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Laura Rozen has been running an interesting forum on Iran at Mother Jones, which asks: “How likely is a scenario in which the United States or Israel strikes Iran before Bush leaves office? (Or is the Left falling for the hawks’ propaganda?)”
From Danny Postel, the author of Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism and a member of Chicago’s No War on Iran Coalition:
None of us can be certain at this point whether the US or Israel will attack Iran, but I read recent signs as being just ominous enough that I’d rather err on the side of being too worried than of not being worried enough. Even that paragon of cool sobriety The Economist now concludes that Israel’s recent maneuvers suggest that it might not be bluffing. One thing we do know is that the intellectual runway is being slicked for an attack. John Bolton has floated the suggestion that Israel will attack after the November elections but before the next president takes office, while Daniel Pipes has evoked the same scenario, only with the US doing the job.
From Yossi Melman, a national security correspondent for Israeli daily Haaretz:
Very, very unlikely. The military and intelligence contingency plans to attack Iran are still in the making. From the operational point of view, Israel and the US are not ready yet. The supportive political-diplomatic environment has not been created yet. Attacking Iran is considered by Israeli military and political decision makers as a last resort. I assume that they and the international community, including the US, are waiting to see the results of next year’s presidential elections in Iran, to be held in May 2009.
There’s another item up today with final thoughts.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”