Putting the Iranians in a position where they have to do something to keep from being totally screwed
the b.g.o. isn't recognizing that the obama administration is using tactics calculated to provoke a bellicose reaction from iran... that part is clear... the b.g.o., for me, is seeing how the two sets of tactics are connected... both are a game of plausible deniability where, when the party (usually the relatively powerless underdog - employees, the 99% or, in this case, iran) finally has had enough of being kicked and prodded and the barks and snarls turn to attempts to bite, the provocateur can say, "see, we told you"...
i saw exactly the same dynamic at play when i worked at united airlines... senior management was obsessed with the notion that front-line employees, particularly the unionized ones, were lazy, untrustworthy and generally no damn good... when people are treated a certain way over time, they tend to respond out of that set of expectations... it's called psychological reciprocity...
Several related points: (1) for those claiming that Obama has no other viable choice but to sanction and threaten Iran, recall that his own former adviser on Iran, Vali Nasr, harshly criticized the administration last month for failing to pursue a course of negotiations with Tehran; (2) The New York Times today has two Op-Eds on the sanctions regime being imposed on Iran — one pro and one con — which both make the point that the primary effect of this sanction regime is to cause serious suffering, even hunger, among the Iranian people; such “crippling” sanctions are usually advocated by the very same individuals who feign such concern for The Iranian People when it comes to railing against the abuses of their government (unnamed Israeli officials were quoted in the Israeli press today urging mass hunger as a means to force Iran to concede); (3) Noam Chomsky has a very dispassionate, excellent new article laying out some clear and basic facts about the Iran situation that are rarely aired; and (4) The Atlantic‘s Robert Wright explains why an air attack on Iran would almost certainly require ground force activity.
A few other related points: (1) the U.N. Security Council in 1981 harshly condemned the Israeli air attack on Iraq’s nuclear power facility as a “clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct”; that Resolution also “call[ed] upon Israel urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards” (via MediaLens, which notes that “even the US didn’t abstain”); (2) former Obama Pentagon official Colin Kahl argues today that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the 1981 Israeli attack on Iraq made Iraqi proliferation more likely, not less likely; (3) a cartoon from VastLeft on Obama, Iran and sanctions; and (4) Chris Toensing of the Middle East Research Information Project has an excellent article rebutting the claim (issuing from the predictable circles) that Obama is not to blame for the sky-high tensions and possible war.
i have the same sinking feeling of inevitability i had leading up to the start of the "shock and awe" campaign against iraq... i hope i'm wrong... otoh, such a monstrously and illegal act would only speed up the fall of the house of cards that been way too long in the coming... still, the resulting destruction and loss of life would be nightmarish in the extreme... Submit To Propeller
Concerns about Israel’s nuclear arsenal have long been expressed by some observers in the United States as well. Gen. Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command, described Israel’s nuclear weapons as “dangerous in the extreme.” In a U.S. Army journal, Lt. Col. Warner Farr wrote that one “purpose of Israeli nuclear weapons, not often stated, but obvious, is their `use’ on the United States”—presumably to ensure consistent U.S. support for Israeli policies.
A prime concern right now is that Israel will seek to provoke some Iranian action that will incite a U.S. attack.
One of Israel’s leading strategic analysts, Zeev Maoz, in “Defending the Holy Land,” his comprehensive analysis of Israeli security and foreign policy, concludes that “the balance sheet of Israel’s nuclear policy is decidedly negative”—harmful to the state’s security. He urges instead that Israel should seek a regional agreement to ban weapons of mass destruction: a WMD-free zone, called for by a 1974 U.N. General Assembly resolution.
Meanwhile, the West’s sanctions on Iran are having their usual effect, causing shortages of basic food supplies—not for the ruling clerics but for the population. Small wonder that the sanctions are condemned by Iran’s courageous opposition.
The sanctions against Iran may have the same effect as their predecessors against Iraq, which were condemned as “genocidal” by the respected U.N. diplomats who administered them before finally resigning in protest.
The Iraq sanctions devastated the population and strengthened Saddam Hussein, probably saving him from the fate of a rogues’ gallery of other tyrants supported by the U.S.-U.K.—tyrants who prospered virtually to the day when various internal revolts overthrew them.
There is little credible discussion of just what constitutes the Iranian threat, though we do have an authoritative answer, provided by U.S. military and intelligence. Their presentations to Congress make it clear that Iran doesn’t pose a military threat.
Iran has very limited capacity to deploy force, and its strategic doctrine is defensive, designed to deter invasion long enough for diplomacy to take effect. If Iran is developing nuclear weapons (which is still undetermined), that would be part of its deterrent strategy.
The understanding of serious Israeli and U.S. analysts is expressed clearly by 30-year CIA veteran Bruce Riedel, who said in January, “If I was an Iranian national security planner, I would want nuclear weapons” as a deterrent.