It's been a busy few weeks.
Israel is supposedly threatening to park a submarine off the coast of Iran, a submarine (German-made - how's THAT for irony?) capable of launching covert intelligence missions or lofting a nuclear-tipped cruise missile into downtown Tehran.
Now, Israel will never confirm or deny it has a nuclear arsenal, an assertion that raises knowing grins and winks. Iran, for its part, is saying that any naughtiness in its front yard will be dealt with forcefully. Stay tuned. Things will get nuts.
Meanwhile, six ships were sent out in an attempt to run the Israeli-imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip. These ships were attacked by the Israeli Navy, and there are reports that ten people died. The Israelis deplore the loss of life, but insist that the dead brought it on themselves.
China didn't condemn North Korea for its actions in sinking a South Korean warship, but that's not too surprising. Not because China likes what North Korea's doing - China's trying to portray itself as a responsible superpower, but the DPRK keeps acting like a child in the throes of the Terrible Twos.
If Beijing condemns the DPRK, there's the possibility that it could tip Little Kim over the edge. And Pyongyang is already making a lot of warlike noises - discontinuing joint efforts, abrogating the agreement designed to limit maritime clashes and so on. It decreed that the 1953 Armistice was void last year or so, so keep your eyes on that.
Which leads me to Afghanistan.
The Graveyard of Empires has many groups of troublemakers causing grief for the US and NATO troops who are trying to help the country by dropping bombs on it and then flooding it with money and goodies. We've been bombing Taliban and al Qaeda strongholds and camps in Cambodia - er, Pakistan - and now the head general and chief poobah over there, General McChrystal, is saying that the Taliban are training in Iran.
This makes about as much sense as an earlier assertion made by the United States that the Shiite Iranians were training and supplying the Sunni Iraqis who were bombing the bejesus out of us. I didn't buy it then, and I ain't buying it now, Fancy Pants.
So there you have it. Three very warm spots, all poised to get a lot warmer.