JIM STOFFELS, Richland
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's blatant exploitation of American presidential politics to pressure President Obama into attacking Iran starkly demonstrates that Israel's interests are contrary to the interests of the United States.
Military strikes on Iran would risk igniting all-out war in the Middle East, according to a just-released assessment of an attack's costs and benefits. The report, endorsed by former U.S. diplomats, national security experts and retired military officers, says achieving more than a temporary setback in Iran's nuclear program would require a military operation greater than what the U.S. has expended over the past 10 years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
While extended strikes could destroy Iran's most important nuclear facilities, they would only delay Iran's pursuit of a nuclear bomb -- if such is their intent. Moreover, an attack would increase Iran's motivation to build a bomb in order to inhibit future U.S. attacks.
Endorsers of the report include Brent Scowcroft, who was President George H.W. Bush's national security adviser, and two retired chiefs of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni and Navy Adm. William J. Fallon.
Netanyahu's use of the fear factor -- the threat of a nonexistent nuclear weapon -- was also used to stampede us into our misbegotten war in Iraq.