The Gray Lady, a few years late, has decided not to buy Administration spin. Here’s how far Iran really is from building nukes. I’m glad somebody has managed to remember that one should not simultaneously call a society a fanatical totalitarian dictatorship (more true by the day, in fact) and profess to believe all its propaganda.
I had a complicated, twisty-twirly attitude towards the politics of wiretapping, and still do. But this is different. The case for attacking Iran is awful; the case for doing so soon is worse than awful; the prospect that Bush will murder a bunch of Iranians before the midterm elections and in order to win the midterm elections is criminal. More to the point, large majorities of the public seem willing to believe these propositions: they don’t want to invade Iran, and they don’t trust Bush on the issue. (Even the FoxNews push-poll cross-dressing as newsgathering is equivocal.)
The right message regarding an attack on Iran is “No, No, No, No. No.” Followed by “No.”
And if anyone wants more spin for cable news, “Wag the Dog.”
UPDATE: Tom Hilton of If I Ran the Zoo takes up this idea (if idea it be) except with analysis. In particular, he (like Josh Marshall) reminds Democrats not to get hung up on the substance of the Administration line on Iran—to believe the sincerity of which is, after all we’ve learned, to give that crowd way too much credit. Here good politics is good policy: only repeated, unified political opposition, as we pulled off on Social Security, has any chance of preventing this catastrophe.