Armchair Generalist wonders if Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's mush-mouthed mumblings about "drastic measures" if Iran does not remove the Farsi word for nuclear from its vocabulary is just bluster, or something worse. I vote for bluster, in large part because of Olmert's own political problems.
Olmert is under pressure to resign, most immediately because of a corruption scandal, but also because of lingering anger over the failed 2006 mini-war with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Back then, Israeli reservists had assembled a petition demanding Olmert's resignation, a sign of how low Olmert's national security credentials had dropped. Olmert's posture as being strong on defense took another beating earlier this year, with the publication of a report highly critical of how Olmert and top IDF commanders misconceived and mismanaged the Lebanon war. At that point, a majority of Israelis polled said that Olmert should resign.
Fortunately for Olmert, he can count on other people's stupidity to buttress his own. First, as the Generalist point out, there are Israel's friends:
SecState Condi Rice talks about extending America's nuclear deterrence "shield" over Israel as a warning to Iran (or any other adversarial nation) not to consider using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against that country. It's not necessary for two reasons. First, the Cold War is over. No one's impressed by the paper tiger of threatened nuclear immolation. Second, Israel's leadership is scary enough with its 150 nuclear devices - they really don't need our "assistance" other than the $2-3 billion we give them, despite their continued disruptive behavior.
Even better, there are the obliging enemies of Israel, such as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmenidijad, who may have made fewer threatening statements in the direction of Israel, but hasn't exactly shut up completely. So, the verbal exchanges between Tel Aviv and Tehran continue.
Therefore, there's every reason to think that Olmert is more than willing to turn up the volume about Iranian threats to drown out the clamor about his deeply troubled prime ministership. It's unclear how successful this effort will be, however. Not even the White House is happy with Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's statement that an Israeli strike on Iran was "unavoidable." Israelis are fimmediately worried about events in Gaza more than Iranian nuclear plans (whatever they really are). In other words, Olmert can't count on everyone's stupidity, all the time.