I’m sure that by now everyone has heard about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmaninejad’s statement that Israel is a “disgraceful blot” that should be “wiped off the map.”
What bothers me the most about the phrase “wiped off the map” is that it can’t be seen in a vacuum or dismissed as an aberration or as rhetorical excess. Ahmadinejad’s predecessor, Hashemi Rafsanjani (for many years a major Iranian leader) made it perfectly clear that the longterm Iranian goal is to use nuclear weapons against Israel:

If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.

Iran is of course moving full steam ahead towards the production of the very nuclear weapons they brag about wanting to use against Israel. They’ve thumbed their nose at the people who want them to stop nuclear development, and now their president publicly states they want Israel “wiped off the map.”
Excuse me, but what do they need to do to make themselves more clear?
This is an intolerable and urgent situation, and in my view it calls for a preemptive response.
Can I say the threat is looking more and more imminent?
(Or has the word “imminent” been dumbed down?)