But the bluster flies about. And unchecked bluster is dangerous. As Middle East analyst Phyllis Bennis explained recently
Yes, that's what is scary about the noisy vilification of Iran. The powers-that-be might lose control of what was supposed to be just rhetoric for the rubes. In The Better Angels of our Nature, Steven Pinker describes the very human instincts that could lead to a terrible mistake:
Certainly the experience of the last decade offers no reassurance that these dynamics might not take over.
Fortunately, there are people in power who don't seem to want a U.S. war on Iran. The Obama administration seems to oppose the war hawks. The President says so. I think he means it, most certainly because a major disruption of oil supplies would further inflate gas prices and endanger his re-election. He's got enough problems caused by international oil anxiety already.
And last week, that former administration official and perennial U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross who can be assumed to still have his tentacles in the mix seems to have offered terms to Iran that the proud oil rich state might be able to agree to. Writing in the New York Times, Ross opined:
That's more or less what Russia and France negotiated a few years back and what the U.S. then rejected. Let's hope our rulers have come to see that it is in everyone's interest to come to a peaceful accommodation.