[NB 4/9: i like to think i was a wee bit ahead of the curve on this, as seymour hersh now has his full-length exposé up for the new yorker and the sunday headlines are all over this story...)
"Fool Me Twice" By Joseph Cirincione (Foreign Policy, March 27, 2006) - "I used to think that the Bush administration wasn't seriously considering a military strike on Iran, because it would only accelerate Iran's nuclear program. But what we're seeing and hearing on Iran today seems awfully familiar. That may be because some U.S. officials have already decided they want to hit Iran hard."
"Is Iran war rhetoric a bluff?" By Jay Bookman (Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 6, 2006) - "Four years ago this spring, rumblings could be heard out of Washington suggesting that the Bush administration might be planning to invade Iraq. At the time, most Americans --- and most American news media --- failed to pay those reports much heed, which was a mistake. Today, similar rumblings are again being heard, this time regarding military action against Iran. And once again, the war signals are being dismissed as mere posturing, a negotiating ploy by an administration trying hard to pressure Iran into abandoning its nuclear-weapons ambitions. So is it all for show this time? We better hope so."
"U.S. Officials Are Mulling Iran Strikes, Experts Say" By Marc Perelman (Forward, April 7, 2006) - "Key players in the Bush administration think a military confrontation with Iran is unavoidable, leading to stepped up military planning for such a prospect, according to several experts and recently departed senior government officials. Some of these observers stressed that military strikes against Iran are not imminent and speculated that the escalated war chatter could be a deliberate ploy to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Still, they made clear, the tone in Washington has changed drastically."
"Iran Threat Rhetoric Grows" By William M. Arkin (Early Warning blog, [Washington Post] April 5, 2006) - "Nuclear diplomacy in Iran is beginning to look a lot like the United Nation's inspection work in Iraq before the 2003 war. The parties are committed to a peaceful outcome but the accumulation of bad blood torpedoes any hope for a peaceful outcome."