It occurs to me that the fear so prevalent in the wingnut masses is also a demonstrable characteristic of it's leadership as well. Their fear, and it's projection onto our foes, has contributed to their manifestly ineffectual strategies for combating global terrorism.
Take a look at this list of who served. Almost the entirety of the leadership of the Republican party, with the exception of Donald Rumsfeld who served three years as a aviation instructor in the Navy, somehow avoided serving in the Vietnam war. In fact few even meet the low standard set by Rumsfeld and Bush of even wearing the uniform of our armed services at some point in their lives. When it came to taking up arms and facing hostile fire from an enemy determined to kill them, they took a pass.
So it comes as no surprise that their cowardice has manifested itself in an incredibly negative form in their strategy to combating global terrorism. Everything they do begins with the assumption that the enemy is just as cowardly as they themselves. All strategy is precipitated on the idea that those we're fighting will care more about their own hide that their country, their religion or their family and friends. Bush, Cheney and the rest of the chickenhawks in leadership have convinced themselves everybody thinks the same way they do.
This speaks directly to the idea of tactical nukes in Iran. The administration hawks looking across an Iraq insurgency that is nowhere near it's "last throes" have come to the conclusion that the problem isn't the strategy of shock and awe, it's the formula to that shock and awe. They just haven't found a scary enough explosion to send the natives scattering. Dropping a nuclear bomb will show our enemies that we really, really, really mean business this time.
It's because they themselves are incapable of imaging any other reaction of fundamentalist Muslims to an attack on Iran as being anything other than abject fear, they can't begin to realistically imagine the possible consequences and plan accordingly. For example: could any of us say with a straight face that the administration will seriously consider the disposition of the Musharraf government in Pakistan following an attack on Iran? Does George W. Bush understand that the man whose name he couldn't remember in a debate during the Republican primaries would probably be dead within hours of our bombing Iran and their nuclear weapons in the hands of men who, at the very least, are sympathetic to Bin Laden's crusade against the U.S.?
Of course not. They think our enemies would do what they would do: wet their pants and hide under the bed. In doing so they will continue to perpetuate a flawed strategy and to try and pound a square peg into a round hole. Meanwhile the rest of the world, our global prestige and thousands of innocents suffer because we have leaders who are afraid of their own shadows.