20 Jun 2008
“There’s a lot of signaling going on at different levels.”...
Do the Iranians know the details of Israeli military exercises? Maybe they do have intelligence assets inside Israel, among the large and largely unmonitored Muslim population in Israel. They surely don't have satellite, or high-altitude overflight, or communication interception capability (although maybe the Russians or Europeans would quietly offer assistance in any or all of these areas).
But with the very visible announcement by the U.S. government, all's the Iranians need is a subscription to the NYT. Was the U.S. government the one doing the signaling? Signaling to the Iranians that it's time to take diplomacy seriously, or signaling to the Israelis that we will remove their element of surprise if they try something so "dangerous", or signaling to the mythical "vast majority of moderates" within Iran that now is the time to move against the "few extremists" at the top, or signaling to the North Korean, Chinese, and/or Russian nuclear technicians that now is a good time to leave Iranian nuclear facilities?
I don't want to read, in the NYT, analysis by U.S. government officials about what Israel is planning to do militarily in the future. I'd greatly prefer, like the Syrian incident, to hear vague and unconfirmed reports after the fact, and watch the Syrians (and Iranians) issue statements of denial that anything has happened.