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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
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature