The most difficult challenge in writing about the Iranian Terror Plot unveiled yesterday is to take it seriously enough to analyze it.
Iranian Muslims in the Quds Force sending marauding bands of Mexican drug cartel assassins onto sacred American soil to commit Terrorism - against Saudi Arabia and possibly Israel - is what Bill Kristol and John Bolton would feverishly dream up while dropping acid and madly cackling at the possibility that they could get someone to believe it.
But since the U.S. Government rolled out its Most Serious Officials with Very Serious Faces to make these accusations, many people (therefore) do believe it; after all, U.S. government accusations = Truth. All Serious people know that.
So facially absurd are the claims here - why would Iran possibly wake up one day and decide that it wanted to engage in a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil when it could much more easily kill Saudi officials elsewhere?
In case that's not enough to frighten you - and, really, how could it not be? - Some Very Serious Experts are very, very afraid and want you to know how serious this all is.
To make sure you understand just how dastardly and evil the Iranian plotters here are, the DOJ in its complaint highlighted that the used-car-salesman-Terrorist-Mastermind said that he preferred that nobody else be killed when the Saudi Ambassador was assassinated, but if it were absolutely necessary, he could accept some unintended deaths! Here's how the NYT summarizes that:
The complaint quotes Mr. Arbabsiar as making conflicting statements about the possibility of bystander deaths; at one point he is said to say that killing the ambassador alone would be preferable, but on another occasion he said it would be "no big deal" if many others at the restaurant - possibly including United States senators - died in any bombing.
What kind of monster thinks that way, we are supposed to ponder. Behold the warped mind of the Terrorist! He's actually willing to accept that others die besides his intended targeted!
Is that not the mentality that drives U.S. behavior in multiple countries around the world every day? The U.S. flattened an entire civilian apartment building in Baghdad with a 2,000-pound bomb when it thought Saddam Hussein was there (he wasn't - oops - but lots of innocent people were).
NATO repeatedly bombed structures in Tripoli where it thought (mistakenly) Moammar Gadaffi was located, in the process almost certainly killing large numbers of unintended targets.
The U.S. just killed one of its own citizens that it insists (not very credibly) it did not intend to kill in order to eradicate the life of Anwar Awlaki, and killed dozens of innocent people when it previously tried to kill Awlaki with cluster bombs.
The U.S. is the living, breathing symbol of this "collateral damage" rationale. It's what drives all the multi-nation American wars and occupations and drone campaigns and assassinations that continuously pile up the corpses of innocent people.
But we're all going to gather in righteous disgust at the idea that these monstrous International terrorists would be willing to incur some unintended civilian deaths in order to assassinate an official of the peaceful, freedom-loving Saudi regime.