"On the day the Great Satan praises us, we shall mourn"

Joe Klein:

There are several possible responses to the appalling news that Iran seems to have brought espionage charges against three American hikers who wandered across the Kurdish border. Taken together with Iran's apparent decision not to agree to the nuclear treaty it had agreed to, this is yet another signal of the Iranian regime going off the rails. No doubt, assorted neoconservatives in the U.S. will want to use this as an excuse to whack the Khamenei-Whomever government rhetorically, economically and toss in some use of force threats as well.

Which will give the regime exactly what it wants and needs: proof that the Great Satan exists. I've mentioned before my favorite piece of official graffiti painted on the old U.S. Embassy in Tehran: "On the day the Great Satan praises us, we shall mourn." It always seemed a classic bit of ju-jitsu to me: Want to make the Iranian leaders uncomfortable? Praise them. Or, at least, don't play into their need for a satanic enemy.