Saturday, January 21, 2006

Monkey in the Middle

The showdown with Iran seems imminent.

The Iranians are pushing us to take action to stop them from getting nukes by making it clear that they are--and let me use a technical term here--completing friggin' nuts.

The Israeli defense minister stated they are getting ready:

"Israel will not be able to accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must have the capability to defend itself, with all that that implies, and this we are preparing," Shaul Mofaz said.

And the Europeans who had put such stock in their ability to persuade or bribe the Iranians seem resigned to at least passively supporting military action:

Germany's defense minister said in an interview published Saturday that he is hopeful of a diplomatic solution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program, but argued that "all options" should remain open.

Asked by the Bild am Sonntag weekly whether the threat of a military solution should remain in place, Franz Josef Jung was quoted as responding: "Yes, we need all options."

Indeed, the French are downright cowboyish in their attitude:

French President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France could respond with nuclear weapons against any state-sponsored terrorist attack.

The Israelis who will act if we don't are pushing us to act. The Russians and Chinese will save us from going the futile international community route to dealing with the crisis. And the Europeans seem like they will accept what others will do.

The State of the Union address may give clues to our position in this jostling for position.