Commentary Magazine


Topic: foreign official

RE: Annals of Smart Diplomacy

Rick, in addition to omitting a text and timetable, the Obami are omitting China from their Iran sanction plans, to the consternation of our allies:

The Obama administration is pushing to carve out an exemption for China and other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council from legislation pending in the Senate and the House that would tighten sanctions on companies doing business in Iran, administration and congressional sources said. . .

But the administration’s lobbying for a Chinese exemption has raised eyebrows in Congress and angered several allies, most notably South Korea and Japan, which would not be exempted under the administration’s plan.

“We’re absolutely flabbergasted,” said one senior official from a foreign country friendly to the United States. “Tell me what exactly have the Chinese done to deserve this?” Japan and South Korea, which are U.S. allies, have raised the issue with the Obama administration.

What has China done? They balked and hollered, and the Obami have no means of corralling their support, so they will simply give China a pass, making a mockery of the entire exercise. This has not gone unnoticed: “One foreign official complained that the administration’s efforts would encourage China to water down U.N. sanctions on Iran as much as possible and then push Chinese firms — should the U.S. law pass — to invest more in Iran’s oil and gas sector.” We also know that Turkey and Brazil are balking at sanctions.

So where’s the evidence of Obama’s charismatic power to move our allies? Where’s the evidence that engagement enabled us to gather international support for crippling sanctions? There isn’t any. Nor is there any game plan to deter the mullahs’ acquisition of nuclear weapons. We are headed for what candidate Barack Obama declared unacceptable: a Revolutionary Islamic state with nuclear weapons. Perhaps Joe Biden can explain to the Israelis on his visit why they should refrain from acting unilaterally to defend themselves against an existential threat to the Jewish state in light of the abject failure of the Obami’s Iran policy.

Rick, in addition to omitting a text and timetable, the Obami are omitting China from their Iran sanction plans, to the consternation of our allies:

The Obama administration is pushing to carve out an exemption for China and other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council from legislation pending in the Senate and the House that would tighten sanctions on companies doing business in Iran, administration and congressional sources said. . .

But the administration’s lobbying for a Chinese exemption has raised eyebrows in Congress and angered several allies, most notably South Korea and Japan, which would not be exempted under the administration’s plan.

“We’re absolutely flabbergasted,” said one senior official from a foreign country friendly to the United States. “Tell me what exactly have the Chinese done to deserve this?” Japan and South Korea, which are U.S. allies, have raised the issue with the Obama administration.

What has China done? They balked and hollered, and the Obami have no means of corralling their support, so they will simply give China a pass, making a mockery of the entire exercise. This has not gone unnoticed: “One foreign official complained that the administration’s efforts would encourage China to water down U.N. sanctions on Iran as much as possible and then push Chinese firms — should the U.S. law pass — to invest more in Iran’s oil and gas sector.” We also know that Turkey and Brazil are balking at sanctions.

So where’s the evidence of Obama’s charismatic power to move our allies? Where’s the evidence that engagement enabled us to gather international support for crippling sanctions? There isn’t any. Nor is there any game plan to deter the mullahs’ acquisition of nuclear weapons. We are headed for what candidate Barack Obama declared unacceptable: a Revolutionary Islamic state with nuclear weapons. Perhaps Joe Biden can explain to the Israelis on his visit why they should refrain from acting unilaterally to defend themselves against an existential threat to the Jewish state in light of the abject failure of the Obami’s Iran policy.

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