Home / Robert Farley / THE DEADLINE PASSES



Who could have known that Michael Oren wasn’t an entirely reliable source regarding Israel’s military plans?  After all, he totally predicted that Israel would strike Iran within eighteen months of January 2007.  That must mean that he’s really, really well connected. The only other explanation is that members of the Israeli strategic class are quite comfortable lying to American journalists about Israeli interests.  But really, that’s just too crazy to be believed.

In related news, Jeffrey Goldberg is now arguing that publicly noting that attacking Iran is a bad idea undermines Israeli deterrence and makes Israel more likely to attack Iran.  Clever.  I’m curious, however, how seriously Goldberg took this argument when he was writing the original article.  For example, would subjecting the self-interested claims of Israeli policymakers to a trifle more scrutiny have accidentally revealed Israel’s reluctance to strike, and therefore damaged Israeli security?  Would depicting the Israeli strategic class as divided on the wisdom of strikes against Iran have undermined Israel’s “deterrent credibility?” In other words, given Jeffrey Goldberg’s deep concern about the wisdom of pointing out the abject stupidity of attacking Iran, I have to wonder how credible he is as a reporter on Israeli strategic thought.

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  • I’ve concluded that all of the talk about bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb-bombing Iran was an elaborate plot to make them waste a bunch of time and money hollowing out mountains.

    Fiendishly clever.

  • rea

    The deadline passes? According to this Oren guy, it passed two years ago.

    • Hogan

      Ah, but now it’s been so long that Iran will let its guard down, and then BAM.

      Oops–I’ve said too much.

  • wengler

    There is good evidence that Cheney was pushing very hard for a strike on Iran before he left office. That doctored naval “speedboat” video wasn’t an accident. I assume in the coming years we will find out who was instrumental in stopping him. Most are giving credit to Condi Rice right now.

    Also Obama publicly calling out Netanyahu also wasn’t an accident. Likud has a direct line to the neocons in Washington and it appeared they were coordinating attacks on Obama to push virulently pro-Israel Democrats into splitting with the President. It was refreshing to see it didn’t exactly happen the way Netanyahu wanted it to. All of these factors including the apparent setback in the Iranian enrichment program likely put the strike on hold.

    • witless chum

      Egad. Even the worst administration could have been worse. Imagine Cheney actually in the big chair.

  • Ralph Hitchens

    Oren’s a better historian than seer. His book on the Six Day War was very good — at least until his concluding chapter, in which he stated “Even from the perspective of thirty-five years, the answer to the question “Did six days of war truly change the Middle East?” remains equivocal.” Huh??? Occupation of the West Bank, opening the door to the settlement movement? Yes, I’d say the Six Day War definitely changed the Middle East.

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