Via Laura Rozen who’s got some thoughts on this, a good Fox News piece on the Iranian threat. I suspect that the hawks’ efforts to push the panic button here are considerably more justified than their similar efforts vis-à-vis Iraq. The trouble is that they’ve already burned all the resources — troops, prepositioned munitions, international and domestic political credibility, sheer will — that they need in the Iraq venture.
It’s especially noteworthy that a large number of people who always (and, I would say in retrospect, correctly) believed that Iran was the greater strategic threat in the region managed to go along with the Iraq War either just for the hell of it, in order to maintain their general credibility as “hawks,” or else out of a misguided sense that invading Iraq would wind up weaken Iran. In fact, the reverse seems to have happened, as the war strengthened the hand of hardliners at home, weakened the US military threat, and created a new playpen for possible Iranian influence.
The upshot may be that there’s not really a great deal to be done. We’ve seen this tragicomedy play out in North Korea already, and if Iran is next, we’ll be spending the next several decades paying the price for our little misadventure in the Gulf.