European politicians have evidentially reached a state of denial with regard to the lack of effectiveness of their policies on Iran. They seemingly cannot accept that the tried and the current policies on Iran have all not only failed but also generated a state of vacuum in the Middle East where the Islamic regime (IR) hopes to fill with its fundamentalist stooges. Some of the politicians such as the American’s neo-cons hinted a military solution, it did not pay off. Some other such as Jack Straw thought the West could appease the Islamic regime. That policy not only did not pay off but also bought enough time for the IR to lay the necessary foundation for making a nuke. Now and following a series of failed policies, another politician has come to a not-so-new formula. According to the leader of oppositions (David Cameron on the hot seat – BBC’s interview on 29/8/07), Europe must show a much “bigger stick”, while offer a much “bigger caret” to the Islamic regime to perhaps prevent IR from making a nuclear bomb. He clarifies that a military solution to the Iran’s crisis is a “calamity” but notes that letting Iran having a nuke is “catastrophic” too. He does not seem to realise that the pain from a “bigger stick” will soon be forgotten, but the nourishment gained from the “bigger caret” will enable the ailing regime to yet survive for another decade. Or does he? Ahmadinejad’s ayatollahs have in many occasions indicated that they do need carets – the bigger the better, but are not scared of the stick, simply because their initial objectives does not include a nuclear bomb, nor a rosy relation with the West (well not in the first instance). The IR is after two really “big carets”: Islamic Empire in the Middle East, ruled from the spiritual leader’s pulpit, and of course the security for the ayatollahs’ regime whatsoever crises may come and go. Well, according to G.W. Bush, the caret of that humongous size is undeliverable. Bush predicts a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East, and shows the biggest stick of confront ing Ayatollahs “before it is too late”, (Tim Reid - The Times 29/8/07). Mostafa Muhammad Najjar, the Defence Minister, had rebuffed such a threat a day earlier by promising: “We will use these [900 Kg bombs] against our enemies when the times comes.” (AP 27/8/07) In such a tense situation when confrontation is more immenant and less academic, perhaps to us who live thousands of miles away from the core of tension, David Camron’s waging a “bigger caret” does seem a good diplomatic gesture, but people of Iran have their own opinion towards this formula, too. Economist (23/8/7 – Islamic republic of Fear) points readers to the right direction: “Recent months have seen the largest crackdown on civil liberties since the 1980s. Purges of suspected liberals have decimated university faculties, and repeated closures have all but silenced the once-vociferous opposition press.” In other words, what people read between the lines of this half chewed policy of “bigger caret and stick” is that there is no mention of abuse of human rights in Iran; no mention of imprisoning women for not covering their hair; no mention of workers and teachers being beaten up because of asking for 18 month unpaid salary. In short, there is no mention of the people’s wishes in this formula, but it is only a compromising escape route for the IR to survive the current crisis. The dilemma for the West remains as strong as ever. Should it finally submit to the Ayatollahs’ expansionist demands or to the people’s democratic and secular objectives; and equally important question which one is costlier? Since 911, hard facts point to the cost of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan without the people’s direct participation. According to most army generals and politicians, it has been disastrous, costly, over-ambitious, non-productive, and with a long lasting negative impression on the Middle East where millions of human lives has been lost with nothing to show for. General Sir Mike Jackson considers it as "intellectually bankrupt" (Daily Telegraph 1/9/07). Who knows, perhaps, a mere support for a popular, democratic, and secular movement could have effectively sufficed, and be labelled as “intellectually progressive”.