The picture is of Bridget Reilly's Fission, from 1963. An article detailing it can be found here.
I've blogged before about the dangerous game of confronting the Iranian regime and allowing its political divisions to be overlaid by unity in the face of an outside force. The Arabs can't stand the regime; the gulf states are appalled by it; its own young hate it. So why give it the excuse to play the victim?
I'd like to see Iran surrounded quietly, its civil society encouraged, and its monsters set against each other whilst their lines of force outside are shut down. That seems to be happening, bizarrely.
In the real world, outside of my fantasies, a very intelligent American policy that plays on Iran's regional isolation by isolating the Revolutionary Guard, which is a truly fascist organisation, has been instituted.
I blogged before about how Israel hit them in the Sudan last year, and how efforts seem to have been made to drag them into Afghanistan via their own troubles. I notice that the east coast of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, and the entrance to the Straits of Hormuz have been lined with Chinese, Indian and European fleets engaged in 'anti-pirate' activity in the past year. Now, Hillary Clinton seems to be using the reality of the Guards against the regular Iranian military and the regime. That'll get a reaction.
Given that no strike against Iran's array of buried nuclear facilities would work, this is surely sensible. Focussing on Ahmedinajad, who is some sort of increasingly irrelevant working class nationalist, was mad. Divide, regionalise, pressurise and cauterize are much better policy imperatives than the 'Hulk smash Hitler' strategy of the past few years. It is extremely dangerous, but a world with murderous nutcases like those armed with nuclear weapons and all the usual fascist hatreds and oil money would surely be far worse. Of course, if it goes wrong, God help us.