"George W. Bush may strike Iran not only because of a military rationale that his advisors assemble but because he wants to reassure the world that America still has the backbone and capacity to hit other countries -- ironically undermining the very perception of power he is trying to transmit.* jpost:
The combination of a weakened U.S. and pretentious Iran is highly dangerous, despite many who think that rational calculators will prevail at the end of the day.
But bottom line is America better not only start playing chess but better get to mastering the three-dimensional version."
"Israel is carefully watching the world's reaction to Iran's continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel "may have to go it alone," The Jerusalem Post has learned.
He said there was a need to understand that "when push comes to shove," Israel would have to be prepared to "slow down" the Iranian nuclear threat by itself.
Having said this, he did not rule out the possibility of US military action, but said that if this were to take place, it would probably not occur until the spring or summer of 2008, a few months before President George W. Bush leaves the international stage. The US presidential elections, which Bush cannot contest because of term limits, are in November 2008."
* NYT ed:
"Wanted: Scarier Intelligence
The last thing this country needs as it heads into this election season is another attempt to push the intelligence agencies to hype their conclusions about the threat from a Middle Eastern state.
But even more worrisome, the report seems intended to signal the intelligence community that the Republican leadership wants scarier assessments that would justify a more confrontational approach to Tehran. It was not the work of any intelligence agency, or the full intelligence panel, or even the subcommittee that ostensibly drafted it. The Washington Post reported that it was written primarily by a former C.I.A. official known for his view that the assessments on Iran are not sufficiently dire.
If the Republicans who control Congress really wanted a full-scale assessment on the state of Iran’s weapons programs, they would have asked for one, rather than producing this brochure.
The nation cannot afford to pay the price again for politicians’ bending intelligence or bullying the intelligence agencies to suit their ideology.