Today we see that Paul Pillar, formerly a national intelligence officer, is saying it is the US that is causing the problems. He said in the WaPo that it is the US that is taking “confrontational steps, including augmenting forces in the Persian Gulf and raiding an Iranian consulate, that increase the chance of heightened tension escalating into a military clash.” We discussed Pillar a couple of years ago here and here, among other places, and Michelle Malkin and The American Thinker were kind enough to use some of that work in subsequent articles.
We are not particularly concerned with Pillar, but with what his attitude says about the framing of the Iran issue over the next months. Iran will, in our opinion, likely continue to escalate efforts in Iraq. The US response will be to see or raise each Iranian bet, rather than to fold. This is a sensible response by the US, though, like the rest of the administration’s approach to warmaking, will probably err on the side of timidity and caution, if history is a guide. No matter. We sense from the Pillar article that the liberal and foreign policy establishment reaction to US actions will be to blame George Bush for recklessness.
The US and Iran have been in varying states of war for 28 years. Iran takes it seriously. We have not taken it seriously for most of that period. Now comes the opportunity and obligation to take it seriously. A “blame America” attitude is the opposite of what is called for — even if you think George Bush has performed atrociously as President.