When hawks play chicken

Reason
by Michael Young

04/20/06

The image of Bush as a nutty, Strangeloveian figure could be just a put-on in the ongoing game of chicken between Washington and Tehran. Arkin chides the administration for failing to talk about military planning, arguing that diplomatic efforts directed at Iran would be 'mightily enhanced' if the Iranians thought the U.S. was serious about going to war. But at what stage does the machinery of war overtake the mind games? On Sunday, Richard Clarke, the famous former national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, and Steven Simon, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, warned that such ambiguity might lead to a clash that would be devastating for the U.S. Clarke and Simon recall that the Clinton administration also contemplated bombing Iran, but backed off because 'the highest levels of the military could not forecast a way in which things would end favorably for the United States'...

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