To the editor:
Much has been made of a campaign aide's comment on how a terrorist attack could help one presidential candidate. But a far more likely "October surprise" is an Israeli attack on Iran, following their recent trial run. It could not happen without Bush administration approval, since it would require use of U.S.-controlled airspace and would not be effective without U.S. cruise missiles also striking the thick concrete of the Natanz nuclear enrichment plant.
The charge that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons now is deemed unlikely by the U.S.'s own National Intelligence Estimate. And the effects of the attack on stability in the Middle East would be disastrous. Besides, the attack itself would be a military disaster, for which reason Secretary of Defense Gates and military leaders are reportedly opposing it. Moreover, if Iran closed the Strait of Hormuz, we might be longing for the good old days of $4 gas.
Are politicians doing anything to head off this debacle? If it happens, will they put a stop to it, or even criticize it? Does anybody in public life have the courage to say that not everything the Israeli government wants to do is necessarily right?
William O. Scott,