andrewgreene: Must read.
Every few years we have an outbreak of media and official speculation that Israel is on the verge of attacking Iran, perhaps in coordination with the United States. These mini-orgies of incestuous reportage typically involve reports of Israeli military preparation, a flashy show of long-range bombing runs, politicians saying that Iran is so close to a bomb that only bombing can stop them, and worried commentary that American and other officials seem to be persuaded that this time Israel is serious.
Often these word bursts come just before a UN event that is likely to produce more sanctions on Iran and near the end of a US presidential term, apparently on the theory that a first-term president is subject to charges of being soft on Iran while a second-term president will conclude he no longer has anything to lose politically by striking against the Islamic regime. The pro-war pundits — and yes they really do exist and are just itching to be heard despite the less than favorable reviews about their previous productions in Afghanistan and Iraq — assure us that this time the threat seems to be real and that there is really nothing to worry about since the war will be swift, surgical and short.
The article below, by two respected Israeli writers in Haaretz, is a particularly good summary of the current reincarnation of this spectre that refuses to die. I was especially struck by the following comment: “At least some of these moves are part of a carefully orchestrated campaign whose purpose is not necessarily an Israeli attack. It could be a means of sparking a broad diplomatic maneuver to ratchet up sanctions on Iran.”
That happens to be my position exactly. We have been around this track many times before, with exactly the same level of manufactured hysteria, peaking with a campaign of sanctions and then just as mysteriously vanishing. [Read on]
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