Nerves are frayed to the point of breaking over the Middle East escalation. One can tell this is so when even respectable think-tanks start looking for ulterior motives behind seemingly minor events, without offering any specific evidence or well-developed leads.
Take, for example, Thursday’s emergency landings of two Iranian civilian airliners over Turkey. Absolutely nothing unusual was reported, except that both aircraft malfunctioned, both over Turkey, and both coming from Tehran. Still, the event warranted a front-page report by Stratfor. The (anti-climactic) conclusion: “These incidents may simply be representative of Iran’s inability to maintain its commercial aircraft under the weight of sanctions and financial restrictions, but given Iran’s ongoing confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, ulterior motives for the landings cannot be ruled out.”