Today I found yet another example of Iran's (or the Iranian government's) distaste for America and a dangerous willingness to attempt teasing a tiger. Contained in this article MSNBC ran today is an account of Revolutionary Guard boats trying to play pin the tail on the donkey with American warships. According to MSNBC, Iran’s Foreign Ministry seemed to claim a case of ignorance on the part of its forces. For the men of these five boats to have deliberately tried to provoke a confrontation with U.S. military forces would be disturbing enough, but for them to have not realized the ships they were accosting were a United States Navy destroyer, frigate, and cruiser would be down right frightening. Iran has a history of trying to provoke responses from its neighbors, see Ahmadinejad's statements regarding Israel, and trying to provoke the militaries currently in the region, see the capture of fifteen British troops last year.
For a country that has behaved erratically in the international political arena and supports terror and tyranny to become so brazen spells out a recipe for another cataclysmic conflict, not only inside the borders of one Middle Eastern country, but one that boils out of the region and pulls in supporters from all sides and for all side. Russia, with its internal politics increasingly mimicking the politics of a generation ago, has already drawn its line in the sand by selling arms to Iran. China's shaky relations with Iran and burgeoning trade with America only puts a cloud over where that county's imposing military may find itself, should conflict erupt.
I'm afraid it's not so much an "if" Iran will cross the line, it's a "when." When that happens, the world must decide how to deal with this tyrannical state. Will we have the moral superiority of Chamberlain and achieve peace in our time? Ahmadinejad has consistently shown that he has very little respect for diplomatic measures. Why should we extend him that courtesy?