An in-depth look by the New Yorker at the shifting plans for Iran addresses all the possibilities for US involvement and all the consequences. The biggest scare comes from the plan to reposition the rhetoric from attacking Iran to prevent their nuclear advancement to attacking Iran to prevent their role in the killing of Americans in Iraq – a reason to attack that would provide the administration with a much higher level of support from Americans and the rest of the world. What makes this so scary is that intelligence analysts and military officers from the US and Europe believe Iran may not have as great a role in Iraq’s instability as the US administration is spreading around the media to buttress its new plan:

1. While there are an exorbitant number of weapons being found in the hands of ordinary Iraqis, those arms are not necessarily all smuggled in from Iran. We have to remember that many of those arms have likely been there for years – both from what Iran provided the Shi’a of southern Iraq to protect themselves against Hussain’s repression and from what the US provided to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s in which we were allied with and provided support to Iraq. This prevalence of weaponry has allowed for an increase in gangs, mafias, and vigilantism, which has aided the degradation of Iraqi society – not necessarily all the influence of Iran.

2. "’Americans act as if every Iranian inside Iraq were there to import weapons,’" when in fact last year alone, one million Iranians traveled to Iraq on pilgrimage and there was $1 billion in trade between the two countries. An Iran expert stated that "’It would be prudent for the Administration to produce more evidence of direct military training – or produce fighters captured.’"

3. Some of the smuggling that has been traced back to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard looks to have been planned with the hope of being traced to show a response to American aggression – "’to let Washington know that it was not going to get away with its threats so freely,’" noted by a former CIA adviser.

4. According to a former State Department adviser, Iranian diplomats have been complaining that they have been trying to work with Bush on Iraq because they have no interest in an unstable state next to their own – at the very least, they want a role in building an ideal neighbor-state. The Iranians know Iraq better than anyone else, but Bush has been ignoring them – and instead planning an attack against them for creating the exact problem Iran is trying to solve.

Based on this information, this new war-reasoning is likely a proxy, exaggerated in order to rationalize a long-desired war with the American public and the rest of the world. If the US attacks Iran’s military sites with the new reason to prevent attacks on American soldiers, it may be more legitimate, but Iran will respond with violence in every country they have influence in – Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, and some even suggesting Latin America and Europe to create worldwide panic. (One risk many in the article played up was Iran’s alliance with Hizballah and that group’s ability to help stir disaster – but this seems to be an irrational allocation of a group’s focus from the only target it has ever attacked or said it had a problem with (Israel) to the rest of the world, which it has always said it had no problem with.) If the US attacks Iran’s nuclear sites instead (pessimistically assuming military action is a foregone conclusion), it will not have as much legitimacy as ending the "preeminent threat" of assisting in the killing of American soldiers – but the Iranian people may choose to dismantle their nuclear system as being worth too little to risk a war, whereas an attack on their military sites (and sense of security) would serve only to rally the people around their government.