WAR FRENZY….The LA Times says that George Bush is expected to claim during tonight’s State of the Union address that Iran is deeply involved in Iraq’s civil war:

For all the aggressive rhetoric, however, the Bush administration has provided scant evidence to support these claims. Nor have reporters traveling with U.S. troops seen extensive signs of Iranian involvement. During a recent sweep through a stronghold of Sunni insurgents here, a single Iranian machine gun turned up among dozens of arms caches U.S. troops uncovered. British officials have similarly accused Iran of meddling in Iraqi affairs, but say they have not found Iranian-made weapons in areas they patrol.

The lack of publicly disclosed evidence has led to questions about whether the administration is overstating its case.

Golly. Overstating its case? The Bush administration?

This is ridiculous. I don’t doubt that Iran is meddling in Iraq — they’re neighbors, after all — but we’ve been watching them intensively for the past five years, we have 150,000 troops next door in Iraq, we’ve conducted uncounted raids on Iraqi insurgents, and the CIA and military intelligence have hundreds of analysts assigned to figuring out Iran’s intentions and capabilities. And yet we’ve found very little. This suggests that Iranian meddling is fairly modest.

Iran is hardly a friend. They’ve been designated the top state sponsor of terrorism for years. They stone gays to death and support suicide attacks by Hezbollah. Their leaders support a repellant ideology of anti-semitism. It’s a loathsome regime.

But that doesn’t mean we ought to be at war with them, and we certainly shouldn’t be at war over wildly exaggerated claims from an administration that’s demonstrated conclusively that it can’t be trusted with such claims. It’s time for everyone to settle down.

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