Iran: The new Soviet Union
Okay. What I mean is that, when I was a young 'un, there was always a background fear - in the background, quiet, but there - that something would somehow go wrong with the Russkis, they'd press the button, and, whoosh, goodbye Earth (or at least life as we knew it). With the fall of Communism, that fear fell, too - an almost palpable feeling, like a cramp suddenly loosening. The lack of that fear was part of why the '90's was our "escape from history" decade.
Well, one tries to be rational about Iran. With Khatami, that was possible. But, look - Ahmadinejad is just plain freakin' nuts. Even Macleans says so! (The Canadian newsweekly has a positively psycho-type picture of the man on their cover this week.) And I just can't bear to think about any of the Iranian atomic mess because it's too depressing. If my mind starts wandering that way, it tends to follow the steps in this great post by Jim Geraghty- not a lot of fun. Frankly, I'd rather work on my theory about nutty world leaders who refuse to wear neckties - obviously, there's Ahmadinejad, now I've also got Evo Morales of Bolivia . . . much more fun than contemplating Iran and the Bomb.