- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If I had a buck for every time Washington Times Editor-at-Large Arnaud de Borchgrave prophesied America or Israel or both launching an air war against Tehran’s nuclear facilities (“Hawks on the warpath,” Opinion, Tuesday) I would be a wealthy man. It seems whenever Mr. de Borchgrave is out of ideas for his column, he writes that the neoconservative conspiracy is really, truly going to pull the trigger on Iran soon.

Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes suggested, perhaps ironically, the bombs-away option as a political crowd-pleaser for Mr. Obama. That was enough for the usual suspects to fire up the punditocracy cannons aimed at the eternal mirage of a neoconservative stronghold just itching to level Atlantis, metaphorically speaking.

Unfortunately, as even Mr. de Borchgrave concedes, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has downplayed the seriousness of the Iranian threat. U.S. National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones has said the United States and Israel are working closely on a “responsible” Iran containment strategy.

If American and Israeli officials aver only diplomatic intentions against Iran, and those intentions are well-known to those soothsayers predicting American-Israeli attacks on Iran, what is the justification for the soothsaying in the first place?

PAUL FREEDMAN

Falls Church, Va.

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