"No Experts Here!"
Even the liberal Ken Pollack doesn’t seem super-psyched about all options being on the table:
I wish I could tell you that it is impossible, but I don’t think it is. I think a war with Iran would be very messy and would cost us a lot more than we would gain. While many members of the Administration agree with that, others do not, and some seem willing to risk it to accomplish other goals. I am very concerned both by the President’s military moves toward Iran (like moving a second aircraft carrier and Patriot anti-missile batteries to the Persian Gulf, and ordering the U.S. military to use “all necessary means” to shut down Iranian activities in Iraq) and his unnecessarily threatening rhetoric toward them. Some degree of quiet pressure on Iran to stop their more damaging operations in Iraq could be useful, and the Iranians probably would back down under those circumstances; but the President’s policy risks engaging Iran’s nationalist pride, its strategic interests, and its real fear of the United States.
For those just joining us, the point at issue here is Kenneth Baer’s assertion that “The reason why Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are all refusing to take the military option off the table is because there is no credible expert on Iran, nonproliferation, or any combination of the two who would advise them to do so.” Nevertheless, many experts — Pollack, Rand Beers, Joseph Cirincione, Ray Takeyh, Vali Nasr, etc. — seem to me to feel that military strikes would be counterproductive and that threatening them is useless at best, harmful at worst.