Nothing is clear, yet. For months, I have told interviewers that no senior political or military official was seriously considering a military attack on Iran. In the last few weeks, I have changed my view. In part, this shift was triggered by colleagues with close ties to the Pentagon and the executive branch who have convinced me that some senior officials have already made up their minds: They want to hit Iran.
I argued with my friends. I pointed out that a military strike would be disastrous for the United States. It would rally the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular regime, inflame anti-American anger around the Muslim world, and jeopardize the already fragile U.S. position in Iraq. And it would accelerate, not delay, the Iranian nuclear program. Hard-liners in Tehran would be proven right in their claim that the only thing that can deter the United States is a nuclear bomb. Iranian leaders could respond with a crash nuclear program that could produce a bomb in a few years.
My friends reminded me that I had said the same about Iraq - that I was the last remaining person in Washington who believed President George W. Bush when he said that he was committed to a diplomatic solution. But this time, it is the administration’s own statements that have convinced me. What I previously dismissed as posturing, I now believe may be a coordinated campaign to prepare for a military strike on Iran. (my emphasis)
As Bush himself said in a Tennessee appearance back in 2002, "There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."
The correct saying, of course, ends with "fool me twice, shame on me". Someone suggested that Bush stumbled over this because he just couldn't bring himself to utter the phrase "shame on me", even in the context of a famous saying.