What Too Many Pundits Are Getting Wrong About the Iran Strike

This weekend was not an easy one for the Middle East or the rest of the world.  And it could well get worse before it gets better.

Within those grave fault lines the inevitable punditry that has followed is not important enough to move the needle much.  But some of it doesn’t help.

Pundits are not, of course, the same.  There are (1) knowledgeable ones, (2) casual one (3) ignorant ones, and (4) the ones who rely exclusively on tele-prompters – all united by the shared need to be heard.  Which is, after all, their job.

As a type 2 pundit, I have no beef with numbers 1 and 4.  It’s the ignorant ones – the type 3s – that are the problem.  And here is how you can tell the difference.

Very soon after the attack, multiple commentators across various mediums began espousing the theory that Iran’s attack was a planned failure, intended to simply send a message without inflicting horrific casualties and massive property damage.

Here’s the problem with that theory. Most of us are familiar with the expression “the fog of war.”  Along with the notion that battle plans work perfectly until the moment they are implemented, at which point the other side gets a say. That is, two ways to articulate the same rather unremarkable notion that using lethal weapons always invites unpredictable outcomes.

Now consider Iran’s assault this weekend – 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles sent to hit Israeli targets 1,100 miles away.  Besides far exceeding any of Russia’s most concentrated assaults on Ukraine, each of these deadly Iranian projectiles, traveling at different speeds, was purposefully calibrated to constitute one coordinated assault.

As for the speed of slow moving drones signaling a “warning” to Israel?  Well, drones are slow.  Iran’s ballistic missiles aren’t.  The 120 that they hurled as Israel flew much faster than the speed of sound, covering the approx. 1,100 miles from Iranian launch sites to Israel around 12 minutes from launch.

To begin with, it makes sense to degrade air defenses with layers of attacks.  More fundamentally, no sane regime would assume that every one of the hundreds of flying unmanned weapons containing tons of explosives sent 1,100 miles away would be intercepted before killing many. Iran is the same theocratic state whose functionaries beat an Iranian young woman to death, executed others, and imprisoned thousands more for not wearing a headscarf not very long ago.  And they do hold annual Holocaust Denial Days. But I have heard no plausible basis to believe they are irrational in this way.  Indeed, the premise underlying the Iranian “warning” hypothesis is that their war making acumen exceeds everyone else’s – including ours.

So understood, the “just a message” hypothesis is revealed for what it almost certainly is; tissue paper over a blow torch.  Yes, Iran wanted to send a message.  Which was that when Israel strikes Iran’s state sponsored terrorists (or the Iranians who run those proxies), it will pay in blood. A lot of blood.

I am no military strategist and don’t know what the next move on the chessboard should be.  I want my family to survive.  I want the US to survive.  I want Israel to survive. I want the world to survive. Beyond that, I “got nothing.” But these dismal pundit apologists have less than nothing.  Lacking even a passing acquaintance with history or a modicum of common sense, they are increasing the confusion inherent in this chaotic, dangerous situation with hot air, when the world is gasping for oxygen.

I get it.  Even mediocre pundits feel the need to be heard – perhaps even more so than the good ones. But, like us, they have families.  And, like us, they are living in a world on the razor’s edge. So, Mr. Pundit, when you have less than nothing to say, please say nothing.

(Visited 180 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape