‘Strategic’ is the only one that matters. Tehran is strategic, and moreso, restrained in the face of repeated provocation.
Look at it this way: the US response to Bin Laden’s Bait was destructive of its own strategic interests, costly in lives, ridiculously expensive, corrosive of its domestic politics, and irrational. But what matters is that it was not strategic.
‘State sponsors of terrorism’ is not a good standard to judge rationality, or strategic vision; and, it condemns the US in its broad generalizations, since Washington has been funding Baluchi terrorists inside Iran for decades.
I disagree with your assertion that terrorism automatically equates to irrationality. In the case of Iran, it is “war by other means”. Asymmetrical warfare, which we in the U.S. can’t relate to because we are used to military dominance.
But our revolutionary forefathers may have understood.
If you’re responding to ‘Iranian proxies’ in Iraq, I think you’re closer to the mark. The area in question is the Shia urheim, and Tehran doesn’t exert direct control over many of the tribal and religious leaders there. But, Tehran does have proxies in southern Iraq, especially.
You are operating from a frame of reference where Iran is a viable stable country with stable leadership. I’m operating from exactly the opposite frame of reference. I am unwilling to operate in yours and I seriously doubt you would be willing to operate in mine. I don’t see any common ground for discussion so I’m going to move on.
It’s a fact that the CIA is funding Baluchi terrorists.
It’s also a fact that US policy in the region has been disproportionate, deadly, costly, destabilizing, counterproductive and in many cases, useful to terrorists. There’s a discussion to be had about whether this qualifies as state terror.
What I find odd, personally, is the need to valorize US conduct, especially since Korea. The US has engaged in military and proxy action that has caused tremendous suffering, and with little gain. This is and ought to be subject to domestic criticism, without the moral scolding that seeks to stifle reflection about foreign policy choices.