Writing in the WSJ, John Bolton argues that an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear program is better than the alternative. His key points, excerpted:

Prudent hedging by oil traders and consuming countries (though not their strong suit, historically) would minimize any price spike....

An Iranian embargo of its own oil exports would complete the ruin of Iran's domestic economy by depriving the country of hard currency....

[Iit would be highly dangerous for Iran to gamble on more weakness in the face of increased U.S. casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan....

While Iran enjoys rhetorical conflict with the U.S., operationally it prefers picking on targets its own size or smaller....

Direct Iranian military action against Israel, however, would provoke an even broader Israeli counterstrike, which at some point might well involve Israel's own nuclear capability....

Many argue that Israeli military action will cause Iranians to rally in support of the mullahs' regime and plunge the region into political chaos. To the contrary, a strike accompanied by effective public diplomacy could well turn Iran's diverse population against an oppressive regime....

I don't completely discount any of these individual arguments as implausible. But it's a reach to line them all up together behind an argument that an Israeli strike wouldn't bring all sorts of awful and unpredictable consequences. And forgive me, but I'm just highly skeptical of Bush hawks assuring us that worst-case scenarios for a Middle East miilitary adventure are overblown.

Which is not to say that I relish the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran, either. It's a dilly of a pickle.

--Michael Crowley