TED KOPPEL: 30 years after the Iran hostage crisis, we’re still fighting Reagan’s war. Um, wasn’t Jimmy Carter President when the Hostage Crisis began? And if he’d taken decisive action instead of dithering, we probably wouldn’t still be fighting this war, and doing badly enough that supporters of the current Democratic President are trying to blame Reagan. Instead, Carter temporized, much as Obama has been doing on numerous fronts. I don’t remember Koppel sounding bellicose back then, but of course I was young and might have missed it.

On the other hand, I can’t help but think that to a lot of Democrats, heating things up with Iran now might seem to have short-term political benefits. It would distract people from what’s going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, for a while, at least, in the American economy.