The Washington Institute for Near East Policy—founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—just previewed a paper published by Haaretz arguing that stated fears about an Iranian retaliation following an attack are exaggerated.
Helena Cobban from Just World News observes:
Here comes another propaganda campaign designed to lull western publics into thinking that a military attack on a Middle East nation will likely be a whole lot more successful than most experts currently think.
Clawson seems to realize that he is trying to make a very tough argument, since he starts off with the old canard of obfuscation that “matters are a whole lot more complex than you think, since there are “many variables” involved.
Melman asks: “Do you share the sweeping assessment of most experts that Iran’s reaction if attacked will be harsh and painful?” Clawson: “No. Iran’s record when it comes to its reactions in the past to attacks against it, or its important interests, is mixed… ” And he gives some examples from the 1980s and the early 1990s.
He makes no mention at all of the fact that the strategic picture in the Gulf region has changed considerably since then– including, crucially, that the US military now has 160,000 sitting ducks sitting in Iraq, just a stone’s throw away from Iran, with most of them in areas where the population is much, much more sympathetic to Iran’s interests than they are to the US’s.
Read Jim Lobe’s comments here.
Irancove @ May 22, 2008