Two days after President Obama assured Prime Minister Netanyahu that the United States is on top of the Iranian race for nuclear weaponry, it turned out that we were not even on top of the intelligence in the matter.  No, what was announced and widely confirmed on Wednesday was not an advance in Tehran's atomic munitions capability.  Instead, it was news that Iran had launched what an unidentified U.S. government official termed, according to the A.P. "the longest-range solid-propellent missile it has launched yet."  Since nuclear armaments has something to do with missiles that carry them, this "raised concerns" about whether the sophistication of Iran's missile program is increasing.  Shall we pick straws? "Yes" or "no."

According to Ha'aretz (which naturally follows these matters more closely than your home town newspaper), Secretary Clinton, testifying before a Senate appropriations committee panel, assured its members that if Washington's diplomatic effort to curb Tehran's nuclear aspirations fail, multilateral sanctions might be more effective.  Well, as you know, multinational sanctions have already been tried. But they are not strong enough now...and, even if stronger, would also likely fail, as I argued here a few days ago.

Leon Panetta has warned Israel not to take matters in its own hands. It would lead to "big trouble" if Israel did, he said  Sure it would. But not as big as the troubles that would be caused if Dr. Ahmadinejad and his turbaned colleagues possessed weapons that could, would be used to fulfill the threat to wipe Israel off the map.