October 12th, 2011
06:13 PM ET

Letters to the President: #996 'The Iranian plot'

Reporter's Note: The intelligence community in DC is buzzing over the discovery of an apparent murder plot hatched by Iranians. I assume the White House is also buzzing over my latest letter.

Dear Mr. President,

This news about the Iranians apparently plotting to attack the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. is wild, isn’t it? This is yet another good reason why I should never be president. It is so outlandish, I’d have trouble taking such a claim seriously.

“Mr. President, we believe the Iranians have struck a deal with a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate a Saudi leader here.”

“Ha! Good one, Joe.”

I have trouble figuring the angles in this one. I get that the Iranians are none too fond of the Saudis, and heaven knows Ahmadinejad acts like he might have a few leaks in his canoe. But why they would want to launch such an attack here seems baffling.

Such a plan would be complex, difficult, and risky in so many ways, especially considering that they’d be traveling around the world to do it when Saudi Arabia…hello…is practically next door. On top of which, I’m not sure what their goal would be. Getting rid of that specific player? Embarrassing America? Triggering some kind of rift between us and the Saudis?

That’s the thing, isn’t it? When we try to figure out someone else’s motives, we almost always do so within the framework of what we consider logical. And their logic may be entirely different. The secret is to get inside their heads and try to see it from their point of view.

So here goes: trying…trying…no, still don’t get it. But I guess that is no surprise. The Iranians have been puzzling us for decades now, and I suppose that will continue for some time, especially as long as whacky plots like this one keep appearing on the radar.

Hope all is well with you. Did you try to call really late last night? I was working, but my wife says she heard the phone and just couldn’t get to it in time.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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