"We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game. And I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually."-Daniel Patrick Moynihan, December 5, 1963
What a weird sentiment. What exactly is it you think Iran is emboldened to do? Obtain nuclear technology? They're doing that already. Make moves against Israel? Fund terrorist organizations? Impose Islamic law on their people and oppress women, murder gays, and execute anyone who wants to stop being Muslim? They're already doing all of that. Maybe Iran's leaders don't spend all day thinking about what the United States may or may not do. Maybe if Iran "pissed on us" (whatever that actually means), then the American people would demand a war. We demanded one in Afghanistan, though we certainly didn't demand the one we ended up getting.As for Iran, they are watching a dithering president who changes his mind as often as mom changes a baby's diaper. If they don't feel emboldened at this point, I'd be stunned. They see a president that when pressed to the wall, blinks or simply moves the wall. They will take advantage of that, which will not bode well for the region or the world at large. I'd like to say I believed that if then Iranians tried to take a piss in our direction, Obama would turn them into eunuchs before they got it back in their pants...
But I honestly don't believe that to be the case. There will be much bluster and gnashing of teeth, Obama will indignantly tell the world exactly what we are going to do and when we are going to do it, but in the end... I doubt he will do anything of substance, which will continue to embolden our enemies.
All this paranoia over Iran gets us nowhere. Just like our paranoia over Iraq got us nowhere. Our war mongering only made things worse. We probably will suffer if we attack Syria. We'll keep creating men like Bin Laden. We'll keep putting dictators in power and then tearing them down. We'll help the religious fundamentalists kill the communists and then help the rebels kill the fundamentalists and then we'll help someone else kill the rebels. We keep arming violent people and then acting surprised when they do violent things. We're perpetuating violence and instability.
Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.
That being said, Iran has reasons to be angry with the West. The US and UK overthrew a democratic government and replaced it with the Shaw. The west stood by and did nothing when Iraq used chemical weapons against them. When Iran extended their hand to the US after 9/11 Bush labeled them part of the "Axis of Evil."
So, we have to think a long game here on how we deal with Iran.