If there's a greater military sin than reinforcing defeat, it's starting another war by the side. Small wonder that the thought of George 'Warrior' Bush stoushing off with Iran even as he pours more troops into the black-hole of Baghdad has set off rumblings in the Pentagon. If his plane makes it back to the US in one piece, Dick Cheney can look foward to recalcitrant generals who also consider 'all options on the table'. Fortunately for Cheney, in America this means that they resign, showing a better grasp of the rules in a democracy than the current White House crowd.
Tehran for its part has been busy joining the 500-mile high club, starting its own reverse-Temptation Island and cultivating powerful friends. On the last point, there's a new book out on the long tradition of Sino-Iranian relations - which includes Persian rulers bolting to China after a thrashing by foreign invaders - catering for the post-9/11 history-as-politics vogue. Witness the latest effort by a right-wing politician to beat the War on Terror into an ill-conceived analogy. Of course we can't expect them to canvass the possibility that perhaps, just maybe, this shouldn't be thought of as a war at all.
Closer to home, the pundits are still trying to convince us that Kevin Rudd is too smart for his own good. Rudd has perhaps been a bit too 'full of himself' these past two weeks, giving Howard an opening for the sort of ad hominem battle in which he floored the last two opposition leaders. But I stick by my optimism that the voting public will judge their alternative leader on his policies before his poindexter looks.