Is Washington, or its Israeli allies, really ready to attack Iran? "The threats, counterthreats, and counter-counterthreats … have reached new levels of hysteria in recent days," Dana Milbank writes in the Washington Post. Rumblings of an Israeli strike prompted Tehran threats to close oil-shipping lanes. That would be an “act of war,” declared one US admiral—a statement superiors didn't back down from.
President Bush reiterated that “all options are on the table,” while the State Department said it couldn’t deter Israel. Dick Cheney's daughter Liz was more direct, saying: “The Iranians have to believe that we will use force.” So is this a bluff? And could it lead to real war? “It is high stakes,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs says. “I’d just leave it at that.”