Oh dear, our professional spies leaked their skepticism of Iran's strangelovian ambitions. This wrong foots our President in his plan to spread town hall democracy to Iran. I imagine that the professionals just want to get on the record before another Iraq sized fiasco can be blamed on them. Can you blame them?
Still there are many mysteries involved in this stand-off. For instance, the Commander in chief has declared Islam a "Religion of Peace." Yet he also claims that Iran is an Islamic Republic bent on blowing up the world. One can only conclude that the President estimates his own understanding of the Koran, the Hadith and other traditions and sayings of the prophet so superior to the Mullahs that they need his instruction. And this President's idea of instruction is delivered from the flight decks of our aircraft carriers.
My own estimate is that Iran is, and always will be, a regional power. Short of smashing the country to bits a la' Iraq and letting what's left descend into a state of nature, we have few rational alternatives but to deal with this regime as just another disagreeable nuisance state. And to trot out an old saw, the Mullahs may be crazy but they're not stupid. They know very well what will happen to them should they attack us. Of course if they look to be forgetting, we can always suggest they check with the Japanese embassy. If we can deal with Belgium we can deal with Iran.
And now Israel's Public Security Minister, one Avi Dichter warns that the this optimistic American intelligence estimate makes war with Iran more, rather than less, likely. Well he would wouldn't he? It's a strange state of mind. Apparently if the US intelligence agencies agree that Iran is a nuclear threat then we must attack Iran. If on the other hand the US intelligence agencies don't see Iran as a nuclear threat, then that's all the more reason to go to war with Iran. The Israeli's would be better advised to just tell the truth. They just won't abide any other regional power with nuclear weapons. They would like us to do the fighting for them as we did in Iraq but they are prepared to attack on their own and blame us for having to do so.
My opinion about the middle east is expressed as a paraphrase of Otto von Bismark's assessment of the Balkans. To whit, the whole middle east Isn't worth the bones of a single national guardsman. The oil under the feet of the swarthy little humanoids who inhabit the region is however. If an adult were president at the moment a simple national policy might look something like this. We, NATO and Japan would guarantee the free flow of oil from the gulf. Anyone impeding that flow would be treated to our collective mailed fist. That stated, the local savages can mutilate their daughters, sacrifice their goats, build settlements, and generally behave as they see fit.
As oil is our only legitimate interest in that part of the world, the United States would make no commitment to holy places, holy people or causes of any kind. We should make no aid payments to Egypt, Israel or Jordan as an inducement to refrain from going to war with each other. Since the little emirates of the gulf are big oil producers any assistance should go to them. They also employ many architects, vacation planners and other Americans engaged in occupations that Mexicans just won't do.