He even justifies the threat by citing Ahmadinejad’s words against Israel, although, unfortunately, he relies on the Bush administration’s translation of Farsi, which as we’ve seen before, only has a glancing relationship with reality.
This is not to single out Obama either; all of the top tier candidates have tried to earn their “I’m not a wimpy Democrat but a strong leader” bona fides with tough talk against Iran. But this kind of talk is incredibly irresponsible and we–as the progressive community–MUST be clear with the Democratic contenders who are seeking our support that if they think the occupation in Iraq is going bad, any military actions against Iran would be like Iraq on steroids. We’ve already seen how much damage a president with no understanding of the geo-political or cultural circumstances of an area can do. We simply cannot afford another one.
Can one remember the last time a president attacked a foreign nation based on "actionable intelligence?"
Yes, that would be the cause for getting into the current Iraq War quagmire.
How many wars have been started based on "actionable intelligence?" Not many. Generally one doesn't waste lives on things that can't be confirmed. But then we have to realize that the current policy on both sides of the aisle favor intervention and preemption. Strike first, or risk getting hit.
Now even if we believe that the next president will try to limit attacks to "surgical strikes," things don't always work out the way. Escalation happens, especially when you have the type of mindset found in Washington today.
Now, I suspect that the focus on Iran is really about Israel. About Israel's failed invasion of Lebanon and war with Hezbollah, the Shi'ite militia sponsored by Iran. Even if we don't hear much about that on the surface, people don't forget things like that easily.
Israel is an extension of America and Anglo-Saxon Protestantism in the Middle East. Yes, you heard that right. Hitherto it has easily handled the Muslim enemies that surrounded it, but now the aura of invincibility is gone. An in the process, America looks weaker also.