The question for Austria and Germany, therefore, was whether St. Petersburg sincerely wanted to negotiate and was taking military measures to put pressure on them, or whether the Russians were talking while they secretly mobilized. Sazonov's volatility and general unreliability did not help the situation.William Jannen, Jr., The Lions of July: Prelude to War, 1914 (Presidio, 1996), at 135. (The title of this post is from this work also).
In recent weeks, Iran has evidently stepped up its support of anti-US terrorists and rebels in both Iraq and to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Iranian arms and troublemakers are busting out all over.
On the Afghan front, ABC reports that NATO captured quantities of Iranian Explosive Formed Projectiles (EFP's), 1,600 pounds of C-4 explosive and other heavy weapons in two intercepted convoys last 11 April and 3 May. (Hat Tip: Belmont Club). Some of these items, says the ABC report, are ". . .identical to Iranian supplied goods previously discovered in Iraq." An analyst from the RAND institute, quoted in the ABC piece, says all this has the fingerprints of involvement by the Pasdaran's "Quds Force."
Meanwhile, in Iraq, recent acquisitions of Iranian weapons by the rebels, according to Radio Free Europe, may include the Fajr-3 rocket, used by Hezbollah last year to shell Israeli cities, plus an assortment of mortars, small-arms and the aforementioned EFP's. A Washington Post report on Sunday corroborates the report of Fajrs, as well as the captured arms convoys in Afghanistan, and that the flow of arms appears to be increasing. The Post story discusses the "recent" use of a Fajr rocket on the Baghdad Green Zone, and notes that the rocket's remains bore 2007 markings indicating the weapon had, at least once, belonged to the Pasdaran.
But US officials, no doubt remembering what they thought they knew about pre-war Iraq -- don't seem to want to hear any of this. Secretary of Defense Gates is quoted in the ABC story as saying the US does not have evidence of Iranian government involvement in aiding the Taliban.
Uh, right. Internal documents obtained by ABC says a "senior coalition official" thinks that not only is the Iranian government supporting the Taliban, but that the support is increasing, and part of a "considered policy." Duh.
In Israel, the Jerusalem Post today says Israeli television is reporting that Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah are preparing for war with Israel, supposedly in August. The nature of the evidence is not cited. . .but the J-Post story also reports the Israeli "Security Cabinet" in a flurry of meetings over Syria, and the Olmert government attempting to assure Syria that Israel wants peace. Meanwhile, the Israeli military is cautioning the press to quit speculating.
On Tuesday, MSNBC, inter alia, reported that Iranian President Mahmoud "Mad Jad" Ahmadinejad claims Iran's nuclear program cannot be stopped and that trying to do so, Mad Jad says, is "playing with the lion's tail." Mad Jad tells us, also, that Israel's demise is imminent: "God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime."
Can it be that Mad Jad and the Mullahs, (probably encouraged by the Lefty offensive against "Bushitler"), have made a calculation: that the American people are too weak; the American military too stretched; the American government too fragmented -- to stop an Iranian bid for hegemony in the Persian Gulf ? Arms and agents all over the place. How many shipments of Fajrs, EFP's, mortars and small arms are out there that we DON'T know about ? Iraq and Afghanistan are giant haystacks probably stiff with needles. It looks like a sort of Tet Offensive in Iraq and Afghanistan is in the offing, in conjunction with the Democrat push against the war in Congress, designed to finish off public support for the war in Iraq and force US withdrawals.
As for why the Iranians are doing this, Spengler over at Asia Times has some good thoughts on the motive. For almost a year, the Question before the House has been whether the Iranians wished to really negotiate on nukes and better relations, or whether they have been spinning their wheels, and ours, prior to making their own little bid for empire. The Iranians, or rather, their leadership, seem to have chosen the latter.
Like so many other calculators in history, like so many other little petty tyrants. Mad Jad the Stop and Go clerk and friends are quite probably, disastrously, tragically. . .wrong. The Lefties are not going to be allowed --cannot be allowed -- their cherished re-run of the Vietnam humiliation. We are not walking away from the Persian Gulf -- EVER. The US produces 7.61 million barrels of oil per day, and consumes 20.73 million barrels a day. Europe's energy picture is, if anything, worse. The Mullah regime, with its bluster about wiping out America and the Zionist entity -- is not going to be suffered to have that much power over the Persian Gulf oil. Quite aside from the lunacy of sitting on our hands while lunatics gets a bomb, an Iranian nuclear weapon will start a chain-reaction of another type. If the Shiites get their nuke, the Saudis will then demand one, and then the Egyptians. . .nobody will be able to stop.
How many people will the Sawdust Caesars kill this time ? Will Mad Jad get his nuke ? Wipe out the Zionist entity ? Drive America home from the Gulf, back to a country convulsed with riots ? Maybe. The mullahs seem to think they'll come out on top in the event of a confrontation with the US. Mr. Riad Kahwaji, writing from Tehran in Defence News.com, says that, in the event of US strikes against Iran:
. . .Tehran's primary targets would be US military installations and strategic targets in US - allied Arabian [Persian] Gulf states, including oil depots, refineries, power plans and desalination facilities. US warships would also face waves of surface-to-surface cruise missiles sent to overwhelm their countermeasures, said several senior Iranian officials whose comments reflect the official line but who could not obtain permission to speak on the record on such short notice.
Just what do Mad Jad and the "Senior Iranian Officials" think will happen after that ? Drive the US from the Gulf, eh ? More likely, they'll manage to turn Tehran into glass.