Saif Shahin
September 16, 2010

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It is difficult to avoid bumping into Jeffrey Goldberg these days. The Atlantic commentator’s prediction that there is a good chance Israel will strike Iran by next July to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program has got everyone talking, and writing, and then talking some more.

This discussion has been going on for years now. The right-wingers say it’s about time for a preemptive strike, that Iran simply cannot be allowed to have a weapon, and it would be all the better if Israel — and the United States — were willing to carry out a nuclear invasion. The left lists a series of objections to an attack on Iran either by Israel or the United States — among them the lack of evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons, that it has a right to enrich uranium under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, that talks must be the only resort, and so on.

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Then there are the cold analysts, who look at facts exactly as they are and pronounce their verdict. To some of them, Goldberg’s article is a psychological operation (psyop) to pressure the United States into carrying out the strike before Israel loses its patience. To others of their ilk, such talk is a psyop to pressure Iran to toe the Western line and call off its nuclear program or else.

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