Just a couple of hours after I wrote this, Salon.com published a puff piece on Kenneth Pollack which characterizes him as a "chastened liberal hawk" who worries about a war with Iran...not because the prospect of people dying bothers him much but because he's concerned that a war would be fought "half-assed," and nevermind that just a few months ago he was demanding that the Obama administration "double down" on the same policies of sanctions and coersion that have brought us to where we are. And yet he still manages to falsely accuse the Iranian side of refusing to negotiate on the nuclear program when in fact it has been the US side -- following policies he recommended -- which has been issuing ultimatums on Iran to give up her rights or face bombings. But what's really stomach-churning is how he tries to shift the blame onto Saddam for the mass suffering caused by US sanctions on Iraq -- sanctions that he helped put into place and which caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, leading several UN officials to resign in protest. This guy is a sociopath who should be on trial as a goddamn war criminal guilty of genocide instead of getting free passes in puff pieces about how he's been "chastened", and Salon should be absolutely ashamed of itself.
I've often written how in the aftermath of the "WMDs in Iraq" fiasco, not a single one of the talking heads who so cravenly promoted the lie to justify the invasion of Iraq was ever held to account. I suppose that's why Leslie Gelb of the Council of Foreign Relations feels free to now admit that he supported the Iraq war due to personal career concerns:
My initial support for the war [in Iraq] was symptomatic of unfortunate tendencies within the foreign policy community, namely the disposition and incentives to support wars to retain political and professional credibility. We 'experts' have a lot to fix about ourselves, even as we 'perfect' the media. We must redouble our commitment to independent thought, and embrace, rather than cast aside, opinions and facts that blow the common—often wrong—wisdom apart. Our democracy requires nothing less.
And yet these same sorts of "experts" insist on portraying Iran policy as a false choice between bombing/sanctioning Iran or Iran "going nuclear" (ignoring the substantial and significant diffrence between "nuclear capability" and nuclear weapons) as well as the host of intermediate options that would not necessarily involve Iran getting the bomb or getting bombed -- for example by recognizing Iran's right to enrich uranium in peace and under IAEA safeguards as it is doing now.
The most recent example of this false choice which is being promoted to a "social fact" through constant repetition can be seen in an recent article in Foreign Affairs, entitled "The Dangers of a Nuclear Iran" by Edelman & Krepinevich (see image)
Once they box the US into thinking that the only options are bombing Iran, or Iran "gets the bomb" then it become oh so much easier to convince the US to bomb Iran, after all. This, despite the fact that even the Israelis themselves quitely conceed that Iran is not making nukes, and that Iranian nukes would not pose an "existential threat" to Israel anyway.
Even Leslie Gelb seems to be waivering on the overheated chest thumping towards Iran coming out of Washington, nevermind that he is/was part of the same pro-Israeli propaganda apparatus whose job is to scarmonger about Iran.
And ironically, Ken Pollack has written an article entitled "Are we sliding towards a war with Iran" in which he frets that the current policies could lead to an "inadvertent" war:
Thus, if we continue down this path, we had best be ready to walk it to its very end. And if we don’t have the stomach to countenance the possibility of such an escalation, we may want to reconsider our current course.
"Reconsider our current course"?? This is a rather ironic statement, coming from someone who was a strong proponent, if not contributing architect of the policies which have brought us the current mess with Iran. After all, it wasn't so long ago that Pollack argued that the the US should "double down" on a policy of sanctions and threats directed against Iran, even though he acknowledged that the policy had not succeeded, had no real prospects of success, and could only lead to...you guessed it!... a false choice between bombing Iran or Iran getting the bomb:
IN THE end, all this may fail. With its hard-liners firmly in charge, Tehran may choose further suffering, isolation and weakness rather than give up its nuclear program. If so, the United States will then face a choice between military operations and a containment strategy meant to limit or prevent a nuclear Iran from making mischief beyond its borders until the regime finally collapses from its own dysfunctions.
In short, the guy who is pushing quite ADVERTENTLY for war (is advertently a word?) pretends to care about an "inadvertent" slide towards the same end.
Seems like the rats know the ship is sinking and are trying to distance themselves. After all, wouldn't want to damage any "political and professional credibility."