Just a reminder about why journalists shouldn’t be in the business of making predictions.
Last September, Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg made waves when he wrote a story predicting that Israel probably would attack Iran by next July. He wrote: "There is a better than 50 percent chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July." Goldberg also described this future Israeli assault of Iran in great detail.
The Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft.
Well, it’s almost July and the skies are silent.
The main thing we’re hearing these days from Iran is news of the ayatollah rebuking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose political support appears to be disintegrating. In Israel, the man who until a couple of months ago headed the agency charging with arresting Iran’s nuclear drive, ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan, said that attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities would be a supid idea.
Does this sound like two nations about to go to war?