Those Pesky Persians
So, let me get this straight: The Iranian government decided it would be a good idea to launch a plot to kill the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S.
To do this, they sent two geniuses to contact a guy they thought was a Mexican drug bandito but was actually an undercover agent pretending to be a drug bandito to do the deed.
They offered the undercover agent pretending to be a Mexican drug bandito $1.5 million to blow up the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. while he was dining at a restaurant in downtown Washington, DC.
Oh, yeah. This was going to go down like clockwork.
One-point-five-mil for a member of a Mexican drug gang? The Iranians could have gotten some Russian Mafia thug from Brighton Beach in Brooklyn to do it for bus fare and an all-expenses paid night at the Elliot Spitzer suite at the Mayflower Hotel in DC.
This is known as "Goyishe Kupf" - non-Jewish thinking.
The Education of Barack Obama continued yesterday when, according to the NY Times, the President "vowed on Thursday to push for what he called the 'toughest sanctions' against Iran, saying that the United States had strong evidence that Iranian officials were complicit in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States."
Join me and Sherman in the WayBack machine and return exactly four years ago when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been invited to speak at Columbia University. According to Beth Fouhy's piece in USA Today, Senator Obama said he "would be willing as president to meet with the Iranian leader as a way to protect U.S. interests."
How 'bout next week, Mr. President?
The Iranian government has been showing off its international big boy pants for a long time. Under the administration of George W. Bush, Iran knew Iraq and Afghanistan were drawing so much attention and so many resources that there was no bandwidth available for Tehran.
Obama, even with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and (dare we say it) Vice President Joe Biden trying to help control the foreign affairs division of his Presidency, has not presented a threat to the expansion of Iranian influence.
The mistake the Iranian government has made in this instance is having targeted a major diplomat (Adel Al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia) to a major country (the United States of America).
Even minor officials in Embassies are afforded exceptional protection in the countries to which they are assigned. Accredited officials are immune from prosecution - even for crimes they have actually committed. They get sent home, but they aren't sent to jail in their host country.
Why would Iran take out after Saudi Arabia? Among other things, Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni nation; Iran is the modern home of the Shi'ite branch of Islam.
One of the nations which will benefit from this whole episode is little Bahrain sitting in the Persian Gulf.
The majority of the Bahraini population is Shi'ite, but the royal family and much of the industrial class is Sunni.
This incident gives credence to Bahrain's claim that, during the "Arab Spring" uprisings, the unrest was being orchestrated, and paid for, by Iran.
This is an extremely dangerous time for the Obama Administration and for the Western world in general. Israel and the Palestinians are warily watching each other to see if each is serious about re-opening peace talks even while the military junta in Egypt appears to be losing control over the traditional secular nature of that country.
If Ahmadinejad feels that he is being boxed in, he will double-down on his influence in Syria and Lebanon and try to deflect attention to this plot by urging his client states to cause new trouble in Israel.
As to domestic politics, if it begins to sink in that Iran is so dismissive of Obama that they would hatch a plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador by blowing him up in a restaurant in the middle of Washington, DC this does not help the President's re-election campaign.
Those pesky Persians.
The On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Lots of links to the stories referenced above as well as another opportunity for you to Subscribe to Mullings. Also one of the best Mullfotos I've ever taken and a Catchy Caption of the Day.