Despite months of sabre-rattling by U.S. President George W. Bush, America's top spies have concluded that Tehran's ruling mullahs may not want a finger on the nuclear trigger after all.
As recently as October, Mr. Bush was hinting at air strikes against Iran's secretive and mostly underground nuclear sites, warning that averting World War III meant preventing Tehran from tipping its missiles with nuclear warheads.
So a key finding in yesterday's National Intelligence Estimate, that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program four years ago, was unexpected and may avert a showdown.
May avert a showdown, eh? UN inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, either. Thank goodness that "averted a showdown"!
Sometimes it still amazes me how the media plays along. Even fairly decent mainstream media that is critical, or at least skeptical, of the US still gives credence to its rhetoric and methods. But then, what else can be expected, when the governments of most of the world's respected nations still treat the US like it's part of the fold, a normally functioning democracy, instead of the rogue state it has become?
After the US invaded Afghanistan - and after it secured the pipeline and its energy interests there - it started laying the ground work for the invasion of Iraq. After installing the puppet government and building its permanent bases in Iraq, it started laying the ground work for Iran.
Perhaps our only hope is that the US will so impossibly overextend its military that they'll have no choice but to institute a draft. And that will - we hope - wake up the American middle class and drive them into the peace movement.
It's a bad thing to hope. I have five nieces and nephews of draft age, and they'll all be sleeping in our living room before they march off to die for US imperialism. Still, I often think it's the only way.