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Feiler Faster

A sudden surge in talk about bombing Iran in coming weeks. My email box got a few hits this weekend from friends pointing to articles about the idea that the U.S. might bomb Iran in coming weeks. The talk seems to be of a preemptive wave of airstrikes. This corresponds to fears expressed by a highly connected friend of mine. I had lunch with hima few weeks ago and he discussed talk he was picking up in Washington that Bush, already low in the polls, might just launch an attack and take the hit (though it would probably help him with his base) and deal with the problem. I’m still not persuaded that this will happen, but I am persuaded it’s an awful idea. The longterm demographic trends are in our favor, and I fear that an attack would sour our reputation even further in a country where the majority of young people are clamoring for contacts with the West — quite different from the Arab world.
Here’s the Times of London:

THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.
One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration. Bush was “sending a message to a number of audiences”, he said – to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment.

Here’s a thread of articles about the War from the left, where they’re looking at a rollout of ideas about war coming this September. And here’s a link to my fellow Beliefnet blogger Rod Dreher, with an article from Australia.

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