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Are nukes merely a feint?

What’s that man behind the curtain up to?
 
 
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I have enormous respect for Seymour Hersh, but after thinking it over I can’t help wondering if he got played on his story about plans to nuke Iran.

It’s just too crazy. The plans, the description of the White House staffers talking about stopping the next Hitler -- it all sounds like a parody of wingnutty extremism, a Saturday Night Live sketch gone horribly wrong.

Of course it could all be true. His sources could have leaked the plans in the classic tradition of whistle-blowers everywhere -- in the hope that they could drum up enough outrage to steer their superiors in a different direction.

But what if the story was leaked to desensitize us generally to the idea of attacking Iran without provocation? What if the idea was to get us so caught up in a discussion of the morality of using nuclear weapons that when our military begins its conventional attack, everyone will breath a sigh of relief that there were no nukes involved. Compared to the horrors of a baseless nuclear strike, a bit of baseless carpet-bombing wouldn’t seem so bad.

Am I being too conspiratorial here? Are the hawks that smart? What aren’t we supposed to be looking at?

Your view?

Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer .