I have revised my opinion that there will be no war with Iran. This isn’t because I think it makes sense, or can be won, or anything like that. It’s because I read the _Daily Telegraph_ to find out what the warmongers want us to believe. It was the _Telegraph’s_ leaders, in the summer of *2002,* that made it plain that Iraq would be invaded at a time when all reasonable people thought a war could be avoided.
So here is the relevant passage from [“yesterday’s leader”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/03/17/dl1702.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2006/03/17/ixopinion.html] on the subject. Could anything say more clearly that the Americans are going to go ahead and bomb, no matter what the British think or believe is in their interests?
bq. The document, published yesterday, reasserts the right to pre-emptive strikes as a means of self-defence should the union deem itself liable to devastating attack by weapons of mass destruction. This reflects Washington’s view of Iran as a threat not just to Israel and Iraq, but also to America itself, a perception inadequately understood on this side of the Atlantic.
It also exposes the repeated assertion by Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, that military action against Teheran is not on the cards, for what it is: an attempt to forestall criticism from the Labour Party and from his Muslim constituents in Blackburn, rather than an honest assessment of American options.
The interesting split here is between the neocons writing leaders, and the specialist correspondents, who have a much closer understanding of what the army thinks.
fn1. oh and the fact that the husband of their then religious affairs correspondent, a 36-year-old Lietenant Colonel, was posted away from Northern Ireland to Istanbul. You don’t send officers that young and smart to places where there won’t be any fighting.