Ah, another day, another round of sanctions against Iran.
So, what happens now?
On Iran's nuclear ambitions, my predictions are worthless. What I know of enriched uranium could be written on a piece of paper small enough to be swallowed and washed down with a glass of water.
Of our domestic hawks, however, I know far more than any sane man would wish to. One would hope that recent events have been instructive, but a quick click through any American newspaper's website indicates otherwise.
All those long years of dusty academia studying the Western way of warfare have so far proven pointless, so now seems as good a time as any to make use of my education. In guessing what comes next, let's reminisce about how this went the last time, to see if any useful lessons can be drawn.
As far as I can see, most societies have their share of carnivorous undead freaks whose unsleeping, implacable rage demands constant sacrifice at the bloody altar of daemonic slaughter. This Satanic urge is generally kept in check by the population's longing for a quiet life and the pious prayer of our pacifist minority, thus ensuring an uneasy calm.
Most of the time, we let these unholy troglodytes rant and rave in the darkness, feeding on each other's brains, snarling and slouching loincloth-clad around crypts filled with the noisome stench of their sick corruption.
Every now and then, when the ululating shrieks of these night-creeping fiends become too loud to ignore, we toss them a carcass, letting them gorge themselves on a Grenada or feast upon a Falklands.
But in exceptional times - recent ones, for instance - they slip their chains and come marauding amongst us, ravening through our gardens, banging on our doors and scratching at our windows, pleading for us to let them in.
And here's the thing - even in dire straits, these desperate, gibbering ghouls can only gain admittance if we invite them of our own free will. Mindful of old campfire tales, we ignore their mewling, slobbering supplications, and clasp our crucifixes tighter to our chests.
Within our warm abodes, however, are always those whose minds are weak. Those who are susceptible to suggestion, who secretly yearn to feel the cold, hard breath of the beast upon their necks, to submit to that dark embrace and give themselves up to the sharp pang of razor fangs.
"Let them in," these deluded souls mutter, entranced, moving as one to remove the bolts and unslip the locks. "They want to help us... they want to keep us safe and bring freedom and human rights to all..."
"Jesus Christ, NO!" shouts the lone voice of sanity, "Those flesh-eating undead fucks will tear us all to shreds and feast on our entrails!"
Yet already it's too late - the doors are flung wide, and the unholy pack sweep inside baying in animal triumph, drunken and frenzied with blood-crazed greed to wreak swift and terrible carnage. Once over the threshold, no sacred symbol or silver bullet can repel the savage fury of the damned.
That's how it went last time, at any rate.
Which leaves us with one question - at the fateful moment, when the moon is full and we hear once more the skitter of claws at the windows, will we calm the gullible and the easily-led amongst us?
Will we hold them by the shoulders and shake sense into them, imploring them to gaze into the beast's fiery red eyes to see the smouldering hatred within?
If you asked me to guess, I'd say probably not. Most likely we'll go on a march or two, then write a jolly stiff letter to our Members of Parliament.
Time will tell, I suppose, but we must bear one thing in mind - however the confrontation between Iran and the West pans out, we must remain calm and resist the urge to hyperbole and hysteria.