I don't talk much about the Middle East here. I leave that to the superior analytical skills of my co-bloggers. But when it comes to so-called paranoid conspiracy theories, I've been crowned queen by half of the rightwingosphere, so when I find the big guys of Bloptopia buying in, I can't resist linking to it. Especially when it comes from totally unexpected sources.
Via Todd Gitlin I find an unlikely opponent of bombing Iran who is taking the rumors of the PR rollout very seriously. None other than the neo-con's neo-con, Victor Davis Hanson.
But there are subtle indications that U.S. policy is slowly working, and that a strike now on Iran would be a grave mistake, in every strategic and political sense — not to mention the humanitarian one of harming a populace that may well soon prove to be the most pro-Western in the region.
...So we should continue with the present path — and not bomb or have surrogates bomb Iran. That option is still down the road. For as long as it is possible, the best-case scenario is not a smoking Iran, but a humiliated theocracy that slowly implodes before the world, displaying in their disgrace what the mullahs did to themselves — and perhaps a small reminder of those helpful shoves from us.
Now Victor didn't use the "p" word, but Kevin Drum, Steve Benen and George Packer all did. And George offers this proof that the bomb Iran PR drive is real.
Postscript: Barnett Rubin just called me. His source spoke with a neocon think-tanker who corroborated the story of the propaganda campaign and had this to say about it: “I am a Republican. I am a conservative. But I’m not a raging lunatic. This is lunatic.”
I'd note he's talking about Cheney and not me. Meanwhile, Larry Johnson advances a theory that's a little more fringe but taken in context with the above, doesn't sound so implausible. I mean, how do you load live nuclears warheads on a B-52 by mistake and just happen to fly to a Middle East staging zone? Think about it.