Joe Katzman, on the administration’s Iran policy (and foreign policy in general):
Anne Applebaum writes…that “Tehran’s worst fear is a well-financed human rights campaign.” In other words, talk less to Iran and more to Iranians.
Unfortunately, this also seems to be Obama’s worst fear. Applebaum is also dead wrong to say that “he people who care about [the democracy movement] are rarely much interested in [Iran’s nuclear program] – and vice versa.” In fact, most of the people concerned with the nuclear program see the democracy movement as the best hope for progress, and have for some time. Obama, in contrast, has a consistent record of aversion to human rights, rule of law, and other niceties abroad. Which is why the drift will continue, until Iran has the bomb.
The only nuclear weapons that he seems truly concerned about are our own (and Israel’s).
And his polls are tanking on foreign policy as well:
On who they trust more to decide the next steps in Afghanistan. 66 percent say military commanders, while only 20 percent say the president. Even Democrats have more faith in the military commanders (by a 45 to 37 percent margin). On Iran, 69 percent say Obama has not been tough enough, including 55 percent of Democrats. Sixty-one percent favor a U.S. military action, if needed, to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Fifty-one percent think Obama apologizes for American too much.
That’s some rapid fail. He’s accelerated from zero to Jimmy Carter in less than a year. Actually, he makes me miss the robust, assertive foreign policy of the Carter years.
[[Update a while later]
More thoughts from Dr. Krauthammer:
When France chides you for appeasement, you know you’re scraping bottom. Just how low we’ve sunk was demonstrated by the Obama administration’s satisfaction when Russia’s president said of Iran, after meeting President Obama at the U.N., that “sanctions are seldom productive, but they are sometimes inevitable.”
You see? The Obama magic. Engagement works. Russia is on board. Except that, as the Washington Post inconveniently pointed out, Pres. Dmitry Medvedev said the same thing a week earlier, and the real power in Russia, Vladimir Putin, had changed not at all in his opposition to additional sanctions. And just to make things clear, when Iran then brazenly test-fired offensive missiles, Russia reacted by declaring that this newest provocation did not warrant the imposition of tougher sanctions.
Do the tally. In return for selling out Poland and the Czech Republic by unilaterally abrogating a missile-defense security arrangement that Russia had demanded be abrogated, we get from Russia . . . what? An oblique hint, of possible support, for unspecified sanctions, grudgingly offered and of dubious authority — and, in any case, leading nowhere because the Chinese have remained resolute against any Security Council sanctions.
Confusing ends and means, the Obama administration strives mightily for shows of allied unity, good feeling, and pious concern about Iran’s nuclear program — whereas the real objective is stopping that program. This feel-good posturing is worse than useless, because all the time spent achieving gestures is precious time granted Iran to finish its race to acquire the bomb.
But we’re talking. That’s what’s important.