By RAY CLOSE
(Ray Close was a top CIA analyst in the Near East Division. He is now a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity)
"Adding up all those factors, it seems clear to me that Bush has laid out the following course for American policy, adding up to a Catch-22 from which I see no escape:
a. Continuing futile efforts to achieve Iranian capitulation through weak and ineffective economic sanctions, to the accompaniment of counterproductive vituperation and bombast;
b. Quickly followed by a period of rapidly escalating threats of military action, during which international and domestic opposition to American policy will increase dramatically, making Bush's choices increasingly more painful and difficult in every respect;
c. A judgment by Bush that the immediate risks and costs of preemptive military action against Iran are, in the final analysis, less formidable than the risks and costs of tolerating Iranian nuclear possession --- and the personal and national humiliation that would result from passive acceptance of that outcome.
d. Sometime before the end of his term, a massive air military attack on a wide range of carefully selected targets in Iran, in partnership with Israel, and against the advice of many of his advisers --- justified by the conviction that a nuclear Iran would pose an intolerable threat to American national security, firm in his faith that God agrees with him on that point, and certain that history will eventually recognize and properly appreciate his courageous and visionary leadership."