"God may smile on us, but I don’t think so. The bottom line is that Iran cannot become a nuclear-weapons state. The problem is that the Iranians realize that only by becoming a nuclear state can they defend themselves against the U.S. Something bad is going to happen."
My guess is that any move against Iran will wait until shortly after the next Congressional elections -- say, 2-6 months later -- in order to give the Bush administration time to beat the drums in a way that they might not want to do during the election cycle. Waiting until after the election is, incidentally, the same thing that Bush did when he attacked Fallujah.
That said, I still have some hope. The very fact that Hersh has written this article changes the situation, and could help to reduce the chances of such an action occuring.
As we now know from Iraq, the final decision to go forward with an attack on Iran is most likely to be firmly and absolutely decided upon about three months in advance. If people want to try to stop this conflict, they should be aware of this fact and plan accordingly. The time to start informing others, to show outrage, and to contact your politicians is now.
If Bush has shown us one thing, it's that the only thing worse than a leader who always backs down is one whose pride and arrogance does not allow them to change his mind at all. The best chance of avoiding conflict at this moment is a complete sea change and a public renunciation of the doctrine of pre-emptive war.
I understand why so many Republicans (with notable exceptions) are unwilling to stand up to this essentially unconstututional and antidemocratic state of affairs, but why are so few Democrats willing to do so? What rights, freedoms, and beliefs do they not only support in theory, but are willing to stand up and defend? Where is their Contract with America?
Many Conservatives attack the Democrats for not having a solid, united stance on issues, and I can certainly see their point. That said, it's better to be divided over complex issues, then to try to solve complex issues in a simplistic, reactionary manner. You have to pick your battles in this world, and Bush has not chosen wisely.