Jeffrey Goldberg often sounds like he’s agitating for war on Iran, but even for impartial observers, there is as he notes, plenty of evidence that the war has already begun.
Following a (perhaps not-so-mysterious) explosion on a military base last month that took with it the life of Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam — one of the Iranian missile program’s most distinguished OGs — comes news of a second explosion in Isfahan this past Monday, which according to sources “struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.”
Of course, accurate news out of Tehran is hard to come by, but if you want to take this a step further, one might consider Tuesday’s (perhaps not-so-spontaneous) storming of the British embassy by Iranian “students” to be quite an effective smokescreen in keeping news of this second explosion from making serious waves. If you’ve had a lot of coffee, it’s also worthy to note that on Monday evening, following the explosion in Iran, four missiles fired from southern Lebanon struck Israel–the first such incident in over two years.
I’m not entirely convinced, but it’s not unreasonable to group these recent explosions with the Stuxnet virus of last summer that haywired an uranium enrichment facility in Natanz; last October’s explosion at a Shahab missile factory; the killing of three Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years, last November’s attempted assassination of Fereydoun Abbasi-Davan — a senior official in the nuclear program — and rumblings of a second supervirus deployed this month as proof that the West’s war on Iran’s nuclear program is getting less covert by the minute.
Greg Scoblete spells out why Washington has not and will not seek public support for this war.
If President Obama told the public that America was working with Israel to murder Iranian scientists and blow up Iranian buildings and sabotage Iranian infrastructure and that the Iranians might seek to retaliate in kind, it would implicitly cast Iranian motives as rational.
As we saw in the run up to the Iraq war, one of the key arguments advanced against Saddam Hussein is that he would do something irrational (hand over WMD to al-Qaeda) and hence couldn’t be trusted. Iranian irrationality and religious fanaticism is also a critical component in the case for taking military action against their nuclear program. A key to sustaining the aura of irrationality is to strip out any of the strategic context of Iranian actions.
This is how the Soviet Union handled political dissent: portray your political enemies as insane. Then you can refuse to listen to whatever they say and justify whatever sanction is deemed necessary for their restraint.