Wednesday, June 25, 2008
By Jim Lobe
".......I believe it is increasingly clear that if there is going to be an attack on Iran — be it Israeli or U.S. or both — before Bush leaves office, it will take place in the period between the election and the inauguration. And I also agree that an attack is more likely if Obama wins the election than if McCain win. That said, however, I still believe an attack is more of a possibility than a probability and that what we are seeing in the ongoing flurry of threats, predictions, and leaks is more psychological warfare directed at persuading Iran, Russia, China, and Washington’s European allies that war is really going to happen unless Tehran halts its uranium enrichment program than it is the real thing. As one former senior U.S. Middle East intelligence officer noted today, the Israelis have long relied on the element of surprise in their military strategy (see last December’s attack on the alleged Syrian nuclear facility), and advertising their intentions quite as ostentatiously as they have been does not appear consistent with that record. Indeed, using Bolton in the Telegraph as a channel for scaring the Iranians, if, indeed, the Israelis put him up to it, would seem counter-productive.
Still, this drumbeat of threats, which shows no signs yet of diminishing, carries with it its momentum that not only strengthens hard-liners in both camps, but also makes the situation on the ground far more tense and volatile. So, regardless of actual intention, the chances of war breaking out accidentally appear to be on the rise [italics in the original]."