Chances of an Iran Invasion?


Seymour Hersh reports a $400 million U.S. covert action program against Iran. On a scale of 1 to 10, what's the likelihood of an American or Israeli military attack on Iran before Jan. 20 (Inauguration Day), and why? For extra points, name the date.

Posted by David Ignatius on June 30, 2008 6:07 PM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (181)

Jaaz :

If, by some very possible chance Iran gets its nuke capability the USA will evaluate the immediate impact; politicians will continue to take whatever they take to support Israel and proclaim their unwavering support; no action will be taken and after twenty years the US will ask Israel to be realistic "We are not about to kill America because you cannot get along with your neighbors". You can bet your life on that scenario.

notbyintent :

Well. We won't invade Iran. However, we may very well bomb the daylights out of them to protect Iraqi OIL. Iraq is worth invading because the country has three ethnic groups that can be counted upon to start a civil war--hence we can manipulate them. So the tactic there is to push for a single Iraq which generates conflicts and produces a weak, fractious, but nominally democratic government under our control. Iran is a unified country where no such machination is available. It also has a bigger population that will be more difficult to control. So we are only interested in Iran if they prevent us from controlling Iraqi OIL. At some point, if threats don't work we'll have to bomb Iran into submission. Actual invasion doesn't make sense. It is also too big a deal for just partisan politics. Nevertheless, if the decision were made to attack, it will happen before the inauguration if Mr. McCain wins to take heat off of him. Less clear if Mr. Obama wins but probably the same. Let's say just before Christmas.

Anonymous :

Kahl : "many people view the war in iraq as a failure, but it is nothing of the sort."

Victory in Vietnam, victory in Afghanistan, victory in Iraq, victory over terror, victory over drugs...

Where is my Orwellian dictionary, again?...

Ah! Got it. "defeat"... "guerrilla"... "hilarious"... "propaganda"... "revolution"... "vanguard"... "Victory"! Here it is.

"Victory = df Defeat, as in "Defeat is victory". Arguably, a mission, as in "Mission accomplished!""

Well, could we possibly have one more victory? Only one more. Please.

Kahl :

iran will be castrated, no matter who wins the election. if mccain wins, bush will use the time to plan for the attack and possibly turn it over to the new president. if obama wins bush will most likely attack, since obama seems to think flowery words will solve the world's problems.

people seem to forget there is a JIHAD going on. the peoples of the middle east have declared holy war on the west and they will not rest until we are dead or they are defeated.

many people view the war in iraq as a failure, but it is nothing of the sort. our troops are in fortified positions in territory they are rapidly acclimating to, and terrorists are feeding into iraq from all over the world to have a go at them. this is only a temporary solution, but it is getting rid of a lot of angry jihadis. the real solution to this may be to maintain a presence in iraq and let the situation defuse on its own while taking preventative measures against new threats.

Brian :

Sun Tsu said something to the effect that if you put those you lead in front of a cliff they have no choice but to fight their way through the enemy no matter what the odds.

I believe firmly that the people in power are no better than any of us - they are no smarter - and have just SLIGHTLY better access to information than most of us ... they - and history has proved this a million times - are prone to making monumental suicidal mistakes at the cost of millions of lives and the destruction of their civilization - all in the name of greed, power, wealth, and empire. The Germans, the Japanese, the Ottomans, the Russian Empire, the Romans, Greeks and so on. Think twice about the abilities and faith you put in American leadership - I have a strong feeling they are about to prove how human they really are.

Allen, Asheville NC, US :

its startling not to mention sobering to notice the paranoia rampant among many of these posters who one senses dont REALLY know what they're talking about.lots of readers of gun magazines, would-be mercenary soldiers who otherwise cant find a job, & then to top it off, ready to 'nuke em' at a moments notice. actually the people running things particularly in Israel know all about bluster & inflammatory remarks, & saber rattling is nothing new there. but they aint about to do anything w/o humongous US involvement, & all those weapons we've given them---they're smart enough to realize when-- its' here let us hold yr coat while you & him fight. there's good money to be made in war but cheney has salted away his share,& he's ready for a rest. this is all talk for the peanut gallery so GB 43 can lv office seeming to be a tuff fella ---like his TX NG service.

Anju Chandel :

100% if the White House incumbent from 20th Jan 2009 decides to appoint George W(ar) Bush as his foreign policy advisor!

Otherwise, least likely. Not if Barack Obama becomes the president as he certainly appears to be much more sensible than GW Bush, and even John McCain. After all, the US has been the biggest loser in its still ongoing endeavor in Iraq.

Nevertheless, if America once again decide to march on its path of misadventure in Iran, it would be catastrophic for a country which is already on the brink of sliding swiftly into economic recession and is facing the grimmest erosion of its standing in the global affairs.

The other serious repurcussions would be disastrous for Americans almost all over the world as any strike on Iran would turn them into magnets for humanity's hatred. The Muslim world will Unite against the States of America and strike back profoundly with greater force. If the US and its citizens are prepared for the consequences, then America can gladly go ahead with its war strategy in Iran.

Wonder, after so much fanfare and millons of dollars spent on presidential elections, will Americans again opt for a candidate who would continue to pursue such mindless and dangerous foreign policies? (I think we all know that president of a democratic nation - and a nation geopolitically as important as the US - is supposed to act with diplomacy and tact and not with guns and bombs.)

God, save America !!!

Serr Grandi :

I think we have a 50% chance of an American attack against Iran. Whether that attack will be a joint operation by US and Israel is not very important. However I think an Israeli ONLY assault on Iran is unlikely given vulnerabilities of the state of Israel against the influencial Iranian power in the region (Hezballah, Shiites etc.).

I think the talks about an Israeli air force excersice in Greece is more about psychological warfare than really intending an attack. Isreael cannot fully achieve any military objective by sending 50-100 fighters/bombers into Iran because of the following reasons:
1. The Iranian nuclear sites are numerous and well spread all over the country.
2. The main enrichment site in Natanz is heavily digged down under the ground and is sorrounded by maountais.
3. The Iranian sites are heavily guarded by modern anti aircraft missiles and guns. These include Russian S-300 for long-range and Tor-M1 for short range. Iran also might have some S-400 systems as well
4. Iranians have fully identified and are innovatively monitoring the main blind spots which might be used by low-flying aircrafts for entering into their airspace. These include everything from installations of small autonomous sensors connected to major central radar stations to usage of barrage balloons and even grid nets! These basic systems will normally surprise low-flying objects and either "catch them" or force to get to higher altitudes where they will be identified by regular radars
5. The Iranian air force is now on high alert which means up to 20-30 aircrafts are patrolling it Western and Southern borders on a 24/7 schedule. These include F-14s, Su-27s, Mig-29s but also low-flying F5s and F4s. Iran also has at least one Russian made AWACS (Il-76) in air at any time coupled by other small early warning airborne systems (Antonov 140) to ensure a networked airborne radar coverage.
6. Iran has numerous air bases in the area where a possible Israeli attack will appear and will be able to shortly scramble a huge number of additional fighters. They have also a number of small hidden airfields which they have recently built in order to spread their fighters away from the official air bases which they know will be bombed during an attack.
7. Iranian fighters are armed amongst others with Russian R-77 AMRAAM and R-37 ALRAAM besides their American Phoenix ALRAAM missiles. These will give them the full spectrum of air to air missiles from medium range to long range and from non-agile to extremely manouverable ones.So the Israeli F-15s, which will most probably focus on air superiority during an assault, armed with Python 5 air to air missiles, will definitely meet upgraded and capable Iranian fighters and they will definitely have a tough time engaging them (so it will not be as easy as the Israeilis think about "aging Iranian jets...")
8. Some of the Iranian fighters (most probably F-14s) will go for the Israeli tankers and airborne radars which will be flying close to the Iranian border and waiting for the fighters to return. These large aircrafts will be very vulnerable targets and easy ones for the Iranians.
9. Iran will almost immediately, from the moment the report of an Israeli attack is confirmed, launch its own retaliation attack and it will at least apply the principle of "same category of target retaliation" which means if Iranian nuclear sites and installations have been bombed it has the full right to attack the same type of targets inside the enemy land, i.e. Iran will surely attack the Israeli Dimona nuclear power plant. This attack will be carried out by Iranian Su-24s with escorting F-14s (which have been upgraded for extended operational range), and this type of attack has during the last year been simulated by the Iranians in numerous manouvers and also officially announced. The Iranians will at least manage to reach Israel and at least manage to crash the bombers into the Dimona (of course they will first try to bomb it and try to get back after the operation or land in Syria, but if that is not possible I think they are ready for a suicide attack). Of course the Iranian Shahab long range surface to surface missiles will also target Dimona.
10. Even if the Israeli jets manage to bomb the Iranian installations they will be meeting a huge fire power from Iranian air defence and fighters on their way back from the targets while they are inside the Iranian airspace (or close to it), so it will reduce their chances of getting back home.

The above scenario is completely focused on an Israeli attack on Iran and mainly on the Iranian response (keeping out the other third parties like Syria and the US). As it is indicated above, even for such a limited scenario, there are few Israeli chances of really achieving what they want with few casulties and no major retaliation from Iran. The only way they can succeed is to send in a first wave of stealth jets, like the F-22 Raptor which can knock out the Iranian radars and then send in the regular fighter/bombers. But then if the US delivers fresh new F-22s to Israel, Russia will have the right excuse to arm the Iranians with Mig-31s and upgraded Su-30s.

So the Israelis should listen to the US president when he says: "Israel should think twice before striking Iran on its own...".

Neil Kuchinsky :

Israel has no choice but to attack Iran. Few believed Hitler when he pledged that he would annihilate the Jews. With Iranian leaders pledging the destruction of Israel, no rational Israeli leader could risk not taking them at their word, and pre-empt accordingly. It may be tough to take out Iran before they have their nuclear weapons; but it will only get tougher afterwords.
Israel will not want the backlash of the naive ("couldn't they just have given diplomacy a chance to work?") to affect the outcome of the US election; therefore, I estimate November 15, 2008 as the date that Iran receives its well-deserved nuclear castration, with airspace quietly provided gratis by Saudi Arabia.

Eric Petersen :

As Jos Stefula pointed out in his post, if the IAF attacks Iran it will be with "I" version of the F-16 with extended range, mutliple radars and other goodies that make such an attack possible, using BLU-122s or 109s. These nifty weapons were supplied gratis to the Zionists by US taxpayers. Now Congress wants to up said annual military gifts to Israel from $2.5 billion/year to $3.0 billion. Wonder why we have a potentially lethal problem? The never-challenged assumption with Iran's enrichment program is the country's fiendish desire to produce nuclear weapons. Iran gets 98% of its electricity from petroleum-based resources,and they see those resources running short in about ten years. (Their minimal hydro is now pretty much out of action this year because of drought and there are rolling blackouts in the country.) Now, if Iran did develop nuclear energy to replace fossil-fueled, it could export more oil - perhaps not a bad idea? Finally, US sanctions have partially crippled Iran's ability to increase oil-gas production, perhaps not a good idea in an oil-short global supply picture? Then again, when Albright was asked about her reaction to the deaths of perhaps a million Iraqi children due to US sanctions in the 1990s, she said "it was worth it." As Pogo said...

johnson park :

Lets pray that the leaders in this country will address Iran with wisdom and not immaturity. Only a reckless leader wld put his country into a third war against a larger foe at this time. Without a draft and total sacrafice from all of our citizens attacking Iran wld be sheer madness. I dont think the country is willing to do what wld be necessary to fight an additional war. If the only reason the United States has to fight the war is the protection of Israel then it is past time to reevaluate our relationship with that country. If this is truly an Israeli conflict then let Israel handle it and not waste the blood and treasure of US citizens. I wld think after Lebanon that the Israeli's wld be wary of attacking another country. I cant believe the Israeli people long for eternal war and they like us must begin putting pressure on our goverments to find alternatives to military pressure. North Korea has made it clear that you can talk to your enemies and find compromise. Finally, if we do go to war we must insist that all of the neo-cons: kristol, Lieberman, and Cheney's, we must insist that they and all of their family members are enlisted to go fight on the front lines. After all if the war with Iran is so important to them then surely they want to provide a good example of leadership and join the fight.

robbe p :

Lets pray that the leaders in this country will address Iran with wisdom and not immaturity. Only a reckless leader wld put his country into a third war against a larger foe at this time. Without a draft and total sacrafice from all of our citizens attacking Iran wld be sheer madness. I dont think the country is willing to do what wld be necessary to fight an additional war. If the only reason the United States has to fight the war is the protection of Israel then it is past time to reevaluate our relationship with that country. If this is truly an Israeli conflict then let Israel handle it and not waste the blood and treasure of US citizens. I wld think after Lebanon that the Israeli's wld be wary of attacking another country. I cant believe the Israeli people long for eternal war and they like us must begin putting pressure on our goverments to find alternatives to military pressure. North Korea has made it clear that you can talk to your enemies and find compromise. Finally, if we do go to war we must insist that all of the neo-cons: kristol, Lieberman, and Cheney's, we must insist that they and all of their family members are enlisted to go fight on the front lines. After all if the war with Iran is so important to them then surely they want to provide a good example of leadership and join the fight.

robert bell :

the question is not framed properly.

since we can't "invade" Iran (remember all our troops are tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan or continuing duty in Korea and Western Europe and even the Chairman of the Joint Chiers has publicly admitted any future action would put a "strain" on our standing armed forces, an "invasion" is both strategically and logistically impossible.

On the other hand, an "attack" against Iran is something else. The same Pentagon strategists who gave us "shock and awe" and who tried to pull of the invasion and occupation of Iraq on the cheap, are likely to sell this Administration the fantasy that American air power is capable of destroying Iran's nuclear capability. Maybe so, but what is the aftermath?

My bottom line: an "invasion" is zero possibility; an "attack" is more likely and would be in sync with neo con thinking that military action is justified as the primary instrument of American power since diplomacy and economic sanctions might require some collaboration and co-operation with all those pesky allies who get in the way.

johndoug :

We are not going to bomb or attack Iran. Lefties on this blog (and I am one) need to get over this irrational fear of Bush/Cheney. They are inept and foolish but not evil. As you may recall they asked permission to invade Iraq and like idiots, Congress and the American public granted it. People are skeptical now and regretful of that decision. Our military is exhausted. An air strike on Iran (by us or Israel) would make life unbearable for our forces in Iraq, and create even more chaos in the economy. Had the Iraq war gone better, then I could imagine an attack on Iran, but the way things are now, it ain't gonna happen.

rog_hart :

I say a 1. Invasion is unnecessary - their oil is available at the going rate - and I doubt the US military would support such a crazy idea.

As for the A bomb, would it be such a big deal if Iran got an A bomb? For Iran an A bomb is no use as an attack weapon but it makes the owners feel important and forces some maturity on its owners - to use it is certain suicide.

Certainly Israel and Saudi won't like it but the Saudis can afford their own and Israel already has plenty. For Iran to possess the bomb would even up the power balance and make everyone tread very carefully in the Middle East - no bad thing. Meanwhile sane people can get on with pumping and selling oil at the world price.

As for an Israeli attack, I doubt it.

Dwight :

No invasion but just bombing nuclear and missle related sites that need to be taken out...
after all iran was told to stop and they are not, President Bush will not be the President that gives iran the bomb. we won't do it alone and enough will be involved to minimize the damage. after all didn't clinton launch missles to divert attention from his troubles, at least this has a purpose...

PLANTAGANET :

In the first place no President has the legal authority to attack any country which has not first attacked the US. This is clear in the Constitution and the War Powers Act not to mention the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Trials. Doesn't anyone realize this? Apparently not because most people seem to think that Bush can unilaterally order the US to start a war. This is madness.

Mike D. :

Will we invade Iran? Well, if it's self-destructive and a general pox on humanity, American institutions and businesses can usually be counted on to do it.

F Last :

Sometimes it seems as though war loving, violence loving America will go to war with anyone they like just to show the world that they are boss. Iran hasn't attacked anyone for over 200 years (unlike the US, which seems to relish attacking other sovereign nations approximately every 5 years). Whatever comments Ahmadinejad may or may not have said about Israel (it could be more propaganda), does not justify the mass slaughter of innocent civilians again by the US. The more the US goes around the world threatening and actually attacking other nations, the more likely those countries are to build up their defences and weapons. After all, why should the US be the only country worried about security, when it is evidently the only actual serious threat to other countries? Try looking at the US from an Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, North Korean, Russian, South and Central American, Cuban……. perspective and ask yourself, would you trust the US?

The only way Iran will stop its nuclear program is if the Bush Administration stops its confrontational, hostile rhetoric and adopts a more democratic and mutually cooperative approach. Sadly, that will have to wait for a more harmonious US leadership.

Blake Southwood :

Cheney has been awefully quiet so that's not a good sign. Bush and Cheney are running out of time and they seem to have it in for Iran. Let's hope that we don't have war number 3 before January 20th because yet more young Americans will perish and more then 1 million Iranians would be blown up.

I think that if this madness continues then our military would attack Iran when they least expect it which means very soon so that Iran has less time to prepare.

I predict it'll happen before September.

Paul Cross :

The MacBush twins are not going to war with Iran. Instead, they are going to fade into the sunset of their lives. Meanwhile, Syria and Israel settle their Golan Heights and water rights issues, Lebanon gets back the Sheba(spl)Farms, Gaza and the West Bank are united, both Arabs and Jews share their capital city, and finally the Palestinian camps in Jordon and elsewhere are closed as the residents are allowed to move to more favorable locales,including the United States and Canada. With the foregoing, world pressure causes the Iranians to capitulate, provided that all of the Mideast becomes an A-Bomb free area.

johndoug :

We are not going to bomb or attack Iran. Lefties on this blog (and I am one) need to get over this irrational fear of Bush/Cheney. They are inept and foolish but not evil. As you may recall they asked permission to invade Iraq and like idiots, Congress and the American public granted it. People are skeptical now and regretful of that decision. Our military is exhausted. An air strike on Iran (by us or Israel) would make life unbearable for our forces in Iraq, and create even more chaos in the economy. Had the Iraq war gone better, then I could imagine an attack on Iran, but the way things are now, it ain't gonna happen.

Public Observer :

They speak of killing all Jews and destroying the United States. And they seek nuclear weapons. What cowards we are not to openly threaten them with war. For every time Aminibobbydylan threatens Israel with annihilation and Holocaust II he comes half an inch closer to the courage required to do so. For every time we fail to respond to such adoph-talk in a forceful manner, he gets the other half-inch. What good is exterminating Tehran in a Tel Aviv-less world?

=============

Israel is a foreign country, not the 51st state. The U.S. has no business taking sides in its conflicts. Israel has caused us too much grief as it is. I understand Jewish sentiment, especially in light of the tragedy of the 20th Century. But Israel is not a fundamental American issue.

Public Observer :

Yes, Bush will invade Iran. He will do it after the election. Nov. 17th is my guess. The reason? Because AIPAC will tell him to. The Saudis want it too, because they're just as scared of the Shiite Persians as anyone.

Public Observer :

Yes, Bush will invade Iran. He will do it after the election. Nov. 17th is my guess. The reason? Because AIPAC will tell him to.

Terrorfied :

YES!! Here's why it is a certainty:

*********************************

'Project for the New American Century
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was an American neoconservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., co-founded in early 1997 as "a non-profit educational organization" by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. The PNAC's stated goal is "to promote American global leadership." Fundamental to the PNAC are the views that "American leadership is both good for America and good for the world" and support for "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity." It has exerted strong influence on high-level U.S. government officials in the administration of U.S President George W. Bush and strongly affected the George Bush administration's development of military and foreign policies, especially involving national security and the Iraq War.

[snip]
In relation to the Persian Gulf, citing particularly Iraq and Iran, Rebuilding America's Defenses states that "while the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the immediate justification [for U.S. military presence], the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein" and "Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region."

One of the core missions outlined in the 2000 report Rebuilding America's Defenses is "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars."'

Gary E. Masters :

I find it sad that the only ones who believe that we will invade are the leftist and perhaps Dan Froomberg. But we will try to use threats as a part of our diplomacy. I do not see a point to that approach. We should make it "either / or."

Then it will not be threats, but logic that they face. Both sides have left plenty of room for a deal. The only real mystery is why Iran has not made a deal. Perhaps they hold out for a lot more.

Mariano Patalinjug :

Yonkers, New York
05 July 2008

Imagine a conversation in the White House going this way:

Cheney: George, time is running out on us, and we need to act on Iran if we are to leave a legacy of success.

Bush: I know that, Dick. I know that I have only around six months left.

Cheney: Yes, but that's still enough time to act--if you stop worrying about the consequences...

Bush: Tell me how we should do it.

Cheney: You have warned that SOB Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran continuing its program to make nuclear weapons is unaceptable. The SOB and the ayatollahs have not only not stopped. They--you remember their threat!--warned that if we attack Iran's nuclear facilities, the whole Middle East will be "a ball of fire!"

Bush: You think that threat is real, Dick?

Cheney: No. That's pure bluff! Baloney!

Bush: But what about the National Intelligence Estimate which says Iran stopped its nucular program four years ago?

Cheney: We simply ignore it. We say that there was no sufficient basis for that assessment--and we move on. That is if the press mentions it after we act.

Bush: Our boys running that covert operation inside Iraq are making good progress getting some intelligence, good intelligence, on Iraq's nucular program. Mr. Hadley is starting to get reports on it.

Cheney: Okay. Good. Then we can move now. There is no time to waste, George!

Bush: Okay, let's move. But we limit military action to taking out those nucular sites at--what's the name of the place?

Cheney: Natanz, Eshtafan and two or three other places. Hadley should have the names.

Bush: Okay, Dick. Let's get Bob Gates to come here--tomorrow morning if possible. Condi, too.
Admiral Mullen. Tell Hadley to get cracking. We should have the plans for the surgical strikes in my hands within seven days after tomorrow. But everything should be TOP SECRET. I don't want the press to spoil this.

Cheney: I'll talk to Hadley right after I go out of your office. And tell him what your decision is. Thank you George.

Bush: (Simply nods in response)

(PLEASE NOTE: THE WHOLE COVERSATION ABOVE IS COMPLETELY IMAGINARY. IT NEVER HAPPENED ACTUALLY.)

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Gary E. Masters :

I find it sad that the only ones who believe that we will invade are the leftist and perhaps Dan Froomberg. But we will try to use threats as a part of our diplomacy. I do not see a point to that approach. We should make it "either / or."

Then it will not be threats, but logic that they face. Both sides have left plenty of room for a deal. The only real mystery is why Iran has not made a deal. Perhaps they hold out for a lot more.

Clark-OH :

On January 29th, 2002 President Bush identified three countries that comprised the Axis of Evil. He has invaded one and that is costing us dearly.He is attempting to dismantle North Korea with a carrot and stick approach which will have a doubtful outcome given the North Korean leaders tragic mindset and he is no doubt employing black ops personnel in Iran to intercept Iranian and Iraqi terrorists moving arms shipments back and forth across the Iraqi border. His goal to dismantle the Axis of Evil has not been accomplished and I think he will make every effort to fulfill his goal of defeating each one of these countries even at the risk of breaking our own.

Philip Pease :

Once I went to a horse race with a friend who was a gambler. It was the last race of the season. In one of the races my friend said "look at the betting on that horse" the odds were not in accordance with that horse's record. We bet the horse and indeed he won. You could even see the other jockeys holding their horse back. The object of the story is that sometimes you can get a view of what is going to happen by looking at what is being said in public by the media.

So, my guess is that the US will attack Iran before Bush leaves office. Why? Because in the media there is all this talk; and that means that the propaganda campaign is in place to set the stage for an planned attack.

Leading up to the invasion of Iraq was the main-stream media reporting weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Queda. That was pure propaganda put in place by the administration and the main-stream media. The same thing is again taking place to con the American people into believing Iran is a danger and needs to be attacked. The persons who have been to Iran to investigate the case say there is no evidence that they are doing anything except trying to develop a nuclear power capability; just like they said Iraq did not have any such weapons of mass destruction. The press and this type of talk is again not even questioning the validity of the claims; but are implying that they are almost ready to hit Israel with a nuclear bomb.

The reasons we are given for attacking Iran is they are a threat. I believe that is just a cover story. Iran has Oil. International Oil corporations want it; and like Iraq, have probably already held discussions about how they will split the fields among them. We invaded Iraq to steal their oil and will invade Iran for exactly the same reason.

Oil is a strategic resource that is needed for our military force and to run the worlds economy. World Oil supplies have peaked and demand is increasing. Bush and his oil buddies know that he who has control over oil resource has power. The dream of having Iran's oil and the hugh sums of money that represents is what is pushing us into another war.

Can rational arguments prevail over greed? I doubt it. We don't have enough troops - well how about a draft? The policies of this administration is to foster big corporations ability to make more money. I think the wealth from Iran's Oil is the goal; Bush does not want to fail to achieve his goals. Big corporations tell Bush what to do; and I think Big Oil Corporations want more Oil.

Dwiltzee :

With Rovian wit that knows no morality,

The only real issue is a GOP plurality.

So thinking Rovially and Cheneyously

We must ensure that Terhan acts heinously.

So while Dubya’s on vacation,

You can be sure there’ll be a provocation.

Get some Saudians or Yemenians

To kill some Americans.

Then wave the flag high,

And blame the Iranians!

(And keep Americans filled

with the message we’ll be killed,

If we don’t vote for the Republicans!)

ShowMe - Missouri :

I think that invasion of Iran is on the neo-cons agenda and it will occur about a month before the general election. Perhaps, Rove will hire a few terrorists for a mock attack against NY again, President Bush will say the terrorists are from Iran, and we will attack.

blueball :

Odds are, thankfully, against an invasion(or bombing--do you not distinguish the two?) but could happen as follows:
1. Israel fears Iran will get nuclear bombs within the next 8 years
2. Israel sees it as an "existential" threat (code word for a threat that justifies pre-emptive war)
3. Israel convinces Bush that Israel will attack if US does not
4. Bush prays on it and realizes that if he doesnt do it, Obama won't and Israel will thus do it alone
5. US military realizes that Israel is not capable of more than pinpoint strikes and that would bring on war against US in Iraq and in US, so preemption by US is better than a weaker pre-emptive strike by Israel
6. God tells W that armageddon is coming and he must use the US as the tip of God's spear to pre-empt the evil Iranians' efforts to get nukes--thus beginning the "end times".

Having a faith-based president is the scariest part of it. Hopefully our military will refuse--thank you Adm Fallon!

Trakker :

To Anonymous @ 1:02:

Tell me again when Israel became our 51st state? Tell me again why you believe we, the United States, have the right to be the judge and jury about who lives in this world and who dies? Do we get to annihilate each and every country led by crackpots who threaten the U.S. (and our 51st - and most important - state, Isreal)?

You, my friend, and others just like you, are the reason America is considered a rogue nation, and rightly so. Listen very carefully here: the universe does not revolve around the United States. We are NOT infallible. We can and do make mistakes, hideous mistakes that cost innocent people their lives (Vietnam, Iraq).

In my opinion, friend, you and your philosophy of American exceptionalism are more dangerous to the future of our country than Iran or Korea or al Quida.

aint :

War, what war? Are we at war? sorry, haven't been paying attention. I'm going shopping.

Anonymous :

Murder the mullah thugs from the air. And their nuclear scientists. They speak of killing all Jews and destroying the United States. And they seek nuclear weapons. What cowards we are not to openly threaten them with war. For every time Aminibobbydylan threatens Israel with annihilation and Holocaust II he comes half an inch closer to the courage required to do so. For every time we fail to respond to such adoph-talk in a forceful manner, he gets the other half-inch. What good is exterminating Tehran in a Tel Aviv-less world? Brave men need to speak up.

coolhunter :

For reasons I just posted at Yossi Melman's blog ...no strike...

BTW, this "letter" from retired CIA agent seems to be from a member of the "Dr. Ledeen Disinformation club"... some old codger who was employed during the Iran Contra days giving advice! This guy if he was a CIA agent has no understanding of Iran of the 21 century...or the Middle East post US inavasion of Iraq...

Does anyone think we and the Israelis have not been running covert ops in Iran and Lebanon...oh yeah ..all the militias that the US trained in Lebanon ran when Nasrallah marched into Beirut! The hezbollah coup in Lebanon was a watershed moment for the balance of power in the ME...and it led to someting very positive ...the Qatar brokered agreement for a unity gov in Beirut...for a variety of reasons we will be in negotiations with Iran before the year is over...

BobL-VA :

I don't think I'm alone feeling the current administrations agenda is bad for America. I don't think I'm alone feeling the current administrations implementation of their agenda has been completely inept. Hence, not only have they been wrong they have been very bad at being wrong.

With this administrations approval rating hovering between 22-28% depending on the poll one would naturally assume a different direction from the administration to bolster their party for the upcoming elections. However, there is no indication this is or will take place. From all external appearances this administration will stick to its agenda no matter how the American people feel about it. Their canned response to dismal approval ratings are to cite the polls which show Congress has a lower approval rating then the Presidency. While this is true it is also a false analogy. While the country has low approval ratings for Congress they typically have high approval ratings for their individual Congressmen and Senators. Individuals in Congress aren't being rebuked the institution is being rebuked. In Bush's case the institution of the presidency isn't being rebuked he is. However, since that fact doesn't sit well with the current administration they choose to stick their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't matter and cite misleading polls to say we're not as bad as Congress.

In the waning days of the Bush administration the best we can hope for is Congress puts enough of a lid on him to reduce the potential damage he can still cause like invading Iran. However, given how poorly the democrats have performed this task since taking over as the majority I'm not convinced they are capable of containing Bush/Cheney any better then the previous 6 years of republican controlled congresses did.

I have stated previously I have been against impeaching Bush as the country doesn't need to go through that trauma again. Besides, given Bush's record I sincerely doubt he'd show up for a trial before the Senate anyway. With Cheney as VP one would be forced to impeach them both and then we'd end up with Nancy Pelosi. The more you look at this scenario the worse it gets. Therefore, we're pretty well stuck into letting this administration run it's course.

If that course is to take military action and/or invading Iran I doubt many people would be surprised. Unfortunately, there is little to nothing the average American can do about it. Bush/Cheney are keenly aware of this fact and have already shown a complete disregard for the publics feelings about any issue as they are sure their way is the only way and the right way.

The only hope I can see in not invading Iran is the troop issue. We simply don't have enough of them to do it without having devastating consequences to our military. Obviously, Iraq has taught them nothing. Regime change in the ME will not bring about security. Regime change will only bring about long term US occupational forces necessary to impose our will which is and will remain contrary to the will of the Iranian people. This is what we're seeing in Iraq today and it is what we're seeing in Afghanistan today. The concept that the US can invade and occupy a ME country and bring about western democracy is so flawed it would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

Kacoo :

We will need to re-instate the draft to invade Iran, so two things must happen. First, gasoline must top $5 and stay there. Second, another 9/11 must occur. Given these conditions, we will have no choice, no choice but to invade Iran.

Iran is the source of all of America's problems. I thought it was Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, but, so sad to say it, I was wrong.

We must destroy the terrorist society in Iran and replace it with a peace-loving, Muslim democracy. Then we can feel safe and have cheap gas.

Aidan :

Iran will respond by destroying oil tankers that sail along the Iranian coast for hundreds of miles down the gulf and through the narrow straits or Hormuz. The tankers make easy targets for Iranian missiles. Iran has the capacity to any oil coming out of the Gulf to the US. It would probably be impossible for the United States to protect the Gulf oil supply. The US would ned to occupy Iran like Iraq and even then it is probably not possible to protect the oil tankers because of the geography and size of the area.

An attack on Iran by Israel or the US would send Oil prices in the US into orbit and probably mean the end of the big three US car manufacturer that are each on the edge of bankruptcy. It would mean tens of hundreds of thousands of layoffs in the mid West.

Wouldn't it be better to spend the Trillion dollars or more it would take to occupy Iran on developing alternative energy sources and also build new export industries for these new technologies in the US? Also we would avoid hundreds of thousands of deaths.

I am worried that the Bush administration may work secretly by giving Israel support to attack Iran because such an action would be against the wishes of most Americans.

The head of Us forces in Iraq yesterday said that an attack on Iran would be catastrophic for the US and called for dialogue rather than military action.

Yousuf Hashmi :

I will say it is 50-50 chance

US has capability ,logistics and war plans ready for an attack at any moment.

The problem is the possibility of reactions from Iran which can either close the Hormuz or at least force the shipping lines to announce the war zone surcharge which will raise the oil prices to above 200 $ level and destroy the world economies. more over at least three neighbouring states will destabilizze.

The advantage is the re election of republicans who will argue that under war conditions any change of the government will give wrong signals to enemies.

I therefore foresee the attack if made will be in August or September. so the full advantage of the war will be obtained.

Patti Morey :

Were Tibetan schoolkids held hostage in Chengdu? ISTM a timeline brings light to recent events between China and Tibet. By looking at the chain of events instead of looking at each event as a separate news phenomenon, we might view cause and effect.

Following many Tibetan and worldwide protests: on March 15 China imposed a severe restriction on Tibetan schoolchildren in Chengdu and elsewhere in Sichuan Province: the Tibetan students were forbidden to return to their homes in Tibet.
Subsequently, on May 11 (Mothers Day), hundreds of Tibetan women conducted a protest. The Tibetan women were apprehended, shoved into big police trucks and taken away. (Where did they go - on the highway from Lhasa to Chengdu?)
The Very Next Following Day, May 12, China reported an "earthquake" had occured in Sichuan Province. (Numerous military atomic and nuclear development installations are housed underground in Sichuan, one at the "epicenter.")

At first, China reported tens of fatalities, then - hundreds of fatalities, then - thousands of fatalities. Photographs showed almost exclusively schoolchildren and women. The disproportionate rise of fatalities that occured day by day is, in my opinion, ominous.

Then, in triumph, the Olympic torch was carried through Tibet.

If you make a timeline of all the events, (including tourist expulsion from Sichuan just before the earthquake & massive military police patrol in Lhasa and forbiddance of Tibetan residents against leaving their homes) you can see relationship and cause & effect in events in the only way possible.

Faramarz Fathi :

Lowen :

National inquirer has a different web address.

Sincerely,


Faramarz Fathi

Zoltan :

@ David Ignatius:

"For extra points, name the date."

How many extra points do I get if I tell the right amount of deaths ?

I mean, do you remember when, back in 2003, Bush said "the game is over" about Iraq and it's alleged weapons of mass destruction, to what Chirac replied: "it's not a game, and it's not over" ? We're in 2008, didn't you learn anything ?

Salamon :

I find the very notion of this question being posed very troublesome.

I read the Hersch article, was dismayed that the USA, a once great power, is trying to gamble its economic and political future on possibly temporary [thoguth might be medium term] destruction of the ME oil supplies.

Iran does not have to close the straight of Hormuz, to cause oil price spike of major proportions, aqll it ahs to do is withhold oil for a month [they havew euro-s yens, etc though no $-s] to survive, while the oil world supply immediately faces 2-3 million barrel per day shortage.

It is my frm belief that any airial attack on Iran will cause mjor disrutions of oil supplies especailly to those countries which hold larg US$ reserves - Japan and China. It is certain that they will react to show their diusplasure to ther USA, which migh bring to end the fiat currency hegemony in a short order. Such end is the end of USA economy, an ecopnomy which depeds on imports for its very survivability.

Thus, attack by USA odds are nil, attack by Israel - nil, ecept if they are planning to assure a complete economic collapse - for EU, Japan, Chian, will take their wrath on Israel for the cost of their economy suffers for shortage of oil - for without Uncle Sam, Israel does jnot have the means to survive..

If only :

If only Pelosi wasn't on the take, Frick and Frack would be in irons waiting for a noose.

How do we get rid of Pelosi?

MikeB :

Something a lot of posters are ignoring is just how successful the NeoCons think their terror campaigns have been with the idiots voting in this country. The emails out of various Bush campaign offices pretty clearly demonstrate that they are convinced that the idiot lights, those red-yellow-orange-green, terrorist attack warnings, provided the margin of victory of Kerry vs. Bush in 2004. Now, a lot of voters, even the bed wetters of the GOP, have caught on to that ploy, so some sort of limited attack on Iraq, around October, is very likely a part of McCain's election plan. That these incompetent clofdhoppers, fools, delussional idiots, don't have the slight4st idea that it will spin out of control, however, is almost a given.

center :


invading iran is coming. the new administration come next Jan. would be faced with a fate accompli: there is war going on and the country "can't cut an run".
there are states in the middle east in addition to israel who are quitely applauding the war plans.
do i wish this war to happen? the answer is NO.

Anonymous :


Tom Wonacott

Many reading your ugly, blase 'exam' will see blood red with anger. Are you so sure Americans aren't sick to death of Israel?

You make certain early mid century history seem reasonable.

Federer :


The posters here seem content that Israel could do whatever it wanted, and the US would clewan up the mess or do it for them.

Not so. The Russians have said loud and clear they wouldn't stand by. And they are arming the Iranians, WITH WHOM THEY SHARE A BORDER.

And neither they nor the Chineses are going along.

Recall that the Saudis rebelled against America's supporting Israel's l947 war. The SAudis could quit supplying oil, for example.

And the US couldn't do anything...doesn't even have enough soldiers for Afghanistan.

Americans have been fed Israeli propoganda in the jewish press for so long they have a very wrong impression of what's going on.

BobL-VA :


What, has Bush run out of people to torture and needs more victims?

That is question is even asked makes my skin crawl. The prevailing feeling among posters seems to be we will attack Iran and that it would just be another stupid Bushism.

Any member of the House or Senate who votes to fund such a morally bankrupt debacle should be voted out of office in their next election. Democrat or Republican it makes no difference. If any of our elected officals are stupid enough to vote for such a fiasco they are too stupid to serve in Congress.

The current administration has a perfect record of being wrong and mismanaging everything it touches. Anyone who thinks they'll break that perfectly horrendous record and magically get Iran right should have their voter registration cards revoked for life.

I love the US and am looking forward to a new administration in January based on logic, compassion and the rule of law. I'm sick of lawlessness and inepitude. An invasion or military action against Iran would just be a continuation of failed administration policy. (or lack thereof)

Zoltan :

@ Bigsky007 :

"the hope is to stoke the fears of enough American voters to help tip the election in McCain's favor"

And what do you think will do those that hope such things, if before the elections it looks like this scaremongering does not suffice ? Just: "Oh, too bad. Well, never mind, we tried our best." Don't you think they have a plan B ? Like actually putting their menaces into action ?

turnabout :

A horrid mistake!

ONLY ONE SILVER LINING! Iran would and could

retaliate, and MAYBE BOMB ISRAEL! Most of the world would quietly, or not so quietly, cheer. Isral is nothing but trouble, never has been.

If it were a decent nation, instead of savage , land grabbing, continuously corrupt,killers, it'd be different. But it's a once and always foul entity and a failed state.

Scream at this? Well, if it's okay to call for bombing Iran, if calling for it is just fine and righteous, by a nation with illegal nukes, Israel. Then turn about is very fair play. And what most of the wrold would welcome. Let's face it.

Bigsky007 :

We will not attack Iran. We can't afford to do so. There is neither the money nor the troops to do it. Additionally, the American people would probably start a revolution!! I smell politics behind the talk of such a deed. The idea is to make Iran another "gathering threat", which it is not. Nor was Iraq, for that matter. However, the hope is to stoke the fears of enough American voters to help tip the election in McCain's favor. The idea being that a scared voter is more likely to vote for McCain. From now until the election, we will see a lot more fear stoking notions thrown out at the voters

keymaker :

Bombed on November 15. Constitution suspended January 2, 2009 due to crisis in the Middle East (attacks on Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc.) allowing Cheney Inc. to remain in control.

Shiveh :

David, Although I should thank you for giving this subject more exposure, I have to say that the game show packaging you gave it leaves much to be desired. To follow your instructions, I must guess a number and because I always want to go for that elusive extra point, I must guess the day too. Now tell me, how should I handle my emotions if I’m proven right? Should I be happy that I won your little wager or you think that the prospect of thousands or may be hundreds of thousands of people dying in an unnecessary war might dampen my celebration?

We are getting used to viewing the world from behind the safety of our TV screens and to look at everything as an entertainment. For as long as we are entertained, our politicians can do anything they want and clearly what they want is more power and wealth.

How can I answer your questions when I believe not even Bush, Cheney or Olmert can answer it. They want to attack for their own petty reasons but a few brave offices in the armed forces and specialists in the Intelligence apparatus are trying to stop them while American people are absent. It is the job of real journalists to move the people to a point of awareness that’ll stop this insanity. Let’s hope there is more of the Seymour Hersh caliber amongst us.

Zoltan :

Iran will be bombed, not invaded, and it will happen in October 2008.

Right now, the U$ dollar is held only by the Chinese who don't want "their" Olympic games ruined by a major economic crisis. But by september, they'll have much more difficult things to master, and the U$ dollar will collapse. US inflation will hit 2 or 3 digit numbers, oil price will skyrocket (in U$ dollars, but stable in euros).

By october, OPEC will trade in other currencies, and likely use the Iranian Oil Bourse for that.

Some major "terrorist" attack will happen against Israeli or US interests, and Iran will be accused of that. Probably Israeli. Israel will then bomb Iran, who will retaliate. US will use nuclear bombs to attack Iran (because they don't have the military capability to harm Iran in a significant manner otherwise). A bomb or 2 might get lost on Russia/Europe to show them USA/Israel mean serious business.

Beginning of World War III. Buy rice and sugar.


Irandoost :

There is 60% chance that Israel will bomb Iran if Obama wins, because they doubt he will do it. If McCain wins Israel will probably wait let the US do the dirty work so that they will not be blamed for it. I think it could happen before Obama takes office, probably in late December or early January. In any case the attack will be before summer 2009, as Iran will have a presidential election then and Ahmadinejad may not be reelected thus depriving Israel of a boogiman. If Israel does the attacking is will be more bloody than if the US does, if the 2006 Lebanon war is any indication. Of course I think Israel is mistaken. Some level headed security analysts feel that Iran is not an existential threat to Israel. The uranium it has enriched is only at 5% purity while you need 90% purity to make a bomb. Also there is no evidence that Iran has an active military nuclear program at this time. Even if Iran makes one bomb within the next two years, Israel has an estimated 150 to 200 atomic bombs and could anihilate Iran in case of an attack. An attack on Iran would have disastrous consquences; for one thing the price of Oil would go through the roof. Yesterday Richard Engel said that it may go to $ 300 or $ 400 per barrel. So get ready for a rough ride!

Independent :

An invasion by January 20 is unlikely, about a 2 on the scale given. There certainly seem to be the usual suspects in the Bush administration who will be very bitter if Iran is not attacked on Bush's watch. However, unlike the war in Iraq, there also seems to be considerable opposition from some of the grown-ups within the Bush administration to an attack on Iran. They seem to realize how this will likely have disastrous geo-political and economic consequences.

However, the war hawks in the administration will probably win, they do not care if oil goes to $175-200 a barrel and gas to six or seven dollars a gallon, so expect an attack in October, if Barack is leading by significant margins in polls, or in November, after the election, if McCain is leading by polls in the weeks before the election. Either way I would say the chances of an attack by either country mentioned is about an eight.

Tom Wonacott :

PG

Interesting question and the way that its worded reminds me of a college exam.

First of all, I believe the chances are about even that Iran will back down and a face saving agreement will be agreed on in principal before there is an attack - maybe at about the time of the US election or shortly afterwards. If a final agreement fails, Israel will attack Iran, but the US will not be involved militarily. Certainly the US will be involved in the planning, however, and the US will supply intelligence. The US will be fully prepared to defend the ground forces in Iraq with a devastating air assault. Recently, Israel upped the pressure on Iran by allowing their practice run for an attack on Iran to be disclosed. Israel’s rhetoric has increased also. The speculation of an attack by Israel after the US elections also is putting pressure on Iran (for example, see John Bolton‘s article). Europe has (finally) begun to get serious about sanctions against Iran as well - a welcome (but late) change for the do nothing Europeans.

Despite Obama’s suck up speech to AIPAC, Israel cannot trust the potential new President’s support for a strike against Iran and, therefore, Israel must attack before the inauguration. According to John Bolton, Israel will not attack before the US election because that could have uncertain influence on the elections. That seems reasonable to me.

The attack will take place during the first week in December (for bonus points) about one month after the US elections.

Iran is nervous about the impending attack and is threatening to close the straight of Hormuz where 60% of the world’s oil passes on the way to market. In addition, Iran may try to stir up regional trouble by attacking US interest in Iraq - either directly by missiles, or more likely, by proxy (Shiite militias). Hizbollah remains an option for Iran and, again, I put the chances at about 50-50 for Hizbollah to attack Israel with a barrage of missiles. What may hold Hizbollah back is the powerful air assault conducted by Israel against Lebanon in 2006. The duration of the war between Iran and Israel may determine if Hizbollah enters the conflict. Hizbollah could enter if Israel attacks the Gaza with significant force as well.

Finally, Islamic Jihad will attack Israel so there will be a confrontation between Israel and Hamas. The odds of Hamas entering the conflict are very high - as in 3:1 in favor.

Syria will not enter the war at all. If the US enters the war, Hamas and Hizbollah will definitely fight.

Class dismissed.

Tomel :

On a scale of 1 = no chance to 10 = an absolute certainty, I'd guess the likelihood of our attacking Iran to range between 25 to 35. Because the Bushies believe that they must defeat Obama, we will attack Iran between October 10 and October 15. The Bushies will believe that this attack will ensure that we are squarely in a war with three countries and that American voters will be too scared to vote for anyone but a "war hero" in November's election.

Please remember that W contemns "reality" and despises those who argue from reality. He believes in belief. Cheney wants to attack Iran. Bush wants to attack Iran. And they both know that they are right. (Please don't forget that Bush believes that God wanted him to be elected president--although I can't imagine what the US had ever done to be so hated by God.)

Prudence Candlelight :

The likelihood is eight(1 = least likely and 10 = most likely).

No system is fool proof - given a sufficiently talented fool. Anyone wish to dispute that foolish American voters together with the an immoral US Supreme Court put sufficiently talented fools in our White House?


Anonymous :

let ma see. to save a lifestyle of 5-6 million jewish colonists in Israel we were going to kill 3-4 million Iraqi, around 5 tousands of our best soldiers(who wee need to save our own borders), wasted around 1200 billions of dollars, crashed own industrial and economical system and lost geopolitical position to chinese & co..

yepp! its great to see us atacking Iran this year.. i hope jewish banks can pay our debts this time.. ohhuhh.. can they?

Shiveh :

David, Although I should thank you for giving this subject more exposure, I have to say that the game show packaging you gave it leaves much to be desired. To follow your instructions, I must guess a number and because I always want to go for that elusive extra point, I must guess the day too. Now tell me, how should I handle my emotions if I’m proven right? Should I be happy that I won your little wager or you think that the prospect of thousands or may be hundreds of thousands of people dying in an unnecessary war might dampen my celebration?

We are getting used to viewing the world from behind the safety of our TV screens and to look at everything as an entertainment. For as long as we are entertained, our politicians can do anything they want and clearly what they want is more power and wealth.

How can I answer your questions when I believe not even Bush, Cheney or Olmert can answer it. They want to attack for their own petty reasons but a few brave offices in the armed forces and specialists in the Intelligence apparatus are trying to stop them while American people are absent. It is the job of real journalists to move the people to a point of awareness that’ll stop this insanity. Let’s hope there is more of the Seymour Hersh caliber amongst us.

Tim Janes :

I give the chances about an "8", with the likely date falling on October 25th, allowing enough time for an automatic jingoism to kick in for the Republican candidates but before rational thought could suggest voting against every bloody Republican.

mike :

I think it unlikely B& C would attack Iran 'unprovoked', though it is possible that the dynamic duo would wait and watch for an excuse for a limited strike against an Iranian asset.

While the nuclear issue is before everyone's eyes, I would monitor the naval activity in the straights. The Revolutionary Guard has a mesquito fleet they use to keep the US naval task force on edge -- swarming and the like -- and this activity lends itself to miscalculation on either side which could result in a Gulf of Tonkin like scenario in which B&C have an excuse to eliminate this type of naval harrassment with a precision strike on the mesquito fleet.

If B&C are looking for a fight, I would monitor the naval activity in the straights

Anonymous :

Mehran Baboli:

That was the biggest load of crap I've read here in years. You live in a demented dream world, yeah let's blow up some dams, maybe there are some orphanages we could hit, you know they train toddlers to strap bombs to themselves and fly on kites to attack us. At least I'm afraid they might!

You go girl!

Mehran Baboli :

An attack will occur by October 2008. Chance: 85%

The best way to lower the price of oil immediately is to withdraw 100,000 American troops from Iraq and move them to secure the Persian gulf where 60% of oil flows. This will follow precision and carpet bombing of Iranian coastal waters, cities, refineries and destruction of all naval resources, including submarines. Worried sunni Arab nations will provide moral and material support. Oil fields will be secured.

Precision bombing further north and inland in Iran will target all missile and anti-aircraft batteries as well as some key infrastructure, such as airports, dams, power stations, manufacturing facilities, military basis and installations. Certain key political, military, and infrastructure targets in Tehran should be targeted to ensure regime decapitation. Slaughter of the Quds militia force is a prerequisite to a regime change. It can happen in Iran even quicker than it did in Iraq. The final outcome, however, need not be disastrous. Iranian people have never been hostile to the US. Despite any outrage they may temporarily feel about an "invasion", they will truly welcome an intervention to free them from the current fundementalist rulers.

Israel will independently target all known nuclear sites with cluster bombs. They will also be justified in using tactical nuclear bombs, as their very existence continues to be threatenned by the Iranian government.

China and Russia will object vocally but will not/cannot militarily intervene. Germany, France and Italy will contribute troops for stabilization in the Persian Gulf area. No foreign troops will move north of the coastal Iranian area bordering on Iraq and certainly not to any major urban centers nor the capital in Tehran. Iranians will have to complete the job of regime change themselves in the cities and towns.

The Iraqi camaign was botched up because of many mistakes, some now well-documented. Iraq's religious make-up contributed to the sectarian violence. Iran's population is nearly uniformly of the Shiat sect. A massive attack on Iran as outlined above, followed by a "limited" stabilization/occupation of the Persian Gulf area, can be successful and it could be all wrapped up possibly with a new democratic and pro-western regime in Iran as a bonus, by the inauguration day.

Tom3 :

"What do you want to do tomorrow night, Brain"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky...TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!"

Pinky and the Brain = Bush and Cheney.

And Bush isn't the Brain.

Tom3 :

I read the Hersh article yesterday. It is on the New Yorker website and you can read it for free.

Some of the things Hersh says we are doing in Iran are illegal under international law and are probably grounds for Iran to declare war on us.

Didn't it used to be illegal for the US to secretly undermine foreign countries? Probably the Repukes killed that law.

SidK :

There is no solid rational for striking or invading Iran but based on the past performance of this administration one is not needed. I fear for all of us.

William G Langston :

We do not have enough forces to invade.

The Iranian sites are hardened and deep underground and unlikely to be seriously damaged by bombing.

After Iraq, someone must ask: "And then what?" After prolonged silence, the State Department will be asked to study options and 1/20/09 will come.

Among the then whats is an Iranian proxy war against our forces in Iraq starting with closing the port of Basra and shutting off supplies and reinforcements. "And then what?"

Another then what is the mining of the Straight of Hormuz and $15/gallon gas. The Iranians will have bought oil futures and will laugh all the way to the bank.

Can anyone think of any other options? Yes, turn Iran over to Cheney. He knows how. Wow! Does he not!

Lowen :

The US military might be spread thin at the moment and the economy having some trouble, but they must be ready to stop Iran from getting the big stick because their religious leaders will use it. Probably not an invasion, but specific pin-point destruction of facilities!

Lowen :

The US military might be spread thin at the moment and the economy having some trouble, but they must be ready to stop Iran from getting the big stick because their religious leaders will use it. Probably not an invasion, but specific pin-point destruction of facilities!

Hosein Kazemi :

I dont think they attack Iran coz they are so troubled in Iraq and Afghanestan and other parts of the world that they dont even have enough budget and forces.Besides Iran is very powerfull now.With long distance missles installed at Damavand Summit they are ready to destroy Isreal.

Tom3 :

Chimpy wants to bomb Iran and it is DANGEROUS.

Iran can fight back. They have second-strike capability. They have Chinese-made cruise missiles that can dodge our countermeasures.

When Chimpy starts bombing Iran, they will attack the Strait of Hormuz and SHUT DOWN ALL OUR MIDDLE EAST OIL.

This will drive gas to $10 a gallon and cause our economy to grind to a halt.

Iran does NOT have nukes. They cannot even build one for five or ten years.

Bombing Iran is STUPID. That's why I am convinced Chimpy will do it.

Puh-leeze! :

This is an obvious attempt at softening up people to the idea of an attack on Iran. It's not a game. The humans costs would be staggering for generations to come. Please. Stop. Now.

William :

Yes, he will do it by September – October this year. After all, it won’t be his problem, he’ll be out of office and he wants to make a point out of it. His irresponsibility and Cheney’s as well, have no measure. American forces? Don’t worry; he has sufficient money coming out of the American taxes that he can come down to South America and contract some “Mestizos”, willing to serve the empire, to do the job.

soobydue :

They can attack Iran if they want, but I'll be riding my bike to work when they do.

Bob Z. :

Are you kidding? I don't think that even Dubya is that stupid! But with people like Condi Rice around him they may be able to talk Israel into an attack.

Just when do you think we will begin to make things right in this country? OMG! The Gulf Coast is still in a mess. The Mississippi floods are devastating to the economy. Our kids are not getting a decent education. Our infrastructure is crumbling.

George. You're doing a hell of a job!

Tommy Birchfield :

"Love that "DISASTEROUS REPUBLICAN RECORD! "Boy Iran is not bothering us, and REPUBILCANS out to start a WAR WITH IRAN! THey will too!


My goodness, the republicans have ruined the United States Image and Economy, record/fact we all see!

In conclusion, "We have 40 Million American's LIVING IN POVERTY" who COULDN"T USE $400 MILLION!
Republicans want to use it to start a WAR! "Be sure now YOU RUN AND VOTE REPUBLICAN AGAIN, "APPRECIATE IT!

"Boy have the republicans "RECORD/MESS/DISASTER/FACT/INJUSTICE/RECORD OF REPUBLICANS, CRIMINAL!

..."True Patriotism, Hates Injustice In ITs Own Land, "MORE, THAN ANYWHERE ELSE."
---Clarence Darrow

Michael :

It's like this: imagine a rottweiler on a 75-foot chain attached to a tree. Within that 75-foot radius, nothing lives but the dog. Ahmenadijad is standing at the 76-foot line saying come and get me. We can bark like crazy, but there's no bite.

B. Allen :

Attack Iran with what?? We are fighting (2) wars now...what forces do we have available to attack Iran?

John-Bob :

I think Bush et al irrationally want to attack Iran. I think it's real probability that it will happen. Especially if Obama wins the election. It's absolutely frightening to think that this is a real possibility. If someone wanted to damage, and ultimately destroy, this country, no one could have done a more efficient job than this current administration.

I don't know if the Israelis will do it on their own. I've read they don't have the refueling capabilities and would have to overfly several countries just to get to Iran. I think they want Bush to do it for them. He, I'm sure, is eager to do it in his intrinsic enthusiastic, non-thinking, reckless manner.

Michael :

I'd give it a 2/10--we don't have the cash. We're in serious financial trouble now, and Iran will be our Stalingrad if we go that route. Even if these guys cook up some incident where Iran attacks Iraq, the American people won't lap it up as readily as in Vietnam or Iraq II. Besides, Bush and his crew have made their money already, so what do they care?

Jmes Carolan, SF CA. :

It would defy reason and logic to invade Iran, mainly becausewe don't have the available forces. But with the "DECIDER" calling the shots, reason and logic don't seem to count ...my guess is a 50-50 chance... I'm sure much to the disappointment of Darth Chaney.

Bob Z. :

Are you kidding? I don't think that even Dubya is that stupid! But with people like Condi Rice around him they may be able to talk Israel into an attack.

Just when do you think we will begin to make things right in this country? OMG! The Gulf Coast is still in a mess. The Mississippi floods are devastating to the economy. Our kids are not getting a decent education. Our infrastructure is crumbling.

George. You're doing a hell of a job!

Jmes Carolan :

It would defy reason and logic to invade Iran, mainly becausewe don't have the available forces. But with the "DECIDER" calling the shots, reason and logic don't seem to count ...my guess is a 50-50 chance... I'm sure much to the disappointment of Darth Chaney.

J Carolan :

It would defy reason and logic to invade Iran, mainly becausewe don't have the available forces. But with the "DECIDER" calling the shots, reason and logic don't seem to count ...my guess is a 50-50 chance... I'm sure much to the disappointment of Darth Chaney.

Anonymous :

Sapper ads to the hate propaganda here....

"A strike on known nuclear installations and possibly to deny them the ability to close the Straits of Hormuz is a possibility"

You fool! That IS how the war will start, that WILL close the straits for years! That WILL lead to global Depression and that WILL be the end of Israel. Israel will fire off its' nukes as it sinks into the sea of history.

Darden Cavalcade :

If Iran causes trouble in the Strait of Hormuz, an American reaction will be swift and strictly limited to ensuring that Hormuz remains open.

Absent an Iranian provocation, the United States will do nothing. No invasion. No airstrike. No serious effort to destabilize the Iranian government. The program Hersh identifies almost certainly is designed to make Iranian special operations in Iraq more costly in the lives of Quds Force operatives. Besides, it is hard to imagine that the CIA could do a better job than Ahmadinejad at destabilizing the Iranian government. He's a self-inflicted wound.

We Americans aren't as mad as most of you think.

Puh-leeze! :

This is an obvious attempt at softening up people to the idea of an attack on Iran. It's not a game. The humans costs would be staggering for generations to come. Please. Stop. Now.

Simple Observer :

I believe there is very little chance that the US will engage in direct military action against Iran. The use of the word "Invasion" here is misleading. The US lacks the necessary ground forces to conduct conventional military operations against Iran. Air strikes are plausible, but I believe that the Joint Chiefs and Secretary Gates will recommend against such direct action without overt acts of violence, perpetrated by Iran, that would justify a US response.

Israel, on the other hand, will act unless there is some kind of verifiable political solution. I agree with most of those who predict an air strike by Israel following the US elections. The Israeli government is convinced it must act, is arrogant enough to believe it can do so with relative impunity, and disregards the potential calamity such actions would precipitate. The US, widely viewed in the Middle East and elsewhere as Israel's sponsor and protector, will be blamed along with the Israelis for such an attack. The reality of the situation is that Israel would be hard pressed to carry out strikes without the cooperation of the US in the form of providing access to Iraqi airspace through which to fly. This administration wants to attack themselves, but will be happy to let the Israelis do it. They will hold to the delusion that by letting Israel do the dirty work, they can avoid responsibility for the results.

Regardless of what the Iranian President has said in the past, I don't believe that Iran has immediate designs on destroying Israel. The Iranian President, for all his bluster, carries very little weight in international relations. It is the Supreme Religious Council that has final say, and I believe that are a bit more grounded in the realities of the modern world. They have certainly shown recently that they do not fully support their current President, and have taken steps to rein him in. They understand what would happen if they launched a devastating attack on Israel. They have no desire to see their own country ruined in a retaliatory nuclear strike from Israel (and possibly the US) by taking such overt and ill-advised actions. They are far more inclined to continue to advance their own influence in the region and stir up trouble for the Israelis through surrogates such as Syria and Hezbollah.

Had this administration approached the issue of Iranian nuclear aspirations in the context of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which both Iran and the US are signers, I am convinced the Iranians would not have become so entrenched. The treaty allows for the development of civilian power generation. Demanding a complete prohibition of Iranian nuclear development violates the spirit of the NNPT, and creates an adversarial environment from the start. The issue could have been handled in a far more subtle way that had the potential of avoiding the war of words that now exists. Unfortunately, Bush and his Neo-Con advisers understand nothing of subtlety. They will always use a sledge hammer to crack a walnut, rather than some other means that leave far fewer pieces to be cleaned up afterwards

sapper :

Invasion before Jan 20 - ZERO percent chance of that happening.

We still have to work with the UN, EU and others to tighten the pain for Iran if it chooses to pursue the Nuclear option. Iran has been dragging this out for quite some time in a masterful display of chutzpa and diplomacy. All this will take time and I do not beleive that Mr Bush would like to leave a new administration with a just started war.

A strike on known nuclear installations and possibly to deny them the ability to close the Straits of Hormuz is a possibility - if Iran continues to delay and ignore world opinion.

SA :

Another "pre-emptive" invasion launched by us shouldn't even be joked about. Our government is borrowing billions of devalued dollars weekly from China to stay afloat, global oil & food prices are skyrocketing, our housing market is still wracked with foreclosures, millions don't have healthcare insurance, our soldiers are coming home with injuries & are receiving shockingly poor treatment, we have floods across the Midwest, & we are already occupying two countries with no end in sight with either. Now we want to attack another country? If this is not an impeachable offense given the administration's conduct during the past 8 yrs, I have no idea what is.

And to those who would say they are afraid Iran will attack us or that they will attack Israel, that is pure foolishness. I believe Iran's military budget is less than 1% of ours. The mullahs are in charge, not Ahmedinajad. They know very well that attacking Israel would be suicide. They have gotten very used to power & wealth since their Revolution. They have no interest in martyrdom. Iran is never going to launch a nuclear attack on Israel or the US.

And frankly it is far more likely that terrorists will someday get the bomb from Pakistan than from Iran. Al-Qaeda is Sunni. Iran is Shi'ite. We should be focusing on Afghanistan & the border area with Pakistan & not eyeing another country to destroy.

tom:mass :


It seems that Israel wants to bomb Iran and will, whether or not the US will endorse the action;;this to me is an attempt to blackmail the US. I support a Democratic Israel; however, it often becomes difficult to do so.

MikeB :

Larrywp - I think you don't understand the SHia branch of Islam. A lot of them, at least the moderates, have seen the U.S. as their defender against Saddam and Sunni's. Our recent drumbeat against Iran, however, is polarizing them into outright hating the U.S. Hezbolla and other Shia groups are very active in all of the places I mention and they would take action against us if we strike Iran. Moreover, MOST of the refugees we took into this country are Shia and you can count on them seeking retribuition against the government and people of this country, right here at home. As a group, the Shia are far more radical than Sunnis. A core belief is that they will gladly die, actively seek death, in defense of their faith and holy sites, even do this is their faith is insulted. This whole enterprise is going to blow up in our face. One thing that really ought to concern you is what you can expect in the event of a war. There will be thousands of religiously motivated attacks *IN* this country. Becasue of the very nature of those attacks, they will spread fear and distrust. In "fighting" them, the government will take upon itself more and more powers, that will mark then of the American experiment in democracy. The fundimental change to our society, as frightened people (often with the fears ginned up by the media and politicans and business) seek "security" will end this country as surely as an enemy attacking us with atomic or biological weapons.

John-Bob :

I think Bush et al irrationally want to attack Iran. I think it's real probability that it will happen. Especially if Obama wins the election. It's absolutely frightening to think that this is a real possibility. If someone wanted to damage, and ultimately destroy, this country, no one could have done a more efficient job than this current administration.

I don't know if the Israelis will do it on their own. I've read they don't have the refueling capabilities and would have to overfly several countries just to get to Iran. I think they want Bush to do it for them. He, I'm sure, is eager to do it in his intrinsic enthusiastic, non-thinking, reckless manner.

candide :

There are enough stupid Zionists, stupid evangelicals, stupid Republicans, and stupid Democrats to insure an invasion of Iran.

John-Bob :

I think Bush et al irrationally want to attack Iran. I think it's real probability that it will happen. Especially if Obama wins the election. It's absolutely frightening to think that this is a real possibility. If someone wanted to damage, and ultimately destroy, this country, no one could have done a more efficient job than this current administration.

I don't know if the Israelis will do it on their own. I've read they don't have the refueling capabilities and would have to overfly several countries just to get to Iran. I think they want Bush to do it for them. He, I'm sure, is eager to do it in his intrinsic enthusiastic, non-thinking, reckless manner.

cjh :

We will not invade Iran. It is too big and has too large a military force.

John-Bob :

I think Bush et al irrationally want to attack Iran. I think it's real probability that it will happen. Especially if Obama wins the election. It's absolutely frightening to think that this is a real possibility. If someone wanted to damage, and ultimately destroy, this country, no one could have done a more efficient job than this current administration.

I don't know if the Israelis will do it on their own. I've read they don't have the refueling capabilities and would have to overfly several countries just to get to Iran. I think they want Bush to do it for them. He, I'm sure, is eager to do it in his intrinsic enthusiastic, non-thinking, reckless manner.

A Cynic :

How about this?: Let's try and predict when Mr. Ignatius drops dead. Extra points if you can guess the manner/cause and location.

Good luck! And most of all, have fun!

Sicko.

Chip :

The WP is terribly hateful for making lite of the issue of war.

"What's your prediction? For extra points..."
burn in hell WP.

The WP is just propagandizing to try to make the country comfortable with war with Iran. Exactly as they did with Iraq.

mzbond :

The volatility of Middle Eastern countries is devastating to all Americans. Our presidents have foolishly spent our tax dollars to defend Israel. All political candidates vowed to back Israel at our expense. The political leaders in this country are not listening to American people. The only way to stop this “financial give-a-way, is to give each taxpayer the right to direct where to spend their tax money. Guaranteed – we would have free National health care, low-cost universities/colleges and no WAR in the Middle East.

Bush sh#$t, et al are itching to get into it with Iran.

dick diamond :

I'm shocked! Shocked. As there might be gambling at Ricks in Casablanca, could we have a war with Iran? Shocking to think so. I give it about a 9 and in October. Another October surprise first begun by that "trickster," Tricky Dick Nixon. Remember the Nixonian version of "Peace in Our Time?" His main man is now a consultant with strong ties to the Middle East. Reelected and then we still were at war.

mzbond :

The volatility of Middle Eastern countries is devastating to all Americans. Our presidents have foolishly spent our tax dollars to defend Israel. All political candidates vowed to back Israel at our expense. The political leaders in this country are not listening to American people. The only way to stop this “financial give-a-way, is to give each taxpayer the right to direct where to spend their tax money. Guaranteed – we would have free National health care, low-cost universities/colleges and no WAR in the Middle East.

Bush sh#t, et al are itching to get into it with Iran.

Joseph J Stefula :

AN Isreali air strike of the three main Iranian nuclear sites will take place between Nov 08 and Jan 09. They will use 25 F-15I armed with BLU-122 and 25 F-16I armed with BLU-109. Escorted by 20 F-15C. Underground uranium enrichment facility,
uranium processing, and heavy water facilities will be destroyed.

Angel :

I don't worry about this year. I worry about 2010. I had a bad feeling surrounding the end of August early Sept 2005 for a natural disaster in the U.S. Then Katrina hit LA. Could be cooky coincidence I know, but I still think of 2010 and get an errie feeling of war. However, I've had no feelings surrounding anything else that has been disasterous so who can really trust a feeling.

Any how, I don't think there would be any invasion of Iran. That would be stupid. Of course, according to our vice pres himself in the early 90s, invading Iraq would be stupid but he got into office and did it anyway. The Brain and Pinky.

Still, I worry more about them initiating an attack on us or Israel.

Shaban Malik, Coral Springs, FL, USA :

Iran is not Iraq or even Syria. Iran has existed continuously for the past 5000 years approximately. It is neither an artificial state like Iraq nor is it a small tinpot country that the US can run over. On a scale of 1 to 10, I think the chances of the US attempting suicide by attacking Iran is 1 (the lowest).

It should also not be forgotten that Shiite or Sunni, the Muslim street will support Iran in any venture... The West saw the same when Shiite Hezbollah fought and withstood the onslaught of the Israeli Defence Forces. The Muslim street stood side by side with the Hezbollah.. corrupt (moderate) Arab governments were another story.

eaglestrk :

I give it an 8

Israel will strike on behalf of the U.S.

As with Iraq, Bush has already made up his mind, it doesn't matter if a new front will open a worse can of worms, he doesn't care. After all, did he or somebody from his inner circle care about the long terms consequences of going to war in Iraq?.

Bush and Co. want a never-ending war, so that their carefully crafted plan for a new world order can be applied by force to ensure a perpetual domination. They have tasted blood and they liked it.

When will this war start?, between September and right before the elections to show they are strong on defense but it depends who wins, if McCain does then they can buy more time for the attack, if Obama wins, chances are they may strike asap and leave the mess to him and set him up for failure. At this point republicans feel they have nothing to lose.

Watch out for a new Osama Bin Laden video to cement our state of paranoia.

Keith M. Hill :

On a scale of one to 10, I'd say the chance of an Iran invasion before Jan. 20 by the U.S. is one. What would we invade with --- the F.B.I. Hostage Rescue Team? A police SWAT team? That may have worked for Iraq, but not for Iran.

I think the chance of an invasion by Israel before Jan. 20 is also a one. Olmert needs to deal with his domestic problems first.

dunnage :

What a great country. We all get to bet on whether we bomb Iran or not. Although invade is interesting, had not thought of that. Better yet.

Grace5 :

I'd say the likelihood of US attack (I'd expect an attack rather than an invasion) or an attack by Israel with the understanding that the US will back them up would be at about a 9. And in early to mid-October so it will influence the elections. The Bushies are determined to do it and if they aren't certain that McCain will win the presidency and continue the warmongering, they'll make sure it happens while they can.

Phred :

100%. A few weeks after election day.

oberst :

on a scale of 1 to 10 ( 10 as the most likely ).
I rate the chance as 8.
With the Big Oils on the verge of getting iraqi oil at " colonial " term and the setting up of permanent military bases ( to guard the oil interests ) sort of " iffy " with the future administration, Cheney and co. will launch the ' shock and awe " just to make sure the next president will have to stay in iraq a little bit longer.
It's all about oil.

charlie :

October 19th

Don :

90% chance on or around October 15. Just another way to steal the election. It has nothing to do with arms development or a threat against us just politics and holding on to power.

ChuckB :

My, my, but haven't we become cynical, but rightly so. How many times have we seen the advanced prep work to build a consensus on or enure the populace to an invasion of an "evil" country that threatens our security. Only a fool could have failed to see it coming in regard to Iraq and Viet Nam; the precedents go back to, at least, the Mexican and Spanish-American wars. Indeed, the saber rattling has become loud. Most likely whatever we do won't go beyond smart bombs and bunker busters; hopefully the powers to be can see that a ground invasion of Iran will be much bloodier than those we are now engaged in. Besides, the big return on investment is in the expenditure of munitions, not the insertion of troops. Let's see, Iran has oil and it is a threat to Israel, so I give it an eight, and, if it happens, it would be sometime in September.

terrance :

the u.s. will almost surely NOT attack Iran in any form. iraq re-informed U.S. public opinion in the wake of Vietnam that any significant military adventure, even one they may agree with - like Afghanistan - is a blunt instrument that makes a costly and difficult-to-fix mess in it's aftermath. Even more, it increasingly becomes clear that the changes of military intervention are often effectively reversed in due course.

the deeper truth is that iran possesses a lot of regional power relative to the U.S., despite it's struggling economy (in a time of high oil prices). No American president will convince iran to give up uranium enrichment. even more, we have entered an age where it is becoming ever more difficult to prevent state proliferation of nuclear capability. the best the U.S. can do is to tighten it's own economic sanctions against iran and offer a consistent message of solidarity to the iranian people. russia and china will not support sanctions of sufficient strength to make iran desist, but american and european sanctions will worry the government in iran, despite press reports indicating iran is diversifying it's trading partners. the u.s. should also stop funding covert ops inside iran because they don't represent the views of the iranian people.

James Jenkins :

I would think the odds are better than 90% that BUSH attacks IRAN, unconstitutionally just like IRAQ. And the odds that BUSH is planning a FALSE FLAG ATTACK on America, made to look like it was IRAN is better than 75%.

The odds that BUSH was involved in the 9/11 attack is still better than 50%, based on the White House cover-up and refusal to release papers, the quick shutdown of the FBI's incomplete investigation of 9/11 by BUSH, and the phyically impossible collapse of building 7 (caused by apparently NOTHING), combined with the fact that the Bush family and the Bin Laden family are long time friends.

And let's not forget that the two families that are profitting the most from the resulting WARS are the Bush family and the Bin Laden family via their joint family business called the Carlye Investment Group.

Coincidence? Highly improbable!

IMPEACH BUSH FOR TREASON!

Larry :

No. We will not start a war with Iran. What we will do, however, is implement "Operation Iranian Freedom," starting with a few minor measures such as blowing their gunboats out of the strait of Harmuz, then moving on to "Operation Keep the World Safe", by bombing all of the known nuclear sites, followed by "Operation No More Mr. Bad Guy", taking out all of the Revolutionary guard and President Achmedinijihad.

Bethesda :

I 100% concur with Hank's comments. Let Israel fight it's own battles. Time we put that 3B $ we send them annually toward the vast problems facing America's inner cities and rural areas. Enough is enough.

James B. :

I will give it a 1 for the United states and an 8.5 for Israel.
We (the U.S.) is not in any position to launch a military strike at any Iranian nuclear facility. We stretched to thin as it is with our conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition we are trying to rebuild our tarnished status in the Middle-East and a military strike in Iran would negate any progress the U.S. as made to this point in time. Besides look how we managed to dismantled North Korea's nuclear program using diplomacy and food.

Israel will send in an air strike just like they did to Iraq in the mid-eighties. They can not afford to have Iran as a nuclear power in their region.

S D Rodrian :

100% of an attack on Iran.
5% of an invasion (if we're
smart--a problematic thing).

SDR

Cam Modecki :

Lets all hope and pray that we do not take any action against Iran.

If anyone saw the Annenberg Center "interview" with ten Pennsylvania voters which has been airing on C-Span, you may have been amazed at the level of ignorance and how misinformed many are.Thus it is incumbent on those who read and seek to understand, that we do all we can to stop this Neo-Con nonsense.

Skippy :

Odds of U.S. foot soldier invasion: 0%
Odds of U.S. air or naval action: 0%
Odds of the conservative political and economic agendas that are bankrupting this country being renewed for 4 more years in November; 0%
Odds that a God actually exists: 0%
Odds that the very desperate GOP tells the truth once in the next 4 months: 0%
Odds that McCain has major health issues and that there is an ongoing coverup of this fact: 50%.

Odds that the GOP will use very effort to distract the citizens from the truth: 100%

Odds that I'm accurate: 50%.

Nelson :

It would not surprise me that F*ck-Up One intends to invade Iran. Nothing that this idiot has done makes any sense. There were no WMDs, and already it has been found that Iran is NOT engaged in a nuclear program to produce weapons.
But, as usual, Idiot One doesn't get it. Unless he is stop in earnest, F*ck-up One will go ahead with his invasion. The question is, where would he get the soldiers?

shhhhh :

preparations before 11/5 - 10

if McCain wins - 0
if Obama wins - 3.14159265

HillRat :

The question of Hersh's authorized leak on this is: "who wins"?

Hersh doesn't fabricate stuff like this, but rather is provided highly classified information in which authorization to leak is given for some reason to someone of his stature (i.e., people pay attention to him, whether they like him or not).

I give the chance of an Israeli attack before the November election at about 80 percent; the Bush Administration will not do so directly, but rely instead on its surrogate in the region.

This will leave the next Administration yet another international problem to inherit from the Bush Administation.

Chip D :

US Invade 1.0
Israeli Airstrike 6.0
US Airstrike 3.0

The military is not stupid, they know they do not have the resources (Army / Marines) to launch a campaign and a Navy / AF strike has limited utility. I suspect, we will look the other way should Israel launch a strike like they did in Libya. Leave the issue between Israel and Iran since they have the most to lose.

Right Wingers Smear Sy Hersh :

Even Chimpy smeared Hersh, calling him a "liar". Chimpy said that to one of his Saudi boyfriends, right before they kissed and held hands.

Sy Hersh is a journalist. A damn good one.

He interviews people and reports what they said.

If those people turned out to be wrong, it is not Hersh's fault. He only reported what they said.

Repukes KNOW Hersh has a good track record and they cannot dispute facts, so they smear him.

Hank :

Pick the date for extra points? This isn't a GD game show. You're talking about attacking a sovereign nation that has done us no harm, and poses us no threat. We get nothing from our alliance with Israel, except billions of dollars poorer, and hated by millions. Protecting them is not worth even one american son or daughter. They chose to establish a home in the middle of millions that hate them and want them dead, so let them deal with it. If the US attacks Iran, and we the people continue to sit with our collective thumbe up our collective butts, then we deserve the disaster that will come our way.

Ethan C :

The massive domestic political backlash from an invasion of Iran would permanently doom McCain's candidacy, and probably hand the Dems a Senate super-majority. After the last election W said "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style." That it certainly is. And now? Mortgaged and written off. Any Harvard MBA who ever made it to class could tell you that you don't spend capital, you invest it, but they've done a heckuva job liquidating it. I'd say 1 in 10 for an actual invasion, but 8 in 10 the man behind the curtain will keep booming about it until just about Halloween.

pgr88 :

Seymour Hersch is an idiot.

He is the master of non-stop, ridiculous, conspiracy-theories and inside jobs, that somehow only he is privy too. None of which turn out to be true. Go back and do some research on this guy.

WaPo is become like the National Enquirer.

Observer :

If the U.S. attacks Iran, there's at least a fair chance that Iran would retaliate by sending 400,000 of their troops across the border into Iraq to take on our 150,000.

That thought might be enough to make even Cheney hesitate.

Norrie Hoyt :

Israeli attack: 5.5

U.S. attack: 3.0

J.E. :

This war has always been and will always be about delivering human souls to hell. Everything you do to another soul you are doing to self because we are all connected to the One Mind (God) that controls the One Thing (matter). How many people realize that there was a nuclear war on earth 30 thousand years ago....and yes you were there...The Matrix.

J.E. :

This war has always been and will always be about delivering human souls to hell. Everything you do to another soul you are doing to self because we are all connected to the One Mind (God) that controls the One Thing (matter). How many people realize that there was a nuclear was on earth 30 thousand years ago....and yes you were there...The Matrix.

Robert in Denver :

The Bush administration had better not attack. It appears from out here on the Western Plains that there is no trust, confidence, or even respect left for further presidential foreign or defense policy initiatives. The career bureaucrats are in rebellion and there is no operational security. Dissidents at State, Defense, or CIA would immediately leak the details of such attack plans, and utterly compromise their execution. Bush is not a lame duck he is a dead duck.

T. Grillo :

If it's going to happen, I predict it will be before the election.

J.E. :

This war has always been and will always be about delivering human souls to hell. Everything you do to another soul you are doing to self because we are all connected to the One Mind (God) that controls the One Thing (matter). How many people realize that there was a nuclear was on earth 30 thousand years ago....and yes you were there...The Matrix.

roboturkey :

oh...and the date of the main airstrike as announced by grim presidential bulletin from the oval office: September 18

Govindh :

Chances are very high that the US will be involved in some kind of military action with Iran before Jan 20th. If Israel does not oblige and start some action which the US will definitely support then October 4th will be D-day.

roboturkey :

I say an "10" that our client attack dog Israel conducts air strikes against nuclear facilities in Iran.

An "8" that US aircraft participate in that strike and that our Navy provides logistic support and communication/oversite support. A post-operation "no-fly zone" will be patrolled by US aircraft.

A "1" that we send any regular army units into Iran.

and...a "4" that the strikes present a pretext for postponing elections in the USA.

Brendan :

Chances are 6 our of 10 that Israel strikes Iran on our behalf. One indication is the ramped up diplomacy Israel is conducting with forces in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Whether their diplomacy is effective is inconsequential, its real purpose is to clog up the diplomatic capacity of Israel's potential adversaries and prevent them from talking to Iran right now. That way Iran can't be planning with Hezbollah and Hamas counter measures to a possible attack, resulting in a delayed and uncoordinated Iranian response. It's classic diplomacy: talk to your potential enemies so they don't have time to talk to your primary enemy.

If Israel all of a sudden draws back from this diplomacy and goes quiet, their attack is coming within 2 weeks.

New York :

Despite appearances, Achmedinijad's power in Iran is limited to some degree. For all his saber rattling, I don't think any decision regarding military action would be up to him.

If we were to invade Iran without a declaration of war by Congress (no, the Patriot Act isn't it), it would be a blatant violation of the Constitution. Of course, the Constitution has been virtually ignored over the last 7 years. I don't know what practial steps Congress could take once Cheney's already invaded.

If we had a President who was at all subject to the law, I would say chances are zero.

Frank :

Hersch is a secret member of the Knesset! Bwahahaha! j/k

But really, he seems to be adept at 'stirring the bovine-like American nationalist pot' like a lot of other Israelis try to do these days.

He's probably already made thousands from his inventive little article just from the clicks on his blog site.

Personally I don't believe we will have a war with Iran anytime soon.

Complain as we will, democracy is still working fairly well in the USA.

Now, if the majority of US citizens were right-wing gun-toting, bible-thumping "My home is a fortress" fearful cowards, then Cheney & Bush would have already attacked Tehran with the population's blessings.

Fortunately, the ape-brain is slowly being forced from the gene pool, so we can still hope with confidence in a saner world in the 21st century.

Anyway, I thank God that all the people in the US with IQs over 80 are democrats.

Klep :

I hope nothing happens. I'm afraid Israel may bomb the Iranian nuclear installations before our November election. Iran would counter by attacking Israel through Hezbollah, plus bombing Israeli and American interests throughout the world and disrupting oil deliveries through the straight of Hormuz. This would inevitably get the US involved. My first reaction is that this could benefit Sen. McCain in the elections (a strong ally of conservative Israelis (likudniks)), although it could also backfire and benefit Sen. Obama (who is more in line with labor Israelis).

Larrywp :

Are you kidding, MikeB? The war immediately spreads to Syria and Lebanon? First of all, Lebanon is in a constant state of war, so how could we tell? Second, the Middle East is historically peopled by cowards who will cut their own mothers throat in order save themselves. And you think Syria would jump to the defense of Iran?? Iran will try to fight back, but they would be completely out-gunned. As long as Israel and/or the U.S. uses their complete arsenal (to include tactical nukes and, more importantly, the Neutron Bomb) Iran will be helpless in a matter of days.

I think the odds are long that there will be an invasion, but if it comes, it will happen between the election and the inauguration of the new President.

Tony V :

I believe the US/Israeli coalition will attack Iran; most likely the Israelis with US backup. Most people tackle this problem with the assumption that Israel and the US take a defensive posture (or comically belligerent) when it comes to the Middle East. I don't think so.

A country that pulls off the Six Day War, has a nuclear arsenal before countries three times its size and who has one of the most sophisticated intelligence agencies in the world does not operate that way.

REMAKING the Middle East to protect and benefit US / Israeli interests has always been a priority of both countries. 9/11 and Saddam Hussein has given both countries a perfect window to do so. (And I believe rightfully so) There is now a functioning Democracy on Iran's border, with US troops, bases and warships "righteously" in the region. Iran's nuclear sabre-rattling plays right into the coalitions hands the way Saddam (the buffoon) did.

Israel will attack Iran, you mark my words. And after about a dozen years the middle east will be completely transformed; completely favorable to the US and Israel.

California :

If I could assign a zero to the likelihood of a military attack, I would do so. It won't happen. The U.S. government has its hands full fighting on two fronts now (Iraq and Afghanistan). Furthermore, an attack on Iran would ensure a Democratic victory in the Presidential election in November. There will be no military attack on Iran before the next President takes office.

Zappo :

It all depends on the unpredictable actions of the little Hitler in Iran AchMADinaJihad.

This demented moron on a collision course with Hades, could lash out in a violent assault at Israel at his whim.

Since he appears ciminally insane, I would give it a 50-50, that he would do something very unwise to get himself a one way ticket.

Philthy :

You Yanks might better consider a precision air strike on...the West Wing. After all the US military "tell-all" articles and books blaming the Bush administration for their current woes, chances would appear greater for that target. Anywho...how low is American self-esteem these days that they have to "hate" a guy only about 5 feet tall? Talk about penis size issues...

fedssocr :

My guess is that chances are about 3 out of 10. Unless Cheney can figure out a way to provoke the Iranians into doing something dumb for which he can retaliate.

Even though Bush's approval rating is near historic lows he would be forever remembered as the president who totally destroyed the world's economy instead of merely the one who severely crippled it. Attacking Iran will send oil prices soaring. While that may be good for Uncle Dick and his friends at Halliburton, it will send the world economy into a depression.

Plus I don't believe there is any stomach in the military other than a few crazy Bush loyalists and end of the world fundamentalist Christians to engage in yet another war when we cannot afford the wars we have now with respect to money, materiel and men (and women). The rank and file commanders would not go along willingly with this. However, if we do attack I suspect it will just be to drop some bombs, not engage in a ground war of any sort.

Tomfrom NJ1 :

I think this and many other decisions about the war will depend on who wins in November. I believe that GWB and friends are waiting to see how the election is going as we get close to November. They will likely make a move to ensure that McCain's strengths come to the front. Then after the election, if it is McCain, they will clean up as much as possible to give him a clean slate. But if Obama is to be president, they will make decisions in such a way that he has months of work to uncomplicate what could be a 3 front war if they want it to be -- possible forcing the Democrats to do something unpopular (e.g. reinstitute the draft) which the GOP can exploit in coming elections. For anyone who thinks I am being too cynical or paranoid, I can only offer the comment "wait and see."

MT grassland :

After elcction day for sure if McCain wins.

Roy :

The date is January 20,2009

Sara B. :

This sort of reckless speculation game is as distasteful as the countdown to the invasion of Iraq. This is war --death and destruction -- we are talking about, not some stupid sporting event. Do you people have any morals, any shame? How do you think such cavalier attitudes play in the Middle East where people, innocent people, including women and children are too often on the receiving end of this war game mentality.

MT grassland :

After elcction day for sure if McCain wins.

C. Huffman :

No chance at all. The only people beating this drum are the Israelis, but, if they are dumb enough to attack Iran, they will do so at their own risk and without US backing or support. We should make it clear to all nations in the Middle East that we will have nothing to do with any attack on Iran. They can draw their own conclusions.

Frankly, I don't care for the ayatollahs who run Iran or for Achmedinijad, but we need to try to deal with the people there. Maybe we can find a way to help them rid themselves of their current leaders without a war.

stearm :

I don't see any chance... Iran has a second-strike deterrence capability, hitting the US soldiers in Iraq. I'm not sure they are gonna relataliate, but, in case they don't, they will show to the international community that the attacks were totally unjustified and Iran is less a problem to international security than foundamentalists in the US and in Israel. Something a lot of people in the world actually suspect.


Horace Hornblower :

A perfect 10, nevermind whatever those eastern bloc judges say. Surging oil prices will just pin the blame on Arabs, so a 4th of July bombing run would be like a big gold medal on the wide lapel of a Full Metal Jacket.

daniel :

The only chance I see for an attack on Iran is a covert one such as occurred on the Syrian reactor by Israel. The more covert and exact--precise--an attack can be made on Iran's nuclear facilities the more likely an attack will occur. All depends on the covert operations to scout out Iranian locations. No doubt if the Hersh report is correct precision is being aimed for--and therefore an attack is being aimed for. All depends on hide and seek.

mohammad allam :

In my opinion there is less chance of full scale military invasion on Iran.And reason is that in case of invasion of iran the large scale and long time planning of Western world will be ended.They have the plan to make Iran stronger and stronger in that reason and then let the fight between shia and sunni whcih would be started from iraq and then in case of complete destruction of force led the Israeli and Western army to march triumphly in the middle east.The dream of Greater Israel will achieved and the complete controll on Middle west will be under western power.
In second reason the plan of suresh theory is to weaken the security power of Iran and creat internal problem inside of Iran.Other hand with the healp of UNO nuclear watch dog led confirm that Iran has Nuclear weapon or not.They can confirm it from Qadeer khan of pakistan but qadeer have complete confidence.So American led party in dilemma whether iran have nuclear weapon or not.Once this dilemma will clear america and israel will not delay a single day.Vcause in case of nuclear power of Iran both Israel and 150000 armed forces of America are under direct threat.American will loos money but not the lives of the Armed forces.And the silent of iran secret nuslear weapon keeping Iran safe.Once this will confirm that iran is without nuclear the same fate of Iraq will ve started in Iraq what the UNO did in Iraq and later toppled the saddma regime.
third reason is the oil supply.once there is attack on iran the whole middle east will be on fire.Shia people will rise againts the gover,ment.saudia.Qatar,Iraq,Lebnan,Syria and so on will be on fire.Who will hepl to calm down the might of these reason.And the ultimate los will be in rising cost of Barrel.The presemnt scenerio of rsisnf oil price and an inflation trend will be worse for the Western economy.Is western economy ready to meet these loose?I think west will crumble under the slowness of economy.
The another reason will be REd REvolution in American continent.the venezual shawvez bold step started a new awakening among the poor and less develop countries of that reason and may be in cause of economic decline there staretd a red march in those reason which American and euroean led capitalist class will never want to see.
Another reason is that what will be an understanding between west and iran on the Iraq and Afghanistan.As the people of world knows that without Iran help the west couldnot topple the Taliban in afghanistan with the help of Northern alliance nor the could topple the Saddam regime.Its matter of complex that one hand Iran and west on showing eye to each other and otherhand both trying to give more and more help to weatren led NURULMALIKI goverment in Iraq. Why?
Another cause of not attack is the Turkey and Egypt pressure.vacuse in case of wopeout of Iran there will be only three powers in those reason.Saudia will go disturbecnce due to Iranian responce while Turkey and egypt will be twop more power which cannot go against the west in long run .And both the egypt and Turkey will not want this situation.
About the role of pakistan,there is also much concern in people that Iran is support of pakistan and in case of Iran attack, pakistan will alone to face the might of NATO led American forces.Here American also playing exellent game of enemy friendship.American knows that the great assest of pakistan is pakistan army and the well trained gurilla fighter of Afghnaistan regime.or we can say that the staretegic assest of pakistan.Here american forcing to collid the two and destroy each other in the name of terrosim.The aim of American led Nato is to destroy this startegic assest of pakistan before invading pakistan to denuclearise the pakistan.Thats why American establsihment every time craet problem when any pakistani goverment trying to have peace with these group on the basis of solution of the problems.America wants to finish this job within time table from the pakistani army.
So keeping all these we cannot say that time of Iranian adventure is in sight.On scale of mine it is 2 .And what semuel is saying that is a rumour to subdue the iranian and weaken the region within inside.

suresh nambiar :

All the Leaders are cowards and they cannot face problmes, If it is Americans or Indians or Chinese? When they are facing trouble inside their house they will attack their neighbour, so that the family will unite to prevent destruction. This has happened in many times in America. Similarly in Pakistan too. Whenever they have problems grown to beyond their control, immediately they attack India.

It is hightime India to act like America, and forsee the future threats and cut the hands of pakistan extremisim, rather than this cat and rat play India has to retaliate once with its might that pakistan will never come back, as what happened in Iraq, and that is what will happen in Iran too.

Ultimately the poor "COMMON MAN" suffers and he who doen't have any voice, and just to make them alive the politicans will use the magic blood called "religion", whenever you hear this word everybody is up?

Rather than being a believer in God and killer of my nieghbour, I prefer to be an aetheist where we live peacefully.

berry, ecuador :

Back in 2004, Seymour Hersh reported that Israel was training Kurd militias -PKK- with the purpose of using them to attack Iran. What happened? Instead of attaking Iran, the PKK spent the last four years attacking Turkey. Until a few months ago, when Turkey bombed some PKK positions. End of the story.

Now Seymour Hersh reports on a new plan to attack Iran!!!

And PostGlobal becomes a casino where we can bet on the idea of bombing Iran. With extra points if...

What a wonderful way to promote "a conversation on global issues".

suresh nambiar :

All the Leaders are cowards and they cannot face problmes, If it is Americans or Indians or Chinese? When they are facing trouble inside their house they will attack their neighbour, so that the family will unite to prevent destruction. This has happened in many times in America. Similarly in Pakistan too. Whenever they have problems grown to beyond their control, immediately they attack India.

It is hightime India to act like America, and forsee the future threats and cut the hands of pakistan extremisim, rather than this cat and rat play India has to retaliate once with its might that pakistan will never come back, as what happened in Iraq, and that is what will happen in Iran too.

Ultimately the poor "COMMON MAN" suffers and he who doen't have any voice, and just to make them alive the politicans will use the magic blood called "religion", whenever you hear this word everybody is up?

Rather than being a believer in God and killer of my nieghbour, I prefer to be an aetheist where we live peacefully.

suresh nambiar :

All the Leaders are cowards and they cannot face problmes, If it is Americans or Indians or Chinese? When they are facing trouble inside their house they will attack their neighbour, so that the family will unite to prevent destruction. This has happened in many times in America. Similarly in Pakistan too. Whenever they have problems grown to beyond their control, immediately they attack India.

It is hightime India to act like America, and forsee the future threats and cut the hands of pakistan extremisim, rather than this cat and rat play India has to retaliate once with its might that pakistan will never come back, as what happened in Iraq, and that is what will happen in Iran too.

Ultimately the poor "COMMON MAN" suffers and he who doen't have any voice, and just to make them alive the politicans will use the magic blood called "religion", whenever you hear this word everybody is up?

Rather than being a believer in God and killer of my nieghbour, I prefer to be an aetheist where we live peacefully.

Citizen of the post-American world :

"Seymour Hersh reports a $400 million U.S. covert action program against Iran. On a scale of 1 to 10, what's the likelihood of an American or Israeli military attack on Iran before Jan. 20 (Inauguration Day), and why? For extra points, name the date."

1. LIKELIHOOD is 9.99995...

2. WHY? To avenge the U.S. hostage taking by Iran (52 U.S. diplomats were held hostage for 444 days, after the Shah had no option but to bow out!)...

3. DATE: approximately two months to the day, before the presidential election.

Wait! Wait!!

1. Means the presidential election will be held on the issue of HOMELAND SECURITY, so as to favour McCain.

2. May imply, in case of national crisis, that presidential elections will be postponed, and that George W. (together with the Republicans) will hold on to the presidency.

3. In all likelihood: Obama will be assassinated and the US will end up with a new Republican president... or (no great difference) with a female Clinton -- lick my ...k -- as president.

What a great future, for the current hegemon!

Epidemic of laughter, in China, in the Middle East, and in Osama's entourage!!!

MikeB :

Make it clear to Bush-Cheney and Israel that we, the world, will not tolerate further unilateral military actions. If Israel attacks Iran, they do so on their own and will loose all military support in this country, including resupply. I want it noted that, while we have lost thousands of soldiers, OUR CHILDREN (including one of my sons), to that diaster in Iraq, it would pale in comparison to what would happen if we or Israel attacked Iran. You could count on hundreds of thousands of U.S. deaths as that war spread to Syria and Lebanon almost immediately. Within 60 days, the entire Middle East would blow up in our faces. Oil supplies would be cut off. Attacks would directed at oil tankers and supply lines. Oil supplies and cost would sky rocket, plunging us (and hr entire West) into a deep DEPRESSION. China and Russia and India have made it very that they would show their disapproval for any attack on Iran in some pretty nasty ways. China and Russia have kept their options for military strikes against US forces open, so it could mean a global war. India has made it clear they would resupply Iran, even using US technology that we have outsourced to them in that effort.

Now, globalization WILL end the US reign as a super power within the next few years anyways, but a strike against Iran would end it almost immediately. This nightmare, this kind of insane cowboy diplomacy, is the hallmark of Bush and McCain and Cheney. It is why John McCain must be defeated. Not only is he, as is Bush and Cheney, an inexperienced military "leader", they are dangerously incompetent, not thinking of the consequences of their actions still!

Sylco :

I think the U.S. and Israel only goal in the region is to dominate, the nuclear row is just a pretext. U.S. want's to control where the oil flow and the Israel want to remain the only supper power in that region.

Its a fact that Iran is not after the bomb.

http://www.payvand.com/news/05/nov/1211.html

Anonymous :

Its sad that people in the world are not realizing that the fundamentalist in America aka Conservatives especially the hardcore bible thumpers are creating condition to fulfill their book of Prophecies

Everything that has happend since Bush administration came to power is based on that and without engaging Iran how will that come true?

I wonder if Jesus really gives a rats ass about returning to earth. If I was him, I wont

Altaf Ahmed, Chennai :

I am really worried that no one in the region is aware that the Zionist regime's plot or modus operandi against Arab states. Israel wants to play on the safer side and it is really disgusting to see Americans are working for this Zionist's.

In my opinion, the Americans have to leave Iraq ASAP and if they indulge in Iran, they will really suffer a lot in terms of money, lives, and the Zionist will just only watch.

winston :

It's another fiction by Hersch without any evidence to back his fantasies up. I think he got to take his meds before writing.

Altaf Ahmed, Chennai :

I am really worried that no one in the region is aware that the Zionist regime's plot or modus operandi against Arab states. Israel wants to play on the safer side and it is really disgusting to see Americans are working for this Zionist's.

In my opinion, the Americans have to leave Iraq ASAP and if they indulge in Iran, they will really suffer a lot in terms of money, lives, and the Zionist will just only watch.

BobL-VA :

First, while I firmly believe this administration would like nothing better then to invade Iran they don't have the troops to do it.

Second, given how badly this administration screwed up the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan there is no reason to assume they wouldn't screw up Iran as well.

Third, the world is agruably a more dangerous place today then when this administration took over. Invading Iran and killing a bunch of Iranians will do nothing to make it safer. Quite the contrary, it will only make it more dangerous.

Fourth, Bush didn't mind using fuzzy intelligence to invade Iraq and now he wants to just dismiss all current intelligence on Iran's nuclear capabilities to invade Iran? Think about it. Iraq was based on falsehoods that suited this administrations agenda. Now we're supposed to believe that intelligence doesn't matter as Bush knows better then the intelligence sources the state of Iran's nuclear program? Well if the moron knew that much why didn't he get it right in Iraq? Boogles the mind.

Fifth, if Israel has a problem with Iran that is between Iran and Israel. Israel is already sitting on a nuclear arsenal so I'm not quite sure what the motivation is, but I can assure it is not based on reason.

Finally, shame on you Democrats. Shame, shame, shame. 400 million for covert operations in Iran according to Hirsch. I thought the idea was to get out and not escalate the situation. This on the heals of voting to retroactively let the telecom companies off the hook for warrantless domestic spying. As each day goes by the Democrats are acting just as ignorantly as the Republicans.

Steve Kammerer :

How come Russia and the US could live for over 60 years, each with the bomb, knowing they could obliterate the other and Israel can't?

Iran has not attacked a foreign country and knows it would be suicide to use nukes on Israel. Sounds like Israel likes the idea to scare its neighbors with her own atom bombs rather thatn seek peace.

20 Arab countries will recognize Israel and sign peace treaties if Israel goes back to 1967 borders.

Israel seems to want to expand and keep pushing people out while American boys die for this craziness.

rann :

The United States will not invade Iran. The United States may play a part in some kind of offensive to thwart Iran's nuclear capabilities but I think if that is going to happen it will have to be with the thumbs up from other Allied Nations...

The fact that the US is spending 400 million in covert actvities in Iran is, most likely, money wasted. I think Iran and the World is stuck with the Mullahs for quite some time.

I do think the US, along with Europe and Israel will do what they can to thwart Iran's nuclear activities...I do not see them allowing a Regime such as their's that constantly plays the devastation card, in World affairs, to get to a place where all hope is lost to them. Iran acts like the "crazy" guy who moves into your neighborhood and is constantly threating to blow it up...really, who can take that kind of sheet for long....no one.

D. Hodara :

In the world in which we live, all is possible including the most stupid actions.
We are already observing the very costly consequences of years of bad management and blind greed in the financial world, and realize that, today, NOBODY any idea where we are heading.
Concerning the attack on Iran, although they may deserve it, in the present world political situation it would open the Pandora box with consequences and dangers completely unknown to the political world.
The present US administration has already taken a lot of decisions which have proved to be wrong and costly, and we should hope that some wise decisions will emerge to avoid new mistakes.

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.