It’s after midnight in Tehran. The apocalypse turned out to be four soldiers getting froggy with some Romanian laborers.

I won’t name names, but my feelings about the people who were pimping this are the same as my feelings about Amir Taheri after the yellow-badges fiasco: I’ll still read them, but never again with quite the same credulity. That’s how it works, boys. If you’re going to roll the dice on the end times, even with the standard disclaimers, you’ve got to come up with something. And blitzing an oil rig doesn’t quite cut it. Now we look like cranks and the poor morons who clicked that Drudge link yesterday and don’t know any better will be forgiven for thinking Ahmadinejad’s not quite as dangerous as the crazy neocons think he is.

Totten and Point Five are having loads of snarky fun with this idiocy, as they should. And here’s Bob Wright goofing appropriately at Bloggerheads.tv. Richly deserved, alas.

Dean Barnett told me he was going to write something about it today at Hewitt’s blog but I think he pussed out. Alas again.

Update: Captain Ed beat me to the punch:

Seriously, the fact that this tabloidy speculation gained such breathless coverage should embarrass the Western media and blogosphere. Ahmadinejad will spend today laughing up his sleeve at the shakes some commentators appeared to have over this propaganda — and he will know that the West still has something to learn about resolve.

Update: It’s after midnight in Jerusalem now, too. Totten’s still laughing.

Update: Barnett un-pussed!

You’ll note this post is devoid of links. Among the bloggers who peddled this rubbish are people that I respect – I have no desire to add to their embarrassment. (Well maybe a little, but I am occasionally a petty man and try to rise above such ignoble urges.)

But, as Allah has pointed out, these people did our country no favors this week. There are a lot of people desperate to believe all is well and that we’re perfectly safe. These are the people, like highly respected Time Magazine columnist Andrew Sullivan, who think the terror bust in London was a Karl Rove-orchestrated P.R. stunt. Until these people get a grip on reality, we’ll struggle to fight this war successfully, being such a divided society.

We have to win the hearts and minds of our countrymen, too. Today, August 22, was not a positive step in that direction.