Asking the wrong questions about Iran
Why is McCain allowing himself to be dragged into a debate about presidential-level diplomacy, when the more important question — and the question whose answer is more politically favorable to McCain — is whether diplomatic engagement will actually get anything accomplished? McCain should be asking Obama what concessions he realistically thinks he’s going to get from the Iranians upon going hat in hand to Tehran. UN Security Council sanctions have done virtually nothing to impede Iran, nor have EU diplomacy or IAEA reports. Russia and China continue to stand as the major impediments to the kind of UN sanctions that might so cripple Iran that it would give up its nuclear development. The hard question for Obama, who says he wishes to pursue “tough diplomacy,” is how he proposes to get these two stalwarts on board. The question of whether the President should go calling on Assad and Ahmadinejad is an important one, and it says a lot about a person’s understanding of foreign policy and the Middle East. But ultimately it is a diversion that does no favors for McCain.
(Via Andrew Sullivan)