By Lawrence Davidson
On July 15, 2010 Time Magazine carried an article entitled, “An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table.” According to the piece, the point man for this growing belligerency is Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. It is to be noted that when the same Robert Gates served the infamous George W. Bush (the year was 2008), he actually helped talk that president out of attacking Iran. At the time we were bogged down in Iraq and so yet another war in the Middle East was, according to Gates, “the last thing we need.” Now it is 2010 and we are bogged down in Afghanistan. No matter, Mr. Gates appears to have changed his mind. Or perhaps, he has been instructed to do so. “I don’t think we’re prepared to even talk about a nuclear Iran….We do not accept the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons.”
All of this is mighty strange. First of all, there is no supportable evidence that Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons. UN inspections and even US intelligence reports fail to support this conclusion. This being the case, why does Robert Gates speak as if a nuclear Iran is imminent? One possibility is that he and others in Washington are working from assumptions based on what the U.S. would do if it was in Iran’s shoes. To understand this better we can ask what Mr. Gates and President Obama would do if, magically transformed into Iran’s leaders, they were confronted with the following questions and answers?