A Cloud No Bigger Than a Man's Hand: Iran Dept.

By James Fallows

In the six months -- yes, it's been that long -- since Barack Obama's re-election, the drum-beats from the United States and Israel about bombing Iran have partly died down. Not totally, of course; recall the Hagel hearings, and also this Congressional resolution appearing to pre-endorse an attack if it occurs. Still, so much else has been going on -- in Syria, in North Korea, with the European economy -- that the topic has moved off the front pages for a while.

Which is why I found it so interesting to see that the possibility of an attack had literally moved back onto at least one front page. Here are our household's three papers as they looked on the breakfast table yesterday.

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With a close-up of the story from the WSJ:

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The Journal's story is by reputable and careful reporters. Let us hope that when we look back on it a year from now (I'm marking my calendar for May 4, 2014) this story seems to have reflected an elaborate scheme of carrot-and-stick, bluster-and-cooptation, that the Obama administration was playing with the Iranians. Rather than an early indication, like those similar stories in late 2002 and early 2003 about a buildup around Iraq, that we were headed straight to war.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/05/a-cloud-no-bigger-than-a-mans-hand-iran-dept/275548/