www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-iran-letter-20120226,0,64523.story

baltimoresun.com

Does Iran want a war?

8:00 AM EST, February 26, 2012

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With American officials all but falling over themselves in pleading with Israel not to attack Iran, the question arises: What would be worse for the region, the prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability, or an Israeli military strike to prevent that ("Iran threat appears to add crack in U.S.-Israel bond," Feb. 22)? While the first situation might conceivably lead to war — if the Iranian leadership were insane or suicidal, which they're not — the second option will definitely initiate a military chain reaction involving surrounding countries and the U.S. with unforeseen and devastating consequences.

While its pretty clear that the U.S. is trying to placate Israel with escalating sanctions, it's also clear that sanctions are playing into the hands of Iranian hard-liners by demonstrating a need for nuclear weapons as a bulwark against foreign interference. Since the sanctions won't achieve their ostensible objective and since their failure will then likely serve as a pretext for war, this raises other questions: Is this outcome not the unstated plan? Or have American policy makers become so inured to the use of military power that we've lost our ability to prevent a catastrophe?

John G. Bailey, Edgemere