Despite reports that the American military is not bullish about an attack on Iran, it seems some Israelis are more optimistic about their ability to shut down Iran without a full-blown war erupting. Jeffery Goldberg of Bloomberg News writes that based on what he's hearing from sources in Israel, the government is not only convinced that an attack will be necessary, but that the consequences won't be as bad as most people think.
The theory is based on a few of rosy assumptions about the Iranian response. One is that Iran will be so embarrassed by the attack they would rather cover it up or downplay it — the way Syria did after a similar attack in 2007 — than launch an all-out assault that would ultimately involve the United States. The assumption includes the which would weaken them even further. The other part of that puzzle is the belief that a show of force would not unite average Iranians against the West (as others have argued), but will actually embolden anti-government forces within the country and possibly contribute to a new revolution.
Again, those are pretty risky assumptions and not ones that are shared by a huge number of Middle East observers, particularly those in America. However, whether you buy them or not, it does feel as if some sort of attack is inevitable, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains determined to not let the Iranian nuclear program advance any further on his watch. The question has almost become a matter of if, not when. And when becomes this summer, then there will be more than the political calculations of our own presidential election at stake.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.