When Iran's quest to develop nuclear weapons is mentioned in the news, especially when its whacked out religious fanatic leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known here as Green Bean Almondine, is the focus, the phrase "military option," is often in the text - or was until earlier this month.

"Military option" is diplo-speak for saying, to borrow a Rush Limbaugh parody of a Sen. John McCain statement, "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran," sung to the tune of Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys.

Put directly, President Bush was never far from pointing out that if Iran continues to stir the pot in the Middle East by providing weapons to Al Qaeda terrorists who use them to kill our troops, and working to build a nuclear weapon with which to vaporize Israel while holding the rest of the region hostage, we would turn Green Bean's domain into a glassed-over parking lot.

Then, earlier this month, a highly questionable National Intelligence Estimate that said Iran had stopped working on the bomb in 2003, was released by the White House. Anti-Bush media and congress persons immediately jumped all over Bush, maintaining that the estimate was yet more evidence that his administration couldn't find its rear end with both hands and a road map.

That the NIE report in question directly contradicted reports from 2003 prepared by the same agencies was widely ignored in favor of the political finger pointing. That our European allies, as well as Israel, responded that the report was flawed to the point of being ludicrous was downplayed.

Ultimately, however, enough contradictions surfaced to give the overall impression that the report was defective at best, inaccurate at the worst.

When the report first was released, the immediate and overwhelming response was that its revelations had taken the "military option" off the table. The rational was that should the US contemplate military action against Iran, Bush would have the same difficulties obtaining international backing as he did in 2003 before we invaded Iraq. Without international consensus, the reasoning goes, we are powerless to defend ourselves or our allies.

Really? Says who? Since when is this country tethered to international opinion, especially when that opinion is first filtered and manipulated by the World Terrorist Media. How much credibility can we give to supposed "informed" opinion when the citizenry of France and Germany had supposedly turned their backs on us, but at first opportunity elected pro-America leaders?

Why did the inaccurate conclusions in the NIE report immediately translate to an isolated America following a flawed strategy, but when the flaws in the report became the news, no one said the military option is back on the table.

I heard this as recently as the end of this week, from commentators who made the point from the outset that if the Iranians had actually suspended the segment of their nuclear weapons development that the report mentioned, it was not a suspension of the whole program, nor even the most dangerous part of the program.

Many informed analysts now believe a minor segment of the overall program MAY have been suspended in 2003, but likely was restarted in 2004. Regardless, it doesn't impact Iran's efforts to make nuclear grade weapons fuel from uranium. If Iran succeeds in its quest for bomb-grade fuel, the process of actually making a bomb will take only a few months.

Yet, our option to halt this tragedy in the making is now supposedly permanently restricted.

Which leads me to question just what is going on? I don't mean with the World Terrorist Media and its local affiliate the American Terrorist Media - I already know what is going on with them. I mean with our State Department and the White House.

There is evidence galore that our military and political efforts in Iraq have been taking their toll on Iran. The media also is reporting that high Iranian officials have suspended support for Muslim-on-Muslim atrocities in Iraq, thus halting the flow of arms to foreign terrorists who make up the bulk of Al Qaeda terrorists there.

It appears that we found a way to put the smack down on the whacko - Green Bean. It may be as simple as supporting dissident efforts inside Iran, and it may be that by slamming his military forces on the Iraq-Iran border we have delivered a message that finally got through Green Bean's bombast. It also could be far more and far different than we have imagined, and if so we won't know for sure for years, if not decades.

What we do know is that there has been a very public announcement that Bush has quieted his military commentary, and many are saying that resolution of the Iran crisis will be left to his predecessor.

Green Bean appears to be playing nice at the moment, but I wouldn't plan on this being a lasting development unless he and his extremist backers are overthrown. Regardless of how he portrays himself on the world stage, and regardless of how his propaganda is received by international diplomats who willingly play the role of playground wimps, Green Bean is a street fighter, the ultimate sandbox bully.

He can learn to learn to smile while he walks among people he loathes and considers infidels, he can make hideous speeches at smarmy "intellectual" institutes of learning, he can engage in diplomatic maneuvering. But down inside, he is plotting.

If he is on his feet, unharmed, armed, and still focused on rebuilding a New-Age Persian Empire, he is plotting. He isn't defeated, or cowed. He is just watching, looking for the weakness, planning on getting what he wants, which means smashing every enemy real or imagined, and dominating even those who consider him a friend.

Maybe it is in the Bush Administration's best interests to not be pushing the military option at the moment. Maybe there are internal factors at work that will topple Green Bean and turn Iran's population back to supporting the US.

But there is one big horsefly in the ointment. The protesting Iranian 'students' who make the news infrequently, aren't armed. They were disarmed long ago which is why they use sticks and stones, yell a lot and burn effigies when they demonstrate, whether it be against the US or their own government.

If you see armed Islamo-fascist terrorists on TV you can bet they are supported by the religious government that runs their country, or they are risking overwhelming response. The 'students' don't have the means to overthrow their government and neither do their parents.

It may well be that there is far more than meets the eye to this NIE report and the response to it but there can be little question that the portions that garnered the most publicity are the least credible, as has been pointed out across the globe.

I don't have an issue with using all the means at our disposal to bring peace to the Middle East.

But if Green Bean is pulling another diversion, and pops up with the bomb in three years, the US is going to have to stand tall with or without support from the European Union, NATO or the United Nations. He will bomb Israel, he will threaten every other nation in that region, he already has the ability to hit most of Europe with long-range missiles, and he will impose his warped view of the world on everyone he dominates.

Who will stand by the US in that scenario? Saudi Arabia? Not likely. Egypt? Who knows? That is the problem. Finding real allies in the Middle East, aside from Israel, is a crap shoot especially if a regional power like Iran develops nuclear weapons, with the already determined intent to use them.

Yet we continue on with the myth that the military option is off the table. Maybe it isn't off the table at all. Maybe it just isn't the centerpiece. But given Green Bean's duplicity, and his quest for world domination, I wouldn't trust him as far as your average diplomat can throw a grand piano.

President Bush can and should pursue all available options in resolving the Iran dilemma. But the military option should stay right where it has been all along, or a decade from now the only legacy left of the Bush Administration will be the smoking ruins of the seat of western civilization, millions dead on both sides, and a historic view of the pre-WWII to post-WWIII Era as the Chamberlain-Bush Miscalculations.