The Extended Finger From the Mullahs' Clenched Fist

That's the best way to describe the Islamic Republic's latest move against the United States and its Iraqi ally.  The Iranians came across the border (which they contest) and claimed an oil well.  Nothing new, you might say.  And you'd be right.  The U.S. government is downplaying its significance:.

"There has been no violence related to this incident and we trust this will be resolved through peaceful diplomacy between the governments of Iraq and Iran," a US military spokesman told AFP at Contingency Operating Base Adder, just outside the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

"The oil field is in disputed territory in between Iranian and Iraqi border forts," he said, adding that such incidents occur quite frequently.

Indeed, we've downplayed far more serious Iranian incursions into Iraq, including joint Iranian/Turkish invasions and bombing runs in Kurdistan which have killed dozens of Kurds.  And you may recall that an American Special Forces unit was surrounded by Iranian troops a couple of years ago--again on the Iraqi side of the border--and had to kill a dozen or so of the would-be hostage takers.  Sometimes they succeed in taking American hostages--there are now five in Iranian claws--and we quietly make deals for their release.  Sometimes our citizens are murdered, and we do nothing.

So today's event is part of a well established pattern:  Iran attacks us and our friends and allies, and we look away.  This is the theme of Accomplice to Evil.  Just as we dithered and "negotiated," as the Nazis prepared the Second World War, and then as the Soviets prepared the Cold War,  so we have dithered for thirty years as the Islamic Republic has waged war against us.  Do not think for a minute that this sort of appeasement is unique to Obama;  the unique thing about the current phase is that we are so open about it.

There will probably be other events for us to ignore in short order.   Top Iranian officials, including the head of the national security council and the defense minister,  have recently visited Damascus, where they met with the leaders of the region's terrorist leaders, and those killers, along with Syrian officials, will soon go to Tehran for further meetings.  This suggests, to me at least, that an escalation in the terror war is now under way, and I expect to see a considerable tempo of killing in the near future.  That is likely to include attacks in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel.

I do not expect us to respond effectively.  Our own leaders are even shying away from increasing the sanctions against Iran.  With this sort of fecklessness, the regime will press ahead with its mayhem, and our friends in the region will be very cautious.

All of this begs the central issue, which is the impending doom of the regime in Tehran.  The mullahs tried to stage monster rallies in support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei today, but it fizzled.  This is a remarkable failure, as demonstrators were promised free food and a cash stipend.  They preferred to stay at home, and save their energies for the anti-regime rallies that will take place in coming weeks.

Despite his verbal support for the opposition in his Oslo remarks, the president still balks at doing anything serious to help them.  He is carefully, cautiously and systematically constructing a shameful legacy for himself and his administration.  He'd do better to listen to Vaclav Havel on how to deal with tyrants:

"...they respect it when someone is standing his ground, when someone is not afraid of them. When someone soils his pants prematurely, then they do not respect you more for it."