A President under pressure at home by adversaries and a collapsing economy seems to have become convinced that he can best run on his credentials as a unifying Commander In Chief, not a partisan politician, out to protect America against escalating rhetoric and possible attacks from Iran. (Evidence is not important; it's the perception that matters!)
Pumping up a crisis fraught with dangers could convince even estranged supporters that it's best to keep Obama in charge.
What this also demonstrates is how closely The US is coordinating with Israel and already assumomhg operational control of all the war planning scenarios which includes this latest wave of strengthened sanctions.
This seems to show also how all the hawkish threats of unilateral action by Israel pressured the White House to get in front of any possible confrontation. They are also threatening every nation to cut back on Iranian Oil imports or else. (e.g. Stories like this: "Wary of sanctions, Kenya cancels Iran oil deal underscore the covert pressure underway.)
Published reports indicate that the Pentagon now has 40,000 U.S. troops positioned in the region, with two carrier strike groups deployed in the Arabian Gulf or as Iran would have it, The Persian Gulf.
Defense News explains: "Such military presence is part of a carefully timed strategy that, through the coming months, will continue to focus on a combination of increasingly crippling sanctions and diplomacy."
So there you have it--- the admission that sanctions are being sold as just one more step in a chain that includes public diplomacy and a related orchestrated media campaign, all "carefully timed" to have a cumulative impact. "Diplomacy" in this context does not mean dialogue or negotiations. It means lining up support and building global consensus for intervention.
Iran is increasingly being put in a no-win position in the propaganda war. Every public pronouncement Tehran makes about defending itself is being characterized in the world media as aggressive in intent, arousing fears of attacks on shipping routes while justifying a US military presence that is invariably represented as there only to protect global economic interests.
Behind all the feigned benevolence is a clear threat. "Barack Obama is a president that says what he means and does what he says. ... I can assure you we do not have a policy of containment," says former Pentagon warrior turned campaign advisor Michèle Flournoy.
Sanctions are only a first blow a global strategy--a prelude to a stronger fistful of options that are being readied.
How will Tehran respond? Does it understand the need for a less bellicose and more savvy media counter strategy? And in the USA, are the forces opposed to another war--this time for an obvious domestic political objective---aware enough and prepared enough to try to stop it?
News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs for NewsDissector.net. His film WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception exposed Washington's media campaign against Iraq and the complicity of world news organizations. This commentary first appeared on PressTV.com.