Basically, our options with Iran currently are:
- unilateral sanctions (ineffective);
- multilateral sanctions (not going to happen w/out Russia and China);
- Israeli strike(limited utility and certain reprisal);
- American invasion (you thought Iraq was a fucking quagmire);
- bargaining (which here is not one of the five stages of grief, but rather a tacit acknowledgement that previous bluster was, como se dice, ineffective to say the least).
There is actually one other option supposedly on the table, which the UK Telegraph helpfully spells out: an all-out American strike.
Normally, I'd be inclined to take all this with a grain of salt -- after all, one thing the military does to death is draw up plans for any and all eventualities. No doubt there are contingency plans to invade Canada somewhere. They'll never be used, but just in case....
Well, color me surprised. Seriously, though, it's hard to know exactly where the official psy-ops end and the reality of it begins. War campaigns always get an early rollout, to gradually soften up the populace to the idea of military aggression. This time around though, it's proving to be a bit touchy. Not because of public sentiment so much -- yes there are polls, but without public displays of dissent, they're just polls -- but because of consistent stats of military recruitment troubles. Nobody in the armed forces wants to take a bunch of reservists on their third go-round in Al Anbar, and send them next door to Iran, not to mention Moqtada al-Sadr's promise to fight within Iraq should Iran be attacked by us.
No, the sad fact of it all is, as the letter-writer pointed out, we are in a box of our own making here. Iran is not Iraq; the orthography is the only thing the two have remotely in common. They are much larger, much more powerful, much more entrenched in regional and international politics. We cannot do anything about them military without at least having Russia and China sign off and agree not to interfere, which is probably not gonna happen. The Euros won't help us; our snotty little remarks during the buildup to Iraq saw to that.
Maybe we can get Big Time some sniper training, and he can take Ahmadinejad out. Good luck with that one. In the meantime, nice work as always, folks. At least you kept the homos in their place.