It is clear that the next major target in the war on terror will be either Iran or Iraq. North Korea seems to have been included in the Axis of Evil partly because it is so spectacularly evil, but mostly to show that not all evil countries are Muslim. (Showing that not all Muslim countries are evil would not be quite so easy, but that is a subject for another day.) Yemen, the Philippines, Georgia, and (coming soon?) Somalia are sideshows, and can be handled simultaneously with each other and with a major effort.
Of course, practical considerations like the supply of appropriate munitions, availability of local bases, and strength of the internal opposition will be the primary considerations in determining who's next in the crosshairs. Iran is looking distinctly fragile, and some argue that it should come before Iraq. I suggest that there is one more point in favor of such a sequence.
What I have not seen on the web is any discussion of the geographical symbolism implied by putting Iran before Iraq. Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq form a continuous row of adjacent countries extending from the periphery of the Middle East towards its center. If Iran were to be liberated next, followed by Iraq, it would look like a row of falling dominoes pointed straight at Jerusalem. That might have a particularly good (that is, unpleasant) effect on the Palestinians, Syria and the latter's Lebanese lapdog, and Egypt and Libya beyond them. A left turn at Iraq, to follow the coastline, would take the liberation juggernaut to Saudi Arabia, the headquarters of radical Islam.
On the other hand, there's a lot to be said psychologically for jumping around and attacking from different directions, the 'leapfrog' of my title. For example, invading Iraq while 'turning' Yemen and keeping Jordan and the Gulf emirates at least neutral would certainly put Saudi Arabia in the nutcracker, and Iraq alone would put Iran in the same sort of squeeze.Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 25, 2002 10:00 PM