We need to beware of lame ducks, traditionally considered harmless especially when they are unpopular at home. Can the next 15 months prove that lame ducks may be dangerous, especially if they work in pairs? The Guardian hints that a duck-billed catastrophe may be in preparation.
The historical situation is unique. Bush and Cheney have, by their own consistent and unwavering choice, defined themselves as the "All-eXXon-dares the Great", conquerors of the Middle East and Protectors of the Mesopotamian Cradle of Petroleum (once quaintly known as the Cradle of Civilization). Cheney appears to be totally committed to the idea of complete conquest... and Bush appears to be totally committed to Cheney. If these two lame ducks manage to lean on each other (clinging desperately with Cheney's right wing), they may end up with two legs to walk on long enough to launch their Strangelovian attack on Iran, with Cheney in the role of Gen. Jack D. Ripper and Bush in that of TJ Kong (the TJ clearly standing for Texan Junior "King" Kong, an apt description of the son of the other President George Bush).
This is where the quagmire in Iraq and the sheer degree of unpopularity of the current administration may add fuel to the fire, or rather a few megatons to the bomb. In the waning months of his presidency before what looks to be the imminent victory of a Democrat, it may appear that the only way to force the future administration to "stay the course" would be to attack Iran, transforming the Iraq fiasco into a world war and a quest for absolute control. They might even consider that there's a remote but not impossible chance of cancelling the election.
This is where Gordon Brown could become a hero, because without a prominent and loyal European ally (sometimes referred to as a poodle), the chance of the US carrying out such a plan without being ripped to shreds by the international community is zero. The remaining question would be, if Brown refuses to join the coalition of the thrilling, would Sarkozy see that as an opportunity to put France in the coveted position of America's Great Ally (the AGA Con)? I don't think Sarkozy is that stupid, partly because the one issue on which he hasn't convinced the French to trust his self-proclaimed "new deal" is Bush's foreing policy.