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A different strategy for Iran

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Let simmer until well done:
Karl Marx wasn't right about much. But one thing he did get right is the social dynamic leading to political revolution. Genuine revolutions, Marx noted, do not take place in a friendly environment amenable to gradual and piecemeal reform. They are the result of widespread dissatisfaction so strongly suppressed that it eventually erupts, like an overblown balloon, in acts of revolutionary violence and fervor.

In a wonderful historical twist, this piece of Marxist-Leninist wisdom may be the key to the undoing of the Iranian theocracy. But to make it so, the US must play it clever and ignore the Iranian government's repeated provocations.

Because provocations they are. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his cohorts know full well that the only way to maintain and tighten their grip on the Iranian populace is to provoke the US and its Western allies into confrontation. Once that happens, wide support for the new national cause drowns domestic concerns about the totalitarian regime.

The Iranian people are by and large friendly to -- to some extent even admiring of -- the United States. Iran has a large and well educated middle class with an unabashed entrepreneurial spirit and economic vested interest in a stable middle east. This is why Iran does not produce terrorism so much as sponsor it abroad: although Hezbollah and its likes get much of their financial and organizational support from Tehran, Iranian citizens are rarely involved in terrorist acts.

This might work, until such time as Iran actually tests a nuclear bomb. Then it will be too late.