The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler reports that, despite President Obama’s hard diplomatic work in bringing Russia and China closer to a UN sanctions resolution, “administration officials acknowledge that even what they call ‘crippling’ sanctions could prove ineffective in keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons”:
That stalemate, in the view of many analysts, means that a strategy of containing Iran is inevitable — diplomatic isolation backed by defense systems supplied to Persian Gulf allies.
“I think we are in for a long cold war with Iran. It will be containment and deterrence,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a former top State Department official who is now a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. “Iran will muddle along building its stockpile but never making a nuclear bomb because it knows that crossing that line would provoke an immediate military attack.”
Meanwhile, in terms of how we got here, Laura Rozen reports a fantastic pwning by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), who, at a hearing of the House Middle East subcommittee yesterday, strenuously pointed out the utter lack of credibility of the Bush administration hawks who not only failed to stop Iran’s nuclear program but whose approach to the Middle East actually provided the Islamic Republic with one of the biggest strategic boosts in its history.
“In terms of U.S. credibility” in the Middle East, Ackerman said, “the Obama Administration inherited, not a partial failure, but a total collapse“:
And from the policymakers and supporters of the previous Administration, who in decency ought to have slunk off in shamed silence for having watched fecklessly as this disaster — like Iran’s steady march toward nuclear weapons-capability — unfolded under their watch, what do they have to say today?
“Appeasement! Appeasement!” they cry, attempting to evoke the days leading to World War II.
This charge is grotesque. Apart from the indecency of comparison with the unique horror and evil of Nazi Germany, the cheap demagoguery of the word utterly fails to capture what the Obama Administration is actually doing. Where, one might ask, is the long list of concessions from America to Syria? Where is the surrender and sell-out of allies? Where is the retreat in the face of challenge? A few airplane parts? A few inconclusive meetings?
The string of defeats and failures that brought us to the current impasse occurred, let us not forget, during the previous Administration. The seeming limits of American power were brutally exposed well before Barack Obama was even elected to his high office.
Appeasement? Shameless nonsense. And more empty words.
It is true that the Obama Administration is pursuing a different policy than the spectacular failure of its predecessor. But that’s just good sense. Everywhere but Washington, not repeating mistakes is considered a good, or even a very good thing.
Heckuva job, Bushie.