—months, if not weeks.


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