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Deep Breaths

By Judd Legum on May 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm

"Deep Breaths"

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Charles Krauthammer huffs and puffs an awful lot before raising a real question about proposed negotiations with Iran:

What concessions does Obama imagine Ahmadinejad will make to him on Iran’s nuclear program? And what new concessions will Obama offer? To abandon Lebanon? To recognize Hamas? Or perhaps to squeeze Israel?

Unlike all the other words in this column, this makes sense, except for the part where Krauthammer does that thing conservatives do where they misinform their audience about who controls Iranian foreign policy — Krauthammer is afraid that an Obama administration would strike an unwise deal with the government of Iran. But what’s not clear is why Krauthammer believes this. It’s not like the possible contours of a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement are all that mysterious.

The United States has various problems with current Iranian policy (their nuclear activities and their support for Hamas and Hezbollah primarily) and we’ve undertaken various kinds of sanctions against them and threatened to overthrow their government. A deal with Iran would involve them modifying some of their policies, and us relaxing some of our coercive measures. Krauthammer’s paranoid fantasies about Obama somehow selling Israel down the river to curry favor with Iran have nothing to do with it — why would Obama make an offer like that? Why would Iran even be interested in an offer like that?

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