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Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran?

Others react to Goldberg’s report

Marc Tracy
August 12, 2010

Since contributing editor Jeffrey Goldberg’s blockbuster Atlantic report on the prospect of Israel (or, to a lesser degree of likelihood, America) bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities dropped yesterday morning, people have had opinions on it. Lots of them! Let’s look at some.

• The central if somewhat implicit logic of the piece may be that a. Israel will likely bomb Iran; b. it would be better if the United States bombed Iran; therefore c. the United States should bomb Iran. [Ben Smith]

• Matt Duss says an Israeli strike won’t really accomplish all that much (and is therefore unlikely to be undertaken). [Wonk Room]

• Steve Clemons thinks Israel is primarily intent on making the world think it will likely strike Iran rather than actually doing it. [The Washington Note]

• Joe Klein still completely opposes any and all airstrikes against Iran. [Swampland]

• Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett—whom Tablet Magazine columnist Lee Smith has had words with—say Goldberg’s implicit case for a U.S. strike is “flimsy.” [Foreign Policy]

• Fred Kaplan calls the piece “shrewd and balanced.” [Slate]

• J.J. Goldberg thinks the article, which does take care to acknowledge the potential consequences of a strike, still underplays just how catastrophic the aftermath could be. [Forward]

• Among other things, adds Matthew Yglesias, a strike could lead to a fantastic rise in oil prices, which could pummel the global economy. [Yglesias]

• Stephen Walt accuses Goldberg of trying to “mainstream” the notion of an Iran strike so that it will be more widely accepted if it comes, much as was done with the invasion of Iraq. [Foreign Policy]

• Goldberg himself gets the insight of air war expert Chuck Wald. [Atlantic]

• Next week, the Atlantic promises a blue-ribbon debate over the piece and its implications. [Atlantic Wire]

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.