The problem with Iran debate that the Beltway Bubblers are having is that all the parties involved, including the press, have appalling records of bad judgment, tendentious reporting and analysis, and outright lying--practices that have been personally very profitable for them and, until recently, politically profitable as well. The whole enterprise is as corrupt, and as self-reflective, as the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
So how on earth are we to assess the competing claims? Should we give any of the claims credence? (Oh, wait... That's what Der Decider does.)
For example, the Times says, without attribution, that the Iranians have 1,300 centrifuges. Leaving aside the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war, and putting Iran on the axis of evil, might have bumped the number up, and even leaving aside the aluminum tubes fiasco, why should we accept that number, or its interpretations?
And what does 1,300 mean, assuming that 54,000 are needed for a full-scale program?
And suppose war is the answer. Why does it have to be hot? We won the Cold War with Russia, a more dangerous adversary....