Commentary Magazine


Turns Out Obama Doesn’t Want Sanctions Anyway

If there were ever any doubt about how unserious the Obama administration is about depriving Iran of nuclear weapons, Hillary Clinton cleared that up. Placing the administration far to the Left of Sen. Charles Schumer, Rep. Howard Berman, and Sen. Robert Menendez, Clinton said the Obama team doesn’t need any sanctions legislation. After all the talk of “crippling sanctions,” the administration does not want the leverage, at least not so long as we are making all this “progress” in chatting with Iran. We learn:

Clinton, on her first visit to Russia since taking her post, quoted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev as saying sanctions against Iran might be inevitable, adding: “But we are not at that point yet. That is not a conclusion we have reached. And we want to be very clear that it is our preference that Iran works with the international community . . . to fulfill its obligation on inspections.”

The location where she made her comments is important. She’s in Russia hitting that reset button, supposedly. But wait — weren’t we supposed to get help from the Russians with sanctions in exchange for selling some of our Eastern European allies down the river on missile defense? Well, it turns out the Obama administration isn’t interested in sanctions. Someday, maybe. But not now.  So presto — we get along great with Russia! And if you think this is an exaggeration, Clinton provides the unintentionally hilarious confirmation:

“I feel very good about the so-called reset,” she said. . . . ”We did not ask for anything today. We reviewed the situation and where it stood, which I think was the appropriate timing for what this process entails,” Clinton said.

Got that? This is what constitutes smart diplomacy: pull the rug out from under your friends, renounce your own interests, defer confronting enemies of the U.S., and then declare the wonders of interdependence and multilateral cooperation. It’s the stuff of Nobel Peace prizes.