A Step Closer To War

Marc Lynch fears that Obama is going to talk more about military options against Iran:

The greatest danger of introducing open war talk by the administration is that it would represent the next step in the "ratcheting" of which I've been warning for months and pave the way either to the 1990s Iraq scenario or to an actual war.   Once the military option is on the table, it never goes away.  The only way to signal "toughness" in future encounters will be to somehow escalate beyond military threats -- i.e. to action, such as airstrikes or cruise missiles.    And those would, by the consensus of virtually every serious analyst, be a catastrophe.    If it isn't prepared to follow through on the threat --- and it really, really shouldn't be --- then it shouldn't make the threat.  That would just either undermine credibility, or else give a hook for hawks to demand that actions live up to rhetoric. Dangerous either way.