Alexander Cockburn has a very good piece about some of the things that may lead to the war and some of the obstacles. He particularly notes the Democrats’ tough stance on Iran and what may be causing it:
The Democrats take the lead of their presidential hopefuls, who have no intention of being corralled by the Republicans as simps of Holocaust deniers who want to destroy Israel. These days, to be a player, any candidate for the U.S. presidency has to raise about $100 million, of which a large tranche will come from American Jews. Barack Obama and John Edwards call for swift withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. When it comes to Iran they roar in unison with Hillary Clinton that no option can be left off the table. In other words, if it comes to it, nuke ’em.
Is there room for sanity here? The best hope will be for Iran to finish its testing cycle, declare mission accomplished and figure out some sort of face-saving halt in its program by Feb. 21. Can we hope for prudence from the White House? Who knows? Bush is a nutty guy. It was his insistence on democratic elections in Iraq that put the Shi’a in control. Now he’s blaming Iran for trying to capitalize on the consequences. This is not a regime that thinks things through very sensibly.