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Israel

Ex-Mossad Chief, Now A Zurich-Based Consultant, Says War With Iran A “Dumb Idea”

The former head of Israel’s secretive Mossad, retired Gen. Meir Dagan, is surprisingly forthcoming when it comes to the subject of Iran. Dagan, now a consultant in Switzerland, thinks Israel would be stupid to attack.

Ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan says an Israeli attack on Iran would spark regional war (YouTube)
Ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan says an Israeli attack on Iran would spark regional war (YouTube)
Benno Gasser

ZURICH -- People in the geopolitical risk analysis business usually go out of their way not to draw attention to themselves. Which is why it's all the more astonishing that Arcanum (Latin for "secret"), an international consulting firm based in Zurich, revealed Wednesday that its newest consultant is none other than the former head of Mossad, Israel's secret service agency. The new addition, Meir Dagan, headed Mossad for eight years before retiring in January 2011. He is now 67 years old.

The Arcanum job is not full time. "Meir Dagan will be consulted in specific areas such as the defense sector, where his experience as a general is extremely valuable," said company spokesman Thomas Landgraf. Economic interests also underlie the firm's sudden openness, Landgraf added: word of mouth publicity is important to the firm, but occasional media presence doesn't hurt, he said. Arcanum's offices are located in one of Zurich's most prestigious buildings on General Guisan Quai. Mr. Dagan will not have an actual office there.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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