Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett’s profoundly wrongheaded op-ed in the Sunday New York Times did contain this valuable nugget:
Why has President Obama put himself in a position from which he cannot deliver on his own professed interest in improving relations with the Islamic Republic? Some diplomatic veterans who have spoken with him have told us that the president said that he did not realize, when he came to office, how “hard” the Iran problem would be.
Sure, how could he have known it would take more than a video and a smile to subdue thirty years of Khomeinist terrorism? Add to this underestimation Robert Gibbs’s acknowledgment that ordering Gitmo closed was “hasty,” and add to it Obama’s scrambled reversals on a host of national security policies and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Obama really was in over his head upon entering office.
Yet through all the course corrections and rude awakenings he has never dropped the self-satisfied disparagement of the very administration he’s come to mimic. Not for Obama the false choice between insulting your predecessor and carrying out his policies.
On issue after issue, Obama tells us that he is not naïve. Then, on issue after issue, he tacks Bushward before his naiveté causes irreversible damage. I suppose we should be thankful for the “hasty” nature of the president’s mistakes. For the sooner he puts his naiveté to the test the sooner we can return to what works.