Ebrahim Sheibani, nimble and quick, tells the world in his capacity as Tehran’s top banker that Iran has o’erleaped the singeing candle of “smart” sanctions — by pulling its foreign currency reserves out of European banks.
Those cruising Drudge lately will also have learned in old-school counterpoint that — as human paragon of international law and Nobel Laureate M. ElBaradei refuses to condemn Iran — non-Laureate Jacques Chirac has started talking up the nuclear option against any would-be terrorist enemy of France. It appears, perhaps not yet a day late and dollar short, that the French leadership understands the limits of diplomacy backed by more panicked diplomacy.
But Paris, in the same way that it can’t nuke itself when a den of freaks does home-grown damage on a mind-bending scale, won’t be lobbing missiles toward Iran any time soon, either. Iran has learned how sharp the combination of “smart preemption” can be, and our non-state adversaries have adapted, too. Any terrorist worth his salt, post-Afghanistan, knows that the best suicide attack is the one that makes a target country turn on itself, not the host country, like a man covered in fire ants. Europe is very good at exporting the rule of law, and Chirac, at least, now seems willing to export carnage (or at least its credible threat). Europe has to concern itself, too, unfortunately, with the more personal problem of imports.
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