I’m talking about Iran, of course. Here Robert Fox of The Guardian looks at the mullahs’ endless flipflops about nukes, negotiations, and so forth. His bottom line is that they are too tricky by half, and they are quite possibly headed down the same suicidal road as Saddam took when he kept sticking his finger in Western eyes and noses. Fox is certainly no advocate of military action against Iran, but he is smart and realistic enough to know that military action happens, and as often as not it happens because of confusions, suspicion and ambiguity, rather than because of strategic calculation.
Not that strategic calculation is irrelevant. Peter Brookes takes a clear-eyed look at the recent Iranian missile show, and concludes that it was staged (and by now everyone’s seen Charles Johnson’s pictures that suggest the mullahs photoshopped at least some of their images of the missiles) for several reasons, from driving up oil prices to pounding their chests for the benefit of domestic and regional audiences, to fending off possible attacks from us or the Israelis.
All that “makes sense.” The Iranians atop that unhappy country have every reason to believe that they are immune to attack for the next many months, and so they use all the tools at their disposal to buy time for all their nefarious purposes: develop the bomb and related delivery systems, increase the repression of the Iranian people, and move terrorists out of Iraq, where they have been decisively defeated.
But the boy who cried wolf came to an unhappy end, as in the case of Saddam Hussein.