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THE DEADLINE PASSES

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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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