(UPDATE: Regarding the content of this post, a respected sociologist tells me:
In social interaction we call these "domain assumptions." The taken for granted frames of reference that are the bedrock of all communication. In the discussion of Iranian nuclear option the taken for granted assumptions are that the US nuclear conduct, Western nuclear arsenals, and of course, Israel is never questioned. The question is "what to do about" Iran or North Korea etc.
I have been having an online disucssion with Laura Rozen of Mother Jones about a MoJo blog forum consisting of several experts who she asked to opine about whether Israel/Bush will bomb Iran. At least one of the experts is a personal friend, but my point was that creating an atmosphere of hype, fear and uncertainty about the issue is a deliberate ploy by Bush/Israel, and when the pundits get together an collectively speculate on it, they're unconsciously buying into and promoting that policy.
They're also allowing themselves to be distracted from asking other, more important questions: Instead of asking whether or when Israel will bomb Iran, they should be asking why should Israel bomb Iran in the first place. By skipping right over the why question, they'e making it seem as if it is a given fact and foregone conclusion that it is OK for any bombing to happen at all. In short they end up actually promoting the Bush admin policy by participating and contributing to these sorts of limited debates, albeit unintentionally.
This is precisely the sort of ceaseless speculation by pundits that led to people into believing that Saddam was responsible for 9/11. Instead of buying into this, we need the experts to fundamentally question the agenda and frame set for them.
I view this sort of endless speculation by the punditry, who think that they're acting independent of the government adminitration but who are contributing to the government's agenda, as a form of political junkfood. It appears to have substance, but actually has empty calories and will make you fat and lazy. The experts are allowing themselves to be fitted into a frame shaped by the administration, and by not asking the sort of questions that fall outside of that framing, they're helping promote the administration's framing of the issues.